End of TV signal per 30 September 2022

The following letter has been sent out to all members on the 1st of June 2022.

Dear VCK member,

After the 30th of September 2022, VCK will stop broadcasting its television and radio signal to the campus and cease all TV related activities. This means that, on the 1st of October, it is no longer possible to watch television via analogue cable, IPTV, MyVCK or the Watch app. Your VCK membership will automatically terminate at the end of September and all automatic payments will stop. This letter explains the reasoning behind this decision and provides suggestions for alternative TV providers.

Reasoning behind the decision
For the past 34 years, VCK has broadcast television and radio signals on campus. Our goal has been to provide an affordable service with a broad range of channels. The primary reason for being able to keep TV affordable is the bulk discounts VCK receives from our suppliers. These bulk discounts rely on buying TV signal for a large group of people at once for a set period. Over the past few years, TV has continued to decline in popularity and VCK has noticed this in membership rates on campus. The five year contract with our primary signal supplier ends after September and VCK has chosen not to start negotiations for a new contract. There are not enough residences on campus still interested in receiving our TV signal to receive the current bulk discounts. Without these discounts, VCK would have to increase the membership prices. The board is not able to justify that decision, as it would raise the prices above online alternatives. Therefore, the board proposed not to pursue a new contract with our supplier. This proposal was accepted at the General Members Meeting on the 24th of November 2021. The documents can be found at https://bit.ly/3Ma113r.

Future of VCK
VCK’s active members still share a common interest for technology, software and hardware. Therefore, VCK will continue to exist as a technical association. All current memberships will be automatically terminated after September. These terminations happen in accordance with article 7, clause 1.3 of the articles of association, as members will no longer be connected to the TV distribution network. 

In addition, VCK will change its articles of association and internal regulations after September to reflect the new direction of the association. These details will be discussed at the next General Members Meeting. The GMM will take place on the 15th of June 2022. You will receive an invitation separately.

If you are interested in being a member of the new VCK, please contact the board by sending an email to board@vck.utwente.nl.

Alternative TV providers
Unfortunately, VCK will not be replaced with a new TV provider on campus, so it will not be possible to plug in a cable or set-top box to your TV. However, there are several alternatives for watching TV online. You can watch all of these providers on a computer, laptop, smartphone, tablet or smart TV.

  • Canal Digitaal (https://www.canaldigitaal.nl)
    • 60+ channels, including most popular Dutch channels
    • € 14,95 per month
  • NLZiet (https://www.nlziet.nl)
    • 34 channels, including most popular Dutch channels
    • € 7,95 per month
  • NPO Start (https://www.npostart.nl)
    • NPO 1, NPO 2, NPO 3, NPO extra 1, NPO extra 2, NPO politiek & nieuws
    • Both live TV and recordings of these channels
    • Free
  • RTL XL (https://www.rtlxl.nl)
    • Recordings of some shows on RTL 4, RTL 5, RTL 7, RTL 8
    • Free
  • Kijk (https://www.kijk.nl)
    • Recordings of some shows on SBS 6, Net5, Veronica and SBS 9
    • Free

If you don’t have a Smart TV, but would still like to watch on your television, our recommendation is getting an Android TV device. Most providers have apps for this platform and it also runs streaming services like Netflix, Disney+, Prime and YouTube. These devices are our recommendations:

For the most similar experience to VCK, our recommendation is getting a Xiaomi Mi Box S with a Canal Digitaal or NLZiet subscription depending on how many channels you want.

Rented devices and distribution networks
If you are currently renting one of our devices, you will be contacted in September about returning it. This only applies to our set-top boxes, not purchased network switches. However, you can also return a network switch (without refund), if you no longer have a purpose for it.

During October, VCK will start deconstructing the TV distribution network on campus. Certain residences will be contacted to schedule an appointment for removal of distribution network components located within the residence. This does not include distribution networks within the residence to split the signal across rooms. These types of distribution networks are the possession of the residence, so removal of these components is at the discretion of the residents.

Hopefully this letter has properly informed you about the end of our TV operations. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us by mailing to board@vck.utwente.nl. VCK has enjoyed providing the campus with television signal for the past 34 years and we hope you enjoyed our services as well.

With kind regards,
On behalf of the board,

Daniël Huisman
Chairman of Vereniging Campus Kabel