Report: Panasonic Leads U.S. Hospitality TV Sales
Nov 21, 2011
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High-end hotels made the transition to digital and to high definition (HD) TVs before most households, but many smaller, mid-range, and boutique hotels are just now promoting HD and other video services, according to market research firm DisplaySearch.

Large chains had the resources upgrade to flat panel TVs chain-wide, and generally bought the TVs right from the brands. Smaller hotels, however, usually need partners in the IT distribution channel to help manage the change location by location. As this happens, hospitality TV sales increase through commercial distributors and resellers, which can break bulk and provide logistics management and installation.

"There has been a dramatic increase in the number of hospitality TVs shipped through commercial distribution in the last two years,” noted Chris Connery, vice president of Large Format Commercial Displays at DisplaySearch. “Guests of all types of hotels expect flat panel TVs and in-room-service upgrades, so hotels are now relying even more on efficient channel distribution to help with their roll-outs.”

The firm said hotels prefer 32-inch LCD TVs for their guest rooms by a large margin, and 32-inch TVs made up 74% of hospitality TV shipments through the channel in the third quarter of 2011.

Most of the sets are "technically HD", offering 1366 × 768 pixels, but are not "full-HD" at 1920 × 1080 pixels. They support FHD and allow for the secure delivery of pay per view (PPV) and other on-demand content to guest rooms.

“Smaller and boutique hotels can also purchase off-the-shelf consumer TVs and simply connect them to cable or to antennae for free over-the-air broadcasts, without PPV, so sales of regular TVs for smaller hotels are growing as well,” noted Connery. “However, larger chains prefer brands that offer dedicated TVs designed for secure delivery of video services.”

The top three of the top 10 hospitality TV models sold through U.S. distribution channels were Panasonic models, and the research firm said Samsung, LG, and Philips increased their shares.

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