I am jumping into this one about a year in to the project so beware there might be some flash backs along the way to fill in the back story.
This afternoon I have a call with a potential vendor to discuss where his company is headed with providing television programming to it’s customers. It will be interesting to see if the solutions they are providing or see themselves providing in the future overlap with the desires I have to meet the needs of the community in new ways and better use the financial resources currently being dedicated to this service.
What do I hope to gain?
- Ability to reduce the cost is a big priority as currently the expenditure is large than the need demands.
- Flexibility in access to desired programming by students. This might come in many ways whether it is using person accounts, upgrading service directly with vendor, taking advantage of set top boxes like apple tv or roku, etc..
- Flexibility in device used to view – with more flexible access there is a greater likelihood that the device used to watch will not be a TV instead the question becomes, how does one access the programming they desire on a tablet, phone, laptop, etc..
- The continued ability to have access to TV programming in common spaces and to continue to have tv programming as an event.
- Having the ability to meet the needs of different living arrangements provided on campus including
- College owned houses
- On campus apartments and suites
- Traditional style residence halls
- Food courts and dining halls
- Meeting rooms for communal viewing of News, Sporting Events, Popular programming, etc..
It seems we are wrestling with issues that others are also starting to wrestle with but that there is not a clear solution at this point.
One idea that seems natural to me is for vendors to instead of worrying about how to pump content from there equipment to tv’s that there would start to be options to provide customers with a username and password that would give them access to the content directly from the content producers.
At this point, one can use the username and password from one’s service provider to access content through apps networks like USA, TBS, A&E, etc.. provide for viewing on devices and smart tvs. Providing access to TV programming across the boards in this manner seems like a game changer and a win/win for providers and consumers alike.
What are others out there doing to meet needs and be better users of the scarce dollars available to IT departments?