New outlets to watch TV: Websites often take precedence to view favorite shows

By Nick Wilking

With changing technology, students have found new outlets to view their favorite television shows.

The birth of websites like Hulu, Netflix and YouTube has many students around campus accessing their favorite programs that they cannot catch on regular television.

Sophomore Nichole Nicholson said she has cable in her dorm, “but I still like to watch some old shows that are not shown on TV,” she said. “That’s why I chose Netflix.”

Nicholson lives in the dorms, so she she doesn’t pay attention to the cost of cable, she said.

“I just watch whatever is on my TV,” she said.

Insight Cable is the cable network used for the dorms on campus and also for most off-campus housing.

To many, this option for viewing television is just included in monthly rent, such as at Newtown Crossing, or in semester fees, like the dorms.

Though students may look to Hulu or Netflix for convenience, Insight Cable’s sales have remained the same in the Lexington area.

“Sales are pretty close to what they have been over the past couple of years,” Steven Jatzek, a sales support representative for the cable company, said.

Most cable sales involve just the basics.

“A lot of Lexington customers seem to choose the basic package of 125 channels for $60 per month. Not many choose to upgrade to a premium package,” Jatzek said.

Some students have taken a different route to view their favorite shows.

“I decided to just watch everything online this year,” sophomore Justin Sharp said. “I got a Hulu account and only pay $8 a month and can still watch mostly everything I used to for less than half the cost of cable,” Sharp said.

However, these sites do come with setbacks.

Netflix has recently changed its options for customers. The company separated its two options of online streaming and DVD delivery. Now, it is $7.99 per month for strictly online streaming and an additional $7.99 per month for the DVD option along with the streaming.

“I was really upset with the change,” junior Stacie Ball, a Netflix user, said.

Others did not like the change as well, and switched services.

“I used to use Netflix all the time, but now I just started using Hulu,” Sharp said. “They are cheaper and easier to deal with.”

Hulu Plus is $7.99 a month for online streaming.

Purchasing cable is generally more for off-campus students who need an internet connection. Some college students who are on different time schedules or move around a lot, some agree that online services are more convenient.

“Watching TV online just makes it so much easier,” Ball said. “I can watch what I want, when I want.”

Students are now weighing all their different options to view their favorite shows. TV will always be around; it is just a matter of how it will be watched.