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post #361 of 4220 Old 12-26-2006, 10:53 AM - Thread Starter
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AT&T Expanding TV Service to Seven More Markets

AT&T plans to announce later this week that it is kicking off its telco TV service in seven markets, giving it a total of 11 markets by Jan. 1.

That's down from the 15 it initially promised by that date, but the company needed the delays to ensure that all the kinks were worked out, writes MediaPost. The expansion will continue next year, an AT&T representative said, and hopes to reach 19 million homes by the end of 2008 (competitor Verizon says its similar service, FiOS TV, will reach 18 million homes by 2010).

AT&T's service, called U-verse, is currently offered in parts of San Antonio, Houston, San Francisco, and San Jose.

Services such as U-verse could offer advantages over large cable operators in that the bandwidth capability is higher, allowing them to potentially offer more channels, according to the article. The speed of U-verse's rollout is significant to advertisers, as it offers a third option to running spots on local cable channels. AT&T may lower prices, too, in order to undercut cable and satellite operators and jump-start interest.

http://www.mediabuyerplanner.com/200...-more-markets/
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post #362 of 4220 Old 12-27-2006, 02:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Verizon Leading AT&T on IPTVfor now

The triple-play derby is normally viewed as a contest between the cable providers and the phone companies. Cable companies have been busy stealing the phone company customers with cheap voice plans, and seem to have an early lead against their archrivals.

As 2006 comes to an end, it is time to take a look at the performance of two major phone companies - Verizon and AT&T - and the progress they have made in their IPTV/New Broadband business. To our surprise, despite Verizon's dig-to-add-fiber strategy, it is doing much better than the new new Ma Bell.

John CZ Czwartacki over on Verizon's PoliBlog lists some of the big achievements of Verizon FiOS efforts in 2006, in a fairly elaborate document. And despite our constant skepticism, they have made some solid progress, though Wall Street tends to be as much of a Grinch as us.

While CZ doesn't update the number of FiOS TV subscribers (118,000 at the end of third quarter 2006) or the number of fiber broadband subscribers (522,000 at the end of third quarter 2006), he does point out that as of late December 2006, Verizon had 274 local video franchises. (That's before Kevin Martin, the FCC commish, gave the phone companies an early Christmas present and helped get rid of the franchise laws that were slowing down the video rollouts.)

Those 274 franchises translate to about 5.4 million households, CZ says. He brags that with churn rate below 1.5%, customers seem to like what VZ has to offer. At the end of 2006, Verizon expected to have 175,000 video customers.

In comparison, AT&T seems to be making much slower progress. For instance, it had promised to roll out its LightSpeed Network in 15 markets by end of 2006. Last week, it changed its tune, and now says it will have 11 markets on LightSpeed by the time the clock ticks over to 2007.

The service is available in some parts of San Francisco, Oakland, Fremont, San Jose, Sunnyvale and Santa Clara. Not the entire Bay Area, mind you, but parts of it. Other cities where the service is available include San Antonio and Houston, TX. Service is expected to be rolled out in Indianapolis shortly.

It is a disturbing development. The delay in launching in its target 15 markets by year-end is further evidence of the hurdles the company faces in getting the HD IPTV product to market in scale, writes John Hodulik, telecom services analyst with UBS, in a note to his client.

Good point! This makes us think that AT&T might not be able to meet its own goals of reaching 8 million homes with Lightspeed by end of 2007 and 17 million by 2008. They were supposed to pass 2.4 million homes by end of 2006, but that clearly isn't happening. In cities AT&T has announced availability, it is limited availability. Hodulik in part blames the delays to Microsoft IPTV software.

