If you’re not watching DIRECTV in your hotel, why not?

Of course you watch TV in your hotel room. First of all, hotels are notorious for slow internet service, so streaming is out of the question. Second, there’s not a lot to do in your average hotel room. So you turn on the TV and see what’s on.

Unfortunately, it’s probably more like the TV you watched 15 years ago. Hotel TV is often full of snowy standard-definition programming, no guide, no DVR. It’s like timewarping back to the 20th century. Even hotels with “fairly advanced” systems will charge you $20 for a movie and probably don’t have your favorite channels.

If you’re staying at a hotel, tell the desk clerk you want DIRECTV. Tell the hotel manager. Chances are the old system they use is getting older by the day and is breaking down more and more. They should be upgrading to a new system featuring quality DIRECTV programming, and they should do it now. There are three really good options for hotels that work whether you’re in a 20-room local or a downtown skyscraper.

Traditional headend
This is usually the least expensive upgrade for a hotel. They probably have some sort of system already in place with a bunch of receivers and modulators and other boxes. Solid Signal can configure a new system for you with DIRECTV receivers and HD modulators that can more or less slide into the place of your old systems. It’s not uncommon for the installation process to take less than a day.

COM2000 Headend
You can step up to a much better system fairly easily by taking advantage of the COM2000 system by DIRECTV. This is a super-compact headend that can pack 64 channels of TV into a space the size of a cube refrigerator, and can interface with your current on-demand system in most cases. Installation is quick, but you must have hotel-ready TVs that use the Pro:Idiom decryption system, or put in converter boxes. Costs are higher but you get a better quality experience — including a guide in many cases — and the COM2000 system uses less power and less space than traditional systems.

DIRECTV Residential Experience
This is what the guest really wants. A real DIRECTV receiver with limited DVR capability, so you can pause live TV in every room. A welcome screen experience, on demand (at a reasonable price) and integration with hotel billing systems. This is what TV in a hotel should be. Hundreds of channels all in crystal clear HD. It’s more expensive, although there are special programs that reduce the upfront cost to the hotel quite a bit.

If the remote in your hotel room still says LODGENET, the room is due for an upgrade. LodgeNet was “the standard” for hotel TV in the 20th century but went bankrupt in 2012 due to poor customer service, bad quality, and misreading customer demand. It’s been resurrected as “StayConnect”, which is somewhat better since you can at least use your phone as a remote instead of touching that germy remote. But if you’re still using the LodgeNet remote, that means the hotel is still limping along with decade-old LodgeNet boxes. TIme for a real upgrade, not just trading out one obsolete system for another, right?

Of course, when you go to the hotel clerk you’re going to get a polite smile, nothing else. Make sure a supervisor knows you want better TV. Eventually if enough people do it, the hotel manager will have to do something about it. Because, when you’re on vacation or even traveling for work, you deserve the best of everything. A 10-year-old standard-def signal… isn’t that. Period.

Go ahead, make a stink about it! Does it surprise you that I say something whenever I travel?

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.