Cable TV (CATV) and HDTV FAQs

The following FAQs pertain to the UNC-CH Cable TV (CATV) service. This service is primarily designed for on-campus residents, although some departments may subscribe to the service as well. The service is managed by Information Technology Services.

Where can I find a list of the available Cable TV channels?

An updated listing of the channels offered by UNC can be found on the Channel Lineup page.  To ensure that you have the full lineup, we recommend you configure your TV to rescan all digital channels using the CATV setting (not ANT or Antenna).

What do I need to connect to the campus Cable TV service?

You will need a standard Coax cable to connect your TV or QAM-capable TV Tuner to our CATV system. Most HDTVs have a QAM tuner included, but you should consult the manual to know for sure. A few manufacturers remove this tuner to save money.  If your TV doesn’t have a QAM tuner, you will need to purchase a separate QAM tuner box.  The Cable TV vendor for campus recommends the Pico HD QAM tuner. While other QAM tuners may work, this is the only QAM tuner that the vendor can confirm.  The choices for TV Tuners that are compatible with our unencrypted-QAM service are very limited.  The FCC requires CATV service providers to give customers a set-top box or CATV decoder card to unscramble encrypted channels.  As an example, Time Warner requires a box or card for every TV and they charge a monthly fee (~$10/m) for the device.  At UNC we do not encrypt any of our CATV service, so a set-top box is not required for all TVs.

How can I see what shows are playing?

You can view the Channel Guide by going to the UNC TV Listings site.

Are High-Definition (HD) channels available?

All of our channels are digital and many of them are in high-definition (HD.)  See our Channel Lineup for specifics.

How do I view channels on the UNC Campus Cable system?

In order to view these channels, your TV or QAM TV Tuner must be setup to view CATV (Cable TV) instead of ANT or Air (Antenna). Then you need to let your TV auto-scan or auto-program the channels. See your owner’s manual for specific directions as they vary from manufacturer and model.

Can I view cable channels on my computer?

Yes, you will need a QAM-capable TV tuner that connects to your computer.

Are streaming services available?

We currently have access to the online content for ESPN 3, HBOGo, & MAXGo.

How do I request a specific channel or a premium channel (Showtime, pay-per-view) be added to the lineup?

There is no way to add specific channels for an individual. Any change in the lineup impacts the entire campus.  The Residence Hall Association makes channel recommendations on behalf of all on-campus residents. You should submit your feedback to your local community government representative. A department may be able to request additional channels as well, by contacting ITS directly.  There would be a cost for the equipment and the ongoing service fees.

Where do I get support for the Cable TV service?

If you experience problems or need help setting up your Cable TV, contact the ITS Service Desk. The majority of problems related to the Cable TV service can be resolved by configuring the television to rescan the channels. The directions for rescanning vary depending on the make and model of your TV. We recommend referring to the manual to find the specific instructions. If your signal is snowy or you’re unable to tune the HD channels, then the signal level for your room/floor/building may need to be adjusted by our CATV Technicians.

Why did I just lose my CATV channel or service or why does it keep blacking out?

The most common reason we lose service is weather related.  Just like with a home satellite service, stormy days can disrupt the service.  If a specific channel has stopped working and you know it’s a problem on multiple TVs, then please report it so we can get that channel repaired for the entire campus.