We believe much of the delay AT&T has been experiencing is due to the slower than expected delivery of Microsoft's IPTV software embedded on new, system on a chip (SOC) infrastructure. MSFT 1.1, launched on October 9, supports single stream HD and VOD. Later next year, Microsoft plans to upgrade its software to provide whole home DVR capabilities. The delay in opening new markets is likely caused by the inevitable tweaks and patches that will be needed to make sure the infrastructure scales given the expected demand for HD, VOD, and fast channel change, which all add to the complexity. (UBS Telecom Daily Report, December 22, 2006)

These delays might put AT&T at a disadvantage. In San Francisco, Comcast is being super-aggressive in getting folks to switch, and they are not even enforcing annual contracts. (Tells you something when cable companies are nice to customers, doesn't it!) 2006 was full of fireworks; I cannot wait for 2007 to unfold.

http://gigaom.com/?p=7666&akst_action=share-this
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post #363 of 4220 Old 12-27-2006, 09:47 AM - Thread Starter
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AT&T Introduces U-verse in Hartford Area

Wednesday December 27, 9:00 am ET

High Definition Programming and Other Compelling Features Make AT&T U-verse TV the Most Advanced Video Offering in the Market Press Release
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post #364 of 4220 Old 12-27-2006, 09:52 AM - Thread Starter
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AT&T U-verse TV Connects in Conn.

By Todd Spangler 12/27/2006 7:37:00 AM

AT&T, striving to hit the goal of rolling out U-verse TV service to 15 markets by the end of 2006, on Wednesday announced availability of the service in parts of three Connecticut metro areas: New Haven, Hartford and Stamford.

The announcements bring the telco's tally to seven metro markets so far. It launched U-verse TV in San Antonio in June and added Houston in November. In California last week, it announced limited availability in San Francisco and San Jose neighborhoods.

In Connecticut, U-Verse TV will be available in the Stamford metropolitan statistical area (MSA) in parts of Danbury, Fairfield, Norwalk, Stamford and Trumbull, AT&T said. The New Haven area includes parts of Cheshire and Milford, and Hartford's deployment includes parts of Newington and Wethersfield.

AT&T's U-verse TV has been resisted by some cities where the company has not secured cable-franchise rights. The city of Milwaukee, for example, on Dec. 20 filed a lawsuit against the telco seeking to require it to pay the same franchising fees that cable operators pay. AT&T has responded that U-verse TV is not a cable service as defined by cable-franchising laws.

http://www.multichannel.com/article/...=Breaking+News
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post #365 of 4220 Old 12-27-2006, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by bgooch View Post

AT&T U-verse TV Connects in Conn.

In Connecticut, U-Verse TV will be available in the Stamford metropolitan statistical area (MSA)

What good is a rollout if they don't let us know we can subscribe? I wonder if I can get it? Not that their limited HD product is all that exciting to me. They have been doing a lot of wiring in my area recently.
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post #366 of 4220 Old 12-27-2006, 10:58 AM
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The benefits of competition?

Comcast Upgrades San Fran System

By Todd Spangler 12/27/2006 9:47:00 AM

Comcast on Wednesday said it will spend $80 million over the next 18 months upgrading cable systems in eight cities near San Francisco -- an announcement coming less than a week after AT&T said its U-verse TV service is now available in parts of the Bay Area and Silicon Valley.

Comcast said it will upgrade networks serving more than 250,000 homes passed in Los Gatos, Milpitas, Saratoga, Santa Rosa, Hayward, San Leandro, Sunnyvale and Half Moon Bay.

The new hybrid fiber-coax networks will provide 1 gigahertz of bandwidth; most cable systems today top out at 750 or 870 megahertz. Comcast did not disclose equipment vendors it will use for the project.

An investment of this magnitude is further evidence of Comcast's commitment to our Bay Area customers and community, Comcast regional senior vice president Rick Germano said in a statement.

Comcast said it plans to lay more than 2,200 miles of fiber-optic cable in those areas by mid-2008. The network upgrade will let Comcast provide voice and video-on-demand services, as well as more channels.

Since acquiring 128 cable franchises in the Bay Area from AT&T in 2002, Comcast will have invested more than $663 million on infrastructure improvements including the latest $80 million upgrade, according to the company.

http://www.multichannel.com/article/...=Breaking+News

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post #367 of 4220 Old 12-27-2006, 11:35 AM - Thread Starter
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From the top of this thread

Find out if U-verse is available in your neighborhood by checking Availability
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post #368 of 4220 Old 12-27-2006, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by RemyM View Post

What good is a rollout if they don't let us know we can subscribe? I wonder if I can get it? Not that their limited HD product is all that exciting to me. They have been doing a lot of wiring in my area recently.

