AV Technology: Trends in Audio-Visual Equipment

Phil Benson reviews some of the hot AV technology products currently on the market and considers the emerging trends in hotel audio-visual equipment.

The advances being made in the field of Audio-Visual (AV) equipment, which can be used in the hospitality sector, means that hoteliers have to be aware of what is being released to the market, to ensure their hotel is kitted out with the best possible equipment to meet the needs and expectations of their guests.

Samsung: Hospitality TV

Samsung has been a global leader in digital media and digital convergence technologies and is working with hotels towards delivering an optimised guest experience. In December 2011, Samsung announced its plan to strengthen its proposition for the hotel industry to help hotels to distinguish themselves in the market and enhance their guest’s enjoyment during a stay by offering businesses a full technology package of award winning Hospitality TVs.

Vice President of IT at Samsung UK, Graham Long said, “Having built on our success as the UK’s number one consumer TV brand, we already have a compelling TV offering for hotels. We have now developed a full suite of other products, solutions and industry partnerships that will represent the future of technology for the hospitality industry including the latest guest interaction technology such as Samsung SUR40 for Microsoft Surface.”

Samsung is planning to increase its network of hospitality customers and is already working with more than 350 hotels in the UK and 15 global chains, which include CentreParcs and Premier Inn.

Bang & Olufsen: BeoVision 10

Last year, Danish company Bang & Olufsen launched the BeoVision 10, which they claim to be the smallest flat screen TV they have created and is designed to be easily hung on a wall similar to hanging artwork. Available in 32, 40 and 46-inch models, the TVs are curved exactly right to give almost an optical illusion. There is a wall bracket on the back of the TV, which allows users to swing out the screen at an angle of up to 45-degrees, so it can be viewed from different areas of the room. Using the latest LED backlight technology means that the screen is slimmer, so hoteliers can take advantage of this and use the chance to free up space in compact rooms with this model.

Electric Mirror

At the up-scale end of the hotel market, Seattle based Electric Mirror has launched the first hospitality mirror TV for the hotel bathroom, which can network with major IPTV and VOD providers. The expectation levels of guests are always rising as new technologies are used more and more in their own homes. They therefore, now expect to have the same luxury when visiting hotels and this innovative bathroom mirror certainly provides this.

This is the first hospitality mirror TV that facilitates high-definition free-to-guest (HD-FTG) channels, video-on-demand (VOD), playback and channel recording, Internet protocol TV (IPTV), in-room control and hotel-information services. Using Electric Mirror’s BridgePort solution, all of these features are available in an upgradeable format, to respond to changes in IPTV and VOD partners, with whom BridgePort interfaces. Being able to upgrade as changes in technology occur will mean that hoteliers can avoid the replacement costs of having to buy in new models.

Audio-Visual technology is always changing and adapting, so it is important that hoteliers can respond to this and keep alert to the latest upgrades to remain competitive.

By Phil Benson

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