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Here we are, few weeks into the reopening of the hospitality industry. There have been many articles floating around the internet about ensuring businesses are ready from a social distancing standpoint, and quite rightly so. But with many hotels keeping restaurants and bars closed, or guests feeling they may prefer to stay in their rooms, how do we ensure that guests still have a pleasant and comfortable stay?
One way is through the use of technology. During the lockdown, almost five million people in the UK subscribed to streaming services such as Netflix, and with so many different streaming services to choose from, the demand for online streaming is at an all-time high. But one thing remains unchanged; no one enjoys watching their favourite boxset on a small smartphone or PC screen.
Hotels need to be prepared for guests wanting to watch their own content on the guestroom TVs. But beforehand, there are four main points to consider:
The two primary solutions aside from having cables trailing everywhere are either Apple TV or Chromecast. Apple TV can be a costly solution to deploy if installing one per room, and while solutions do exist which enable several to be 'stacked' in a computer room, Apple TV's do prohibit Android users entirely. Chromecast, on the other hand, takes a universal approach and can be used by both Apple and Android users alike. But how to make sure that the service is safe to use in a hotel environment?
Ensuring guests in neighbouring rooms do not maliciously or inadvertently stream to another room, protecting your guest's login credentials and making sure that your hotel is protected from a GDPR standpoint, and encrypting guest internet traffic. All of these elements need to be considered to avoid the possibility of legal issues further down the line.
Netflix currently recommends 5MB per second to stream in HD, and 25MB per second for Ultra HD or 4K content, so it's essential to make sure you have an adequate data line to support a number of concurrent guest users. Still, beyond this, we also need to look at the WiFi signal strength, as unless connected to a wired network, Chromecast works best when a robust 5GHz frequency is available supported by sufficient throughput from the connected network switches.
While all of these points should be food for thought when choosing a streaming service, of course, there is always the option to go it alone to try and save money, but hospitality grade solutions don't have to cost an arm and a leg. However, they do need careful planning and expertise so that the solution deployed is reliable, secure, and so that your guests find it easy to use.
Stream & Cast by Wifirst is a Chromecast solution custom made for hospitality. Deployed in conjunction with our fully managed WiFi and Room Area Network, which enables an encrypted personal network for each guestroom. Stream & Cast is an easy to use, safe and secure service that doesn't require expensive proxy servers or additional cabling. Setup to promote your brand image, guests are presented with a familiar and intuitive experience that will increase guest satisfaction with every stay.
To discuss how Stream & Cast could benefit your hotel, or how to speed up your internet service, please get in touch, and one of our experts will be happy to assist.
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