Many hotels go out of their way to offer guests a stay that’s better than home. In today’s world, though, most people invest in the latest technology, especially when it comes to their audio and visual entertainment systems. Not one to be left behind, The Saxon Hotel, Villas and Spa in Johannesburg recently upgraded their IPTV (Internet Protocol Television) solutions using Exterity, providing their guests with a better-than-home experience that should satisfy even the most tech-savvy visitor.

As one of the World’s Leading Boutique Hotels, The Saxon is known for its beautiful grounds, superior quality rooms and impeccable service, and they wanted to offer audio and visual entertainment to a similarly high standard.

Panavision Evolve has been The Saxon’s technology partner since 2010, and they selected The Exterity system for the project. “We looked at several potential IPTV technology suppliers for the project at The Saxon, with a brief to meet the expectations of high quality and reliability, as well as the ability to seamlessly integrate with core management systems.” said Jaco Potgieter, Sales Director for Panavision, “We had several meetings with Exterity, whose equipment and successful deployments for similar projects gave us the confidence that it would provide the best balance of quality, reliability and compatibility.”

The project initially involved installing 68 Samsung HD SmartTVs across the Saxon complex to ready the property for the Exterity upgrade, with additional projectors installed in conference areas. The upgrade project took six weeks and was run in parallel with the legacy system to ensure no disruption to guests.

Exterity IPTV System at The Saxon includes the following features:

  • 70 satellite and TV channels and Video on Demand entertainment content in each guest room. Content is broken down into categories, allowing guests unfamiliar with local or international channels to navigate entertainment easily.
  • Live TV throughout the public areas of the hotel, conference suites and spa treatment rooms
  • In-room televisions each have a Saxon-branded Exterity portal; a guest interaction system that allows guests to specify language options and preferences.
  • The Exterity IPTV system is also integrated with the Creston in-room controls, which enables single remote-control access to live TV and Video on Demand entertainment content, multiroom audio and lighting.
  • The portal allows The Saxon the option to add functionality such as billing details, express checkout or taxi pick-up to the in-room television guest interaction system. However, at this point, the hotel prefers to keep the personal touch provided by The Saxon staff.

The benefits that The Saxon team identified in using the Exterity system is that it is efficient, provides a quality picture, easy-to-use, stable, modular and also offers the potential to adjust features. There’ve been additional benefits in the server room, where the equipment needed for the system takes up much less space than before, is energy efficient and requires less cabling. Previously, if the server went down it would affect the entertainment systems on the property, but now the modular system means that there’s no break in service. If support is needed, it’s provided by Panavision Evolve, and issues can be fixed remotely via the system dashboard.

Gary Davies, Sub-Saharan Africa Sales Manager at Exterity, said: “Exterity solutions are designed to be future-proof; our IPTV system is in use all day every day, which means it needs to be incredibly reliable. Since its deployment, we have only had to solve two minor issues with a simple phone call. This impressive track record confirms our belief that high-quality solutions and products are a prerequisite for discerning, tech-savvy hotel guests.”