Students living in residential halls on campus can now access more than 200 cable channels through Spectrum University Live TV Streaming (SpectrumU).
The new streaming service gives students access to channels ranging from news networks to entertainment television, which can be streamed wirelessly on various devices, such as laptops and smartphones, or on wired devices in the campus dorm rooms. The service replaces the Time Warner Cable wired cable service previously offered in Binghamton University dorms.
Christopher Cullinane, associate director of Residential Life, wrote in an email that the University decided to switch to a streaming service to adapt to trends toward streaming platforms.
“With the contract with the current campus cable provider ending, [Information Technology Services (ITS)] and Residential Life partnered to review all of the options available to campus, including traditional cable providers, streaming-only providers and hybrid services to provide the best possible service for the price,” Cullinane wrote. “ITS and Residential Life wanted to offer streaming as an option to students for consuming on-campus cable TV services.”
Cullinane said students expressed interest in an on-campus cable television service that was financially practical.
“As such, ITS worked diligently with Spectrum to ensure that these services could be attained at a cost that would not result in a fee increase to students,” Cullinane wrote. “So, the cost for campus cable with the additional benefit of streaming services has remained consistent with our historical costs for campus cable services.”
Thomas O’Brien, a sophomore majoring in economics, said SpectrumU will do a better job of accommodating all students and their needs, especially for those who don’t have a television in their dorm room.
“I think it’s probably a good idea to give people more access,” O’Brien said. “Then they have more ways to watch TV with like a phone or a laptop or, just if they’re not in their room, just anywhere.”
According to Cullinane, the University chose SpectrumU because it was the sole option that emulated the current channel lineup while offering streaming at a sustainable price.
“Surveys conducted during the process indicated that specialty sports channels were essential to campus residents,” Cullinane wrote. “We found that these channels were significantly more expensive or not attainable from other carriers that provide streaming service.”
William Kennedy, a freshman majoring in computer science, said he remains skeptical about how the University will cover the cost of the new streaming service.
“I’m mainly concerned about how the school is paying for it,” Kennedy said. “There needs to be more transparency about where our money is going. If the school is raising costs to pay for it, they might as well just leave that money with the students so they can choose what to spend it on.”