DirecTV pitches HD DVR to hotel chains

DirecTV (Nasdaq:DTV) is beginning to supply DVRs to hotel chains, allowing guests to record live TV shows and pause or rewind programming. But hotel guests will neither be able to schedule programs in advance on DVRs nor see programming recorded by a previous guest, the company said.

"We have a server, the brain of our system, that checks in/out of a hotel with the guest and restores default settings when a guest leaves the room. That means that's the DVR list will be reset when a guest checks out," DirecTV spokeswoman Jade Ekstedt told FierceCable.

The satellite TV company said Tuesday that it added HD DVRs to the DirecTV Residential Experience for Hotels service, which is available in about 110 hotel properties nationwide.

DirecTV declined to name hotel chains that offer guests its programming.

DirecTV's move could help it compete with top hotel entertainment system and pay-per-view provider LodgetNet.

For its part, San Francisco-based LodgetNet is also attempting to offer innovative products to hotel guests.

Last year, the provider said it would support the UltraViolet digital rights locker, which could eventually give it the ability to allow hotel guests to access previously-purchased programming from DVDs or other digital media.

In addition to new DVRs, DirecTV said Tuesday that it is also beginning to support local content insertion, also giving hotels the ability to insert up to 50 of their own content channels.

The DirecTV hotel programming service uses the same program guide that DirecTV distributes to residential subscribers. It lets hotel guests access about 100 HD channels using remote controls that feature "an anti-microbial finish," according to DirecTV.

For more:
- see the news release

Related articles:
LodgeNet joins DECE consortium, setting stage for TV Everywhere access in hotels
LodgeNet brings long-awaited on-screen program guides to hotel rooms
LodgeNet revenue dips in Q4