Well according the to the press release, they are offering around 25 HD channels at launch. How is that a limited HD product by today's standards?

AT&T extends digital television footprint to Connecticut
Wednesday December 27, 4:08 pm ET


AT&T Inc. is expanding its U-verse digital television service in three markets in Connecticut, after debuting the service in Texas earlier this year.
The San Antonio telecommunications giant is making the service available in Hartford, Stamford and New Haven. AT&T is bringing the competition to the doorstep of its rival Time Warner Cable, which is based in Stamford.

ADVERTISEMENT


As in all of the company's roll-outs, AT&T (NYSE: T - News) is offering local customers more than 300 channels, including 25 high-definition channels, and AT&T Yahoo! High Speed Internet access.

The standard package offers customers a mix of digital music, local news, premium movies and sports.

AT&T also recently expanded the U-verse service into the Houston market. U-verse officially kicked off in AT&T's hometown San Antonio market in June.

AT&T is investing $4 billion in building out a fiber-optic network to connect homes in its local telephone territory. The company is working to make U-verse available to more than 18 million households by the end of 2008. It also is supplying the digital content through a technology called Internet Protocol television, or IPTV.

Published December 27, 2006 by the San Antonio Business Journal

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post #369 of 4220 Old 12-27-2006, 08:58 PM
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Has anybody here actually got U-verse or know somebody that has seen it in action? 25 HD channels, would place then second only to E*, methinks. Does this stuff actually work?

carry on with your HD-Lite Directv loving banter! <--Comedy Gold
Don't fall for the HDMI 1.3 Hype!
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post #370 of 4220 Old 12-27-2006, 09:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovswr View Post

Has anybody here actually got U-verse or know somebody that has seen it in action? 25 HD channels, would place then second only to E*, methinks. Does this stuff actually work?

UverseUsers
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post #371 of 4220 Old 12-27-2006, 09:35 PM - Thread Starter
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December 21, 2006
(Almost) Every Man's Dream
By Jim Barthold

Alan Weinkrantz positions himself as an everyman. He's not ... although there's no reason to be harsh about it. Because the public relations executive lives in San Antonio, he got an opportunity to trial AT&T's U-Verse IPTV service. Because he's accustomed to dealing with the media, he took the initiative to start a blog - www.3screens.net - to detail his experiences.

So far, according to what he sees, AT&T will be a competitive threat to cable. Weinkrantz is also not every man in that he continues to have Time Warner Cable service so he can compare the two - including the high definition service AT&T is now delivering.

"I'm watching this on an IP network, and that's pretty cool," he said, pointing out that the AT&T HD service delivers a good picture and 5:1 audio.

"It genuinely works," said Weinkrantz, who is savvy enough to know how the service is being delivered - again, not something every man would know. "They're shoving this stuff down a phone line. Their signal is going to a DSLAM about four blocks from me."
Free time

Since he's been doing this since May when the free service trial - that's right, he's paying for Time Warner, but he's getting AT&T for free - started, Weinkrantz has formed relationships with the AT&T folks who are installing and maintaining his service - an everyman feat - and "some of the executives at AT&T that I've visited with" - a non-everyman accomplishment.

Because it's his goal to compare AT&T's performance in the TV space, he doesn't reveal what he learns in conversations with his executive buddies.

"I do know about advanced stuff that's coming. I don't write about it, I don't talk about it, I don't share it," he said. On the other hand, he does tell about the experiences everyone would have in getting the service. "I've been able to watch how they're deploying the service. On my HDTV install, I had five trucks," he said.

That's because AT&T has deep pockets, right? Nah, they're training the troops to go out among the plebs and conquer.
Getting into training

"It doesn't take a crew of 10 people to do this, but they're bringing people to watch the install, so they're doing a lot of training," he said. "There was one guy from California who came to the install because he's handling deployment and logistics in California, and they like to do real-world installs," he said.

