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Service operators worldwide are aggressively upgrading equipment within their installed base to support the migration away from analog television towards digital television. Hoteliers are also looking for advanced features from their STB’s such as VOD, DVR/PVR, and other interactive applications.
Within the hospitality industry, service providers to hotels rely heavily on partnerships in the value chain to provide highly customized solutions to their customers. Hospitality STB’s must be capable of receiving and displaying local broadcasts, IPTV feeds, satellite feeds, Video on Demand, and guest services information, all on a customized hotel interface. In addition, the STB must be capable of working with a variety of video servers, televisions and network configurations. Each hotel network is different from another, and therefore Video River is not just a hardware provider, but also a systems integrator, promoting commitment and a stable relationship with the hotel service provider.
Video River has built a reputation in the market based on quality products and a willingness to provide support services to integrators installing high definition systems in hotels. Video River’s largest integration partner to date is Guest-Tek Interactive Entertainment Ltd. (“Guest-Tek”), which bundles Video River’s IP3000 Set Top Box exclusively in its award-winning OneViewTM Media offering to hotels. Guest-Tek currently provides Internet-based services to over 500,000 rooms across 3,400 properties, primarily in the U.S. and Canada. To date, Video River has delivered more than 10,000 units to Guest-Tek, and Video River’s Set Top Box is currently the only unit certified for use by Guest-Tek. Video River has recently established relationships other leading integrators in the hospitality industry, including SuiteLinq, Nevotek and InfoValue, each of which is replacing older and inferior STB solutions. Video River’s focus to-date has been on establishing relationships/partnerships with integrators and other solutions providers in the hospitality industry that have the ability to ‘pull’ Video River products into hotels.
Validating its superior quality, in November 2008 the Disney-owned ESPN network selected Video River’s MediaPro IP3000 as its STB of choice for displaying 1080p programming throughout its broadcast facilities in Los Angeles and plans to deploy next at its headquarters in Bristol, CT. In addition, ESPN is evaluating Video River STB’s in a service offering of 1080p sports programming directly through the Internet to businesses and consumers, bypassing the traditional cable and satellite TV service operators. Based on the success with ESPN, Disney is considering Video River’s STB technology for use on two new cruise ships scheduled for launch in 2010. Video River has also sold STB’s to the University of Maine for use in Distance-Learning applications, and is in discussions with service providers within the healthcare industry about enabling HDTV and VOD services to hospitals. The partnership with ESPN, the opportunity with Disney, and inroads in education and healthcare, combine to indicate a broad addressable market beyond the hospitality industry.
Most recently, Video River’s IP6000 has been chosen as the STB for The Cosmopolitan Hotel & Resort Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. Scheduled to open in December 2010, The Cosmopolitan has ordered 3,800 units from Video River to complete Phase 1 of its projects.