LodgeNet Announces New Free-To-Guest Solutions At HITEC

LodgeNet_logoNew In-Room Interactive Applications Supporting LG Pro:CentricTM Technology

New Financing and Accelerated Installation Programs

LodgeNet Interactive Corporation, the leading provider of media and connectivity solutions to the hospitality industry, announced today at HITEC 2009 that it is offering expanded and enhanced free-to-guest (FTG) TV services to hoteliers. These new solutions are designed to offer customers expanded services to accompany their high-definition (HD) FTG programming, and also to make LodgeNet FTG services more cost effective and convenient.

New In-Room Interactive Applications Supporting Pro:CentricTM Technology

LodgeNet has collaborated with LG Electronics to develop new applications that operate on the Pro:Centric television platform and is demonstrating these applications at HITEC this week. By working with LG Pro:Centric technology, LodgeNet can deliver interactive TV services (such as interactive program guides, hotel information and local information) without a set-top box when guest rooms are equipped with Pro:Centric televisions. The new services offered through this program provide a cost-effective new set of options for hoteliers seeking interactive applications to complement their FTG service.

Under this new program, LodgeNet will offer hoteliers the ability to purchase a small server to support interactive experiences and will also supply a selection of programming, information and support services on a fee-for-service basis to make the entire package a turn-key solution for hoteliers. In addition, LodgeNet and LG Electronics will provide opportunities to support targeted in-room advertising and promotions on the Pro:Centric platform at the hotelier’s request.

“The Pro:Centric platform offers a new option for hotels who want to bring interactivity to their guest rooms without installing a full headend-based platform,” said Paul Johnson, Vice President of Product Management for LodgeNet. “Additionally, when coupled with LodgeNet’s two-way communication capability, applications such as spa reservations, room service ordering and even in-room climate controls become possible without the need for an expensive in-room client.”

“The Pro:Centric platform offers the hospitality industry a new way to support in-room interactivity,” said Richard Lewis, Senior Vice President of Research & Technology for LG Electronics USA Business Solutions. “Offering our customers the expertise of LodgeNet’s Professional Solutions team and the backing of their nationwide support network brings additional components of quality and value to the Pro:Centric equation.”

“Interactive TV capabilities continue to be highly valued by hoteliers and guests, and our customers are always looking new ways to maximize revenues and make their operations more efficient,” said Scott E. Young, President of Hospitality for LodgeNet. “As a technology solutions leader, we are focused on delivering new solutions that meet our customer’s needs, and we are looking forward to demonstrating the new features available through our collaboration with LG on the Pro:Centric platform.”

New Financing Program and Accelerated Installation

In support of LodgeNet’s continued focus on HD FTG solutions, the company also announced new financing and accelerated installation programs today. These new offers are designed to make it easier for hoteliers to implement HD FTG services by providing the opportunity to contract with LodgeNet for FTG programming and hardware with no upfront payment, and also to provide a streamlined approval and installation process that will enable properties to have access to FTG programming quickly and easily.

“Over the past year and half we have launched a variety of new products and services to address our customers’ needs as they transition to HD,” said Young. “Many hotels are looking to install HD FTG systems to support the installation of new televisions, and we understand that up-front FTG hardware costs can be a major issue for some customers,” Young continued. “Given this need, we have created a customized new financing program with The Leasing Experts to provide our customers with improved terms and flexible options. As a part of this program, we have worked with The Leasing Experts to integrate the financing program into our normal contract and approval process to allow us to facilitate the transaction end-to-end, and to make the experience easy and convenient for our customers.”

In addition, LodgeNet has worked to streamline its contract and installation process, and is now offering a 30-day installation guarantee for all new FTG agreements that are approved through standard procedures. Going forward, new FTG agreements will be handled through a simplified contract that will be processed in one business day – and installation of the FTG Basic solution will begin within 30 days after the order is received and approved.  This new process will be used to handle both in-room FTG programming, as well as public space programming for lobbies, restaurants and other public spaces.

Source: LodgeNet