From streaming to picture quality, technology advances in the home are driving innovation in venue entertainment technology. Craig Hawtin-Butcher reveals how hoteliers can stay ahead of the curve.
The Balmain Hotel in Sydney’s Inner West drew some unwanted attention in the press earlier in May when Foxtel blocked the pub’s Game of Thrones screenings to the public. The pay-tv broadcaster reminded the venue that its residential subscription did not allow for the pub’s commercial setup and rapidly killed off the screenings.
The incident is a reminder both of ensuring your entertainment packages are legitimately used, but also of the enduring power of screened entertainment to attract major crowds to pubs. Big-draw series with star names do have the pulling power to get patrons off their sofas and into their local, while screened live sport is an enduring attraction powering the great Aussie pub. While much has been made of the streaming services Netflix and Stan keeping Australians at home, arguably these services simply show the power of great entertainment to connect with an audience.
While the latest (and most expensive) technology is often the preserve of larger groups or those with deeper pockets, you can fully expect this technology to come down in price over time to become more accessible.
Appliance Retailer magazine’s deputy editor Emily Bencic highlights the top three trends relevant to hoteliers that she’s seeing across entertainment technology right now. From increased picture size to picture quality and modular screen setups.
- Expectations are higher than ever
As the in-home entertainment experience continues to improve with better picture quality, better sound and easier access to content with integrated artificial intelligence (AI), Australian consumers need a good reason to enjoy a premium viewing experience outside of the home. There has been substantial growth in
the purchase of 75-inch TVs, which didn’t exist a couple of years ago, so when it comes to entertainment at your venue, aside from a large screen, what else can you provide your customers to ensure they keep coming back?
- Picutre quality keeps getting better
Without a doubt, the first thing we notice when watching TV is picture quality. A few years ago, Ultra High Definition (Ultra HD) set the bar for picture quality, more recently, 4K resolution entered the market and now the next evolution coming to a screen near you is 8K – offering never-seen-before depth
and detail. Despite limited 8K content being available, when 4K was first launched there was only a small pool of content to choose from. A key difference with the introduction of 8K TV is sophisticated upscaling technology that can recognise and upscale content whether through a streaming service, set-top box, HDMI, USB or mobile mirroring.
- Modular screens – the future of TV?
Samsung Electronics has been making some noise about Micro LED as a major project in its television roadmap, first commercially, then more broadly for the veryday consumer. Micro LED is modular, meaning it is not defined by set screen sizes and it can fit into a wide array of room layouts and designs. It is also selfemissive technology with each pixel being its own light source that can be turned on and off to achieve truly perfect blacks. As an inorganic material, its colour, brightness and contrast will not degrade over time.