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Our residence halls folks put together an RFP for cable TV services to the halls that has now been routed to us for review.  We'd like to make sure we understand the current service offerings in this area before we review, but the Educause resources go back to 2008 and there's not much there.  If you can describe any current service offerings or have proposals you can share, I look forward to hearing from you.

FYI to vendors -
We do not intend to hire consulting services for this review, and any proposals will be handled through our Purchasing Dept. through a formal RFP.

--
Theresa Rowe
Chief Information Officer
Oakland University
 
********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

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Message from dthibeau@post03.curry.edu

Theresa,

 

We’re beginning to look into Internet-based options.  I don’t know what we’ll find available.  I don’t expect to have much on this until mid-summer, but I’d be happy to post something back on to the list if we get anywhere with it.

 

Dennis

 

We use a company called Privatel, they install, manage, repair Direct TV to our resident halls. You get to select a number of channels and pay a monthly fee depending on how many, HD or not, etc… it’s a 3 year contract I think…we are reasonably pleased with the service…much more affordable than local cable provider. They have a bunch of Colleges as clients. Patrick Mastrorilli, at pmastrorilli@prvatelinc.com

 

Dr. Robert Paterson

Vice President, Information Technology, Planning & Research

Molloy College

Rockville Centre, NY 11571

516-678-5000 ex 6443

 

Look into what Liberty University in VA did in this area.  A limited channel availability but access across entire wireless network and it has been running now for two years.

James

On this topic—has anyone successfully cut off cable service to their residence halls?  We're spending an obscene amount of money on cable service, and our informal data suggests that only a fraction of our students are using it, preferring instead to get streamed content online.  When our cable contract comes up for renewal, I'm hoping to cut the cord (quite literally?) and redirect that money toward alternative solutions (something akin to an institutional Netflix account, or similar).  Has anyone already successfully done this?

Eric

-- 
Eric Bird
Associate Vice President for Technology and Chief Information Officer
Massachusetts College of Art and Design
621 Huntington Ave.
Boston, MA 02115
ph: 617-879-7878
fax: 617-879-7979
email: eric.bird@massart.edu

Technology staff will NEVER ask for your password, particularly not by email.  Any request for it is a scam and should be ignored.

Eric,

We have found that same situation here at Montana State University; in the past year cable usage has dropped dramatically because of the increase in offerings on line.  I would be very interested in hearing about creative alternatives that better fit our students’ lifestyles.   

 

Sheila Crowe

MSU ResNet

 

 

Eric,

 

We did after 15+ years of cable service; but not in the way you intend the question.

 

Since there was no plan for HD delivery without cable boxes, we opted for an alternative, and terminated our cable (Comcast) contract.

The alternative (competitive proposal & bid) was from Privatel (Direct TV satellite programming – sited below by Dr. Robert Paterson).

 

As we enter our final year of the contract, the question now is whether we should change again, this time to strictly internet-based programming and delivery.  This of course would have second order consequences on our data network (we still have a separate phone network).

 

There is little question that the delivery model of a cable or satellite distribution network is efficient and has no impact on your data network.  What I do not know is the impact of providing the same programming (assuming we could match it) over our data network.

 

Neil Fay

CTO, Hood College

 

We switched from Campus Televideo to a local cable company two years ago... saved significant dollars by negotiating a better price, with locked in price increases for five years. Students now get HD channels and optional PPV, for which they contract directly with cable company.  

We considered dropping cable in favor of internet offerings, but our student focus groups were firm that cable was a value to them.   So-- we capped the cost... any increase in the future has to come from student budget requests/allocations or we reduce offerings to balance.  

Our contract is for five years...based on the our bandwidth saturation from video content, I'm hoping cable is no longer as desired when it's time to reup.  

Good luck.

Lee 

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
W. Lee Hisle
Vice-President for Information Services
  and Librarian of the College
Connecticut College
New London, CT
(860) 439-2650
www.conncoll.edu/is


Good Afternoon All -

There has been some discussion on this thread about possibly looking to abandon cable TV services in the future - every institution is different and your mileage may vary, but we just completed a survey that we conduct every two years on our cable TV system, and it shows the opposite.  As much as students may be timeshifting their television viewing habits by watching TV on the web (which I informally hear about from time to time), the residents here who responded to our survey actually want more channels and their viewing habits show that they are still watching the traditional channels I've seen them watching over the last 13 or so years we've operated our own cable system.

Top basic cable channels they are watching include MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon, TBS and ABC Family Channel.

We run theatrical release movies on our cable system that we license from Swank's Residence Life Cinema division.  We don't include premium channels like HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, etc. because of potential conflicts with our college's mission - I've compared the movies our movie selection committee selects to premium channels such as Starz and HBO, and we are actually running some of the same movies at times.  The resident population are enjoying the channel.

Ron Loneker, Jr.
Director of Media Services
College of Saint Elizabeth
Mahoney Library
2 Convent Road
Morristown, NJ  07960

Phone:  973-290-4229

FAX:  973-290-4246

e-mail:  rloneker@cse.edu






We recently signed a new contract with our provider (Cablevision) and will be in the 3rd year of that contract.  We saved some money and got a different channel mix (but no HD either with boxes or as unencrypted ATSC channels).  Before that we were using rebroadcast DirecTV signal (funny story, several years ago we were using a reseller who turned out not to be providing the service entirely legally; we signed up with DirecTV directly when we found out, and of course our rates went up.)
 
Whatever provider you're with, check how they scale their charges.  Some will charge per resident student, some per coax drop, and some will charge prorated numbers during the semester and summer breaks on the assumption of reduced usage.  All of it is of course negotiable and you could see some savings there.
 
As we know Netflix doesn't offer any sort of institutional licensing or site licensing; but I imagine most of our students who use Netflix are doing it on a family account.  Has anyone done a survey or study of this usage?  As we talk about implementing a film studies program, questions of access come up.  Of course, a year of Netflix is cheaper than the cost of a textbook, so it's no big deal; there's an impact on our Internet bandwidth but we currently have 1Gbps and no congestion problems there (although our residence hall wireless is having some growing pains).
 
Cable is still a necessary evil for many people--there's more and more you can watch online, but only some of that is easily available for viewing on a TV versus a computer, and until that situation is better cable will have its place.  I certainly think there's a market for an aggregation service or device that can present the set of online offerings in a single interface with the relative convenience of a cable TV system.
 
--Mike


>>> On 4/3/2012 at 8:49 AM, Theresa Rowe <rowe@OAKLAND.EDU> wrote:
Our residence halls folks put together an RFP for cable TV services to the halls that has now been routed to us for review. We'd like to make sure we understand the current service offerings in this area before we review, but the Educause resources go back to 2008 and there's not much there. If you can describe any current service offerings or have proposals you can share, I look forward to hearing from you.

FYI to vendors -
We do not intend to hire consulting services for this review, and any proposals will be handled through our Purchasing Dept. through a formal RFP.

--
Theresa Rowe
Chief Information Officer
Oakland University

********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

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