HDTV Coming to Hotels

Guests in high-end hotel rooms could find high-end television soon, following the demonstration of an HDTV system designed specifically for the lodging industry.

Zenith Electronics Corp. and LodgeNet Entertainment Corp. demonstrated the systen at the Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITEC) in Orlando this week.

The system delivers HDTV programming over the hotel's existing coaxial cable network, "displaying a picture quality many guests have never seen before," said David Bankers, senior VP of Product and Technology for LodgeNet, a provider of broadband interactive television services to the lodging industry.

The pitched system would include HDTV programming plus standard off-air content as well as LodgeNet's digital on-demand movies, music, Internet and games, all with a single remote control. The system uses a Zenith transcoder to convert broadcast digital television signals for delivery through the hotel's cable network to a Zenith set-top box in the guest room.

The set-top box integrates ATSC digital HDTV and traditional analog NTSC programming signals along with the interactive functionality of LodgeNet's video-on-demand system card. LodgeNet uses a satellite distribution network to bring digital content with DVD/CD functionality to more than 310,000 hotel rooms.