TWCBC checks in with new HD service for hotels
Time Warner Cable Business Class is provisioning a new HD platform for hotels that was designed to mimic in-home HD services without the expense of on-site headend equipment and bulky set-top boxes.
Time Warner Cable Business Class (TWCBC) is offering a new version of its HD Video for Hospitality service across the greater New York City area, New York State, New England and the Carolinas. TWCBC, the business services division of Time Warner Cable, has aggressively rolled out other hospitality-related service offerings in the same areas.
Two years ago, Time Warner Cable Business Class (TWCBC), partnered with IPTV vendor iBahn  to deliver Internet access and video services to New York City hotel Dream Downtown. In that deployment, Time Warner Cable Business Class delivered the video signals over its fiber-based QAM infrastructure before iBahn converted them to multicast IP streams. From there, iBahn sends the signals to IPTV set-top boxes that run its middleware.
TWCBC offers two HD Video for Hospitality service offerings. The newest version launched this week uses HFC and setback boxes behind each of the hotels’ HD TVs. The setback boxes are smaller and less obtrusive than set-top boxes.
“Hotels are eager to replicate the typical in-home HDTV experience for customers and meet the higher standards demanded by their corporate brands,” said Maureen Link, regional vice president of marketing for Time Warner Cable Business Class, East Region. “HD Video for Hospitality is a high-quality, cost-effective option to meet these goals. It builds on our legacy as a leading provider of video solutions for businesses, and is a natural extension of our growing suite of solutions for the hospitality market.”
HD Video for Hospitality includes guest access to more than 100 channels, with more than 60 in HD, free on demand programming, and premium VOD choices. It also features Time Warner Cable’s on-screen Navigator guide and a specially designed streamlined and antimicrobial remote control that lets guests change user settings.
“The feedback we’ve received from our guests in response to the additional HD choices we are able to provide has been tremendous, “ said Elaine Sarkis, general manager for DoubleTree by Hilton Buffalo Downtown, in Buffalo, N.Y. “Our guests have high expectations for our ability to meet their needs and adding HD options helps make them feel right at home. Time Warner Cable Business Class meets all of our business solutions, while also giving our customers the video programming preferences they desire.”
Hotel customers can add premium HD channels from HBO, Showtime, Cinemax and Starz, music through MusicChoice and select international channels. Hotels also have the option of adding the 26-channel Deluxe Hospitality Tier to provide even more programming choices for their guests.
The onscreen guide can be customized with each hotel’s logo and brand colors. The hotel is able to control the customer experience through a portal that allows it to monitor each box that is being used and set parental controls, if requested by a guest.
“People call before they make a reservation to check on TV technology, and channel lineups, said Mike Martino, general manager for Sheraton Imperial Hotel & Convention Center in Durham, N.C. “Our services have always been great. However, we needed more variety to meet client expectations, and we could not make a large capital investment in hardware. We have a commitment to our guests to feel right at home or otherwise they will not come back to us. Time Warner Cable Business Class offers a superior product and has met our budget needs”