Weinkrantz invites others to see what's going on in his world, opening his doors for anyone who wants to drop by, ignore the unmade beds and dirty dishes, and admire the HDTV signal. That's a side issue. The main point of all his work and the blog and everything else, he said, is to provide an everyman perspective on a big phone company's efforts to level the cable playing field.

"I'm an IPTV end user, consumer, blogger and an advocate. We now have a choice, and all I'm trying to do is take the role of sitting at my home, having a choice. The phone company has to earn my business," he said.

So far, it has.

"People ask if it's a better signal, better quality picture, and the answer is it's not better; it's pretty much the same, (and) it's not fair to compare it," he said. "The challenge is what types of services and product offerings you can offer the consumer that you can't offer on cable other than pure programming and pricing. There's a lot more interactivity; hopefully one day more user-generated content; hopefully one day community building; hopefully one day more global programming."
That's a chest full of hope

That's a lot of hope, but it's also enough that it should scare those cable execs who don't consider AT&T a threat. What's happening in San Antonio, at least according to one everyman tester, is a new way of delivering and watching television. More importantly, it's working.

"I'm looking at what you can do with IPTV that you can't do with cable," he continued. "Today what's better is the interface; it's the fast channel changing, some of the programming features; there is more content, especially HD, because they're using switched video."

Of course there are mistakes and problems that a veteran cable company shouldn't - or if you prefer, wouldn't - make.

"There are some limitations still, but to AT&T's credit they've managed the expectation of the end user," he said.

So far he's concluded, "I don't think Time Warner Cable is going to go out of business anytime next week," he said. "I'm not anti-anything; I'm pro-consumer and I'm just trying to think, 'pretty cool, different; be a little patient and let them take their time.'"

And, no matter how you shake the chicken bones, that attitude, multiplied by several millions of true everymen (and women), should make for an interesting 2007. - Jim Barthold

http://www.cable360.net/ct/video/21309.html
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post #372 of 4220 Old 12-28-2006, 05:12 AM
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Originally Posted by lovswr View Post

Has anybody here actually got U-verse or know somebody that has seen it in action? 25 HD channels, would place then second only to E*, methinks. Does this stuff actually work?

4 of those HD channels are west coast feeds of the movie channels. Here is what's available to me in CT.
https://uma.sbc.com/assets/files/Stamford.pdf
For those of you in CT a Yahoo forum has been set up to discuss U-Verse in CT.
http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/UVerseCT/
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post #373 of 4220 Old 12-28-2006, 05:15 AM
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Stamford, Norwalk (CT) get cable competition

By Jim Zebora
Business Editor

Published December 28 2006

Stamford and Norwalk residents are among the first in the state with access to AT&T's U-verse cable television service that will compete with Cablevision and satellite TV.

AT&T, which provides telephone services in lower Fairfield County, except parts of Greenwich, announced yesterday that U-verse, offering packages with as many as 300 TV and music channels, is available to homes in certain areas in both cities.

It will be rolled out over the coming months to other neighborhoods and municipalities, spokesman Seth Bloom said. "We want to get it to as many neighborhoods as we can," he said.

Across the state, sections of Danbury, Fairfield, Trumbull, Milford, Cheshire, Newington and Wethersfield also have access to U-verse.

The service ranges in price from $59 per month for a package that includes 50 channels and broadband Internet service, to $129 for 300 channels, including premium movie networks and faster Internet service.

High-definition channels, after an introductory period, and optional packages such as sports, Spanish-language and additional movie networks cost extra. U-verse is initially offering about 25 stations in high definition.

Lower Fairfield County subscribers will see 16 New York area broadcast TV stations, including network affiliates WNBC, WABC, WCBS and WPIX, on U-verse. WTNH, Channel 8 from New Haven, is the only Connecticut station on the lower Fairfield County lineup.

Those who sign up for U-verse in the Hartford or New Haven areas will receive Connecticut broadcast stations and network affiliates.

Community and public access channels and Cablevision's local news programming are missing from U-Verse's channel list.

Bloom said offerings are "evolving," and other stations may be added based on local demand.

"There have already been additions," Bloom said. "Most notably the YES Network, and NESN in certain packages." YES shows most New York Yankees games; NESN is the Boston Red Sox station.

