Many hotels prioritize providing guests with all the convenient facilities and amenities for a comfortable and satisfying stay. Almost all rooms would be equipped with amenities like a small fridge, air conditioner, an iron, plus an ironing board, a hair drying, and of course, the television.
It is rare to find a hotel room that does not come with a TV set; even budget motels have one in each room. They are there for entertainment, comfort, and in the case of 5-star hotels, advertisements.
However, you may have noticed that hotel TVs are not the same as the TV you have at home. When we are in the comfort of our own home, we can use our TV for other things like video streaming services and music streaming services. Even if you are not using a smart TV, you can still connect your personal devices using cables.
Hotels do not generally allow these features. You may have realized this by now, but hotel TVs are quite restricted. There is not much that you can do with hotel TVs, besides watching the basic channels.
In this article, we will discuss a question that most hotel guests would have; do hotel TVs use HDMI cables and will they provide guests with HDMI? Subsequently, can you connect your personal devices to hotel TVs to access your favorite streaming services?
What kind of cable do hotels use?
When it comes to hotel TVs, the most common type will be a dumb TV. Dumb TVs are regular television sets that do not come with any features that you can get on a smart TV, especially the internet-based features. Despite this, dumb TVs will still have a few of the basic cable ports, and ports for USB and HDMI.
You will rarely find a VGA cable port on the TV since most TV brands have switched to HDMI ports.
Many hotels, especially 5-star hotels, began switching to smart TVs because they offer a lot more features that can benefit both the hotel and the guests. The cable ports on smart TVs are the same as those of dumb TVs, with the addition of a port for the LAN cable. This is to allow the viewer to access all the internet-based features, like surfing the web and accessing video streaming services.
However, despite offering these ports on both dumb and smart TVs, most hotels will not provide users with HDMI or USB cables. This may be because most guests will not even be able to use them on the TV.
Do hotels disable HDMI?
If you have been to a hotel and turned on the TV, you may have encountered a problem with changing the TV source and connection. This is usually caused by the hotels blocking certain features on the TV. Most hotels will disable and restrict certain features on their TV to encourage guests to pay for certain channels or programs.
This restricted mode is known as ‘hospitality mode’ and is common in the hotel and service industry.
Some of the features that are restricted when the TV is in hospitality mode include access to different channel sources and the menu bar of the TV. Some hotels limit the access to the cable ports, both for HDMI and USB, so that guests cannot use them to connect their personal devices to the TV.
However, it is worth noting that not all hotels set their TV sets to hospitality mode so not all hotels would restrict the features of their TVs. Depending on the hotel, you can still access certain features, channels, and use the cable ports without much issue. This is typical for smaller hotels that use dumb TVs for their room and do not need to promote their hotel facilities through the room TV.
How can I watch Netflix on my TV at a hotel?
If you are staying in a hotel room and are not satisfied with the channel or program selection that is offered, you would be tempted to connect your personal devices to the TV to watch Netflix, Hulu, or any other video streaming devices. However, if you would like to access the cable ports on the TV to use your favorite streaming service, it can be slightly difficult.
As mentioned before, some hotels would customize the TVs in their rooms to restrict the guest from accessing certain features, including access to the cable inputs. You can try plugging in your cables and devices, but chances are, nothing will happen because the input has been disabled. Worst case scenario, you will not even be able to even switch sources on the TV to check if it works.
However, there are still ways for you to access the cable ports to use your personal devices. To enjoy your favorite streaming sites on the hotel TV, you must learn how to override the restricted settings or hospitality mode.
To do that, you must understand how the hotels restrict guests from accessing the features on the TV.
Hotels typically set the TV to hospitality mode by manually adjusting the settings, but some TV manufacturers have released smart TV models that are specific for hotels. These smart TVs make it easier for hotels to customize what features that they want to disable or highlight. They also make it easier for the hotels to broadcast informational programs regarding the hotel and its facilities to their guests. These settings are quite easy to override and all it takes is a functioning TV remote.
Firstly, you want to check if the remote is well-powered and is working correctly. You also want that the buttons on the TV are accessible and working correctly.
If both are working fine, you can try resetting the TV by simultaneously holding down the MENU button on the TV and the MENU button on the remote. This is supposed to allow you access to the factory menu of the TV where you can then disable any restriction. You should be able to use this method for all TVs, regardless of the brands or models.
Hotel TV can be tricky to configure, but if you are keen on connecting your personal devices without restriction, there are a couple of methods that you can follow. They may not be difficult, but you will still need a good understanding of TV for these methods to work properly.
However, it is important to understand that these tricks are not permissible by hotels, nor is it recommended that you do them for all your hotel stays. They are just tricks that you can follow to watch your favorite streaming services while at a hotel. So, understand the risks and proceed with caution.
Also, if you want to try these tricks out, keep in mind to bring your own cables and dongles. Typically, hotels will not carry any HDMI or USB cables so they will not be able to provide any for the guest.
Please note that these steps might not work for every TV in every hotel. Times have changed, and hotels are getting smarter, so chances are, these simple tricks are not enough to override complex configurations and settings.
Vance is a dad, former software engineer, and tech lover. Knowing how a computer works becomes handy when he builds Pointer Clicker. His quest is to make tech more accessible for non-techie users. When not working with his team, you can find him caring for his son and gaming.