AT&T U-Verse, does anyone have it?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Stridder44, May 19, 2008.

  1. Stridder44 macrumors 68040


    Mar 24, 2003
    We've had Dish Network (has the most HD channels) for about 4 years and they have been great. But I've been looking at AT&T U-Verse but want to know if anyone here has it, and what they think about it. Thoughts? Opinions?

    The HD lineup is very important here. I know Dish recently added more HD channels like Cartoon Network and the Weather Channel (along with 20 others), so we wouldn't switch till U-Verse got them too. But still, for those who have them, do you like them?
  2. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Oct 9, 2006
    I have Uverse. I do not have the HD channels as my TV is not an HD TV. I have the 6 Mbit internet with it.

    personally I love it. The ability to record 4 shows at one time is great. Also I can control my DVD over the internet which is nice when I forgot to set it to record or need to delete something when I am not at home.

    I have been very happy with it and tell people it is a well worth it.
  3. Stridder44 thread starter macrumors 68040


    Mar 24, 2003
  4. yg17 macrumors G5


    Aug 1, 2004
    St. Louis, MO
    My aunt has it and loves it. Haven't used it personally....will soon though. AT&T was doing some digging in our neighborhood and I asked the guy what it was for, and he said U-Verse. So happy! We can finally dump Charter, which has got to be the worst ISP on the planet.
  5. sarre9 macrumors newbie

    May 22, 2008
    Uverse experience

    We've had Uverse for about 5 months now. We had DirecTV and decided to give Uverse a try. We have the almost full package - 6Mb download and HD. 3 receivers were included but only 1 records.

    Internet speed is great - as advertised. No down time since it was installed. The router includes 802.11 b/g but alas n is missing. We still use g but only for the iPhone as everything else in the house is n compatible.

    Standard def video is better then what DirecTV gave us. HD is adequate but not as good as DirecTV. I'm not sure why but it probably has to do with the amount of compression ATT has to do to cram video streams + DSL into a 25 Mb stream.

    Video record quality is fine but there are occasional drop outs of sound and picture. Not enough to be overly annoying but DirecTV almost never dropped the video.

    The downside is the DVR functionality and video reliability. The DVR works but the user interface is very poor. Try fast forwarding through a video and stopping where you want. You can't. At best you will overshoot by about 10 seconds.

    Scheduled recordings don't always result in a recording. Worse, unlike TiVo, you can't find out why. With TiVo, you could see whether there was a conflict or if someone canceled the recording because Dr. Who was on. Uverse gives zip diagnostics, it simply for no reason at all decides to not record your show.

    Along the same lines, sometimes you can't find a show through the Uverse schedule. Strangely, if I look for the same show on my TiVo box, I can find it and schedule a recording. I'd use the TiVo for recording everything but alas TiVo won't record HD from Uverse, only standard def.

    Uverse will only record 1 HD stream at a time. For almost a full year now, ATT has claimed that someday you will be able to send recorded shows to other Uverse boxes in the house. Well, we still can't and the word is still the same ... some day.

    You can't even connect the Uverse boxes to more then one monitor as you can with TiVo. That means, you can't have a Uverse box feeding a monitor in two rooms. You can't even pull a lower resolution stream off the multiple video outputs and send it to another location. Bottom line, the Motorola units that ATT uses are a poor TiVo simulacra (if a simulacra could be worse then it already is). It records (usually) but lacks functionality, an easy user interface and the design beauty of an Apple product.

    So, would I purchase Uverse if I had known of these limitations? Well, the price is better the DirecTV and internet is fast and reliable but ... no. In fact, I will eventually drop Uverse and go back to DirecTV.

    Hope that helps.
  6. pooky macrumors 6502

    Jun 2, 2003
    Here's the (short) version of my U-verse experience.

    Salesman comes to my door. Offers me U-verse, with a bonus $50 gift card just for signing up, even if you cancel tomorrow (the card never came). I say ok, we'll sign up. Salesman proceeds to wait on hold for 2 hours to get the sale approved. I have to be there for all of this.

    The tech comes by a few days later. My appointment was for between 8 and 10. He gets there at 11. Drills some holes, runs some cables. Three hours later (and this is three hours I had to take off of work, they wouldn't do weekends), I have a shiny new U-verse box (and it is HUGE, by the way) in my living room. Hooks up the internet connection, works fine. Hooks up the cable, and BOOM, their TV server goes down. He spends a half hour on the phone, comes back and tells me it could be up in 10 minutes, it could be 10 hours. He can wait, and will wait as long as it takes, but once I leave or tell him to leave, I need to make a new appointment (again, weekday only). I ask what there is left to do. He says that when the server is back up, he needs to power cycle the box, and then it works. I ask if I can do that. He says there is no reason I can't. I tell him to leave so I can go to work. I don't care about TV (was planning to cancel that part anyway), so even if it doesn't work, no big deal.

