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ResNET, in collaboration with Carolina Housing, has enabled students living on campus to stream cable channels from their mobile devices with the implementation of Stream2.

Stream2 allows on-campus residents to stream 80 cable channels from their mobile devices and record up to 20 hours of DVR per user. Stream2 also includes a feature called “trick play,” which gives students the ability to pause live TV, fast forward, rewind, and start over any TV show that has occurred in the past 24 hours. Previously, students had to bring their own TV and connect it to their rooms’ wire services to watch cable channels.

Improving cable access

Lee Hyde
Lee Hyde

“Our wired cable service, while effective, was really old school and out-of-sync with the expectations of our residential students,” said Director of Carolina Housing Allan Blattner. “Stream2 provides a modern viewing experience that models these points of pride.”

With this new service, on-campus residents no longer need to bring their own televisions to campus to watch cable channels, a barrier to many students in the past. Instead, students may use the devices they already have, including laptops and smartphones, to stream cable television.

“It also reduces conflicts between roommates now that you don’t have to agree on what you watch together,” said ResNET Program Director Lee Hyde, “but instead can pop in some headphones and both be enjoying different shows simultaneously.”

Addressing issues

Beginning in Fall 2018, ResNET approached the launch quietly by posting passive advertisements and sent only two emails to residents to remind them of the service. With a low adoption level from students of just 21%, Hyde explained, ResNET could practice a stress test before they embark on a heavy advertising campaign for Fall 2019.

With the quiet rollout of the Stream2 service during the previous academic year, ResNET faced few issues, and the issues that the ITS division did face came from the content provider side rather than the technology that is hosted on campus.

“We feel that we’ve addressed the issues we found during the first year and are ready for a much higher adoption rate,” Hyde said.

Expanding the service

Carolina Housing will send out a series of emails to incoming students advertising their newer services, including Stream2. In past years, ResNET has provided door hangers with cable channel listings. This year, the group will heavily advertise Stream2 as an alternative service on those pieces.

“As always, ResNET’s leadership has been invaluable,” said Blattner. “From helping to manage the relationship with the provider to helping residents learn all the bells and whistles of the new service, we count on their partnership and support.”

The availability of Stream2 to on-campus residents has opened up a new communication channel for the University as campus partners could share their messages to reach a new segment of the student population, Hyde said.

“We’re currently exploring the option to allow students to produce a channel on Stream2 by submitting content that would be curated for the channel,” Hyde said.

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