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The Ultimate Guide to Picking the Best Hospitality TV System for Your Hotel

The Ultimate Guide to Picking the Best Hospitality TV System for Your Hotel

When you run a hotel, you know happy guests mean everything. One big part of keeping guests satisfied is having top-notch in-room entertainment. But with so many options out there nowadays, how do you even start to pick the right TV system?

In this guide, I’ll walk you through the key choices step-by-step.

Why Hotel In-Room Entertainment Matters So Much

Why do you think in-room entertainment is so crucial nowadays?

The fact is, your guests expect it. After a busy day of meetings or sightseeing, they want to kick back and enjoy themselves on their own terms. Guest surveys consistently show that in-room entertainment is one of the top amenities they look for.

The right system delivers major benefits:

  • Happier, more satisfied guests
  • Better online reviews and ratings
  • Additional revenue from on-demand sales
  • A more personalized, engaging stay

Bottom line? Getting this decision right pays off in spades. Now let’s explore the latest entertainment tech so you know your options.

Newer In-Room Tech – A Game Changer

Hotels now have way more entertainment tech options than ever before. The newest systems give your guests tons of viewing choices, conveniently delivered right to their room TVs.

Here are some of the biggest advantages you should know about:

Total Personalization

With these systems, each guest can view exactly what they want, when they want. The experience is tailored just for them.

No Need to Leave the Room

Guests can access tons of entertainment without leaving their rooms. Everything is available on their TV with user-friendly menus.

Huge Selection

From new movie releases to hit shows, guests get tons of on-demand options to pick from. Lots of variety and choice.

Catch Live Events

Many newer systems allow guests to watch live sports, news and events – a must for business travelers.

Revenue Potential

On-demand purchases of movies, TV shows and more can add a nice revenue stream.

As you can see, the latest in-room entertainment tech has tremendous upside for both your guests and your bottom line. Now let’s go over your main options.

The Top Options Compared

If you want to upgrade your property’s entertainment offerings, you’ve got 3 main paths to choose from:

In-Room Set-Top Boxes

These are set-top boxes installed in each room that connect to on-site servers. This gives you total control.


  • Full oversight of guest experience
  • Easy to update programming
  • Generates on-demand revenue


  • Expensive hardware costs
  • IT staff required for maintenance
  • Not easily scalable

Smart TV Platforms

Many new Smart TVs allow access to apps like Netflix without the need for set-top boxes.


  • Uses built-in Smart TV features
  • No need for extra equipment
  • Simple for guests to use apps


  • Less control and customization
  • No on-demand revenue opportunity
  • Less personalized experience

Managed IPTV Solutions

With these systems, a third-party vendor handles all the technology and content delivery over an IP network.


  • Content and tech handled off-site
  • Tons of entertainment options
  • Can support on-demand revenue


  • Loss of customization control
  • Reliant on outside vendor
  • Potential issues if network goes down

I realize that’s a lot to think about! Next I’ll go over some key factors to help you decide what works best.

Top Factors in Making Your Choice

To pick the ideal system for your property, here are some of the most important considerations:

What Your Guests Want

You need to have a solid handle on the viewing tastes of your typical guests. Matching their preferences is crucial.

  • What types of movies, TV shows and sports do they prefer?
  • How tech-savvy are your typical guests?
  • Will they want to use their own mobile devices too?

Your Team’s Capabilities

Know what you and your staff can realistically support:

  • Can your team handle an on-site server-based system?
  • Do you prefer outsourcing the tech management?
  • How often can you update the content?

Network Strength and Bandwidth

A high-quality network is key:

  • Will your WiFi or wired network handle the video traffic?
  • Can you devote part of your network just for entertainment?

Ongoing Costs

Compare the ongoing operating expenses:

  • Bandwidth and licensing fees for content
  • Staffing required to manage the system

Revenue Generation

See if you can support on-demand sales or adult content to increase revenue. But only if it fits with your brand.

Future Flexibility

Pick something that adapts as your needs change. Like supporting more rooms down the road.

Key Trends to Keep in Mind

Some recent shifts to be aware of when choosing your system:

Mobile – Guests use mobile devices more for entertainment nowadays. Allowing them to project video content from their devices is key.

Cloud-Based – Many systems now use the flexibility of the cloud for delivering entertainment.

Personalization – Advanced systems can tailor recommendations and content for each guest.

Direct-to-Consumer – Apps like Netflix continue growing. Providing access makes guests happy.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the right in-room entertainment system takes research. But the payoff of delighted guests is immense. Use this guide to make a smart, informed decision for your property!

Let me know if you have any other questions.

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