Roomcast and the Future of Hotel Room Streaming: How to Hook Hospitality Clients on Your Solutions

Friday, December 1, 2017

Remember when flat screen hotel TV’s were considered a luxury amenity? Not anymore. Rapidly changing technology has changed the way individuals consume entertainment. Guests are ditching the in-room TV and opting to watch content on their phones and laptops.

This causes many hoteliers to ask same question – how do we get that content on the big screen? Enter hotel room streaming.

Streaming itself is not a new concept. Companies like Amazon, Apple, and Google have had solutions available for a few years now. However, implementing that technology in hotels is an entirely different challenge.

Many hotel groups are concerned about the impact of streaming on their existing Wi-Fi Network and are weary of investing thousands into a solution that cannot adapt to changing technology.

Apryl Lamberti, Director of Business Development for Hospitality at Almo Professional A/V, sat down with Neil Betterton, VP of TeleAdapt, to talk about the current state of streaming and to discuss Roomcast – a streaming solution powered by Google Chromecast.

What’s the big deal about hotel room streaming? Is it just a fad or is it here to stay?

A: Streaming is so easy to do on mobile devices that we don’t even realize we’re doing it half the time. Whether its watching a show or listening to your favorite music… you’ve probably got an app for that on your mobile device. It’s sort of whatever you want, whenever you want it.

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It’s even more ideal when traveling. It’s impossible for a hotel to provide that much content, so the idea is… let guests pick their own content and play it on the TV.

Does Roomcast require additional servers to be installed?

A: No, that’s one of the unique things with Roomcast; it’s a lot like an AppleTV or Roku box. You just plug into the TV and connect it to the internet, and that’s it.

Can Roomcast be centrally managed?

A: Very soon. We are currently shipping release 3 of the Roomcast software. We will provide a full management API in Release 4.

We are already working with partners on providing a web-based management dashboard tool for monitoring and management of the Roomcast devices, which will be hosted in the cloud.

How will Roomcast effect a property’s existing Wi-Fi network?

A: This is the number-one question we get from our customers. Our initial goals with Roomcast were Security, Ease of Use, and Ease of Installation. We achieved all three by providing a personal area network (PAN) in the Roomcast box — which is an extension of the hotel’s network.

We’ve focused on hotels that have a wired port on the same wall as the TV. This makes it so easy to install the product without making any changes to the existing Wi-Fi infrastructure.

We recognize this strategy is not for everyone and not all hotels have a wired port available. Release 4 of the Roomcast software will introduce “Client Mode” which allows us to turn off our Wi-Fi radio and join the hotels Wi-Fi network as an additional client.

What does the future look like for Roomcast and the hotel room streaming market?

A: We’re at the beginning of a huge wave of new technology coming into the hotel guestroom. We built Roomcast to be a powerful, cloud-connected platform that is open and able to connect with other digital services.

Voice input and TV response is just one example where Roomcast can deliver future value.

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