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Students will now be able to access a wider range of shows from their on-campus apartments.

Credit: Julio Sosa

Residents of college houses now have access to live streaming entertainment courtesy of the new XFINITY On Campus service.

The service, which is new to Penn this fall, allows students to access the Comcast channel lineup on their laptops, smartphones and tablets. Students can also use their devices to access XFINITY On Demand and to program their own personal DVR to record content online.

“As a user of the cable service before XFINITY came out, to see this was really exciting,” said Residential Services Advisory Board member and College junior Adam Mansell. “It’s a really wonderful opportunity if you’re away from your TV.”

The best part for students? The service is included with room and board for all college house residents. Students need only login with their Penn credentials while on campus.

The package includes major broadcasting networks and popular cable channels such as ESPN, FX and Bravo. Students can also upgrade to receive premium channels, which includes HBO, Showtime, Starz and an expanded sports package, for a monthly fee of $9.95, according to General Manager of XFINITY Communities for Comcast's Freedom Region Victor Cruz.

“Our college-aged customers are increasingly viewing their content not in front of a traditional TV set, but on iPads, laptops and other mobile devices,” said Comcast Regional Vice President of Marketing and Sales Carolyne Hannan in a statement.

Even while off campus, college house residents can access any content they have previously recorded on their DVR. The service will remain active for college house residents throughout fall, winter and spring breaks, Information Systems and Computing Director of Communications Jaron Rhodes said. 

The XFINITY offering is one of several upgrades in amenities in college housing since last school year, along with new move-in carts, new furniture in Rodin College House and new electronic locks in certain buildings, said Director of Residential Services John Eckman.

“The opportunity for students to get levels of service closer to what they have at home is always something I’m trying to do,” Eckman said.

When considering new amenities such as XFINITY On Campus, it is important that the initiative is cost-effective, Eckman added.

When students complained about the complicated mail system in college houses, RSAB worked with Residential Services to discuss improvements, ultimately leading to the opening of Amazon@Penn, an on-campus delivery and shipping center.

“I think overall enough services are provided to allow students a comfortable environment to live and interact with others,” College sophomore Joy Sun said.

In addition to consulting the RSAB throughout the year, Residential Services conducts a student satisfaction survey in November. During this time all residents will get the chance to voice their opinion on the new amenities in college housing.

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