"HDTV" in hotels, hospitals, etc?
While travelling for business (and vacation) in Florida this week I had an opportunity to see several different hotel TV systems.
We first stayed at the Tampa Marriott Waterside hotel. I noticed there were both DirecTV and Dish receivers on the side of the hotel.They had all of the major local channels in HD (including the CW affiliate, and an ion station) as well as some cable networks (sports channels, and a few general entertainment HD stations). There also were several promo channels for Lodgenet, and three SD hotel channels that weren't used during our visit. The remaining channels were standard definition, letterboxed, and were very grainy. It appeared they were using a combination of old analog modulators and digital modulators as some of the SD stations said "analog" under the channel number, and others said "digital". The two exceptions to the grainy SD were "Russia Today" and NHK World, which I assume they were pulling from Dish Network. Both were 16:9 and the indicator on screen didn't show anything for them so I'm not sure if they were SD or HD. The quality was excellent either way. I never could determine whether they were getting locals OTA or via one of the satellite providers.
Next we went to Disney and stayed at the Coronado Springs Resort. The TV lineup here was much better than I expected. They had a wide range of channels available using a DirecTV head end system with a scrolling static guide channel. There is a "Disney World Today" channel that airs schedule information in HD, as well as some Disney info channels. The local channels followed, and then a wide range of cable stations (all channels were in HD if DirecTV offers them in HD). A lineup card scanned online indicates that they get their local channels OTA, use DirecTV for most stations, but include TV Japan from Dish Network.
This was interesting to me because it was the first time I've seen hotels integrate OTA, DirecTV, and Dish into the same system. Is that a common occurrence nowadays? As a side note, are there any products that would allow one to directly integrate digital cable stations (maybe a cable card device?)? It appeared that one of them was using a local cable station version of the Weather Channel because the local forecast info was there like it typically is on cable. But, both Tampa and Orlando have 24 hour news channel on cable... neither of which were on either lineup. That reminds me of NYC where most hotels don't carry NY1 anymore.