Cable TV service

In 2012, the Office of Classroom Management (OCM) joined Housing & Residential Life (HRL) and the Office of Information Technology (OIT) to provide a cable TV service contract for the Twin Cities campus. OCM oversees the licensing and administers a shared service model. OIT is responsible for implementation and technical support.

The service provides over 120+ high-definition channels are available via coaxial cable TV outlets, the internet, and mobile applications to resident housing, academic buildings, and other facilities on campus. Your access options depend on your location.

OIT delivers television content across the Twin Cities campus, using both a traditional cable network and Internet-based services.

A full lineup of news, entertainment, and sports channels is available through our campus cable network. Televisions connect to a standard cable outlet with a coaxial cable.

Cable television delivers programming using clear QAM, a communication standard that allows televisions to receive programming without a separate cable box. The most important requirement is that your television include a QAM tuner. Most good-quality televisions have a QAM tuner, but it’s important to check the specifications before purchasing a new TV that you want to connect to cable.

To receive cable television you need:

  • A coaxial cable connection in an on-campus location

  • A digital-capable television with clear QAM tuner

The table below displays the various expenses a department or unit may come across when transitioning to UMN-TV.

Type of expense Planned purchase date Purchased by Description Amount
Content and support service Annually Department converting to UMN-TV Content and support monthly charges are $10/month for each cable TV location. It includes site license, annual maintenance, and OIT support Use this formula: Number of TVs X $10/month X 12 months
One-time location specific start-up costs At time of conversion Department converting to UMN-TV Data jack install, set top box, add angle polish connectors (APCs) to the fiber, etc. Varies by location
Enhancements TBD OIT, OCM, and HRL Upgrades, support improvements Varies by year

Faculty, staff, and students have access to a lineup of local broadcast channels while on the Twin Cities campus using a desktop or laptop computer connected to a wired Ethernet connection. You will need to use VLC media player to browse the media streams. IPTV is not available over campus wifi networks.

Accessing UMN-TV IPTV through VLC media player

  1. Download the VLC media player.
  2. Launch the VLC media player. 
  3. From the playlist window, click Network Streams (SAP). A list of available streams will display in the main viewing area. 
    1. If the playlist window does not appear by default, click view > playlist.
  4. Double click University of Minnesota TV online. A list of available channels will display.

     List of VLC network streams. University of Minnesota TV online is selected.
  5. Double click the channel you would like to watch. 
  6. To change what channel is being streamed:
    1. MacOS: Go to window > playlist or click the show/hide playlist button in the player window. 
    2. Windows: Go to view > playlist or click the toggle playlist button in the player window. 

Xfinity on Campus (XoC) is a service available to students with a Twin Cities campus residence hall address—except those in Keeler and Radius. This includes access to all Xfinity channels, on-demand programs, and the ability to subscribe to premium channels and packages. More Information about how to connect is located on the ResNet website.

With Xfinity on Campus, each specific user account can only stream to one device at a time. To switch between devices that are logged in with the same account, you need to stop (not just pause) playback on your current device/session.

By default, non-residential users do not have access to Xfinity on Campus.

If you have a business need to view cable television channels beyond those offered through IPTV, in a non-public setting (e.g. a controlled access office), please contact Jeremy Todd at