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Apple TV and Other "Premium" TV Services: Should We Offer Them?


New AirBnB host here. Just had a great first experience on a three-day Christmas rental and a four-day New Year’s rental coming up. We rent the entire house and head for another home in New England. I seek advice from experienced AirBnB members regarding the advisability of giving guests access to a service such as Apple TV, where they can access a streaming service such as Netflix at no additional cost to us (since we’re subscribers) but also rack up substantial iTunes charges for on-demand movies and TV shows. I’m inclined to try to figure out some way to give renters the ability to access these services on the assumption that guests will reimburse us for any fees they incur. My wife says this inevitably opens a huge can of worms and that we should hide our Apple TV remotes and offer only basic cable. Has anyone figured out a hassle- and worry-free way to offer guests such “premium” TV services? (One possibility I’m mulling: Going in and deleting stored passwords, thereby offering guests the option of keying in their account information. Is anyone doing this?) Thanks…


I never thought of them ordering premium channels. No one ever did yet.
I am logged in into my Netflix account on smart TV. Guests usually appreciate it, especially those from Europe. US travelers already have their Netflix.
I offer cable TV but no primary channel,. I think 150 channels and. Netflix is enough.


I agree that 150 channels plus Netflix is enough. However, to make Netflix available on Apple TV also means enabling the renter to freely order premium movies on my iTunes account. I can’t do that, so I’ve found a solution. I’m using Apple TV’s “Parent Restrictions” option to require a short four-digit password both to enter Netflix and to order shows and moving via iTunes. Apple TV offers the option of entering a new iTunes user name and password, so I’ll simply provide guests instructions for doing that (reminding them, of course, to delete it at the end of their stay.)

Thanks for the input.


I might look into that. I definitely don’t want to pay for their per per view movies. I don’t know though about my international guests, it’s seems like 80% I get not from US. Would they be able to log in?


I have something called PolarTV up here in Canada and it offers a wide selection of shows and movies. The opening info is GoogleTV. Is that the same as Apple? (I doubt it, but I’ll ask anyway.) There are shows comparable to Netflix and most HBO shows are there too. It’s a very wide selection–including shows with many different languages–and the sports channels are international. There isn’t anywhere for anyone to “order” anything, but I’d be surprised if they didn’t find something to watch for free. I love this device because I paid $99 for it once and that’s it. I cancelled my cable because I figured guests were hardly using it anyway.


I’ve got no TV in my studio and no one except a few old farts have cared. I do have a DVD player and they can watch some DVDs that I’ve left in the room. Most young travelers have Netflix and Amazon.


Just curious - why not? TVs are pretty cheap these days. Is it the cost of the cable? Our local provider requires you to rent a digital converter box for each TV (on top of the overall package price), which is a pain. I’m always on the verge of cancelling cable completely - these monopolies really stick it to you.

Anyway, I figure many guests like to watch a bit of news or something at the end of a long day. They’re obviously not coming to Toronto just to watch TV! Some of our France French guests find the Quebec French channels amusing. The longer-stay guests use it more than the short-term guests.

On a slightly different topic, we offer free wifi and have a fairly modest monthly bandwidth cap (70 GB) which has never been a problem. But the current guests have a young teenage daughter who managed to drop 10 GB on the account in one day! Acckk!!! And they’re here for two weeks… fortunately, she seems to have cut back to normal. I don’t want to upgrade our plan just on the off-chance that a guest like her will go nuts, but can’t figure out what else to do.


We offer Roku and guest sign on to their own accounts. We have cable premium, plus HBO and Showtime. Most of my guest spend th whole day out and come home late so I don’t think it’s a biggie for TV. I would just set up a system where they could stream movies on their account.


I’m on satellite basic myself and it’s $20 per month. To hook up the studio I would have to go on the standard plan of about $60 a month and I’m just not willing to. Also the problem with satellite is that even if you do hook it up to a different room, you both have to watch the same channels. To do any different you’d have to pay around 70 or 80 and pay the cost of a new receiver for the other room. I’m just not willing.


Fair enough. This is a bit OT, but we stayed at an Air in a nearby city, and the hostess also had satellite, but just one TV for the entire house. I don’t know what she was paying, but I found the operation very complicated. Channels didn’t seem to be grouped sensibly, and the controls confused the heck out of me - I kept getting locked out somehow. I asked her for help, and she didn’t know how it worked!!! She’d got it for the guests and expected them to be able to figure it out!

Anyway, you & I have the same problem - the cost of the service. If I wanted a TV in the guest bedroom, I’d have to rent another digital converter, so we just have one in the sitting room. We gave up having TV in our own bedroom when they brought in that “innovation”.


we already have cable TV, and i think it will cost me 7$ a month for extra TV. Few of my guests were commenting on no TV in rooms.
I am debating with myself. January suddenly became busy with Booking.com guests, only 1 night with Airbnb. I increased my price quite a bit, on average its 90$ a room, and more on weekends. This one couple stays for a whole week. We were just discussing with my husband that may be we should be putting TV in their room to begin with. For the money they pay for a room in someone’s house with no breakfast and no TV in a room, i wonder if i am going to make people upset and make them think they overpaid?
Also, TV win a room, will keep guests from hanging out in living room, but on another hand i am a bit worried about noise level, if the whole house has all these TVs on at the same time


Will TV in the room also keep them home longer than you’d like? Unless it is an option under $10 I personally wouldn’t do it, and even then I might.

I get a limited number of channels myself. The next highest package is $60 something and has Nickelodeon and all sorts of other channels I will never use. Premiums like HBO are even more…Not worth the extra cost. Like I said only a few fuddy duddys have complained and even said “we know the listing said no tv but we decided we want tv so we are checking out.” Good riddance you couch potato! You’re in Hawaii, one of the most beautiful scenic places in the world and you want your MTV???


We have HBO and cable in our apt – the additional box costs us an additional $50/month. I think we could do away with HBO but I do notice that the last station used in the apt is frequently ESPN or some other cable sports channel so I feel like the guests are definitely accessing the cable to watch games in the evening when they get home.

I think the cheapest way to offer media is to just provide Netflix via your own account. There is an apt in my neighborhood and when I read the reviews, I was really surprised that at least 1/3 of her 100+ reviewers glowingly mentioned that she had Netflix and how cool it was. Weird – I tend to think everyone has a Netflix account but I guess that’s not the case, esp if you’re on a budget. Interestingly, not a single one of my 43 reviews has ever mentioned that I provide cable and HBO.


I have Netflix, and i tell every guest about it. They all answer, we have it too. if there is a wifi, they can just log in. International guest mostly dont know what it is. everyone travels with computer, so i help them to log in. but noone ever mentioned it in their reviews


We’re tv fanatics at our place and offer DirectTV with premium and sports channels, Netflix, my Amazon Prime account, a DVD. We’ve had no trouble with guests ordering “extras” since they don’t have the passwords. There’s a really nice wide screen “smart” tv in the cottage. My only concern has been someone having a marathon of high def movies and using up all my data for the month, but so far, not a problem.


I don’t have TV for myself, so I don’t offer anything for guests. That has not been a problem in NY, as guests tend to spend the entire day out-and-about.

Not a problem for OP since he’s renting entire house, but I would avoid putting a TV in any common-space as I wouldn’t want guests setting up camp there.


We only have free to air so that is all they get.


Until our most recent couple…managed to use up 25G in 4 days! I’ve subsequently choked down the Netflix app count back there so no more hi def for them!

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