Stream Your Own Content on Hotel TVs with Apple AirPlay

by joeheg

The era of Pay-Per-View movies in hotel rooms has come to a close, with little chance of making a comeback. The advent of cable movie channels marked the beginning of the end for this once-popular amenity, but the widespread availability of high-speed internet in hotels dealt the final blow. Now, with the ability to stream content on personal devices, guests have little need to spend extra money on in-room movies. In 2015, Marriott took the next step and became the first hotel chain to allow guests to access their Netflix accounts via the hotel TV.

Guests aren’t always satisfied with only being able to watch Netflix, so they often try to watch their own content. Some have attempted to connect their streaming devices or gaming consoles to the hotel TV’s HDMI port, but these efforts are often thwarted by the hotels’ security measures. However, just like some people search for ways to override hotel thermostats, there are websites dedicated to helping guests circumvent these restrictions.

Instead of trying to lock down the TV functions even more, hotel chains have opened up the ability to cast content from your device to the TV. However, this ability depends on whether the hotel TV has this capability built in. In my experience, the only hotels that have offered this option exclusively used Chromecast.

IHG Offering Apple AirPlay

Partnering with LG, guests at IHG properties will be able to use Apple’s AirPlay to watch their own content on the hotel TV.

IHG Hotels & Resorts is pleased to begin offering AirPlay in select IHG hotels. This allows you to connect your iPhone or iPad to your in-room TV to make your stays even more personalized. With AirPlay you can listen, share, and watch as much as you want on the go.

a living room with a tv on the wall

To start, this option will only be available at about 60 hotels in North America, including properties like InterContinental Buckhead Atlanta, Hotel Indigo NYC Downtown—Wall Street and Holiday Inn & Suites Ottawa Kanata. I was expecting the hotels involved to be luxury hotels in big cities, but there are only a few on the list; many of the hotels are economy brands in small markets.

In order to use AirPlay with an IHG TV, here are the tech requirements.

AirPlay in hotels requires iPhone Xs or later running iOS 17.3 or later; or iPad (6th generation or later), iPad mini (5th generation or later), iPad Air (3rd generation or later), 12.9-inch iPad Pro (2nd generation or later), 10.5-inch iPad Pro, or 11-inch iPad Pro (1st generation or later) running iPadOS 17.3 or later.

Final Thought

It’s understandable why this isn’t available everywhere, as it would require all IHG hotels to have TVs compatible with Apple AirPlay. The list of participating hotels is most likely the ones with LG TVs that already support Apple AirPlay, and all that IHG has to do is unlock that function.

I can’t see this driving traffic to any of the hotels as it has such a small footprint. Instead, I think it will be something that guests will find out about when they arrive and be pleasantly surprised at the new technology—unless they have an Android device.

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