Customers will be able to get four telecommunications services from AT&T: landline telephone, Cingular cellular telephone, television and Internet, he said.

TV service gives AT&T a new weapon in its high-tech competition with Cablevision and other cable providers, who have lured customers away from phone companies with deals that include Internet and telephone service, as well as television.

Cablevision has captured nearly 25 percent of the market for landline telephone in its service areas, and signed up more than 2 million high-speed Internet customers. The company provides cable TV to 3.1 million customers in markets that include Fairfield County and Long Island, N.Y.

A Cablevision spokesman said the firm is ready for the challenge.

"Cablevision competes successfully because our Internet access is faster, our phone service delivers much more value, and our television product is far superior to satellite or telephone company TV, and Connecticut consumers know the difference," Cablevision's Jim Maiella said.

AT&T won the right to deliver competitive television service when regulators decided that its Internet-protocol TV technology was not a communications service as defined under law, and therefore not subject to local franchising and other requirements mandating that a cable TV system must carry certain channels.

But government officials, including state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, continue to seek some control, fearing that without regulation Internet-protocol TV will discriminate against urban and poorer consumers.

"AT&T's IPTV plan is deeply disappointing, confining service to a few suburban towns, bypassing cities and less affluent areas," Blumenthal said in a statement yesterday. "The company has confirmed what we said all along: Without . . . regulation, IPTV providers will cherry-pick the wealthiest and most accessible customers, denying many consumers the huge potential benefits of this new type of TV.

"My office will continue fighting in court for state regulation to assure that providers make IPTV widely available and meet their civic obligations to the community," he said.

Copyright © 2006, Southern Connecticut Newspapers, Inc.

http://www.stamfordadvocate.com/news...ocal-headlines
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post #374 of 4220 Old 12-28-2006, 05:31 AM
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post #375 of 4220 Old 12-28-2006, 05:51 AM
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Quote:
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Well according the to the press release, they are offering around 25 HD channels at launch. How is that a limited HD product by today's standards?

The limited HD is not the number of HD channels that they have, it's the fact that they can only send one HD channel to your house at a time. So if you have two HDTV's your not going to be able to watch HD on both at the same time, and you can't record two HD streams at once on the DVR.
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post #376 of 4220 Old 12-28-2006, 12:52 PM - Thread Starter
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post #377 of 4220 Old 12-28-2006, 01:31 PM - Thread Starter
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AT&T Misses U-verse TV Target
By Todd Spangler 12/28/2006 2:50:00 PM

AT&T fell short of its goal of offering U-verse TV in 15 markets by the end of the year, announcing the availability of the service in four Indiana markets Thursday: Indianapolis, Anderson, Bloomington and Muncie.

The Indiana rollouts bring AT&T to 11 markets where the TV service is available and being advertised -- at least in limited areas. For example, in the Indianapolis metropolitan statistical area, U-verse TV isn't actually available within the city itself, but only in parts of the towns of Beech Grove, Carmel, Fishers, Greenwood, Lawrence and Noblesville.

In October, the telco told investors it would begin commercially offering the service in a total of 15 markets by the end of 2006, but now, AT&T confirmed that it will hit only 11 by New Year's Eve.

The other areas where AT&T has announced U-verse TV availability are its initial test market of San Antonio, as well as some Houston neighborhoods; four cities near San Francisco and San Jose, Calif.; and parts of the Connecticut markets of New Haven, Stamford and Hartford.

AT&T is deploying infrastructure for U-verse TV elsewhere in the 13 states where it and its legacy companies provide telephone service, including several suburban Chicago communities; Milwaukee; Anaheim, Calif.; and Reno, Nev. But the telco has met with local resistance in some areas, as cities seek to require it to pay for cable-franchise licenses. AT&T has insisted that U-verse TV isn't a cable-TV service and should not be regulated as one.

The city of Milwaukee, for example, filed a lawsuit Dec. 20 that sought a preliminary injunction preventing AT&T from offering U-verse TV until an agreement on cable-franchise fees is worked out. AT&T spokesman Brad Mays claimed that the Milwaukee lawsuit and others filed by local governments have not slowed the rollout of the TV service.

