SpectrumU, CWRU’s cable-streaming service, available to students

SpectrumU is a product offered by Spectrum Enterprise, part of the Charter Spectrum company. The service offers online cable streaming for on-campus residents of Case Western Reserve University, in addition to normal daytime television.

When asked what SpectrumU is, many CWRU students were confused and perplexed. Director of Print Elie Aoun, a third-year student majoring in classics and history, overtly questioned the whole concept. He asked, “Don’t you mean the cell company?” A third-year student, who wished to remain anonymous, asked if it was like Monsters U from the “Monsters, Inc.” franchise.

Having cable television is a relative commonality for major research universities: In the UAA, the University of Chicago is the only institution to not advertise cable TV for its on-campus residents.

[U]Tech at CWRU advertises that there are 125 channels offered to students at no charge. Internal SpectrumU information states that the university must subscribe to each one individually. As an additional benefit, students are able to sign in to various cable TV channels. Included in this are channels such as WKYC 3 (the NBC affiliate) and Ideastream Public Media and national cable networks such as CNN and MTV. Also included are premium cable channels and some specialty channels, including FX, the Hallmark Channel and Lifetime.

Many students who actively use SpectrumU have extremely positive things to say. “I watched the Super Bowl on it,” said third-year mechanical engineering student Nolan Sayer. Justin Zimmerman, a third-year student majoring in material science, said that “it [works] alright—but you can’t stream two things at a time.”

However, not all students know they have access to SpectrumU.

Opinion Editor Beau Bilinovich, a fourth-year student majoring in aerospace engineering, said, “I have been going here for four years and did not know this existed.”

The only notice that some current on-campus residents received about SpectrumU was in September 2022. This was when the university signed a contract with Spectrum for between three to five years, replacing the previous cable provider, Apogee Electronics, and its app, Stream2.

According to a university spokesperson, SpectrumU has seen over 800 sign-ins the past few months.

Further, this service is not offered to everyone, even if it is promised to residential students. Students who live in the 1609 Hazel Apartments reported issues with accessing the service from inside their apartments, as they do not have access to the CaseWireless network. The Hazel Apartments’ webpage states that the building is not “eligible” for SpectrumU.

SpectrumU is not the only service of its type available to CWRU students. OpenText XM Fax allows CWRU students to receive and send fax messages with their SIS PeopleSoft ID number. The service’s purpose is to allow students to access research materials and databases while not on CWRU internet.

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