Review: AT&T U-VERSE

Scott Greczkowski

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Staff member
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Sep 7, 2003
100,221
18,841
Newington, CT
This has not just been released. Its been up and running for over a year in Texas. Its just being released however in other areas, and its still being released as an unfinished product. (Its still not ready for prime time)

Last night I was watching a show on my DVR which I recorded earlier, when the show ended there was a baner on the top of the screen which said "Television Service is Temporarly Unavailable, please try again later"

What kind of crap is that?

To make matters worse I couldn't even watch any of the shows on my DVR as the DVR could not phone home and grab a license for the show I wanted to watch.

I am seeing at the Uverse users site the staff there getting aggrivated by people coming and posting about the products flaws and they keep on saying that the service is going to get better. And while I do agree that things will get better the question is WHEN. We are all paying for the service which still does not run like its supposed to. If I want to watch TV at night I should NEVER see a message tell me to "Try again later" period.

If the product is not ready (and its not) then they should hold off releasing the product to new areas until it is ready. As if more and more people get vocal about Uverses problem its only to be bad for UVERSE.

Uverse has a lot of potential but as it sits now, if its available in your area you might want to wait awhile before getting the service.
 

Neutron

Founding Supporter
Supporting Founder
Nov 7, 2003
18,730
1,122
Texas
It launched in the D/FW area in February. So far it's still not available in many parts of the metroplex that are AT&T areas.
 

rad

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Lifetime Supporter
Sep 7, 2003
10,562
4,162
Dripping Springs, TX
If the product is not ready (and its not) then they should hold off releasing the product to new areas until it is ready.

But they've got to keep rolling it out and putting a positive spin on it else Wall Street would be ripping them a new a**hole. It's a shame that Whitacre will be retiring soon with a big pension and some new CEO's going to have to clean up after his mess.
 

Scott Greczkowski

Welcome HOME to SatelliteGuys!
Staff member
HERE TO HELP YOU!
Sep 7, 2003
100,221
18,841
Newington, CT
They are going to have a big mess to clean up.

I honestly believe that UVERSE can improve, the question is how long will it take before many of these bugs are fixed? How long are customers going to pay for it before they have had enough?

What would you do if you sat down to watch TV and get a message on the screen to try again later?
 

korsjs

Welcome To SatelliteGuys
Supporting Founder
Jan 25, 2004
7,583
0
Land O Lakes, FL
They are going to have a big mess to clean up.

I honestly believe that UVERSE can improve, the question is how long will it take before many of these bugs are fixed? How long are customers going to pay for it before they have had enough?

What would you do if you sat down to watch TV and get a message on the screen to try again later?

i think you are right with them giving themself a bad name. i would say the majority of the fios users are very satsified. if verizon can get it right, why can't att? does it come back to ftt P vs ftt N?
 

tonyp56

SatelliteGuys Pro
Supporting Founder
May 13, 2004
799
0
Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States
Sorry folks, U-Verse will not be "ready" until 100% of AT&T's footprint is able to get (not necessarily everyone will have, but could if AT&T decided to turn on). The deal is, this service is dead already. Fixing, repairing, etc. AT&T won't do, because they know they'll be spending lots and lots of $ for something only a few can get. AT&T still has areas that don't have DSL, let alone equipment for U-Verse. Having service in a few niche locations, makes this service a complete waste of money--for AT&T and end-users alike.

More or less, look at this way, AT&T wasn't done with previous DSL service; kind of like building a house but stopping about 80% of the way, to jump over a few feet and start building another house. All that money that was put into original house, now sits wasting away. And now, new house is where money is being spent. Instead of finishing something before starting something else, AT&T has more or less taken on a new project, without first completing old project. Which makes it more unlikely, that A) anyone will be upgraded with old project because this would be a waste, and B) people lucky enough--dare I say unlucky enough--to be within AT&T's scope for new project, will likely not see much movement with service because AT&T won't want to dump that much money into current project, in fear that it won't work. Many of the few customers AT&T has right now, will likely switch back to previous service provider, further making AT&T not want to improve service, and eventually causing AT&T to drop U-Verse all together.

