CHROMECAST ARRIVES IN HOTELS

Ease of installation and use put this solution at the top of the list for new installs and refits

Acentic is rolling out a technical solution with which hotel guests can pair their devices with those of the hotel using Chromecast. We asked Cyril Tarizzo, Vice President of Sales at Acentic how important this solution is as a differentiator for the hotelier and why it is important.

CONTENT AND ACTIVITY INSIDE AN APP IS END-TO-END ENCRYPTED AND THUS SECURED FROM ANY EAVESDROPPING

The hospitality industry has moved from “pushing content to the guest” to “allowing easily the guest to pull its own content/subscription”. Allowing the guest to watch his or her content via a simple and secure process on a big screen has a real value.

What’s the difference between implementing AirPlay or Miracast and Chromecast?

Airplay and Miracast are both effectively “Screen mirroring” or “Wireless display” solutions. The main drawback of these approaches are:

  • When streaming videos, the content constantly traverses the end-user device, thus draining the device’s battery;
  • Multitasking — for example streaming video and answering emails without stopping the video — is not possible;
  • Client OS/Hardware dependency – Airplay supports only Apple end-devices, Miracast only supports a certain range of Android and Intel based windows laptops

The main design goal of airplay is still “screen mirroring” and airplay requires the costly (€160) installation of an Apple TV 4 in the room; a device that is also hard to manage and maintain in a hospitality environment.

Miracast is today included with most hospitality Smart TVs as a feature at no extra charge, however end-device support for Miracast is patchy and when support is present, your mileage may vary due to subtle differences in the protocol across manufacturers.

Chromecast addresses all of these issues by changing the “screen mirroring” approach to a token-based handoff “casting” approach. Main advantages include:

  • The content does not pass through the guest’s device. Streaming is direct to the Chromecast, thus saving battery on the guest’s device and providing less strain and interference on the Guest Wi-Fi infrastructure;
  • Casting is not stopped when switching to another app (such as an email app);
  • All major platforms supported for casting – Apple iOS, Mac-OS (via Chrome browser), Android, Windows and Linux;
  • The guest’s credentials never leave their device. Only one-time tokens are passed from the guest’s device to the Chromecast dongle;
  • Chromecast is cost-effective, easy to install and manage;
  • It provides an opportunity for the hotel to report on basic usage data (such as apps utilised);
  • Security: content and activity inside an app is end-to-end encrypted and thus secured from any eavesdropping;
  • No cross-vendor issues, as every Chromecast app is designed as an integrated part of the mobile app itself.

Photo: Cyril Tarizzo – Vice President of Sales, Acentic