(REVIEW) Another Trip to the U-VERSE

Scott Greczkowski

Scott Greczkowski

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Sep 7, 2003
100,846
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Newington, CT
It’s been almost a year since I canceled AT&T’s U-VERSE service. However this past week I jumped back into U-VERSE and had it installed at my fathers new house. I have to admit it, I was a bad SatelliteGuy, when I was helping him choose houses I didn’t look if the house had a good look at the satellites in the sky. His new house has no look at the main Dish Network and DirecTV satellites the only choices here were COX Cable and AT&T’s UVERSE service.

COX cable was very high priced for what they offered which helped me make the decision to choose U-VERSE again.

I has U-VERSE at my own house last year and canceled it after about 4 months due to a number of factors including buggy set top boxes and the other major factor to me for canceling AT&T U-VERSE was you could only watch one HD channel in your entire house at a time. For a guy who has 6 HDTV’s in his house that was a major issue for me and my family.

Ordering AT&T U-VERSE was almost easy, I first filled out all their forms at the AT&T U-VERSE website, however after taking almost 20 minutes to fill out the forms on the last form I received a server error which told me I had to call in and order the service (it did give me a code for the server error which gave me an additional $25 off the first month of service.

I called in and got a friendly operator who took my ordered then verified my address was in range for AT&T U-VERSE service, she then told me that it would take about an hour for her to install a date and time for installation. Around an hour later I got a return call with my install time.

Last Friday the U-VERSE service was installed, unlike my previous install this one only had one installer who arrived almost an hour early to do the job. This tech worked all day out in the 85 degree heat. The only time this installer had any help is when a line tech came by and ran a new phone line from the telephone pole to the side of the house. The installer was very friendly and wanted to make sure we were happy. He asked us before he did anything and without asking worked to hide all the new cable as best as he could. He did a very good job however he didn’t put any drip loops on any of the drops, other then this everything he did was perfect.

I helped him install the residential gateway and receivers up in the house. He was surprised and happy that I knew what I was doing. I also got the computers running on the Internet without any issues.

I am happy to report that in the past year there has been a few improvements to the U-VERSE service one of them being you can now watch 2 HD channels in your house at the same time. This is a step forward however still could be considered a limiting factor for many. Another positive about AT&T U-VERSE is that it now offers real Pay Per View services, I know a number of folks who wouldn’t sign up for the service because they could watch their WWE and UFC fights on pay per view. In addition the Video On Demand offerings have been greatly expanded since I last had U-VERSE.

U-VERSE in the past year has added Public Access, Government and Eductional channels. While they currently don’t carry my town’s public access channels they do have a number of public access stations from across the state. For me I find it interesting to see some of the neat shows made by the residents of other surrounding towns.

U-VERSE has also added a few interactive features which were not available the last time I had the service. The new services include the ability to look at online photos on your TV, AT&T Yahoo Interactive Games and Yellowpages.COM. All of the applications are VERY slow to load which is disappointing, for example to find a phone number it took over 3 minutes for the application to load and for me to find the number I was looking for using the yellow pages application. It would have been faster to call information or look up the number on my laptop.

As far as HD quality goes, I am pleased to report that AT&T’s HD quality has improved noticeably on U-VERSE. While it may not look as good as some of the channels on DirecTV or Dish Network it does look better then it did.

There have been a few downgrades for the U-VERSE service since I last had it, one of the cool things about U-VERSE was that it carried most of the channels with both their east and west coast feeds. However now it appears most of the west coast feeds have been removed from the service. This was a giant advantage that U-VERSE had over everyone and now its gone.

Another downgrade for U-VERSE has been their switch from the Music Choice service to MTV/MICRSOFTS Urge Music service. The URGE music service sounds terrible, and the playlists are put together with no rhyme or reason. I see a lot of folks on uverseusers.com upset about this move by AT&T and they got a good right to gripe.

