Nomadix updates casting solution

Streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ are used by 99% of American households, according to Forbes data. It’s no surprise, then, that casting content from guests’ mobile devices to the guestroom TV has become popular with those who want to catch up on the their favorite shows or watch the latest hit movie.

Nomadix, known primarily as a provider of connectivity and digital engagement solutions, entered the TV casting realm in October 2020 with Nomadix Casting.
Back then, casting was already gaining traction. “Guest surveys from Beyond TV in 2020 discovered that 67% of respondents were already using the ability to cast in their hotel room as a driver of their booking discussions,” she said. “So we knew that video on demand has dropped off precipitously, and guests want to keep watching what they were watching at home while they travel.”

Tammy Estes Nomadix

Just over three years later, in December 2023, Nomadix updated its casting solution to solve the two major hotel industry issues, one of which was the launch of Chromecast v4.

“The majority of hospitality casting solutions were built on top of Chromecast v3, whether it was the standalone device that is plugged into a TV or embedded in a smart TV,” said Estes. “Most vendors couldn’t serve new customers because Chromecast v3 was pretty much sold out. Nomadix Casting now can support Chromecast v4, also known as Google TV. We can also support a mixed network. For example, if there’s a property that already has Chromecast v3 installed in the VIP rooms and wants to expand it to the rest of the property, it can use Chromecast v4. If it has Chromecast v3 units that have failed, they can be swapped out and replaced with Chromecast v4.”

The other issue was the change to the Netflix account-sharing policy that forced users to sign in on the local Chromecast device at the hotel. Many guests aren’t comfortable doing that. Since Netflix is one of the top two streaming services used by hotels guests, according to Estes (YouTube is the other), Nomadix found a solution.

“On the pairing screen that gets presented in the room, we provide a webpage that leads guests to a virtual remote, which allows them to connect to their Netflix account,” she said. “Everything’s on the guest-owned device. There’s no typing of the username and password using the TV remote.”

The installation process for the hotels involves two pieces. First, a casting server is placed in the basement. “The server is what ties the streaming to a specific TV,” noted Estes.

For the next step, the installer will go to each room (or any other area where there’s a TV) and plug in the Chromecast.

“As the Chromecast comes up, we provide an installation app, where you can say, ‘This Chromecast is in room 102,’” said Estes. “And we support multiple Chromecasts for rooms within a suite. So we can say, ‘This is room one or two’ or ‘This is the living room and that is the bedroom.’ The property can also customize the pairing page that comes up. We have a content management solution where they can put the property name and logo, and things like that.”

For the guests who wish to use the casting platform, there is a button on the TV screen that says “Casting,” and when guest clicks that button, the Nomadix Casting page comes up.

“On that page, there’s a URL they can type into their device’s browser or a QR code that can be scanned, which take the guest to the pairing page on the phone,” said Estes, who added that having guests pair their devices to the Chromecast, instead of mirroring the content on the device to the TV screen, frees up the device for personal use.

Security is always a concern for guests who want to cast their content to the TV. With Nomadix Casting, which has been deployed in more than 230 hotels in almost 44,000 TVs, there are no usernames or passwords entered on the screen with the TV remote.

“Your device is paired to that Chromecast, but we also integrate with the property’s PMS,” said Estes. “No one can use your account because your device has gone with you when you leave, but as a further step of security, when a guest checks out, our integration with the PMS clears all the pairings on that Chromecast.”

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