Cox Checks In HD For Hotel Customers

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Cox Communications is expanding its business video portfolio to include high-definition free-to-guest services for major national and regional chains across all its markets, after initially offering HD feeds to Las Vegas casinos for the last several years.

The operator's standard offering includes 24 encrypted HD channels to hotel customers, including local broadcast channels and premium sports and movie channels, but can expand to support additional HD channels based on individual hotel needs.

"Business and vacation travelers associate high-definition television with a premium guest experience," Cox Business vice president of product development and management Kristine Faulkner said in announcing the expanded HD services for the hospitality industry.

Cox would not disclose how many hotels it currently serves, but in Las Vegas the operator serves more than 125,000 rooms and counts as customers most of the major properties on the strip, including the Wynn, the Palms and Trump International Hotel & Tower.

In September, Cox Business installed HD services in 600 guest suites at Hilton Sandestin Beach Resort & Spa in Destin, Fla.

"The high-quality picture of Cox high-definition service is consistent with the experience guests expect from a 4-star hotel," Hilton Sandestin director of engineering Leonard Martin said in a statement. "The service implementation was simple and meets the entertainment needs of our guests. Cox's high definition free-to-guest solution is something all hotels should consider as an additional amenity."

Cox delivers Pro:Idiom-encrypted HD feeds, which are compliant with premium channel content security requirements and the TV set standard that the hospitality industry has adopted. The Pro:Idiom standard allows the channels to be delivered without set-tops or other equipment in each guest room.

The cable operator has two methods to deliver the encrypted feeds to the hotel. In most markets, Cox installs special headend equipment at the hotel site. In some cases, the encryption is done at the Cox location and the special video feeds are delivered via fiber to hotels.

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