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TheStreet Open House

Universal Electronics And LodgeNet To Revolutionize Hotel Television Service Offerings

Stock quotes in this article: UEIC

Universal Electronics Inc. (UEI) (NASDAQ: UEIC), today announced it has been selected by LodgeNet Interactive Corporation (NASDAQ: LNET), the #1 provider of hospitality services in the U.S., to supply a revolutionary new remote for hotel TV access. The new custom UEI Velocity Remote Control/Keyboard (RC/KB) unit features a QWERTY keyboard to allow hotel guests to fully interface with a new interactive HDTV platform provided by LodgeNet, called Envision TM.

Hotel televisions have long used customized platforms to allow travelers interactive television access, including pay-per-view movies, video games, and room service. However, since the late 1980s, most of the focus has been on upgrading traditional services with minor feature improvements with little thought given to redesigning the medium entirely. Current megatrends in the hotel TV market like the shift to on-demand video and personal DVRs illustrate the need for a more interactive and connected experience, and this partnership will pave the way for a complete integration of customized television, Internet, and other interactive services.

The new LodgeNet remote, featuring backlighting, keyboard, and selective button activation determined by the side facing the user, is already available at the Hilton in Austin, Texas and the W Hotel in San Francisco, California. It is the first remote control available in the market to provide the features necessary to fully support LodgeNet's new Envision platform.

Based on UEI’s Velocity platform, the new LodgeNet controller allows hotel guests to navigate complex user interface menus without the limitations of standard remote controls. UEI and LodgeNet have signed an agreement to develop and deploy the remote alongside Envision installations.

“UEI is proud to partner with the number one provider of media solutions in the hospitality industry,” says Paul Arling, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Universal Electronics. “This agreement confirms our leading role in the hospitality market with a uniquely designed product combining a remote control with a keyboard. UEI’s long-standing ability in crafting wireless control solutions tailored to specific user environments will benefit LodgeNet’s customers.”

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