Sunday evening, homework (mostly) done, you leave Van Pelt and head home with the promise of Postmated Chinese food and a good old binge session in mind. As you open your computer to log into your ex–boyfriend’s Netflix account, you realize he (gasp!) sneakily changed the password. Unsure of what to do, panic settles in as it dawns on you that you now may not actually have an excuse to avoid studying for your geology midterm. But have no fear—Penn Video Network comes to the rescue.

For a generation of students as obsessed with Netflix as ours is, it’s surprising how few Penn students know about Penn Video Network (PVN), Penn’s own television service. PVN is an all–purpose university resource that aims to help Penn students with all television–related needs, including those that go beyond online streaming. Though the amenity may not be well–known on campus, it’s certainly worth using to your advantage. 

PVN’s main function is to provide students with access to over seventy digital channels for free across campus. The channels range from CNN and Fox News, to TBS and Comedy Central, to MTV and Bravo, meaning something truly exists for Penn students of all interests. As if that weren’t enough, the network is available in over 80 buildings on campus, including all College Houses and Fraternity and Sorority houses—PVN’s extensive list of channels is as broad as the amount of students it reaches.

Before you go straight to the channels you know and love, check out the channels unique to PVN. The network programs a 24–hour movie channel that runs movies of all genres for when your inner insomniac gets the best of you. In true Penn fashion, the channel even plays movies that support your coursework by picking films that relate to academic classes. Penn professors can contact PVN to get certain relevant films on the network. There’s also a special events channel for Penn–specific programming.

Perhaps PVN’s best asset is Resident Select, a platform that allows students to stream the PVN Movie Channel titles of the month to their computers free of charge. The only restriction is that students be connected to AirPennNet. April’s titles include a bevy of popular films. A comedy fan? Go for Pineapple Express. Lover of classics? Check out Apollo 13. Looking for inspiration? Steve Jobs is calling your name.

PVN’s responsibilities extend further than just bringing free channels to your computer and TV. As much as PVN may hurt your academic life because of hours spent on the couch, it helps your extracurricular life because of services it provides. With the Video Bulletin Board, students are able to advertise events, programs and announcements for their clubs and groups. Professors even utilize the channel for broadcasting their own classes and lectures. 

Moral of the story: Penn Video Network is your new best friend. Just don’t tell Netflix. 


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