New television system in place at Ripon College

Apogee TV promises expanded channel selection, mobility, student involvement
By: Haley Stowell

After much anticipation, the new Apogee TV system is up and running at Ripon College and is now accessible to students. This new system came into place after a much debated decision last spring, in which the college decided to drop its previous cable provider, Charter, in search of a cable system that could offer more amenities to students. According to IT Executive Director Tara LaChapell, Apogee TV offered many attractive features that weren’t available with other providers.

“We looked at a lot of different options, and [Apogee] was the one that just seemed like it gave us the most channel options and the best package,” LaChapell said.
Part of this package includes access to 80 HD channels, on-demand television, 24-hour playback capabilities and 20 hours of personal DVR space. With the new system, each student also will receive an HBO GO subscription, which they will have access to on and off campus. One of the most unique and popular features, however, is that students will be able to connect their personal devices to the new system through a Stream 2 account, enabling them TV access anywhere on campus.

“When we spoke to students about a new television system, to decide what we were looking for, it seemed like people now don’t like to watch primetime, or whatever is on TV. They prefer a more on-demand experience of being able to watch the shows you want, when and where you want them.” LaChapel added.

In addition to the many television-watching amenities, Apogee also provides the campus with its own student channel, which will give students another avenue to promote events and share news with the campus. The student channel, dubbed “Rally Network,” is being organized by Melissa Anderson, vice president of marketing and communications. Anderson saidstudent groups will be able to advertise events, share campus news and market their groups on television. The Office of Marketing and Communication is already working on templates for groups to use and are counting on students to make the student channel a success.

“What the college is really hoping for is for student organizations to own Rally Network. Rally Network is gonna be as great as the amount of energy the students put into it … We are hoping students really take the lead on it,” Anderson said.

According to both LaChapell and Anderson, Apogee TV already has been running in several places around campus and overall, has had great success.
“We started to trial The Rally Network on campus this summer. For year one, there’s going to be TVs in the normal places on campus, like the Admissions Office, the Wilmore Center, the Commons, and also Bovay’s, tuned to Rally Network and displaying digital signage,” Anderson said.. Additionally, as of the beginning of June, students staying on campus over the summer have had access to Apogee TV in the dormitories.

Though the first year with the new system is experimental, many are optimistic about what Apogee may bring to campus, as the full potential of the new technology has yet to be discovered.