LodgeNet brings long-awaited on-screen program guides to hotel rooms

Hotel-room cable TV services have long lagged behind their residential counterparts, but LodgeNet (Nasdaq: LNET), a company serving the hospitality and healthcare industries, is hoping to change that. Yesterday, LodgeNet announced a new interactive program guide (IPG) solution that works on its Envision iTV and HD Free-to-Guest platforms. The idea is to do away with those printed channel lists common to many hotel rooms, and give guests an opportunity to hit the TV remote for an on-screen guide. You know, just like many of us do at home.

LodgeNet IPG

LodgeNet's IPG

LodgeNet says the new network-based IPG doesn't require an in-room set-top or a smart TV setup. A spokesperson also confirmed that the IPG works with both the Envision coax-based solution, and the Envision IP video service. The HD Free-to-Guest platform, which will also offer the IPG as an optional feature, provides TV via satellite service through a partnership with DirecTV.

In late January, LodgeNet premiered another hotel TV service with its LodgeNet Mobile App. Available for iOS and Android devices, the mobile app lets guests use their smartphones as TV remote controls--a boon for germaphobic travelers. The app also provides information on local dining and entertainment options, as well as hotel-specific services.

Regarding the new IPG solution, LodgeNet vice president Paul Johnson says:

"Up until now, putting an IPG on the guest room TV has been costly and complicated due largely to the hardware required; but with our new solution many hoteliers can provide this amenity through the LodgeNet-compatible televisions they already have, without installing extra hardware in their rooms... Our IPG solution also offers a green alternative for hoteliers who want to eliminate the environmental impact, expense and in-room clutter associated with printed channel guides."

For more:
- see the press release

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