University of Minnesota Office of Classroom Management
Office of Undergraduate Education

UMN-TV service

Go to UMN-TV Online Service section

Early in 2010, Housing & Residential Life (HRL) sought to improve the student experience by finding a more affordable way to provide cable TV to on-campus residents. At the time, those residents were paying subscriber fees ranging from $50 to $80 per month. HRL engaged the Office of Information Technology (OIT) to help find a better solution. Together, along with University Purchasing, these partners negotiated a U-wide cable TV service contract that leveraged the University's size and numbers. The result was the UMN-TV Standard Service, which provides 100+ channels of analog and digital TV content.

In 2012, the Office of Classroom Management (OCM) joined the UMN-TV partnership to assist interested units and departments to make the transition from an individual cable TV contract to UMN-TV.

OCM adds value by scaling up the service, enabling and assisting interested units and departments to make the transition. The service model is based on cooperation and shared responsibilities across three departments. HRL is the business owner, OCM oversees the licensing and administers a shared service model, and OIT is responsible for implementation and ongoing support.

The channel line-up (subject to change) is available online.

Transition expenses

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

To receive digital TV channels, a TV with an ATSC or Clear QAM tuner is required.  All TVs produced since 2007 should be able to receive the digital TV channels. Note: Some HD-ready TVs require external tuners. Check your owner's manual to see if your TV has a built-in tuner or will require additional equipment.

If your department currently pays for an individual cable TV contract, contact Jeremy Todd, director of OCM, to learn more about transitioning to UMN-TV service.

TV recommendations

  • TVs manufactured within the last 3 years are recommended.
  • All "Digital Ready" TVs are acceptable. However, some may not get all sub channels, such as 11.2, 11.3, etc.
  • "Cable Ready" TVs manufactured in 1995 or later will work with the cable TV network. However, the HD channels will not be available in HD. In other words, the channels will be accessible, but not in HD.
  • TVs manufactured before 1995 are not recommended and may not work.
  • Set-top boxes are not required at this time.
  • Once on campus you will need to scan for channels on your TV.

UMN-TV online service

In addition, the UMN-TV Online Service, also known as IPTV, provides 16 channels to the Twin Cities campus over Ethernet. The content is distributed directly to your computer from the active Ethernet jack. A mix of High Definition (HD) and Standard Definition (SD) channels are available. There is no charge for this service, but you must have a compatible Ethernet connection. More information can be found at HRL's website.

UMN-TV online channel line-up (subject to change):

Local News/Programming

  • PBS - tptMN
  • ABC - KSTP
  • FOX - KMSP
  • NBC - KARE
  • CBS - WCCO

National News

  • CNN Headline News
  • Bloomberg Business
  • The Weather Channel


  • ESPN
  • FOX Sports North
  • Big Ten Network


  • TBS
  • TNT
  • USA

Accessing UMN-TV Online

  1. Connect an Ethernet cable from the jack in the wall to your computer/laptop. You must provide your own cable!
  2. Enter in a browser (e.g., Internet Explorer or Firefox)
  3. Click the Launch Player button

Troubleshooting if you are not receiving UMN-TV Online:

  1. Double-check your Ethernet connection. Make sure you are plugged into an active Ethernet jack by testing to see if you can get an Internet connection (e.g., google).
  2. If you are still unable to connect, there may be a problem with your Ethernet jack. Please contact 1-HELP (1-4357) for assistance.

For more information about transitioning to UMN-TV service, contact Jeremy Todd, director of OCM.