The cable package, run by RCN, will include high-definition picture without an additional charge, David Steinour, the chief information officer in the Division of Information Technology, said in an email this week. In the past, students could upgrade to high-definition for a fee.
On-campus residents will have access to Philo, a streaming service that offers on-demand shows and movies, HBO Go access and 20 hours of DVR storage, Steinour said.
The service, which will be available by fall move-in, will be free to students in University housing and can be accessed on laptops, tablets, smartphones and Roku media players. Students can access the service using their NetIds and passwords, Steinour said.
Philo’s streaming service is geared specifically toward college campuses, and uses a university’s private data network to give students access across campus, according to the company’s website.
Officials chose to upgrade the cable services after evaluating technologies, Steinour said.
“We constantly evaluate our service offerings while looking for areas of innovation and improvement and monitor changes in the industry that allow for updates or enhancements to be made effectively,” Steinour said.
Steinour declined to comment on the cost of the upgrades.
After hosting focus groups with students to discuss current service offerings, officials reviewed possible streaming services and considered how other universities implemented streaming options into student cable packages, he said.
Steinour added that officials gave a live demonstration of the Philo service to members of the Residence Hall Association last spring.
This is the first major change to the University’s television package since 2010 when TVs were upgraded from analog to digital.