As of Sept. 30, AT&T reported having a total of 3,000 U-verse TV subscribers, all located in San Antonio. The company said it expects to be able to offer U-verse TV to 19 million homes by the end of 2008.

http://www.multichannel.com/article/...=Breaking+News
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post #378 of 4220 Old 12-29-2006, 09:12 AM
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This is the HD lineup available to me with U-verse.
A&E HD
Cinemax HD
Cinemax HD - West
Discovery HD Theater
ESPN HD
ESPN2 HD
Food Network HD
HBO HD
HBO HD - West
HDNet
HDNet Movies
HGTV HD
MHD
National Geographic Channel HD
NFL Network HD
Showtime HD
Showtime HD - West
Starz HD
Starz HD - West
TMC HD
TNT HD
Universal HD
WABC-HD-7 (ABC)
WCBS-HD-2 (CBS)
Wealth TV HD
WNBC-HD-4 (NBC)
WNYW-HD-5 (FOX)
WTNH-HD-8 (ABC)
So not including west coast feeds they have 12 HD channels that I can't get with Cablevision. But Cablevision has 8 HD channels that U-verse doesn't.
INHD
WWOR-HD-9 (MY)
WPIX-HD-11 (CW)
WNET-HD-13 (PBS)
YES-HD
SNY-HD
MSG-HD
FSN-NY-HD

U-verse needs to figure out how they can get me 3 HD streams at once though before I would consider switching. Then they need to add Versus-HD for golf and hockey, and PBS. I doubt they will ever get MSG-HD since Cablevision only sold Verizon the SD version. The other channels I can live without.
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post #379 of 4220 Old 12-29-2006, 11:57 AM
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It says a lot where are are more press releases about service in a thread than reports from customers using the service.

Thanks,
Mike
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post #380 of 4220 Old 12-29-2006, 02:33 PM
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Here's what I'm getting out of this discussion.

I like that there's competition in the cable market, but I hate AT&T's strategy vs. Verizon's, and I'm in an area where AT&T controls the phone lines.

I think I read that Verizon has 650 mbps of bandwidth vs. 25 for AT&T? There's no way AT&T will succeed with that model.

I also don't like the whole 1 HD stream thing, especially when 2009 hits and most people will have HD in the home (if anything out of panic because they think everything is going high def by '09...I thought that was the case and was really disapointed when I found out it wasn't. IMO HD should be the industry standard with every channel being HD, none of this SD crap).
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post #381 of 4220 Old 12-29-2006, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by SuperAmmo View Post

Here's what I'm getting out of this discussion.

I like that there's competition in the cable market, but I hate AT&T's strategy vs. Verizon's, and I'm in an area where AT&T controls the phone lines.

I think I read that Verizon has 650 mbps of bandwidth vs. 25 for AT&T? There's no way AT&T will succeed with that model.

I also don't like the whole 1 HD stream thing, especially when 2009 hits and most people will have HD in the home (if anything out of panic because they think everything is going high def by '09...I thought that was the case and was really disapointed when I found out it wasn't. IMO HD should be the industry standard with every channel being HD, none of this SD crap).

That 25 Mbps is a little dicey. They haven't been selling that as a non-video speed tier in any market, and have had a lot of issues with hitting that speed without taking lots of errors, even when the user is supposed to be range of the DSLAM.

Some markets have pretty decent outside plant. Others aren't so lucky. Keeping the number they actually depend on for the service down by limiting HD streams and other such tactics is important, as I think they have discovered the 25 mbps is harder to hit reliably than they expected.

AT&T is way behind in capacity to the home compared with cable and FIOS. Well, maybe Qwest is still behind them, so you can't say they are dead last.

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post #382 of 4220 Old 12-30-2006, 10:16 PM
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Originally Posted by MikeSM View Post

That 25 Mbps is a little dicey. They haven't been selling that as a non-video speed tier in any market, and have had a lot of issues with hitting that speed without taking lots of errors, even when the user is supposed to be range of the DSLAM.

