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LodgeNet, LG Extending HD into Hotels

LodgeNet Entertainment--a provider of interactive television and broadband technology to the lodging industry--and LG Electronics USA, are teaming up to provide HD services for hotel chains and high-end lodging facilities.

A growing number of hotels currently are investing in flat panel TV, and the inclusion of HD will maximize the return on their digital TV investment, according to LodgeNet. Both companies say some hoteliers are pushing to deliver a complete spectrum of broadcast, satellite and VOD content, with a relatively simple guest interface (in other words, only one remote).

Pro:Idiom, a protection technology for proprietary content, is designed to provide security for DBS and VOD product in adherence with ATSC standards. Pro:Idiom will be integrated into LodgeNet's conditional access system, which the firms say will maintain the integrity of digital content at every point along the distribution chain. The new technology will be licensed to commercial TV manufacturers and VOD providers on a non-royalty basis.

Also, the emergence of 16:9 flat panel plasma and LCD displays is causing hoteliers to re-examine where the TV best fits into the typical guest room, conceptually and logistically. As a result, LG and LodgeNet have developed a "boxless" platform that incorporates digital tuning and VOD components into one simple remote control device, and are working with hotel audio and furniture design interests in an "holistic approach" to migrating their properties to HD. Agreements with specific hotel chains have not yet been announced.