High definition cable service now available in campus housing

By Kat Prosachik / Staff Writer

Sunday Night Football  will be coming to you in high definition this semester. 

Over the summer, Pitt switched the cable provided by Comcast from standard definition to high definition. Pitt spokesman John Fedele said in an email that the University made the change because “most students now have HD-capable televisions, and this upgrade will allow them to use this capability to its fullest.” 

Students with televisions made before 2007 may have to purchase a digital adapter to have access to cable, according to a housing services FAQ page released in July. Students can purchase adapters at technology stores like Best Buy or RadioShack. Prices could range from $37 to $140, the housing services website said.

The change, which went into effect Aug. 10, affects all the residence halls and Pitt-affiliated apartments, and Comcast will continue to provide the service. Students will not be required to pay any more than they have in the past for standard definition cable. Cable is included in the fees that students pay for room and board at Pitt.

According to an FAQ page released by Pitt housing, students need to reprogram the televisions in their dorm rooms before taking advantage of the high definition service

Claire Plack, a junior psychology major, said she likes the change so far.

“You can really see the difference,” Plack said. “The picture is a lot crisper.”

A University housing services survey showed that while students use cable, it’s rare. Of the 2,000 students polled, 60 percent said they use their laptop to watch their favorite TV shows, and 88 percent watch streaming video regularly.  Most students use other online streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu Plus for their entertainment purposes, which contributes to the less frequent use of cable. 

Dena Hillison, a junior communications major and resident assistant, said she never had a TV in her dorm room when she was an underclassman, but knows students will enjoy the higher quality service.

“Almost every room seemed to have a TV [but] people often use the lounge TVs, I think, more than their own,” Hillison said. “For big events like the Oscars, Superbowl [or] “The Bachelor” finale I definitely saw them used more. I’m sure they [students] appreciate better quality.”


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