Hotels can often be stingy about what they let their guests do with their TVs. If you tried to plug a device into a room’s TV to watch your favorite content, chances are nothing is going to happen. This might lead you to ask “why do hotels disable HDMI ports?”
Here’s a definitive answer.
Can I Use HDMI in Hotels?
Yes and no.
Most hotels disable the HDMI feature from the TV they’ve placed in a guest’s room, but this isn’t something all hotels must do. That said, enabling HDMI input settings is easy if you know how to navigate through the TV’s cables and settings. While there are several ways to circumvent this restriction, in some cases, your ability to do this also depends on the TV’s brand. Before you take on this challenge, consider the following points:
- If you’re not confident with dealing with electronic devices, don’t modify or change the settings you’re unaware of.
- Test the changes you’re making to the settings before you save them.
- If possible, take a picture or write down the initial settings on the TV. This can be useful if you ever want to go back to the TV’s original settings.
- Bear in mind that making these changes to the TV may damage or misconfigure it.
Why Do Hotels Disable HDMI Ports?
Almost every hotel’s TV is plugged into an external box that helps track the TV’s activity and control what applications, TV features, and channels the guests use. These boxes are the culprits in almost every hotel room. On the other hand, some hotels also do this because they offer movie rentals or paid subscriptions as entertainment.
When they disable the HDMI feature, guests are more likely to find another way to avail these services. Even though this limitation won’t render your TV completely useless, we can say the content you’ll be able to watch will be shabby.
How Do I Unblock HDMI Ports on Hotel TVs?
Before we dive into this process, remember these general tips:
- Simultaneously holding the “Menu” button on the TV and the remote will give you access to the factory menu, which will let you disable the restrictions on the TV.
- Ensure the cables are connected and secure. The remote should also be working correctly.
- Unplugging the TV might reset the connection between the TV and the hotel’s network. If you do so, the restrictions may get disabled due to not being connected to the network.
With that out of the way, here are some additional ways you can unblock the HDMI connection on a hotel’s TV.
Even though these devices are quickly becoming obsolete, several full-service hotels (Westin, Marriott, Hyatt, Hilton, etc.) still use On-Command systems to control their TVs. These are also common in mid-tier hotels.
You can gain access to the input control in the following ways:
Older TVs (Buttons On the TV)
- There’s going to be a cord plugged into the back of the TV. It looks like a phone’s cord, unplug this cord.
- Now use the input button on the menu to view the input settings. If you want, you can also use the arrows to go through the input options on the TV.
- Once you’ve enabled the input options on the TV, you’ll have the ability to screencast anything onto the TV through your mobile phone, use a USB device and then access the file through the TV, or plug in an HDMI cable. Having the ability to cast something onto a screen depends on the TV model.
Newer TVs (No Buttons On the TV)
On almost every modern TV that you use, there’s going to be a standard-setting that lets you unblock the HDMI input settings. However, before you do this, press the input button on the TV remote. On the top of the TV screen, you’re going to see the sources available to you to source a video or a movie. If pressing the input button does nothing, you’ll have to override these settings by trying one of the following methods.
- Hold the “*” button for 10 seconds
- Hold the “0” button for 10 seconds
If none of these tricks work, consider contacting the customer support department for the TV’s manufacturer and ask them about the manual override settings for HDMI blockage.
Internet TVs or Control Boxes
Most newer hotels (like the Marriott) and those that have replaced On-Command TVs with Internet TVs have increased input panels that can work with the TVs. With these systems, you can usually use the remote to change the input settings. However, to do this, you must plug the streaming stick in the control box and not the TV.
HDMI on your TV is actually the HDMI port on a control box. If you plug the cable into the TV, you’ll have to hack the control box to make the HDMI work. That said, when you’re using a remote to override the hotel’s settings, the process you have to follow can differ based on the TV’s manufacturer.
Here are step-by-step instructions for the most popular TV manufacturing companies.
- Hold the settings button on the remote for at least 5 seconds. Now enter the passcode “1105” to access the setup mode. You’ll be able to disable the restrictions and change the settings from this menu. Now you’ll be able to connect to any compatible device.
- If the passcode doesn’t work, here are some alternative options: 8878, 0413, 8741, 7777, or 0000.
- Enter the code “Display-5-volume up-power” to access the settings. If this password doesn’t work, try typing “Left-right-mute-OK button-mute-menu.” The TV must be on while you do this.
- You’ll now see the settings. Scroll down to the “Sources” tab and switch “VGA” to HDMI.
- Turn on the TV
- Input the code “319753-mute” to open the settings. Remember, you’ll have to type in this code quickly to access the menu. It may not work in the first few attempts, but as you build speed, it eventually will. You’ll then access a master menu that will let you easily change the input settings.
- From the menu, scroll down to the “Program Install” tab
- The “Input” tab will say “VGA” switch that to HDMI
As streaming services have now garnered mainstream attention, an increasing number of hotels have stopped disabling the HDMI feature on their TVs. That is because most guests can mirror their phone’s screen onto the TV to enjoy the content they want to. As a result, you may not have to perform an override to access the HDMI settings in the near future.