By JACOB BLAIR
Eastern students across campus receive more than 100 cable channels on their TVs in the dorms, but there’s still a few who may need to get a “digital converter box” to join in on the new bonanza of channels.
The reason is that the residence hall cable system was upgraded over the summer.
College Cable Services, Inc., the contracted distributor of television channels across campus, upgraded its cable system this summer, replacing its analog cable channels with digital ones—a move that allows the company to carry a lot more channels over the same amount of frequency spectrum.
But some students—namely those with older analog televisions—will need to get a digital conversion box from College Cable if they would like to receive the full channel lineup, said Steven Fulkerson, director of infrastructure and enterprise systems.
A manager for College Cable Services said that if students need converter boxes, they require a $50 deposit that is refundable, and a technician will come out and install the cable box. He also said there are several models of Vizio and Dynex brand television sets that are currently unable to receive the digital feed that College Cable Services uses. He said these issues are on the manufacturers’ end and not College Cable Services.
Fulkerson said that only 25 of these boxes have been distributed on campus for older televisions, accounting for only one percent of dorm rooms. He said there have only been 36 service calls as of Friday, Aug. 23 and that is about the normal amount for this time of year.
The move to digital cable was done to meet the requests of students, Fulkerson said.
“The reason we switched is the feedback from a survey of students that said they wanted more HD channels and the vast majority [of televisions on campus] are flat-panels with HD tuners,” Fulkerson said. “We wanted to get HD (high-definition) out there.”
Eastern has two cable systems on campus, one that serves Powell, the Fitness & Wellness Center, and the residence halls. The other serves the classroom buildings, offices, and Alumni Coliseum. There have been issues with cable inside of Alumni Coliseum and a few of the other academic buildings.
“That system was 40 years old,” Fulkerson said. “We’re in the process of deploying a different solution to those locations.”
There are still a few channels that are missing from television, such as Golf TV, and Fulkerson said those would be activated for the students on Sept. 11.
Students that are having issues don’t need to sit in the dark; they can call College Cable Services at 1-800-472-2054.