DirecTV, in their infinite wisdom, has decided recently to take advantage of your hotels wifi system and internet connection to stream content into the rooms for guests. So what does this mean for you as a hotel operator?

It means after installing this DirecTV system, your wifi could get CRUSHED. DirecTV reps need to be explaining this to the hotel operators IN ADVANCE of signing a contract for installation. You better have a good wifi system in place or you are going to have many problems and complaints not just with DirecTV streaming but also guest wifi users as well.

Looking at one property we manage, there are currently 251 devices connected to the wifi system and only 8 of them are guests as it is around noon when I am writing this. As prime time approaches, this will balloon to well over 500 connections.

May show up as Linux PC or Technicolor

Wifi is a shared medium, meaning all of the devices on a particular channel have to share the airwaves with all of the other devices trying to send and receive data. The more devices that are trying to connect, the higher the channel usage is going to be. When channel usage gets too high, clients will start to experience problems such as high latency, disconnects, poor streaming and buffering and others.

We seem to start getting complaints and we call the hotel we are told, “We just got DirecTV installed here”. Please call your wifi management company first!

This is especially going to be hitting the economy operators the hardest where a lot of times the budgets are just not there to put in a new system to handle 3-4 times the capacity. You also will need to check your internet line to see if it is fast enough to handle this.

So what is a Hotel Operator to do?

Well other than having wired connections for your DirecTV setup (if they even allow this as one operator said that the DirecTV rep said no), you need to make sure you have a wifi system that can handle it. If you are going to go with DirecTV, ask them first if they can connect to your hardwired system if you have one. If you do not have a hardwired cabling plant into the rooms, you need to make sure you have a good up to date wifi system BEFORE they install the DirecTV. Might be a good time for an upgrade to your wifi.

Whatever you do, if you have a wifi system that was designed with a moderate usage in mind, DO NOT have this installed without talking to your Wifi Provider about your wifi system. These issues can be handled but there will be an expense.

If in doubt, give us a call at 888-271-5999 and we can discuss your particular situations.