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This is the home for information regarding cable service within the residential halls.

Syracuse University residential halls are provided Charter Spectrum digital cable television. Its important to note that Syracuse University does not provide any power cords, surge protection, or signal cables. Residents who want cable TV access in their dorm will need a television and 6ft coaxial cable. It is recommended that the television's power cord be plugged into a surge protector.

Clear QAM Digital Service

Televisions intended to be used in campus residence halls must contain a QAM digital tuner in order to receive the available digital channels. Older analog televisions are no longer compatible with the University’s cable TV service. 

Determining If You Have a Clear QAM Tuner

A QAM tuner allows your TV to tune to digital or HD channels. Most, but not all, TV’s that were made after 2006 have a QAM tuner built in. You can search online by make/model of your TV or reference your TV’s owner’s manual for specific model information related to what type of tuner your TV has.

An example of what the manual may say if the TV has a QAM tuner: “Built-in digital tuner (ATSC/Clear QAM)”, or “NTSC/QAM“ Additionally, if your TV remote has the (.) or (-) symbol button for easy tuning or is able to display channels such as 5.2 or 5-2, your TV likely has a QAM tuner.

An example of what the manual may say if the TV does NOT have a QAM tuner: “ATSC / NTSC Tuner” (there will be no mention of QAM). We have found this to be true on certain models of bargain brands such as Dynex, Insignia, and Sylvania.

Acquiring a QAM Tuner

ITS will supply a student with a QAM tuner in the event they have a television that does not have one. If a student is in need of a QAM tuner, please contact the ITS Service Center (Hours of Operation). Students already having a digital tuner and are in need of assistance with setup should reference our Digital Converter Setup Guidepage.

Please Identify Your Need First

Before the service center will supply a converter, we must identify your TV as not having a Clear QAM tuner. If you have difficulties identifying your TV's tuner, please call us at 315-443-2677 (hours - and a consultant will assist you. Please have your TV's make and model available when you call. This is usually located on the back of the television.


Cable TV Setup

Initial Setup

Setting up Your TV

  • Ensure that the power cord is securely fastened to the TV and to the wall outlet. A surge protector is preferred.
  • Ensure the coaxial cable you plug into the wall outlet is plugged into the "IN" jack on the TV.

Tripping Hazard

Be sure to inspect both the power cord and signal cables (coaxial, HDMI when applicable). These cables should never be placed in high traffic areas and all excess length should be managed as neatly as possible.

If you are plugging in your TV for the first time and you are using the TV's tuner, run the "Auto Program":

  • Open the menu. This is often selectable via a Menu, Programming or Action Button on your remote (some TVs also have a menu button on the TV).
  • Navigate to the Setup/Channel area of the menu.
  • If you are prompted to choose between Off-Air and Cable, Select Cable or CATV.
  • Identify the auto program feature and select it. This can also be called "Channel Scan" or "Initial Setup".
  • Your TV should now automatically scroll through the channels. This can several minutes to complete.
  • Save the changes (if required) and Exit.

Auto Programming

Not all television brands use the term "auto-program". Some TV's will refer to a "search" or a "channel scan". There are also televisions that require and initial setup or first-time setup process to be run in order to program the stations. Reference your television-specific owner's manual to be sure you are programming the channels correctly.

If you are not getting all the channels, try the following:

  • If the TV has a CATV switch or function in the menu, make sure it is set to CATV.
  • Reference your owner's manual to ensure you have programmed the channels properly.

If you have a Vizio TV and you are not getting all the channels, try the following:

  1. Shut off TV.

  2. Disconnect CATV connection from back of TV

  3. Turn TV back on.

  4. Run Channel Scan/Setup on "Cable".

  5. Turn off TV

  6. Re-connect CATV connection.

  7. Turn TV back on.

  8. Re-run Channel Scan/Setup on "Cable".

    At this point, the channel scan should take less than 10 minutes and should find all channels, both Digital as well as Analog. This has been known to work on newer Vizio TVs bought within the past couple years.

If the cable service is not working:

  • Ensure the coaxial cable coming from the wall is plugged into the "IN" jack on the TV (or VCR, DVD).
  • Make sure you have changed the televisions input to the corresponding input if you have a cable box, or to the TV tuner if you are connecting directly to the wall.


Connecting to the Internet

Internet-connected televisions are not able to connect to the AirOrangeX wireless network.  ITS has provided an open wireless signal called Gadgets&Games to allow TV's and other Internet devices to connect.  Additionally devices with a wired connection can connect to the a wired residential network with no restrictions.  ITS strongly recommends that you do not connect laptops, phones or tablets to Gadgets&Games as it is not a secure network.

To connect to the wired residential network you'll need an Ethernet cord. The port should look similar to the image below.

ethernet cable example on the back of a television

Do Not Use the Following Devices

  • Airports
  • Wireless Access Points
  • Wireless Routers
  • Computers as an Access Point
  • MiFi
  • Mobile Hotspots
  • Kingston Wi-Drive

These devices can cause problems on campus networks for other users.

Find out more about your devices and SU's networks here.


No Signal/Broken Wall Outlet

If the cable TV wall outlet in your residence hall room is physically broken, you are not receiving a signal after attempting to program your television or you just need more assistance with setup, please call the ITS Service Center at (315) 443-2677 or email

Emailing the Help Desk

If you are unable to contact the ITS Service Center by phone, please be as specific as possible when submitting an email ticket. This includes the steps you have taken to identify the issue, the steps you've taken to alleviate the problem and proper contact information including your exact address/building/appt#/contact phone number.

Channel Lineup

Information Technology Services provides all campus users with access to Spectrum U. A full interactive channel lineup and guide is available at

Requires University Network

Please note that access to the interactive guide requires a device connected to a Syracuse University network.

Note: If you have an ITS provided digital converter, please view your channel lineup on our Digital Converter Setup Guide page.


Need Help?

For support of the information above, contact the ITS Help Desk by calling at 315-443-2677, by emailing, or by stopping into 1-227 CST.

You can also find videos and how to guides with Charter Spectrum's How to Videos.

Charter Spectrum Cable Contact

If you are having an issue specifically with the content found on the cable service, feel free to contact Charter Spectrum at 315-634-6000.