Case Study: AV Solutions in the Hospitality Sector
With digital concierges and smart screens programmed to respond in a range of languages, hotel guests are experiencing a new level of service. Around the world, the hospitality industry is another area where AV is stepping up to deliver a better experience.
Ken Kyle is General Manager of Broadcast & Audio Visual at Madison Technologies. He says the future for the hospitality industry, particularly hotels, is about delivering a more streamlined experience for guests.
“For hotels, the future is going to be a simple user interface, with more services fully integrated,” he says. “It’s all about the user experience, in making it easy, and positive. No one wants to spend 10 minutes on a control panel trying to turn the air conditioning off and the lights down.”
In pubs and clubs, Kyle believes there’s plenty of scope for video conferencing facilities, digital signage, IPTV and touch screen displays.
“I think the future is bright,” he enthuses. “In 2014, InfoComm predicted that hospitality would be the fastest growing sector in Australia for the Pro AV market for the next two years, at 15% CAGR.”
The tech you never see
Because of the expansive nature of Madison Technologies’ product range, a lot of their products operate behind the scenes, Kyle says. So, although you may not see its products, they are there, hidden behind walls and under floors, channelling and modulating the AV signals in hotels, supermarkets and nightclubs. The company’s brand promise is “Well Connected”.
“Our products are the glue binding many other products together,” he says.
“That’s a bit of a generalisation, but most every serious project utilises Belden cable somewhere in the AV installation. Other infrastructure products like Icron USB extension solutions find their way into most projects also.”
However, Madison Technologies products are front and central with SpinetiX, the Digital Signage solution, which has found its way into many major venues, casinos, clubs, hotels and resorts over the past few years.
The hot debate on screen resolution
With 1080p screen resolution still common, 4K becoming standard and 8K rolling out, visual infrastructure is a hot topic in AV. Kyle says it’s best to approach the choice by thinking about whether matching content is available for a client’s area of hospitality. In other words, there’s no point installing 8K monitors if your video content is all 1080p.
“I can’t imagine the cost of 8K UHD adding too much benefit across hospitality right now,” Kyle observes.
“But there again we probably said that about 4K. There’s no real best-fit for hospitality as far as I can tell, it’s whatever suits the application and budget. So, while there are many devices available for viewing 8K currently, there’s not a lot of content out there. But that will change.
“It’s been a challenge for connectivity companies such as Belden and Bittree to deliver these UHD signals over traditional cabling infrastructure, such as single link coax. However, both now have 12G SDI cables, connectors, patching systems available commercially and in use.”
Kyle says flexibility is a key requirement in AV at the moment. A lot of spaces tend to be multi-purpose in order for venues to maximise various income streams, and the AV systems need to be able to transform with the room and provide for whatever the function on the day.
“AV as a technology is being used to improve customer service, and at the same time save on costs with smarter automation,” he says.
At this year’s Integrate expo, Kyle says there will be a good mix of customer-facing products for use in the hospitality industry, all represented by Madison Technologies.
Madison Technologies owns, manufactures and distributes the Garland Cables and Roadworx AV Cable brands, but in addition is the distributor for industry standard brands.
SpinetiX, Icron, and Belden will be at Integrate, as well as AUDIOropa’s assistive listening technology and Cambridge Sound Management’s sound masking. In addition, Antik Technology (IPTV), HuddleCamHD (PTZ cameras for the conference room) and ATEN (AV signal distribution products) will all be showcased at the Madison Technologies stand.