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‘TV remotes carry 2,000 per cent more bacteria than a toilet seat’: Philips PDS TV control app to reduce COVID-19 spread

New cloud-based PPDS GuestConnect remote control app helps hotels and their guests reduce the potential spread of dangerous germs and viruses found on guest-room remote controls

Philips Professional Display Solutions (PDS) launched a new virtual TV remote control app in the form of GuestConnect, allowing guests to control their in-room MediaSuite TV with their own mobile device to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Studies show that TV remotes are often found to be the most contaminated item found in a hotel room, containing up to 2,000 per cent more bacteria and yeast than a toilet seat. New government advice for hotel housekeeping recommends a heightened focus on the cleaning of all hand contact surfaces in rooms, including light switches, bedside tables and remote controls. 

The new PPDS GuestConnect app, compatible with 5014 and 6014 Google-certified Philips MediaSuite Hospitality TVs, replaces the traditional remote control with a digital replica on a guest’s personal mobile or tablet device, without the need to join the hotel’s network.

Anthony Tizzard, business manager EMEA at Philips PDS, commented: “TV remote controls are a hotbed for bacteria and, if not regularly cleaned thoroughly, can pose a health risk to guests – particularly if used by someone with COVID-19. While hotels are taking extra precautions around cleaning heavily-used items such as remote controls, there will remain a level of uncertainty and concern from some guests. GuestConnect from Philips Professional Display Solutions takes away those concerns putting the guest fully in control.”

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The GuestConnect app can be added to a personal connected device without visiting the Google Play Store or Apple’s App Store by scanning a unique QR code unique only for that guest’s hotel room TV. QR codes are generated and displayed at reception and can be provided during check-in to the hotel or, alternatively, displayed for the customer to scan and download when they first switch on their in-room TV. 

Once installed, the GuestConnect app, which can be fully managed using the Philips PDS CMND platform, provides guests with the full suite of functionalities found on a TV remote control. In addition to standard functions (channel changing, volume, etc.), guests will also have full access and control of other MediaSuite services, including Chromecast built-in, premium content and apps from the Google Play Store.

Access and control to the TV is cancelled immediately at point of check out, with a new QR code immediately generated for new guests.

Tizzard added: “At Philips Professional Display Solutions, we understand the challenges being faced by the hospitality industry and the importance, more now so than ever before, in creating the safest and most hygienic environment for hotel guests. 

“As a trusted partner for many of the world’s leading hotel chains, we see it as our duty to innovate new ways for the industry to overcome these challenges. GuestConnect is the latest in a long line of solutions designed exclusively to do just that – quite literally, taking control of the situation for themselves.

“Our team will continue to develop the services available on GuestConnect, making life easier for both hoteliers and guests into the long-term.”