By Jack Melanson & Daniel Molina, Editors
As part of the efforts to improve student’s satisfaction in the residence halls, Manhattan College has added free HBO GO subscriptions to all resident students. The streaming service is the second of a multi-phase process to upgrade the entertainment package offered to current and future Manhattan College students. The first was the switch from analog to digital TV which occurred last winter break, giving students more channels and better television quality.
“We make sure we maintain our finger on the pulse on what’s going on in the residence halls and what the students want to see,” said Andrew Weingarten, Director of Residence Life.
The efforts started about a year ago when the contract with DirectTV ended and the school started looking for better and cheaper options. This new provider is a company specialized on offering entertainment alternatives to higher-education institutions, and has been the one in charge of these upgrades.
AJ Goodman, Director of Residence Life for Chrysostom Hall, Jasper Hall, and Overlook Manor, headed the project at MC.
“We were trying to figure out what the best option would be, what would give the students the best service available, and financially what makes the most sense,” Goodman said. “Once we got all that in place, we were concerned about getting the technical stuff up and running, fixing small hiccups here and there, but after solving that, the HBO Go was ready.”
Freshman Connor Ennis studies Exercise Science and is just one student who is already enjoying HBO GO at Manhattan College.
“I use the account a lot. I think it was a great thing for the school to do for the students,” said Ennis. “I’ve always been a big fan of HBO so I was very happy to be able to catch up on some of my favorite shows.”
Other students have yet to set up their free HBO accounts, but still see the value of this new amenity.
“I normally don’t watch tv at school or anything like that but I think adding HBO was a good idea,” said Genna McLaughlin, a Marketing student. “They have good shows that a lot of people like.”
Both students admitted to having the same favorite HBO show.
“My favorite show that HBO offers definitely has to be Game of Thrones,” said Ennis. “I haven’t been able to watch it for a while so I’m excited to get back into it.” McLaughlin agreed. “The only show that I personally watch on HBO is Game of Thrones.”
A large portion of the implementation process was done with help from the ITS department, making sure the authentication was running correctly.
“There’s more to come,” Weingarten said.
Weingarten was referring to efforts that will bring Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) to students next fall. Students will be able to watch most of the channels offered through digital TV online. This will also allow them to have DVR (Digital Video Recorder) for up to 20 hours, enabling students to timeshift television programming.
Finally, the Campus Life channel will be working, allowing students to stay updated on what is going on around Manhattan College. Nevertheless, Residence Life at Manhattan College is trying to give their students a modern experience.
“It’s important to stay ahead of the curve,” Weingarten said. “The way technology has been evolving, it seems like in 5 years you will be watching less TV the way you’re doing it now. And we’ll be ready.”