Peabody Orlando Refines the Guest Experience with New Security System and Guestroom HDTV Upgrades
- Install 1,000 Panasonic 42-inch TH42LRU20s LCD displays with integrated LodgeNet b-LAN™ technology that can plug and play with the hotel's existing content system and create a pristine entertainment experience free from set-top clutter and dangling wires.
- Add the latest in HD, IP-based surveillance using hybrid Panasonic security cameras, recorders, management software and security monitors that can seamlessly integrate with older, analog hardware.
- In-room entertainment that provides the content, style and simplicity that discriminating guests expect of a true luxury property, especially a hotel of the Peabody's caliber.
- The Peabody added advanced, digital surveillance tools including facial recognition and follow, 4x digital zoom, Pan-Tilt-Zoom and remote, cloud-based viewing—without sacrificing their existing investment in analog surveillance systems.
- A safer, more refined experience for every guest using solutions that maximized the hotel's existing technology investments.
The Peabody Orlando is an executive-level hotel catering to the meetings and conventions held in the Orlando, Florida area. The hotel is a masterpiece of contemporary design, luxurious décor and exquisite furnishings. Since opening its doors in 1986, The Peabody Orlando, one of only two Forbes Four-Star and AAA Four Diamond hotels in the city, has established itself as the Orlando convention hotel of choice for the nation's professional meeting planners.
Just over two years ago, the hotel began a $450-million-dollar renovation project, including an update to its core AV technologies, including Panasonic flat-panel, in-room televisions and a Panasonic IP camera-based security system. In addition, the hotel started a tablet computer pilot program that equipped its IT employees with Panasonic Toughbook® H2 tablet computers to determine the devices' ability to improve management of the property's technology assets. Overall, this technology solution helps keep guests safe and entertained, enhances the hotel's overall image and increases the IT team's operational efficiencies.
Brian Seays, IT Director, Peabody Hotels, and his team evaluated numerous in-room displays to replace their aging CRTs. They selected Panasonic professional-grade LRU Series LCD displays because they provided the best overall capabilities to showcase the hotel's high-definition TV offerings. The Panasonic reputation for reliability, stylish design and ease of integration into the hotel's in-room entertainment system also played into the decision.
"We chose the LRU Series because of its Full HD picture quality, depth of the colors, contrast ratios and excellent responsiveness. When you have a luxury property, your guests expect the facility to meet the highest standards available," said Seays. "These LCD displays make it easy to add and remove content from the line-up via a centralized distribution point and they easily assimilated into our systems, with integrated LodgeNet b-LAN™ technology – eliminating the need for any additional set-top boxes, stray wires or damage to existing furniture."
Currently, the 1,641-room hotel has more than 1,000 42-inch TH42LRU20s in service plus 50-inch professional plasma displays in its suites. The hotel is currently testing the new 55-inch TH55LRU50 LED televisions for larger suites.
As part of the renovation process, the Peabody Orlando also decided to upgrade its Panasonic security system to include more than 400 Panasonic i-Pro IP video cameras integrated with its existing analog solution. The hotel worked with security solutions integrator Comvox Systems LLC to help scope out and install the new system. The Peabody is currently in the process of adding 115 additional IP cameras to the property.
"Often, there is a misconception that such migration to newer technologies isn't possible without removing and replacing older analog systems," said Neil Hellwig, Director of Business Development, Comvox Systems LLC. "However, Panasonic's security solutions are extremely flexible, allowing hotels – such as Peabody – to implement hybrid systems that utilize existing infrastructure and video surveillance components, while enabling more advanced functionality and control. This compatibility has allowed the Peabody Orlando to upgrade its video surveillance and security systems efficiently."
Comvox Systems LLC analyzed each potential and current camera location to make sure the right cameras were installed. Specific camera models were chosen for outdoors installations or in mixed lighting conditions, such as the main hotel entrance. For outdoor use, Comvox installed Panasonic WV-NW502 surveillance cameras. This 3-megapixel, vandal-resistant IP camera offers multiple stream formats: H.264, MPEG-4 and JPEG compression. The camera incorporates Super Dynamic camera technology with 128x dynamic range, Adaptive Black Stretch technology to make dark areas more visible, and face-detection technology to better identify subjects. The hotel also installed Panasonic i-PRO Network WV-NF284 surveillance cameras for indoor use in areas such as guestroom hallways. The WV-NF284 cameras feature a compact, stylish dome body with MPEG-4 and JPEG dual streaming. These surveillance cameras were selected because of their high reliability and durability, light handling capabilities and top-of-the-line warranty.
The hotel is also piloting Panasonic WV-SW155 compact dome cameras in its service elevators to combat a recent vandalism issue. Because these elevators are in an older part of the hotel, they were not built with wiring that enables IP cameras. Comvox put together a unique security solution that places a wireless device at the top of the elevator shaft, with an access point on the roof of the elevator. The goal is to prevent any additional vandalism to the elevators, which adds to the hotel's expenses. Overall, Peabody has installed more than 400 security cameras, with plans for at least 100 more.
Comvox Systems LLC also updated the security control room with recorders, management software and security monitors. The integrator equipped the hotel with remote viewing software and multiple Panasonic i-PRO WJ-ND400 Network Video Recorders, each of which can record up to 64 network cameras simultaneously with multi-format recording. These new recorders offered Peabody Orlando's security team increased control and functionality with 2x and 4x digital zoom on live or recorded video, as well as camera control for pan/tilt/zoom, focus, brightness, preset position and auto mode. In the security office, cameras are currently monitored on three 42-inch professional Panasonic plasma displays, where the Peabody Orlando's security team can actively monitor live camera feeds from more than 380 cameras throughout the property. During 2013, the security office will also be upgraded with a Panasonic professional display video wall to further utilize the security capabilities of the i-Pro system.
"The safety of our guests is paramount. Surveillance cameras give us the ability to be proactive and maintain ultra-safe conditions for our guests around the clock," said Seays. "In addition, we are able to efficiently use our personnel resources by limiting patrols of lightly trafficked areas."
Also, during the renovation, IT operations began looking for a tablet computer that could eliminate the need to print inventories and work orders and allow IT to access information anywhere on hotel grounds. Given the environment, Peabody wanted a tablet with a sunlight-viewable screen and an all-weather design capable of handling the bumps and drops often associated with mobile workers. As the hotel was already working with Panasonic to supply in-room televisions and security system upgrades, the IT team began a pilot program to test Panasonic Toughbook® H2 tablet computers. The Toughbook H2 fulfilled the hotel's requirements with a daylight-viewable screen, MIL-STD-810G tested for drops up to six feet and IP65-rated for water and dust.
Beyond enabling the operating team to access information from nearly anywhere, the H2 has also brought some additional benefits.
"Installing and calibrating a security camera used to be a two-man job: one out with the individual camera and one person at the security control room to communicate how to adjust the camera's angle," said Seays. "But now, with the Toughbook H2, we don't need to tether someone to the desk. The tablet allows a team member to connect directly to the camera they just installed and easily adjust the camera angle accordingly. The Toughbook H2 has made the deployment and maintenance of the security system that much more efficient."
By working with Panasonic to supply a hospitality technology solution, including in-room televisions, security systems and mobile computers, the Peabody Orlando has been able to streamline installation and procurement processes that would have taken much longer. In addition, all of these products are supported by the same call center and support network, making it simpler for the hotel to get a quick response and solution should any issues arise.
"Guests and employees have given our technology upgrades high marks," said Seays. "Installation, maintenance and integration of our in-room televisions, security cameras and mobile computers have increased the efficiency of our team, enabling us to better serve our guests, which is our number one priority."