At Emerson College in Boston, Comcast recently began trying out a new type of cable television service that is designed specifically for use on college campuses and does not require set-top boxes, technicians, wires or even a TV.
“Xfinity on Campus,” a trial program, delivers TV service to students’ devices – laptop and desktop computers and soon through a mobile app to tablets and smartphones – as long as the device is connected to the campus’ Internet network, through either a wireless or hard-wire connection.
The service, which runs on Internet Protocol television, or IPTV, technology, is included, at no additional cost, as part of the TV service provided to students living on campus, according to a Comcast website describing the trial program.
Students can use the service to watch “all of the network and cable channels that are part of the campus TV package” as well as Xfinity On Demand shows and movies, the site says.
An “interactive programming guide” is included in the service, and additional subscription options will soon be available for students who want to buy premium channels and other content.
Before they can access the service, students must complete an “easy” sign-up and authentication process online through comcast.com/xfinityoncampus, the website says.
Each student can register up to three devices for Xfinity on Campus at a time, but can only stream the service on one device at a time.
For now, the trial program is only operating at Emerson.
“We’re grateful to Emerson for being such an enthusiastic partner in this trial,” said Comcast spokeswoman Doreen Vigue.
In 2011, the Wall Street Journal reported Comcast planned to test out a similar service on MIT’s campus.