Fios, why has this worked so far? I think because, in comparison to AT&T, Verizon has put a lot more money into this project. I wouldn't think it is so much because of difference in Fiber delivery (FTTH or FTTC compared to FTTN), though I know Verizon's model gives consumers more bandwidth, which might make service a little bit smoother, but really many of these problems you all are talking about are more about SW issues, etc. than bandwidth constraints (like being told, no TV check back later, that sounds more like service was down, not because you didn't have enough bandwidth) However, Fios too stands to eventually fail, because of the delivery Verizon has chosen. They too only provide to a very, very small portion of the available customer base. This like with AT&T, will be Verizon's Fios downfall. And when this happens, Verizon will be in worse financial shape, having spent so much money, in such a small area.

All telco's need to start thinking about replacing copper with fiber everywhere. No more RT's to serve area with copper, just a direct pipe to CO, and of course all CO's connected via fiber (like I believe they already are). Now what kind of fiber network, I'd say whatever is cheapest for area. If well populated area makes running fiber from CO to home/business impossible, then use what would serve area the best (one or even a few fiber run(s) to neighborhood, then from that one feed, every house/business would have fiber ran to that central point. This would have a high initial cost, but would give telco's future profits and ease of upgrading network. Everyone that has a telephone would have fiber, and therefore everyone that has a telephone would have broadband internet. Copper is after all, what telephone service has always been on. It is a time for a change. Until this happens, U-Verse, Fios, etc. will never make it--and certainly will never be class A product.
 

Brewer4

SatelliteGuys Pro
Supporting Founder
Mar 12, 2005
4,022
0
Hartford Connecticut
Here's an example of AT&T in my area. I live in Connecticut and it was originally SNET which was bought by SBC which then turned into AT&T. I had DSL when it was SNET and SBC. I canceled it about a year and half or so ago since I had cable modem from Comcast for more bandwidth (I work from home). Well I am about to take a job that requires me to go back into an office and was looking to save some money with the combo deals AT&T keeps advertising to my mailbox.

Here's where AT&T is a joke. I call to get the deal and each time they say DSL is not available to me. I've called 4 times and each time I get a different reason why. One is I am 17,000 feet from the switching station (which is not true I am 13,000 since I've had it before). The other reason is everyone in my neighborhood has used all the available lines. Each time I ask them to research it and get back to me and nobody does.

I just wanted to share this story which represents AT&T's inability to win my business and failure to even offer basic DSL. So forget U-Verse. Heck given what I've had to deal with and seeing the reviews on U-Verse, they dont stand a chance. I wish my Comcast and D* that I pay was cheaper but I at least really like the services and support.
 

psumattDE

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 2, 2006
510
0
Wilmington, DE
However, Fios too stands to eventually fail, because of the delivery Verizon has chosen. They too only provide to a very, very small portion of the available customer base. This like with AT&T, will be Verizon's Fios downfall. And when this happens, Verizon will be in worse financial shape, having spent so much money, in such a small area.

FIOS is being built from scratch! What, do you want them to blink their eyes and have millions of miles of plant hung from a pole overnight?? Lol...what a un-founded statement.
 

WyrTwister

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jul 6, 2004
769
0
Here's an example of AT&T in my area. I live in Connecticut and it was originally SNET which was bought by SBC which then turned into AT&T. I had DSL when it was SNET and SBC. I canceled it about a year and half or so ago since I had cable modem from Comcast for more bandwidth (I work from home). Well I am about to take a job that requires me to go back into an office and was looking to save some money with the combo deals AT&T keeps advertising to my mailbox.

Here's where AT&T is a joke. I call to get the deal and each time they say DSL is not available to me. I've called 4 times and each time I get a different reason why. One is I am 17,000 feet from the switching station (which is not true I am 13,000 since I've had it before). The other reason is everyone in my neighborhood has used all the available lines. Each time I ask them to research it and get back to me and nobody does.

