HDTV and Hotels

By Richard Mandigo

February 28, 2009 6:00 AM

Last week, I stayed at a four star hotel in Chicago, and while the room was very nice, the TV signal was being broadcast in standard definition on large HD screens. Now this may not sound very important, but if you’ve spent around $1,000 per room on brand-new televisions to impress your guests, having standard definition signal and HD TVs produces a picture that is worse than if you had kept your old boxy tube televisions. Because new TVs are built with such high resolutions to get the most out of HD signals, they have to stretch out standard signals several times their original size. This leaves the picture fuzzy, making text unreadable and making everything look like it was shot for a Barbra Walters special.

Now this next part is really important, even after the digital conversion clicks over, cable TV still doesn’t need to be broadcast in High-Definition. In fact, if you’ve got a cable box right now, chances are they’re broadcasting in digital standard-definition. For most cable companies, as well as dish networks, HD packages cost extra, and generally include a sports and movie packages. These represent a significant investment from the hotelier’s perspective, but after all, you’ve already blown all that money on buying brand new TVs, you might as well spend a bit more money to make them watchable.

There are other alternatives of course, with those nifty converter boxes the government has been handing out, you can receive HD broadcasting over an antenna, but God help the hotel that returns to rabbit ears. So the obvious solution is more expensive than you’d like, and guests may not be complaining about it yet, but as more people buy flat screens for their homes, the novelty of the technology will wear off, and they will.

We’re in the midst of a deep recession, and it seems absolutely ludicrous to complain about something frivolous, but if you’re running a four star hotel, guests are expecting a certain level of luxury. If they walk into a room and see a nice TV, they’ll expect the picture to be as good as the TV. And when they don’t get it, they’ll be as disappointed as if one of the lights in the room was out. Until you upgrade your signal, your fancy HDTVs are basically very expensive paperweights.

Related tags: HDTV, Hotel, Technology


1 Jim Battin says...
Ric, Great observations.

Posted at 2:54 p.m. on March 2, 2009

2 müzik dinle says...
Very good thanx.

Posted at 6:30 a.m. on May 6, 2009

3 Rap dinle says...
thanx admin very god

Posted at 6:31 a.m. on May 6, 2009

Ted Mandigo, CPA, ISHC.
Director TR Mandigo & Co.

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TR Mandigo & Company is a Hospitality Consulting firm with over 35 years of professional experience. We specialize in hotel & resort market feasibility, litigation support, and portfolio valuation.

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