Some markets have pretty decent outside plant. Others aren't so lucky. Keeping the number they actually depend on for the service down by limiting HD streams and other such tactics is important, as I think they have discovered the 25 mbps is harder to hit reliably than they expected.

AT&T is way behind in capacity to the home compared with cable and FIOS. Well, maybe Qwest is still behind them, so you can't say they are dead last.

Mike

It think it worth noting that everyone on uverse is provisioned at 25 meg. They originally tested the san antonio market out past 3000 at 25meg, but then set the limit at 3000 feet.

You are right this is much less capacity than what is delivered by cable or fios, but since it is only transmitting what is actually being viewed, it does not need as much capacity. This works great for SD as that is more bandwidth than a typical household could consume in programming. The trick is the multiple HD streams. I think with improved codecs(apple does have nice HD in 5meg streams, but it currently cant be done in realtime) they might be able squeeze 2 HD streams, 2 SD and the 6 meg internet in 25meg. More than that and they going to have to go with pair bonding which turns the 25meg connection into a 50meg connection. That would be good enough for 4 10 meg HD streams and 10 meg internet.

I have had the service since may and overall I think it is going to be a very nice service when all the kinks get worked out. It may not be enough to satisfy many avsforum members, but it will be more than enough to keep the cable companies on their toes.
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post #383 of 4220 Old 12-30-2006, 10:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Welcome cwh.

Would you be willing to share more about your experience with U-verse?

AT&T describes changing channels as almost instantaneous. Can you describe the look and feel beginning with the program guide and user interface in general?

thank you
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post #384 of 4220 Old 12-30-2006, 10:46 PM - Thread Starter
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AT&T: IPTV Software Slowed Rollout
By Todd Spangler 12/29/2006 4:38:00 AM

AT&T blamed the slower-than-expected rollout of its U-verse TV service in part on the need to make enhancements to the Internet-protocol-TV software provided by Microsoft.

This week AT&T confirmed it would offer U-verse TV in 11 metro areas by the end of 2006 -- four shy of the goal it set in October. Earlier in the year, AT&T had been even more optimistic, telling Wall Street it expected to launch in 15 to 20 markets.

Asked why it missed the 15-market goal, AT&T responded in a statement Thursday: We revised the number of markets to make enhancements to our IPTV software and other systems based on some key learnings in our initial markets We want to ensure we're doing everything possible to meet and exceed customers' expectations.

AT&T spokesman Brad Mays would not disclose details of what enhancements were required.

The telco is using Microsoft's IPTV Edition software to provide key functions for U-verse TV, including an interactive program guide, video-on-demand, digital-video recording services and high-definition video.

Microsoft spokesman Jim Brady said the company would not comment on AT&T's specific launch plans.

SBC Communications, which acquired AT&T and assumed its name, began working with Microsoft on the IPTV project in 2004. The companies at the time said the deal would be worth more than $400 million over 10 years. SBC originally planned to launch commercial service in late 2005; in fact, U-verse TV first became available in June 2006 in San Antonio.

Meanwhile, Verizon Communications, which is using a different version of Microsoft's TV platform software, took over more of the development work for its set-top box software after it became frustrated with delays and technical glitches with Microsoft's technology, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal in September. Microsoft said Verizon always had a stated strategy for extensive in-house development of its set-top software.

AT&T said it remains on track to be able to offer U-verse TV to 19 million living units by the end of 2008. As of Sept. 30, AT&T reported having a total of 3,000 U-verse TV subscribers, all in San Antonio.

U-verse TV, according to AT&T, is currently available in limited areas in or around San Antonio, Houston, San Francisco, San Jose, Calif., New Haven, Conn., Stamford, Conn., Hartford, Conn., Indianapolis, Anderson, Ind., Bloomington, Ind., and Muncie, Ind.

http://www.multichannel.com/index.as...leid=CA6403079
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post #385 of 4220 Old 12-30-2006, 11:11 PM
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opps doublepost...
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post #386 of 4220 Old 12-30-2006, 11:19 PM
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Originally Posted by bgooch View Post

Welcome cwh.

Would you be willing to share more about your experience with U-verse?

