New hotel near Apple's HQ sports Apple TVs in rooms

A new hotel just around the corner from the company's Cupertino, Calif., headquarters is using Apple TV set-top boxes in guest rooms.

Josh Lowensohn
Josh Lowensohn Former Senior Writer
Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.
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A hotel near Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., is now using some of the iPhone and iPad maker's home entertainment technology in its rooms.

Starwood Hotels' Aloft Hotel has put an Apple TV in all 123 of its rooms, the company said today.

Of note, the hotel is located on the same block as one of Apple's external campus buildings, and just two blocks from its headquarters on Infinite Loop.

"Guests can choose among thousands of movies and TV shows from iTunes, connect to Netflix for films, Hulu for television shows, MLB.com for sports, and much more," Starwood said in a release this morning. "Apple TV's Airplay feature will also let guests play video, show off photos, and enjoy music from any iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch -- right on their 42-inch LCD in-room TV."

Hotels can also put special videos or hotel information in the form of PDFs, image files and MP4s in a networked server that's hooked up to all the rooms. Each room then gets their own Wi-Fi network to make sure one person does not accidentally AirPlay media to another person's room.

In order to work with multiple users and private iTunes and Netflix accounts, the boxes are wiped when guests check out. The hotel can also figure out which iTunes store to have ready to go (in case a guest is from a different country), before they arrive.

The installation is not the first of Apple TVs in a hotel. Square [i], which set up the boxes, also put them in the Staybridge Suites, Olympic Village, London, and has installed similar systems using computers running Apple's OS X in 12 hotels.

The Apple TV remains a "hobby" device for Apple, though one that's seen an increase in sales in recent years. Since its big remodel near the end of 2010, the once computer-like device has focused on streaming content from Apple's digital stores and a handful of third-party services like Netflix and Hulu. Apple is currently rumored to be working on the next generation of that device, which will either be a much-enhanced set-top box, or a full TV set.

Updated at 10:51 a.m. PT with more information about the installations.

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