I just wanted to share this story which represents AT&T's inability to win my business and failure to even offer basic DSL. So forget U-Verse. Heck given what I've had to deal with and seeing the reviews on U-Verse, they dont stand a chance. I wish my Comcast and D* that I pay was cheaper but I at least really like the services and support.



As far as not being able to get back on DSL , write a letter to Ed Whittiker ......

Wyr
 

riffjim4069

SatelliteGuys Master
Supporting Founder
Apr 7, 2004
35,213
287
SatelliteGuystonfieldville, U.S.A.
FIOS is being built from scratch! What, do you want them to blink their eyes and have millions of miles of plant hung from a pole overnight?? Lol...what a un-founded statement.
I would have to agree. Even if Verizon were to have an unlimited amount of money, it still takes time to build-out their hub and spoke network. Likewise, even after the local Central Offices are upgraded it will take years to install fiber to millions of homes...not to mention the battles of being a new cable market entrant, having to solicit new customers, and deal with the existing cable companies "finally" offering customers discounts and incentives to stay with them after 20+ years of bending them over.

FiOS Internet/TV has been operational in my area since October. While it is active only three miles away, my telephone service is wired to a different Central Office. Lots in our subdivision are 2-5 acres in size. Realistically, as money to upgraded the local infrastructure becomes available, I see Verizon spending most of the money upgrading 80% of area residence that live in more densely populated subdivisions (typically 1/4 to 1/2 acres lots). That would only make sense since they can pass many more homes.

"Were I to invoke logic, however, logic clearly dictates that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few."
~Spock (circa 1982)

FiOS is three miles and three years away (as of Oct '06) if you ask my opinion. As much as we would welcome more Cable/Internet choices, I just don't see it happening anytime soon in my neighborhood. Verzon must hate the upper-middle class.:rolleyes:

As this relates to AT&T U-Verse, I must say that Verizon FiOS TV is a far-better managed and far-better implemented product. FiOS TV rocks...price, quantity, and especially quality! Sure, the HD DVR still blows when compared to a HD Tivo Series 3 or Dish ViP622, but the SD/HD PQ will blow you away. FiOS is a fully integrated business strategy at Verizon whereas, by my account, U-Verse appears to be just another project at AT&T...and it shows.
 

datwell

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Jul 25, 2004
654
4
Falls Church, VA
riffjim4069: Yup. You are right - it takes time to change the entire world. But my FiOS internet is worth it! Their ActionTech router leaves a bit to be desired, but I sure don't want to go back to the old DSL!

--Doug
 

manhole

SatelliteGuys Family
Jun 20, 2006
58
0
More or less, look at this way, AT&T wasn't done with previous DSL service; kind of like building a house but stopping about 80% of the way, to jump over a few feet and start building another house. All that money that was put into original house, now sits wasting away.

I just read somewhere that AT&T took over the #1 spot for most subscribers. That means all of their ~12.9 million customers are paying them money. Doesn't sound like the original DSL technology is sitting wasting away as you stated.
 

Davey Roa

SatelliteGuys Family
Apr 13, 2004
62
0
Simi Valley
AT&T Uverse just became available in Los Angeles. I live right outside of LA, and was excited that it is ready in my area. So despite the many challenges, I am looking forward to installing the service. When Voom went out of service, I went to Adelphia which later became Time Warner. Dealing with Time Warner has been an absoulte nightmare. It has been so bad that I am willing to try anytihng! Also, it will save me about $40.00 a month.
 

grendyl

SatelliteGuys Family
Dec 6, 2004
65
0
IMO Verizon did the right mix of existing software tech while investing their $ in infrastructure. They didn't reinvent the wheel with their TV service. At&t felt they could make up the difference of hardware investment through software which seems not only dumb in the short-term but dumb in the long-term as consumers demand ever expanding number and variety of products that suck up bandwidth.