AT&T describes changing channels as almost instantaneous. Can you describe the look and feel beginning with the program guide and user interface in general?

thank you

The experience has been generally good. There were minor pixelation problems when we first got the service, but those are fairly rare now. I see occasional compression artifacts, but overall the picture quality is quite good. Still waiting for my HD order to go though, so hopefully I will be able to comment on that soon.

The channel changing is fast, but not as fast as it once was. It is still faster than a cable channel change. The UI on the STB is great, very simple and very easy to use. The UI uses the same drop down menu paradigm that any computer user would be naturally familier with. The channel guide/favorites list also has PIP for when you are browsing channels looking for something to watch. You can search the guide 2 weeks in advance by show title or actor name.

There are still some bugs in the STB. The severity of these bugs I think is dependant on how heavily you use the dvr for recording shows. Our dvr sometimes forgets it is a DVR, which is usually after it boots back up. Simply changing the channel seems to fix that problem. Also the UI seems sluggish at times. There have been a few video outages, but the vdsl portion has been HIGHLY reliable. The internet has always worked even if the video was out.
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post #387 of 4220 Old 12-31-2006, 08:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Hopefully you'll continue to see improvements. I for one wouldn't mind experiencing growing pains as long as there's progress. But when the technology glitches are ever present and customer service best effort is a rabbit's foot it would be time to back away from early adoption. I hope your optimism is rewarded.

What is VOD like? do they offer trailers, synopsis and four-star ratings?
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post #388 of 4220 Old 12-31-2006, 08:06 AM - Thread Starter
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AT&T Post-Merger: Time to Pull the Plug

(excerpt) To counter cable's 'triple-play' AT&T is rolling out its own version of voice/video/data, Project Lightspeed, which combines fiber and copper wires to deliver video to customers' homes. But skeptics worry whether the company can make the technology work over large areas. The system sometimes crashes or freezes, and there are rumors that AT&T is finding its servers can't handle as many homes as expected. The company might need to use more servers. Other solutions, such as buying a satellite company or rolling optical fiber to homes as competitor Verizon was forced to do, are costly but potentially unavoidable. Some analysts speculate that once the BellSouth deal closes, AT&T will acknowledge Project Lightspeed isn't working.

http://telecom.seekingalpha.com/article/23259
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post #389 of 4220 Old 12-31-2006, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by bgooch View Post

Hopefully you'll continue to see improvements. I for one wouldn't mind experiencing growing pains as long as there's progress. But when the technology glitches are ever present and customer service best effort is a rabbit's foot it would be time to back away from early adoption. I hope your optimism is rewarded.

What is VOD like? do they offer trailers, synopsis and four-star ratings?

The customer service has been fairly good. I know they have been fairly liberal with bill credits to make the glitches less painful. Last month my wife called to tell them that the dvr forgot it was dvr again and they issues a bill credit for it. We expected it to be just a small credit, but they gave us the video portion free.

Thd VOD has trailers and a decent amount of content. Last time I checked it had over 150 PPV titles. Stars and Encore on demand have been around since we first signed up, but stars on demand keeps coming and going. Other premium on demand has yet to make their debut. Non premium VOD content has been added recently as well(MTV, noggin, history channel,...)

This is the interesting thing about IPTV, is they are not bandwidth constrained in the respect of being able to host content.
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post #390 of 4220 Old 12-31-2006, 04:19 PM
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But that's the problem with AT+T's plan: it IS bandwidth constrained, and severely. So much in fact that it a doomed business plan, i.e. FTTN then existing copper to the house. There is no way currently that AT+T can deliver 3 differing full resolution HD streams to a single residence, and that is what it is going to take at a minimum, imho. Many houses have an HDTV with a DVR, and people expect to be able to watch one HD stream while recording another. For others, like many of us here, it is not un-common to be simultaneously watching/recording up to 4 differing HD streams on multiple HDTVs. This is going to take FTTP, like Verizon is doing, and ultimately AT+T need to stop wasting time, and adopt the same plan. I am a huge supporter of the telco's getting into the video business, and really want to see AT+T succeed, BUT they need to actually offer what the consumer wants/needs!
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