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How does AT&T Uverse compare to D*?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by bradpr, Dec 21, 2008.

  1. bradpr

    bradpr Legend

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    Sep 8, 2007
    AT&T recently made their Uverse service available in my area. I've had a tenuous experience with D* and am considering dumping them for Uverse.

    Can anyone here give me your opinions of the service - channel selection, PPV/On demand options, HD programming, impact on available bandwidth for DSL, etc...

    Thanks!
     
  2. BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

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    Nov 13, 2007
    The good:

    - It's cheap
    - Internet speed is good

    The bad:

    - Infrastructure was designed for a max of 4 SD streams (the equivalent of tuners) for the entire house. TV bandwidth is fixed and not expandable. Compression was increased to allow 1 HD and 3 SD channels, and then 2 HD and 2 SD channels. There are plans to compress even further to allow 3 HD/1 SD, but there are already complaints about the PQ now. People want HD, and they want multiple tuners, and Uverse can't deliver both due to the decision to go FTTN (Fiber To The Node, meaning to a box in the neighborhood) instead of FTTH (Fiber To The House) like Verizon.

    - The DVR is not great and has a tiny storage capacity, and can't currently be upgraded. DirecTV's DVRs are generations more advanced.

    In my area, Uverse has gotten a lot of new subscribers, mainly from cable customers. But we do have customers who leave sat for Uverse, and a lot of them come back. Out of 13 jobs my company did yesterday, 3 were Uverse reconnects.
     
  3. jimmyv2000

    jimmyv2000 Hall Of Fame

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    Manchester NH
    You will be sorry my brother on the left coast has it and he says it sucks
    The PQ isn't great even on a 26 inch HD set
    Stay with D* :D You will be much better off
     
  4. Xalky

    Xalky Cool Member

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    Nov 9, 2008
    I agree with IIP except for thae cheap part.

    I'm a long time DTV subscriber, but I wanted to save a few bucks so I had u-verse installed but I chose not to disconnect my DTV till I could compare the two.

    The AT&T sd picture is a little better than DTVs sd. DTVs HD is superior to At&ts HD. But I probably could have lived with that. The problem came when you're trying to watch 2 live HD streams or record 2 HD shows and watch 3 sd live shows. You cant'do it. There's only one dvr, you can watch shows recorded on that dvr in any other room, but what they won't tell ya is that you can't set shows to record from any of the other rooms. You have to physically record shows from the DVR location.

    With DTV you don't have those kinds of system limits. If you have 10 HD tuners in the house they can all be on HD at the same time...

    Theres 5 TVs in my house. 2HDdvrs, 1 sd dvr, 2 hd STBs. Thats a total of 8 tuners. Many times all 8 of those tuners are on either recording or being watched live.

    DTvs DVRs are second to none.

    I was gonna keep At&t because it was a little cheaper. So I called DTV to cancel and they made me a deal I couldn't refuse to stay. So now I have superior DTV at a great price. I'm Happy.

    30 day Money back guarantee on At&ts service meant no skin off my back.
     
  5. inkahauts

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

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    Have U-verse installed at your house, leaving Directv completely untouched. Then later that day, simply call Directv and suspend your account. Then you can test out U-verse for a while and see if you like it. If you do, cancel Directv at that time. If not, call Directv, restart the service, and call and have U-verse yanked.

    Frankly, if your a one tv household, probably won't make to much difference... if you are like me and have 6 HD DVRs... U-verse is a no go. Period.
     
  6. bradpr

    bradpr Legend

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    Sep 8, 2007
    Great advice. I have 1 HD DVR and 1 HD receiver.
     
  7. RAD

    RAD Well-Known Member

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    Dripping...
    Go to an AT&T owned/company store, they usually have a U-Verse set up there so you can play with it and see what it looks like. I was not impressed with the HD that I saw.
     
  8. ansky

    ansky Hall Of Fame

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    Oct 11, 2005
    You're posting this on a D* message board. Of course everyone is going to say D* is better.
     
