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Look Inside: Behind the Screen

Watching high-definition programming from the comfort of a hotel room is easy for guests, but the technology that delivers that content is quite complicated. Hollywood was reluctant to allow its high-definition content to roam the wires and airwaves without security, so LG Electronics devised a worry-free way for Hollywood to release its movies and programming to hotels.

Watching high-definition programming from the comfort of a hotel room is easy for guests, but the technology that delivers that content is quite complicated. Hollywood was reluctant to allow its high-definition content to roam the wires and airwaves without security, so LG Electronics devised a worry-free way for Hollywood to release its movies and programming to hotels.

The Pro:Idiom digital technology platform is a digital rights management (DRM) system specifically designed for the hospitality industry. It provides a fast, broad deployment of HDTV and other digital content through secure encryptions. LG began developing the system in 2004 when it realized that the use of LCD and plasma displays in the hospitality market would depend on the market's ability to provide valuable digital content to its guests.

The Pro:Idiom system can be used with both satellite-delivered pay TV content and video-on-demand (VOD) services. The technology is embedded in the television, preventing guests from tampering with the components and pirating the content.

Because the system transmits valuable content, it uses the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) encryption system of 128 bit keys — the same system used for financial transactions and sensitive government information.

For added assurance, a third-party group of cryptologists, as well as movie studios and satellite content providers, reviewed the Pro:Idiom system.

Pro AV installers will come across this technology more often as the use of HD televisions increases in this market. When the Hotel del Coronado in San Diego recently wanted to have HD plasma TVs in all of its high-priced condominiums, the installers discovered that there was only one LG television model that came equipped with the Pro:Idiom chip that the hotel's VOD provider required (see “Back to the Future,” page 44).

Since the system's development, several VOD providers have licensed their HD content for use, making the Pro:Idiom platform a lodging industry standard.



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