    Next day I power cycle, box works. Great.

    Next day internet connection goes down, nothing I do will get it back up. I call the tech support number they gave me, which is disconnected. I call the other number on the paperwork, they've never heard of U-verse. I spend 2 hours jumping between the tech support for AT&T voice and AT&T landline internet before I find someone who has a clue and gives me the U-verse number. The U-verse tech looks me up in the computer (no one else could do that. Apparently U-verse has a different database than the rest of AT&T), then says, oh, the server is down. Power cycle in a few hours, it should work.

    Next day, no go.

    Next day, same thing. I call back. Same story.

    Two more days, I call again. This tech tells me the server was never down, but that it was my box. It's not in their system, so the server is rejecting it. I ask why not. No idea. Did I try power cycling it? I humor him, try again, no good. He offers to send a tech guy out (again, working hours only).

    Tech comes out. Spends 5 hours in my house. Accomplishes nothing. Says he would like to change out the box, but he has to get it cleared. They won't clear it, because I already have a box. He leaves, still not working.

    New tech comes (business hours again). He says, here's your trouble (this was after 3 more hours). The original technician never finished the install. The box had to be entered into the database as a completed install, but it never was. So he should be able to finish the install, and it should be good. Three hours later, it's not working. Seems like my box has been permanently blacklisted. Customer "service" still will not clear a new box. I tell him to get the **** out of my house, cancel my service, and take all of their equipment with him.

    He gives me the cancel papers, says this would have never happened if he had done the original installation. I sign, he starts to leave. I ask him what about the box? He says he's not authorized to take it, but he's put a request in to have a mailer sent to me so I can mail it in. Mailer doesn't come, so I call, ask again. Repeat this two more times before giving up. I still have their goddamned equipment. It's been sitting in my garage for 6 months.

    Needless to say, I will NEVER have anything to do with AT&T again.
  7. cisco1138 macrumors member


    Jun 29, 2007
    Your installer's name must have been Murphy!

    When I subscribed they scheduled for my day off. Two installers showed up, one stepped out and returned shortly, he came back with Starbucks coffee for the Three of us. They gave me an estimate of up to Five hours to finish the install, they were finished in under an hour. They re-used existing wiring in the house.

    HD is not as clear as my old DirecTV but my screen is 110" diagonal so it shows imperfections in the original content that smaller displays hide. Internet is supper fast, upload speed is 1000 kbps my download is 3000 kbps.

    $30 for internet
    $60 for Television
    $10 for HD content
    Free One year of Showtime, Stars, TMC
    (-$10 credit for 1st year)
    $93.90 a month (Very buggy billing system, keep an eye on your bills)

    No extended contracts, cancel anytime without penalties.

    I use the U-Verse wi-fi for B and G, Airport Express for N.
    My laptop can be on the U-verse G network and still print and play music on printer and amplifier connected to the airport. other computers on the N network do not get bogged down by slower G computers

    Now, i need to figure out how to get 'Back To My Mac' to work on the U-Verse router.
  8. cisco1138 macrumors member


    Jun 29, 2007
    The Motorola STB is powered by Microsoft (and it shows)
  9. sunday macrumors member

    May 18, 2008
  10. Stridder44 thread starter macrumors 68040


    Mar 24, 2003

    This is exactly what I was predicting it would be. It's still pretty much in "beta". I'll wait till they "release v.2.0". I really like the whole idea, but yeah, HD is too important to sacrifice. Dish Network has spoiled me, and now I can't stand SD. Also, while not a big deal, that wireless adapter not having "n" sucks too. Thank you for the info guys! I'll keep my eyes open for when they update/make big changes to their setup, as it no doubt will.
  11. Moof1904 macrumors 65816

    May 20, 2004
    It sucks and it doesn't

    The software on the DVR box feels like TiVo beta 0.1. They really needed to do some usability testing on their software. It's clumsy and missing some key features. For example, I can't limit the number of episodes that a "season pass" (tivo's term). If I set the system up to record, say, Law and Order because I like having a few episodes on the system at any give time, the system dutifully records every episode. For some shows in syndication, this will fill a drive quickly.

    The service is reliable. I've only had TV unavailable for a short while once in five months. The speed is consistent, though it's not amazingly fast. (5.7 mbit when I'm paying for 6.)

    One of my requirements when I got it was that I could still use my AEBS and all its functionality. So, when they installed the system, I made them get Tier 2 tech support on the phone and configure my AT&T box as a "router behind a router" so that their box doesn't do anything except pass the connection on to my AEBS so that I have wireless "N" and full control over the wireless.

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