AT&T U-verse Users

igator99

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 16, 2006
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I'm seriously thinking about leaving DirecTV for AT&T U-verse. I've read some of the horror stories which is making me cautious about making the leap. D* is becoming less of an option for me due to trees so basically I'm looking at Charter Cable which I despise or U-verse. Please post your experiences.
 

jb1945

SatelliteGuys Guru
Feb 26, 2006
138
0
Sacramento, California
I have had Uverse since February 2008. I am very happy with it. I did have some installation problems which required 3 or 4 visits from AT&T installers. Most of the complaints I have seen are due to unrealistic expectations. I am sure there are some bad installs, but generally AT&T installers were head and shoulders above those from Dish, Directv and Comcast, all of whom I have had previously.
 

igator99

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 16, 2006
569
0
I have had Uverse since February 2008. I am very happy with it. I did have some installation problems which required 3 or 4 visits from AT&T installers. Most of the complaints I have seen are due to unrealistic expectations. I am sure there are some bad installs, but generally AT&T installers were head and shoulders above those from Dish, Directv and Comcast, all of whom I have had previously.
THank you. I've noticed many of the complaints are from like 07 - 08 when the service was brand new. I really will not have any options accept Charter or U-verse.
 

digiblur

SatelliteGuys Master
Jun 8, 2005
14,190
2
Louisiana
I heard too many complaints on the HD quality being very poor and the limit of only 2 HD channel streams at once. I need my 3 HD streams recording at one time. And might need more in a few months. AT&T's UVerse is definitely not designed for a house with 2 HD DVR's. Unless they get these two issues fixed I'll just consider them a SD only provider.
 

jb1945

SatelliteGuys Guru
Feb 26, 2006
138
0
Sacramento, California
I agree that Uverse is not for everyone. The 2 HD streams can be a problem if teenagers, mother-in-law or whatever want to watch at the same time. Unverse is also lacking in sports packages if that is your thing. I have no issues with HD quality though I suppose some do depending on their particular setup. Uverse allows only one DVR with viewing available on any TV in the house hooked in to the system.
 

igator99

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 16, 2006
569
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I heard too many complaints on the HD quality being very poor and the limit of only 2 HD channel streams at once. I need my 3 HD streams recording at one time. And might need more in a few months. AT&T's UVerse is definitely not designed for a house with 2 HD DVR's. Unless they get these two issues fixed I'll just consider them a SD only provider.
Lucky for me I'm the only that seems to care about HD. I hate Charter and D* might not be an option soon. Isn't the picture quality dependent on location?
 

Scott Greczkowski

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Sep 7, 2003
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Newington, CT
Isn't the picture quality dependent on location?
No its the same nationwide. The only signals inserted locally are the local channels, all the other channels are served from the same headend in texas.

There has been a time when the headend in texas was down which in turn took down UVERSE for the entire country.
 

igator99

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 16, 2006
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No its the same nationwide. The only signals inserted locally are the local channels, all the other channels are served from the same headend in texas.

There has been a time when the headend in texas was down which in turn took down UVERSE for the entire country.
I meant Scott that I read someplace it was dependent on how far you are from the VRAD. I wouldn't be terribly far from it about 60 ft. But I know you can't believe everything you read on the internet. Since you have it how would you grade compared to the satellite or cable companies?
 

goaliebob99

SatelliteGuys Master
Supporting Founder
Aug 5, 2004
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-.-. .... .. -.-. .- --. ---
Im 1,200 feet from the vrad, and the quality is pritty bad. I would rate it less than both satellite company's. While Uverse has the amount of channels, the quality just plain stinks. It looks good when there is no movement, but as soon as there is, microblocking to hell.
 

Scott Greczkowski

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Sep 7, 2003
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I meant Scott that I read someplace it was dependent on how far you are from the VRAD. I wouldn't be terribly far from it about 60 ft. But I know you can't believe everything you read on the internet. Since you have it how would you grade compared to the satellite or cable companies?
Since its a digital signal it makes no difference. Its not like an analog signal which can get lower the longer the cable run is. With Digital, either you get a picture or you dont.
 

igator99

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 16, 2006
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Thanks for everyones input. Where I live the PQ of Charter is horrible. If I do get treed out with D* I will give U-Verse a shot. Thanks again.:up
 

paja

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jan 19, 2008
198
0
Orland Park, IL
I live in the s/w suburbs of Chicago and I have outstanding PQ with U-verse. I dumped DISH for U-verse and I couldn't be happier.
 

wase4711

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jul 22, 2004
685
0
Outside Chicago
I have had the same experience as paja; PQ is generally wonderful, and their SD PQ BLOWS EVERYONE ELSE away...almost "HD like"
Occasional PQ issues on FOX, but, I have had that with every provider over the last few years..
 