It still however seems as though AT&T still has some customer service issues to work on. Today I noticed that my internet speed was only the 3 Meg service, when I ordered the service with the 6 Meg service. I called into AT&T to be transferred around a few times with no one knowing how to fix the issue. After being on hold for over 30 minutes a rep said they saw an issue with my account and would call me back shortly. I am still waiting for that call.

I had a total of 4 receivers installed and all are working. One of the receivers is hooked up just for my use and has a Slingbox hooked up to it. This should allow me to view and report on any issues that U-VERSE might have. So there you have it my look at the U-VERSE a year after I last had the service.
 
J

JEFFinINDY

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jul 31, 2004
1,139
0
Indianapolis, IN
Can you expand a little on the HD picture quality? How close is it to what we've used to on Dish and Direct right now?

How's the SD quality?
 
jegrant

jegrant

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 5, 2005
1,211
172
Are the PEG channels still being carried in a nonstandard, low resolution format? Or are they now being given equal carriage as any other basic cable type channel?
 
Scott Greczkowski

Scott Greczkowski

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The peg channels need an interactive application loaded on the box. It looks like its streaming web video.

The HD quality is much better but still slightly below the quality of dish and directv.
 
bigdog5142

bigdog5142

SatelliteGuys Family
Feb 12, 2007
51
0
Orion, MI
I got my U-Verse installed today...and think the quality of U-Verse HD is better than I had with Dish. I'm loving it so far...the On Demand stuff is GREAT! Time will tell, of course, but I'm sold in the hour I've had it!

I got the U400 package for the first month for free. I had so many issues with no one knowing whether or not I would get 2 HD feeds and after two cancelled installs...I got $20 off per month for 6 months. $100 cash back cert...$50 cash back cert...$50 gift card for moving up my install and free installation! Pretty good deal if you ask me!
 
S

shaun-ohio

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jan 31, 2004
327
0
ohio
it is now available in central ohio, including columbus ohio now. i cant wait for it to work its way here to zanesville, i will def try it out :)
 
Scott Greczkowski

Scott Greczkowski

Thread Starter
Welcome HOME to SatelliteGuys!
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Yes the SD for the most part is better then Dish. In fact some SD channels look better then I have seen them anywhere.
 
SatinKzo

SatinKzo

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
May 22, 2004
6,232
83
Louisiana
What you are seeing/saying scott is exactly what I was saying in the pub and a couple other Uverse threads here. Glad to see I have confirmation on what I claimed on HD and SD, Especially where you mention that some SD are great. My comparision was the only time I saw SD this good was OTA or FTA.
 
S

shaun-ohio

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jan 31, 2004
327
0
ohio
my address location knocks me out for the internet, my question is since the programming comes thru the phone lines, do i still qualify for the dvr and the programming? i already have att for my phone service.
 
bigdog5142

bigdog5142

SatelliteGuys Family
Feb 12, 2007
51
0
Orion, MI
my address location knocks me out for the internet, my question is since the programming comes thru the phone lines, do i still qualify for the dvr and the programming? i already have att for my phone service.

From my understanding...you are either in a "green" area or not. In other words, you can either get U-Verse or you can't. It's about distance from what they call the "VRAD." It's their U-Verse equivalent of a cable junction box where the cable company would hook your cable up to send the signal to your house. If you're too far away from the VRAD...you can't get U-Verse.
 
IcEWoLF

IcEWoLF

SatelliteGuys Master
Lifetime Supporter
Dec 31, 2006
12,235
10,612
Nevada
I got the 6Mbps U-Verse + U200.
Not bad.
But I am still going to keep DirecTV as my primary provider for TV.
DTV DVR > U-Verse.

DSL speed has been great, and the 10Mbps speed is available in my area...I am thinking about getting it....but I'd love to see if I can get it for a discounted price...

I am keeping Charter Telephone because I am only going to pay 14.99$ monthly for 12 months which is great, U-Verse Unlimited Long Distance = 40$.
Once the 12 months expire, the charters phone service is only going to be 34.99$, which is a better deal.
Now, if I were to get the triple play package, does anyone think I can get a good discount?
 

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