Campus TV FAQS

Beginning with the 2017-2018 Academic Year, Gettysburg College will provide cable TV to residence hall common rooms only.  At the same time, the internet capacity in and out of the campus will be increased fivefold to ten gigabits per second.
Why the increase in internet bandwidth into the campus?
IT gathers statistics on the aggregated amount of internet traffic coming into the campus. Over the academic year, IT noticed a steady increase in traffic at times coming close to the capacity of the internet connection. Based upon these observations, IT decided to increase the capacity from two gigabits per second to ten gigabits per second.
Will the increased internet bandwidth cost more?
Yes, the increased internet bandwidth in and out of the campus will cost more. IT is using savings from the restructured campus TV system to cover the increased costs.
What is the primary internet content coming into the campus?
Nearly 99% of the internet content coming into the campus is streaming video.
Why is campus TV being limited to residence hall common rooms?
To be good stewards of campus resources, IT is right-sizing the campus TV system to match demand. The demand and usage of the campus TV system has declined in recent years, providing an opportunity for cost savings. These savings are being reallocated to the cost of the increase internet bandwidth.
What if my residence hall does not have a common room?
The campus television system will be functional within large gathering centers across campus, including the Bullet Hole, Attic, and Jaeger Center. Students are also encouraged to stream video when applicable.
Did IT research other approaches to reducing the cost of campus TV?
Yes, IT researched several approaches with several vendors. The vendors and current infrastructures provided IT with three options: Campus TV for all students, Campus TV for common rooms in residence halls, and no Campus TV.
Who decided to restructure the campus TV system?
During the 2015-2016 academic year, IT gathered usage data and shared the information with the Sustainable Excellence Administrative Committee. The committee recommended investigating whether the campus TV system could be right-sized for the decreased usage of the system. The following academic year, IT investigated options and based upon available options, recommended the restructuring of the campus TV system to residence hall common room viewing only. After conferring with different campus groups, including several student groups, IT started the process of restructuring the campus TV system and increasing the internet bandwidth.
Did IT consult with student groups?
IT presented and consulted with several student groups on campus, including the Student Senate.
What are other schools doing?
Other schools have seen similar trends, and at many of them in the Pennsylvania local region, they have already eliminated cable TV in favor of increased bandwidth.
When did these changes take effect?
IT has made the changes for the start of Fall 2017.
What video or TV streaming devices can students use?
Students can bring and use any streaming device that can be plugged into the campus wired system. The device must be compatible with the campus network and use current security features. Students must register the device using the webpage, Device Registration.
Compatible devices include:
• Apple TV
• Fire TV Box (not the Fire TV Stick)
• Roku Premiere+
• Roku Ultra
• Smart TVs equipped with an Ethernet port (subject to security review and approval by Information Technology)

Can I bring my Chromecast?
No, a Chromecast will not work on the College network – even though the Chromecast Ultra model is capable of an Ethernet connection. This is because the internet system at Gettysburg College isolates clients on the network – meaning that no device knows that any other devices are on the network. Because “casting” requires origination from your computer or smartphone, this client isolation makes it impossible to use a Chromecast on the College network.
Will IT provide me with an HDMI cable or adapter?
Yes, IT will provide—free of charge—an HDMI cable and/or adapter to display video from a laptop to a flat screen TV
How am I going to watch XYZ show without cable service?
Keep in mind that there will still be cable service in residence hall common room spaces. Learning to navigate the ups and downs of sharing a living space is a crucial part of the educational experience at Gettysburg College. Watching TV in the common room is a great way to build relationships with your fellow residents – and maybe even make a new friend or two!
If the common room television is being used to watch something other than what you want to watch, there are many other legal options to watch your favorite shows.
• Over the Air: A good old fashioned digital antenna is always an option. Any antenna that you use will need to be contained to your room – no outdoor antennas are permitted at Gettysburg College. IT has tested a couple Amazon Basics model antennas that are available at a reasonable price. The channels you can receive vary widely depending on the type of building and location of your room in that building. Because most residence hall buildings are made of brick and we are on the fringe of the signal reception range, it can be difficult to get a signal. In our tests, it required a direct line of sight out the window using a 50 mile range amplified Amazon Basics antenna to receive a signal. Some stations you may be able to receive in this area include:

o WGAL – NBC – Channel 8.1
o WITF – PBS – Channel 33.1
o WHP – CBS – Channel 21.1
o WMPB – PBS – Channel 67.1
o WPMT – FOX – Channel 43.1
o WHTM – ABS – Channel 27.1

• Stream it Live: There are several legal streaming services that allow you to watch live television over the internet. DirectTV NOW offers several packages starting at as little as $35/month for 60+ channels. Other streaming services include PlayStation Vue, Hulu Live TV, and Sling TV. You may also be eligible to watch live TV through your home cable TV or satellite provider. Ask them if they offer TV Everywhere to their customers.

• Watch it On Demand: Services like Netflix and Hulu offer access to episodes after they air, sometimes as early as the next day. Many of the TV network websites also allow free next day access to new episodes. Some networks allow access to more episodes if you log in with a TV or internet provider.

A note on legality: you may come across links on the internet to shady websites offering live streams of broadcast and cable TV for free. These sites are illegal, and using them puts you at risk of criminal prosecution and/or civil litigation if you are caught. Under current copyright law, criminal cases of copyright violation carry a penalty of up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Civil penalties for copyright infringement include a minimum fine of $750 for each work. Please note that while criminal prosecutions for illegal downloading are rare, civil litigation is quite common. Additionally, these websites violate the Gettysburg College Network Use Policy, and use of these websites could result in college disciplinary action.
Which streaming service should I get?
That depends on what shows you watch and how you want to watch them. allows you to input the shows you watch, how you like to watch them, and streaming services you have or are considering so that you can see which services provide the best coverage for your unique television preferences.
Can I share my Netflix/HBO GO/Hulu/etc. password with my friends?
You wouldn't steal a car, you wouldn't steal a handbag, you wouldn't steal a television, so why would you steal a movie or TV show? Using someone else's account information to log in and watch television or movies is stealing. While you aren't walking out of a store with Blu-rays hidden under your jacket, you are accessing content you didn't pay for and aren't licensed to access
Sharing streaming account passwords is illegal because only the account holder is licensed to access the content. Many people say that sharing accounts is like letting someone borrow a movie and then having them give it back. The difference is that once you share that information, you both have access simultaneously to the product, unlike with physical media where you lose access to it after you give it to someone else.