Written by Jada Dukes, Staff Writer
VSU has ended its contract with Mediacom; Philo is now the only on-campus television provider for the next three years.
Philo was introduced to the student body at the beginning of the 2016 spring semester. The DVR feature and unlimited online access provided by Philo were among highlighted features. According to their website, Philo.com, “Philo is a next-generation IPTV platform lets viewers watch content on their favorite devices.”
Prior to Philo’s introduction, the cable provider known as Mediacom provided the traditional form of cable that can only be accessed through a coaxial cable. According to Philo.com, Philo was created by two Harvard University students and is now providing services to college campuses nationwide.
The decision to switch from cable to Philo was partially prompted by the results of surveys that had been passed out to students who live in residence halls.
“We did some surveying of our students the past couple years our students responded that they weren’t even using cable really,” Assistant Director of Residence Life Mark McNally said. “A lot of them were already watching things be it through YouTube or just Facebook.”
VSU still had to take into account those who don’t own a multitude of devices that would allow them access to Philo. The surveys played a role in this as well because the data showed that most students were bringing one device in particular to school. McNally said that the data from the surveys showed that students were, “Bringing their smartphones to school at least, so students can pull it up on that any time.”
“[With] cable you could only watch on your TV and nothing else, now we’re going with Philo which is something that you can watch on a lot of stuff,” McNally said.
Unfortunately that isn’t the case for everyone as some students are experiencing technical difficulties with the online television provider.
“The only thing that I don’t like is that Philo is not working on campus for the Roku systems,” Carmea Lawrence, sophomore said.
Lawrence said that she feels inconvenienced with Philo not working for her Roku device and that she has been in contact with several people including IT services who told her that Roku devices do not support Philo altogether.
“I’ve tried to get mine set up multiple times since the beginning of the school year and they came and told me the same thing,” Lawrence said. “They said that they are working with Philo to try and get that fixed but for now it won’t work at all on the Rokus.”
Other students are pleased with the changes and appreciate the new DVR feature.
“I like that I can catch some of my favorite shows when they come on Philo.” Stephon Coons, sophomore said. Coons’s only complaint is that the services are sometimes slow due to a bad Wi-Fi connection.
According to McNally, Philo has 24 hour customer service and students should submit all inquiries there if they wish to have an issue resolved.