I hear people saying they are getting synch rates at like 40+ with VDSL, and really are convinced that IT guys are just keeping the brakes on, siting huge backbones being placed etc. I also remember how Adelphia said they were going to skip DOCSIS 1.1 and go straight to superfast DOCSIS 2.0 (at least in this area). I think there is some unrealistic expectations re: at&t uverse tv and data. I will give them one thing though, every new house in my neighborhood has fiber to the house courtesy of at&t which is more than i expected from them
 

Paul3637

New Member
May 11, 2007
4
0
I am going to reply to your post that you "uninstalled" ATT U-verse and sent all the hardware back. You were correct. We stayed with DirecTV as the result of your other post. Now we have a virtually perfect picture and other operations work correctly - all thanks to your recanting your initial advice to buy U-verse which I agree is still in BETA form. I am posting this here since your "recant" is not yet on all the Internet search engines.
 

Davey Roa

SatelliteGuys Family
Apr 13, 2004
62
0
Simi Valley
I am having no problems with the service. I had some trouble with the DVR, but they came out on a sunday and fixed it. I think I am going to remain with the AT&T service.
 

Cajun_Moon

New Member
May 28, 2007
1
0
England
IPTV in England

Hi everyone. I stumbled across this forum over the weekend and read all of the comments in this thread with a great deal of interest. Here in the UK we are in a similar position with IPTV [rollout started late last year] and I was one of the first to get it.

Firstly, what amazed me in reading this thread is that basically it is the same product. The rollout here is being managed by BT, our primary national telephone operator, and the service appears to be built on the very same Microsoft product. Even down to the menu fonts on the screenshots earlier in this thread, there is a huge amount of consistency.

I understand AT&T are using Motorola boxes, whereas we are getting an 80Gb PVR produced by Philips.

Taking into account the overall services [unlimited telephone, unlimited 8Mb DSL and IPTV] pricing is broadly similar at around £50 or $100 per month.

Among the users here in the UK there is a similar view that the service was released too early and in truth, it really should still be in Beta right now. Our key issues are;

* box locking during menu navigation [altho less problematic recently]
* insufficient padding around scheduled recordings
* occasional "On Demand unavailable" messages

We are promised a software patch for the padding issue by July and it's fair to say that the other two key issues have been much less of a problem recently.

I'll be continuing to watch these threads with interest, and it may be useful for us to share notes on what's happening on our respective services.

If anyone has any questions about the service this end. By all means drop me a line :)
 

stimpson

Miller Lite Tester
Oct 2, 2006
4,701
46
Benton, Arkansas
Hi everyone. I stumbled across this forum over the weekend and read all of the comments in this thread with a great deal of interest. Here in the UK we are in a similar position with IPTV [rollout started late last year] and I was one of the first to get it.

Firstly, what amazed me in reading this thread is that basically it is the same product. The rollout here is being managed by BT, our primary national telephone operator, and the service appears to be built on the very same Microsoft product. Even down to the menu fonts on the screenshots earlier in this thread, there is a huge amount of consistency.

I understand AT&T are using Motorola boxes, whereas we are getting an 80Gb PVR produced by Philips.

Taking into account the overall services [unlimited telephone, unlimited 8Mb DSL and IPTV] pricing is broadly similar at around £50 or $100 per month.

Among the users here in the UK there is a similar view that the service was released too early and in truth, it really should still be in Beta right now. Our key issues are;

* box locking during menu navigation [altho less problematic recently]
* insufficient padding around scheduled recordings
* occasional "On Demand unavailable" messages

We are promised a software patch for the padding issue by July and it's fair to say that the other two key issues have been much less of a problem recently.

I'll be continuing to watch these threads with interest, and it may be useful for us to share notes on what's happening on our respective services.

If anyone has any questions about the service this end. By all means drop me a line :)

Thanks for the info and welome to SatelliteGuys.
 

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