Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Dear TiVo, Welcome to the guestroom

When my college roommates and I first got our digital video recording service in the fall of 2005, I knew my life had been changed forever. Similar to when I got a cell phone, getting a DVR was something that once I had it, I knew I couldn't live without it. No longer did I have to wait up until 11 to watch "The Daily Show," and no longer did I have to coordinate class schedules around "The Price is Right." I became a slave to the DVR for the first few days, setting up season passes for at least 12 different shows; but after the initial setup, it did all the work for me.

Today, although my full-time job consumes much of my time, I still record about four hours of television per day and dedicate much of my night and my weekends to consuming the smut. (Don't worry—with DVR, these four hours easily become about three hours and 24 minutes of actual viewing time; even less if the show recorded is "Deal or No Deal," which I can watch in all of about eight minutes.)

Nonetheless, I hate when I have to travel because my work (or leisure) schedule doesn't accommodate my TV watching—and I hate being gone for a week and coming home to a filled DVR!

But now, TiVo—a digital video recording provider—is entering the hospitality realm. According to an article on Reuters, TiVo will install its devices in Morgans Hotel Group's new luxury hotel in South Beach, Fla. I was thrilled to see that, if by chance I happen to stay at the one hotel in the country that offers this service, I can set a DVR up before I head out to record my shows and watch them at my leisure.

I actually am shocked that this hasn't been introduced in more hotels—after all, I've always thought that a hotel aims to offer you things that you have at home, if not better amenities than your home offers.

I am hopeful that this trend will catch on because I believe this is one way you can truly create a great guest experience—for me, at least.

But does this prove too costly a venture? What could the downfalls of it be? The negative consequences of a DVR are up for debate.

5 comments:

benbethel said...

At The Clarendon in Phoenix, all Executive Rooms have been equipped with 42" LG LCD HDTVs with built-in High Definition DVRs for nearly two years. We will be expanding to cover 100% of all guest rooms with HD DVRs by Spring 2009. The DVRs will be set to record the latest episodes of the higest-rated shows on TV.

The Clarendon is also ahead of the game in another arena by providing free international calls to all guests - one of the first hotels in the world to do so. This also has been in effect for nearly two years.

Sincerely,
Ben Bethel
Managing Member
Clarendon Hotel Group.

Stacey said...

I HAVE WANTED TIVO IN A HOTEL ROOM FOR THREE YEARS NOW! Leave it to the Morgans Hotel Group to bring it to life. This is the best news ever...I can start traveling again!!

Shawn said...

I love my DVR too. I think it would be a great idea for extended stay properties. But with technology changing so fast I'm not sure it would be cost effective.

Emily Hanna said...

Hi Ben! Thanks for giving me the information about your hotel—I'm very interested to hear that more hotels are doing this and I look forward to see what you and many other hotels do with the advancing technology in the future! Keep us updated!

Emily

benbethel said...

Thank you for the comments - one thing I predict is that hotels will drop wi-fi pretty soon as more and more people are showing up with mobile broadband cards - soon to be wi-max. even though our internet is free they say "I've got a broadband card". Seems like a LOT of travelers now...

Sincerely,
Ben Bethel
Managing Member
Clarendon Hotel Group.