Scott Greczkowski

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While the HD quality is not that great, as others have said the SD picture quality is AMAZING on most of the channels. I have never seen SD channels delivered by any other carrier (other then the direct C Band satellite feed) that looked as good.
 

wase4711

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jul 22, 2004
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Outside Chicago
I have to say Scott, that in the last year or so, I haven't seen ANY provider of HD, outside of OTA antenna, really "blow me away", the way HD did when VOOM first came out years ago..
In general, the quality of HD has gone down, insted of up, obviously due to over-compression and other reasons...Its a shame, because usually as technology evolves it improves; in this case, greed of providers, trying to charge/squeeze more signal into a non-increasing pipe size, has made the picture quality degrade insted of improve..

I wonder if 1080p TV transmission, if it ever comes to be, will improve HD picture quality...

I'm thinking about getting Rabbit ears again, so I can be reminded of how good REAL HD can actually look!
 

aaron12

Well-Known SatelliteGuys Member
Nov 13, 2007
28
0
Santa Rosa, CA
I have U-Verse, switched to it a month ago or so. I was tired of having a satellite dish on the patio (apartment complex, previous DISH subscriber) and wanted to get rid of cables running all over the house.

I'm provisioned for 2HD/2SD currently, but the 3HD/1SD service should be available soon. It all depends on how much bandwidth the area gets. My modem itself is synced at 60 Mbit, so the 25 Mbit bandwidth that is required for 2HD is easily surpassed. There are only two of us living here, so running into the stream limit isn't really an issue. If you have a family, or many TVs in many rooms, I could see this being an issue.

HD quality really seems to vary channel to channel. Some channels look just as good as their satellite counterparts, and on others the blockiness and compression is very noticeable. When they're doing 1920x1080 @ 6 Mbps H.264, you'll have to expect that. Here's hoping they increase that bitrate a little bit eventually. The movie channels (HBO, starz, etc) are far, far worse quality than the satellite versions, and I'm not really sure why. They're just terrible though. SD channels look like SD channels to me, but I don't really care, as I rarely watch them.

I didn't think I'd be using the whole home DVR functionality all that much, but now that I have it, I absolutely love it. Being able to watch recorded programs off of the DVR in another room is fantastic, and we use it pretty much every night. Sometime in the next two weeks or so the next upgrade of this is supposed to be implemented, allowing you to add/delete recordings off of the DVR from the other set top boxes.

DVR functionality seems fine. I've had a few issues scheduling series recordings, but that's probably the fault of the guide data not showing it to be a repeat or new episode. The update I previously mentioned is supposed to be replacing the guide with a new updated version, so I'll see how that works out.

I'll quickly mention internet access, as you'd probably get this with the TV service if you switched. It's decently fast, downloads waver around the 16 to 17 Mbit mark (~2 MB/sec), and uploads max out at exactly the capped 1.5 Mbit mark. Latency is pretty bad if you're an online gamer, and if you're a die hard gamer, keep a different service for the better pings. With the higher sync rates available, plus pair bonding, everyone is hoping they offer some better speeds soon, as Comcast is just about to launch their 30/5 and 50/10 service here in our area.

So that's my two cents. I'll be moving south of where I live come November, and U-Verse isn't available there. I'll be going back to satellite, either DISH or DirecTV, because....screw Comcast.
 

JohnC

SatelliteGuys Guru
Jul 14, 2004
138
0
Rome, GA
Thinking about U-verse

U-verse has just become available in my area and I have been considering it. After reading the comments in this and other discussion groups, I think that I will stick with Dish for a while longer, but when several enhancements are in place I might switch. The availability of only 2 incoming HD streams is a real limitation for me. We presently have a 622 and a 722 that give us flexibility in watching and recording several HD programs at once. We can probably live with 3 HD incoming streams. The storage capability is also rather small for a whole house DVR. This could easily be increased with a larger hard drive and enabling external USB drives. The available 18 Mbit internet download speeds is a big stepup from my present 3 Mbit AT&T DSL service. I have read many conflicting reviews about the HD quality. The comments about the macro-blocking during action scenes is a big minus as I watch a lot of HD sports. It appears that U-verse needs to make the rumored improvements so that I can enjoy the 18 Mbit internet service.
 

