I am not much of a tech person which is why I found an article from HotelWorldNetwork.com useful for explaining why hotel HDTVs usually have crappy reception. “Guests expect high definition on new TVs”
One of the frequent criticisms I have made over the past year is the lousy TV reception on the 46” HDTVs I see in so many hotel rooms. Apparently the cost to update the TV signal is much higher for a hotel than a residential unit and when a regular signal is fed to an HDTV the picture is generally worse than an older box TV. I find it absolutely annoying when I am sitting in an upper upscale hotel room and the picture image on the huge, flatscreen HDTV is worse than my 12-year old 32” box TV at home.
I estimate about 90% of the hotels I have stayed in this past year had flat screen HDTVs, and most were 42-inch or larger. I estimate fewer than 50% had any HD channels, only about 25% had good picture quality on most of the available channels, and just a few had more than 5 channels with HD reception. Several of the hotel room TVs this past month had reception which was reminiscent of TV top antenna days from the 70s.
Apparently there is a piracy issue with having the HD box in the hotel room. And the expense for the electronics to manage a hotel HD system is an investment not readily manageable for the time being in this economic climate.
The St. Regis San Francisco has a good alternative. The DVD player connection to the large HDTV allows the guest to watch movies rather than TV channels.
Perhaps I better enroll in NetFlix for the next couple of years of hotel travel until the HDTV upgrades are commonplace.