(photo: Philips Electronics NV)
03.08.2020, 14:40

Preventing Transmission of Covid-19 From TV Remote Controls

EMEA, Americas, Technology, Hospitality, Coronavirus (COVID-19)

A new app from Philips Professional Display Solutions (Philips PDS) will help prevent the transmission of COVID-19 and disease-causing bacteria from TV remote controls.


Compatible with selected Philips Hospitality TVs, the health and hygiene inspired app allows guests to control their in-room TV using their mobile phone, replacing the traditional hard to clean remote with a digital replica - without the need to join the hotel’s network.


According to a recent study, the TV remote is often found to be the most contaminated item found in a hotel room – containing up to 2,000 percent more bacteria and yeast than a toilet seat, due to regular use from hundreds if not thousands of different people.


It is typically recommended TV remotes used at home should be cleaned at least once a month. New advice for hotel housekeeping recommends a heightened focus on the daily cleaning of all hand contact surfaces in rooms, including, but not limited to, light switches, bedside tables and remote controls – with latest research from the World Health Organisation (WHO) showing COVID-19 can survive for four days on plastic surfaces.


Anthony Tizzard, Business Manager EMEA, comments: "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."


How Clean is your Hotel? 

Martin McKee, CBE, a professor of European public health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, warns about the potential dangers of COVID-19 and hotel remote controls when he says: "It is perfectly feasible that viruses, such as COVID-19, could be housed and passed on through the handling of a TV remote control. In environments where the number of handlers is high, such as a hotel room, the risk is therefore potentially much greater."


Professor Charles Gerba, a Microbiologist at the University of Arizona – dubbed America’s 'Doctor Germ' who has conducted a number of tests and studies over the years on the cleanliness of TV remotes in hotels, adds: "Of the objects we studied in hotel rooms, TV remotes had the greatest number of bacteria on them,” said Professor Gerba. “I think they were seldom cleaned and disinfected. Also, because many have push buttons – it makes it difficult to disinfect form the studies we have done with remote controls."


Seamless installation

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 app can be managed using the Philips PDS CMND platform which provides guests with the full suite of functionalities found on a modern 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 severed immediately at point of check out, with a new QR code immediately generated for new guests.


Tizzard adds: "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."


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


Visit for additional information.





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