While home TV tech keeps marching on, hotel TVs seem hopelessly behind: They feature few channels, no on-screen menus and lots of other outdated annoyances. So what's the problem?
It's not just you. Hotel TV systems are a constant pain point for frequent travelers. A partial checklist of complaints I've heard (and, frankly, voiced): There is rarely an interactive onscreen channel guide, every time the TV is turned on it resets to an information channel (with the volume jacked up), and it can take a second or more for the TV to change from one channel to the other.
So why don't hotels just use regular cable services? Like many disgruntled consumers, I long assumed it was all part of a carefully crafted cash grab. After all, it isn't difficult to see how resetting the station to an information screen that advertises hotel restaurants and amenities or pushes the latest pay-per-view offerings can make the place more money. And the missing onscreen TV guide? Well, I figured someone was hedging against the possibility that knowing the original Die Hard was showing on TNT might make a viewer think twice about shelling out cash for Battle: Los Angeles on PPV.