LodgeNet Announces Significant Expansion of Interactive Solutions: Providing Greater Choice for Hoteliers

  • LodgeNet Interactive Corporation
  • 06.24.08
At HITEC 2008 last week in Austin, Texas, LodgeNet Interactive Corporation announced a suite of new media and connectivity products that, together with the company’s existing products, collectively deliver one of the most comprehensive sets of interactive solutions available to the hospitality industry.

The new products include VOD Basic, a new, more economical digital-to-the-room (D2R) VOD solution; IPTV Advanced, a new IP-based HD video on demand solution; Free-to-Guest (FTG) Basic, a new streamlined satellite TV solution that provides a wide variety of HD television channels to hoteliers; and, the HD Built-In Program, a unique arrangement with select TV manufacturers to integrate LodgeNet’s in-room terminals into televisions designed for the hospitality industry. 

Over the past year, LodgeNet has focused on expanding its product portfolio to address the specific needs of different hospitality segments.  With this expansion of product choices, LodgeNet can now provide a comprehensive array of products serving the needs of hotels ranging from the economy through the luxury segments.

The new products announced mark a significant expansion of the overall number of solutions available through LodgeNet, the development of which was enhanced by leveraging the resources gained through the acquisitions of StayOnline and On Command in early 2007.  These acquisitions created the largest team of engineers with expertise dedicated to the specific media and connectivity requirements of the hospitality industry.  

“As technology changes, LodgeNet will continue to lead in developing innovative and reliable new solutions based on a clear vision of the future direction of media and connectivity for the hospitality industry.  And as we continue to broaden our product portfolio, we remain clearly focused on helping our customers meet the unique and specific media and connectivity needs of their different property segments,” said Scott Young, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of LodgeNet.

“New developments in in-room technology continually provide us with new opportunities to develop meaningful solutions to address our customers’ needs, and LodgeNet is focused on leveraging these advances to provide new features, benefits and a greater choice of product solutions for our customers,” said Paul Johnson, vice president of product management for LodgeNet.

The LodgeNet VOD Basic platform is an interactive television system that delivers the core features and benefits of D2R video in a reliable and cost engineered on demand solution.  This new solution was designed to lower the total cost of providing on demand entertainment for both LodgeNet and its customers.  Advances in cost engineering, as well as focused design and feature definition, have allowed LodgeNet to create a new solution that provides customers the option of adding D2R VOD across a range of property categories, from luxury to mid-scale to economy.

The new LodgeNet IPTV Advanced solution provides the same high-definition experience as LodgeNet’s acclaimed HD Advanced platform, with all elements of the service and content delivered over an IP network.  In addition to supporting an IP infrastructure, the new LodgeNet IPTV Advanced solution also supports a one-on-one relationship with guests through interactivity provided by in-room technology.  LodgeNet is demonstrated two versions of its IPTV solution at HITEC:  one with a medium client that provides a base level of functionality, and one with a thick client to provide additional computing power in the room.  With these new capabilities, LodgeNet is now able to work with customers to design custom IP implementations that support emerging converged network implementations.

FTG Basic has been developed as a trusted source of FTG content and service for hotels desiring an HD solution for less than would be required for a full VOD solution.  The many benefits of FTG Basic include quality HD FTG programming, a customizable channel lineup that can be easily configured to meet the needs of guests without an in-room visit, and LodgeNet’s reliable, consistent nationwide service.  In addition, the LodgeNet FTG Basic system can be upgraded with a variety of interactive features as requested by hotel brands or properties.

LodgeNet has partnered with leading TV vendors in the hospitality industry to integrate the interactive communications control required for HD FTG and HD VOD directly into select television models.  This new selection of integrated solutions reduces costs for the hotelier by helping them make sure that the television sets they buy already include all the in-room technology required to support HD content.  Initial participants in this program include LG Electronics, Panasonic and Philips, and additional partners are expected to be announced in coming months.  As a further enhancement to this program, LodgeNet is also offering the available certified installation services of its professional solutions group.

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