New residence hall cable TV is popular with students, cuts costs

Students love it, it saves Penn State money and it offers high quality television content to more than 8,900 on-campus television outlets. After its first semester, the new on-campus cable TV system is a clear success.

The switch was a collaboration among Housing, Food Services, Residence Life, Telecommunications Network Services (TNS), and the CATV committee. The goals were to offer more channels that students wanted -- Comcast Sports Net Philadelphia (the most requested channel), Logo, Versus and Hallmark -- and save money.

Beginning in August, students moved into their rooms with 70 analog channels, 56 digital standard-definition channels, 46 digital music channels and nine high-definition (HD) channels. Surveys conducted by Residence Life found that overall satisfaction went up 11 percent among students. Satisfaction of sound (12 percent) and picture quality (10 percent) jumped, as well as content (17 percent).

Joel Weidner, director of A&BS Information Systems, said requests for new channels have become less common. He added that he was happy with how smooth the transition went and that all areas worked together to provide a high-quality service with less cost.

"TNS was instrumental in implementing the new service," Weidner said. "The staff helped create our request for proposal and evaluate the various solutions. TNS worked with Comcast to ensure a smooth transition to the new service with minimal down-time for customers."

"And best yet," Weidner added, "the students seem very pleased with the service all around."

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Last Updated April 13, 2011