  9. drded

    drded Godfather

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    Aug 22, 2006
    Tucson, AZ
    Check out the channels you watch and the prices for the tiers that have them. You will probably not find U-verse to be competitive. The DVR also does not have RF remote, which means you need to be in front of the unit to do anything.

    A nice feature is the Multi-Room-Viewing. If you have multiple receivers you can watch something recorded on the DVR in any of the rooms.

    Judge for yourself the costs, picture quality, and convenience.

    Dave
     
  10. Captain Spaulding

    Captain Spaulding AllStar

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    Jul 12, 2005
    SW Ohio
    I had the same experience here in Ohio. The AT&T store had Uverse running on two high end Samsung plasma sets. The HD picture was just awful. It looked like a badly transferred DVD (and that's being kind). I'm amazed that more people don't notice, but perhaps they're just not as picky and are looking at price only. I love my DirecTV and will not change to Uverse at any price.
     
  11. bradpr

    bradpr Legend

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    Sep 8, 2007
    I didn't see a "Thinking about switching from D* to Uverse" board on this site, so this seemed like a reasonable place to ask the question.

    Some people here are capable of giving an honest opinion, so at a minimum, I'll get some opinions. Speaking of...do you have one, or are you just going to comment on where I choose to post my questions???
     
  12. davring

    davring Hall Of Fame

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    Jan 13, 2007


    +1 :)
     
  13. Glen_D

    Glen_D Legend

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    Oct 21, 2006
    U-Verse advertising emphasizes their "no commitment - no contract" policy, so it probably wouldn't hurt to try it alongside your current service. In my area, they sometimes have cash-back promotions for first-time customers that run anywhere from $50-$200, depending on the package.

    One thing that made me reluctant to give U-Verse a try was the switch last year from Music Choice to Urge Radio.
     
  14. PCampbell

    PCampbell Icon

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    I got it last June and kept DTV at the same time. The SD was the same but thr HD is very bad. The internet and voice over IP work very good. After the 30 free uverse TV I droped the TV and kept the rest. That works well as ATT will not hook up uverse without the TV, now I have the faster internet.
     
  15. bradpr

    bradpr Legend

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    Sep 8, 2007
    Interesting - so, do all devices connect to your LAN and share a single interface through the DSL modem, or does each device have a copper connection and have dedicated bandwidth?

    I'm looking for a good technical description of how this all works.
     
  16. Xalky

    Xalky Cool Member

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    Nov 9, 2008
    Yes, everything connects thru a DSL modem/router. Each device ,stb/dvr, is connected to the router via either coax or cat5 network. The router determines which device needs the most bandwidth much like a computer network router. If your drawing full bore bandwidth via tvs, say 2hd/2 sd feeds simultaneously, your dsl computer connection will slow to a crawl. This is because your allocated 25 mbps total max for all devices ie:tv/phone/ internet. It all runs thru ip addresses each device is assigned an ip address and is treated like a seperate computer would be on a network.

    The farther away you are from the node, which is the central swiitching neighborhood box, the more problems you will encounter. They won't normally install past 2500' from the node to your house as available bandwidth drops off tremendously over distance.

    I hope that explains things.
     
  17. PCampbell

    PCampbell Icon

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    Nov 18, 2006
    The ATT website has a good technical description of both of there systems, fiber to node (most common) and fiber to home. Also note the system is just a big DSL and dose not send all channels of TV at once, only the channel being watched.
     
  18. Xalky

    Xalky Cool Member

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    Nov 9, 2008
    That is correct. It's sorta like a hyperlink. First you request it and then it sends it. That happens quickly though. I never had an issue waiting for channels to appear when I had it.
     
  19. PCampbell

    PCampbell Icon

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    Nov 18, 2006
    The very fast channel change is nice but the poor HD is a killer for me.
     
  20. kokishin

    kokishin Godfather

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    Sep 30, 2006
    Silicon...
    This seems to be happening a lot because U-verse provides very good HS internet but is a less than mediocre HDTV provider.

     

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