By Phil McCall
Director of US National Accounts
Have you considered upgrading now….to both save money, and get ready for the future?
How old is that platform anyway?
Many of today’s hotel and hospital video systems were designed and installed when only analog television sets were available. Limited channel line-ups and bulky set-top boxes can make in-room entertainment less than optimal, to say the least. And what about the central system at the office? Sometimes requiring multiple shelves, and often noisy and power-hungry, older hospitality platforms can impede the core business of the establishments they serve. When that system inevitably requires maintenance or repair, are there spare parts available or knowledgeable technicians who can help?
Have your hospitality systems kept up with the advances in video technology?
It’s sometimes easy to focus on single-family customers, when converting to new video protocols and services, like MPEG-4, HDTV, and Video on Demand (VOD). But hospitality patrons expect the same video quality and choices they enjoy at home when they are temporarily housed at a hospitality site.
Newer television sets are certainly available, and many are already installed in hotel rooms. But, taking advantage of their capabilities may require costly changes to the core platform, and may not even be possible with some systems. In addition, newer video compression protocols, like MPEG-4 and HEVC, can double the number of video streams delivered to a hospitality site from a headend or service office. You could potentially earn additional revenue over the same physical medium, but you may need to transcode from MPEG-4 to MPEG-2 (for example) at the site.
Is your existing platform flexible enough to handle that?
One option to help with this is Secure Reliable Transport (SRT). This new protocol now allows you to reach a hospitality site with broadcast quality video streams over the “public” internet.
Don’t forget about content protection!
Perhaps you have heard – CableCARD is now “end of life”, and video service providers no longer need to support this additional hardware requirement. But content owners still insist on operators keeping their feeds secure. Fortunately, newer techniques, like BISS, Pro-Idiom and solutions from companies like Verimatrix are readily available. But if your hospitality platform isn’t flexible enough to handle the newer content protection schemes, you could be stuck with older, and potentially unsupported methods.
Are you ready for all-IP?
You know it’s coming….and it’s coming rapidly! The advantages of IP video transport throughout the network, coupled with OTT and IPTV delivery to subscribers, are no longer in question. The debate is pretty much over, and the only question for most operators is “when.” You already know that hospitality patrons want to view their desired video and entertainment on multiple screen types, and IP is the only technology that truly “fits the bill.”
If it’s time to upgrade your hospitality systems – and because of the pandemic, now is probably a perfect time – think about the “long haul”. Pick a platform that can handle “legacy” CPE and content protection now, and then convert to all-IP when it makes sense. If you pick the right solution, you can save operating expense and increase revenue now, and you won’t need to change out the chassis later to realize future revenue!
It’s what we do at WISI!
We have been listening to our loyal customers when it comes to hospitality systems. The result of their input and guidance is the Tangram. This modular, flexible platform is easy to upgrade or change as needs grow. Operators can extend the life-span of legacy infrastructure and help avoid replacing expensive network and in-room equipment
Want to learn more?
Want to learn more about different hospitality solutions? We have an entire white paper on Hospitality.
Director of US National Accounts
Phil McCall is a 40 year veteran of the Telecom and MSO markets, having spent almost his entire career calling on Tier 1 Carriers in the US and abroad. A native of Florida, and a graduate in Industrial Engineering from the University of Florida, he has spent most of his career in the Atlanta, GA area, but has recently moved to Indiana to be closer to family.