daverp

SatelliteGuys Family
Apr 28, 2005
61
0
I'm seriously thinking about leaving DirecTV for AT&T U-verse. I've read some of the horror stories which is making me cautious about making the leap. D* is becoming less of an option for me due to trees so basically I'm looking at Charter Cable which I despise or U-verse. Please post your experiences.
I had u-verse installed about two weeks ago and am very impressed so far, figured what the hell with their 30 day free offer. I'm in the Chicago suburbs and The SD PQ is probably 125 to 150% of DirecTV but HD is only 90 to 95%. I would call the HD quality good but not excellent. Head to head on most shows I can’t tell much of a difference from DirecTV, is movies with fast action sometimes you can notice a little micro-blocking in dark scenes. It’s far better than Comcast, however. My opinion is if your TV is 42” or smaller you’re probably not going to notice it unless you’re looking for it.

The more I read the more it seems PQ may vary somewhat by region. Which is odd As I thought everything is served from a central facility in Texas. Is either that or they are improving PQ quite quickly and reviews are becoming outdated quickly.
The installer mentioned that there will be a system upgrade on May 10th to add new features to the TotalHome Dvr and some picture Improvements to HD. But I’m the I’ll believe it when I see it kind of guy so I’m not counting on this in my decision to keep the service.

U-verse is not for everybody. Each service is bandwidth limited in different ways. Satellite and cable have bandwidth to bring limited number of channels to an unlimited number of devices. U-verse is the exact opposite. U-verse had the bandwidth to bring an unlimited number of channels (theoretically) to a limited number of devices.

To a house with U-verse you can have a max at any one time of 4 SD Streams or 3 SD and 1 HD or 2 SD and 2 HD. This is regardless of number of boxes you have. Rumor is they plan to expand soon to 3 HD and then 4 HD streams, but rumors are rumors and until they deliver it don’t count on having it. The equipment (Microsoft Mediaroom based) is capable of doing 4 HD streams, if they so choose. Also they do have room for expansion for some users. My VDSL modem syncs at 86 mb but the service is currently capped at 25.5 and that includes TV and internet.

You can also only have one DVR with U-verse. The other boxes can watch shows recorded on the DVR but that cannot schedule recordings or pause live tv. This is what the “May 10th” update is supposedly going to add. Microsoft has had these features released for some time and they are already in uses by other MediaRoom provides so it can be done, if ATT so chooses.

Price wise U-verse seems to be cheaper. My Plus HD DVR package from DirectTv is running ~$91 with an HD Dvr, SD Dvr, HD Pack, and protection plan (which I need because their boxes fail so frequently). My U-verse U300 pack is costing ~$91 with two boxes (total home dvr) and HD pack. U300 includes Showtime, TMC, Starz, and Encore, Plus HD DVR does not have any move channels.

After using both services side by side for two weeks It was a tough decision but I canceled DirecTv this morning. Ultimately it was the performance of the DVR that was the tipping point. Changing channels is almost instant, the guide is smooth and quick, and searching for shows is quick. Having true On-Demand is also nice. I find myself using that more that I thought I would.
 

daverp

SatelliteGuys Family
Apr 28, 2005
61
0
U-verse has just become available in my area and I have been considering it. After reading the comments in this and other discussion groups, I think that I will stick with Dish for a while longer, but when several enhancements are in place I might switch. The availability of only 2 incoming HD streams is a real limitation for me. We presently have a 622 and a 722 that give us flexibility in watching and recording several HD programs at once. We can probably live with 3 HD incoming streams. The storage capability is also rather small for a whole house DVR. This could easily be increased with a larger hard drive and enabling external USB drives. The available 18 Mbit internet download speeds is a big stepup from my present 3 Mbit AT&T DSL service. I have read many conflicting reviews about the HD quality. The comments about the macro-blocking during action scenes is a big minus as I watch a lot of HD sports. It appears that U-verse needs to make the rumored improvements so that I can enjoy the 18 Mbit internet service.
ATT dropped thier TV requiments for internet. You can now get U-verse internet with out TV service and they don't nail you with a an extra fee like comcast is doing to me. Only real catch is if you don't order tv they don't wave the $149 install charge. Over at anohter fourm site (not sure if I'm allowed to post the site) alot people get around this by getting the tv service and dropping it after the install. At most you'll have to pay for one month of tv service.
 

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