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Directv vs AT&T Uverse quality wise?

post #1 of 385
Thread Starter 
Not sure if this is the correct forum, feel free to move it if it's not.

I just had some very convincing sales people yesterday sell me on AT&T Uverse yesterday. The installation is next Friday and I can of course change my mind any time between now and then. I'm getting the full channel package, with free premium movie channels for a year, plus their 24mbps internet(fastest available here) DVRs for both TVs, all for about $105 a month. At the moment I'm paying $80 for cable internet through Charter(same speed rating), and $175 a month for all channels with Directv. Sounds great to me. I just wanted to check with my fellow forumites to see if I'm missing anything. Mainly I'm concerned the quality might suck, the equipment might suck, I dunno. After extensive searching it's inconclusive. Many say Uverse has inferior quality, but those reports are old, where others saying they look equal. I am projecting on a 147in screen, so quality really matters to me(keeping in mind I don't watch sports). Any info is much appreciated.
Edited by plissken99 - 8/11/12 at 11:42pm
post #2 of 385
Keep both services going for a week or so. If you don't like what you see, Uverse wise, cancel the TV side of it. If you are looking at a 147" screen it's definitely going to make a difference....
post #3 of 385
You can also suspend your D* account while you try out U-verse.

Having said that, have you contacted D*? They may be able to match the premium channel discount you'd be getting from U-Verse, especially since you'll be paying for them once that first year is up.

Further, I'd take a look at what you're paying for. Do you really need all the stuff you're getting? For example, I dropped the movie channels and got a Netflix account instead for much less per month. I still get to watch plenty of movies and all those series eventually make it there since I don't need to watch the right now.

Finally, related to the above, is the programming package the same? Is the equipment similar? What are you getting for that $175 with D* besides the movie channels? If stuff is missing from the U-verse package, is it stuff you can eliminate from D* to bring the cost down? I'm just thinking that $175 is a lot, especially compared to what I'm paying without the premium channels.
post #4 of 385
Thread Starter 
I have been contemplating cancelling the movie channels for a long time, as all their good for any more is the TV shows, which I can get by eh.. other means. With this deal, AT&T is giving me all the movie channels free for a year, so after that I may well drop them. But with AT&T, from what I've been reading, the quality is based on how close you are to these "VRADs". They especially say if your under 3000ft, your good. Like broadband has always been, the closer you are the signal source the stronger it will be, well I discovered the AT&T VRAD is right around the corner, maybe $300ft from my house. So with the signal that close, I think I might be ok, unless there is some inherent inferiority.

I guess I'm taking the gamble, as there is no trial period, I can cancel, but there will be the early termination fee. Their giving me a $300 Visa card to pay off my Directv contract... wonder if I could use it to pay them off? lol
post #5 of 385
I've been with Directv since 2002 and love it, however I have "tried out " AT&T's UVerse TV service a couple of times. In fact, right now my D* account is suspended for six-months while I try UVerse for the second time.

Neither service is perfect but both are far better than cable. Here are a few things about UVerse that have mattered to me:

Pros
** more HD channels
** more robust "on-demand" offering - instant watching on UVerse versus downloading partially before being able to watch on D*
** more recording space (150 HD hours - at least this is more than the DVR I have from D* which holds about 55 hrs of HD)
** can watch/record 3 shows at one time, however this is the total limit for the house
** wireless receiver - allowing you to put a TV anywhere you want without need for coax
** not subject to rain-fade

Cons
* User interface, while good, is not as friendly as D*'s
* program guide is not as robust, and I think it may be shorter (10 days instead of 14)
* program guide has separate channels for SD and HD - so if you hide all the SD duplicates, you still have about 20 or so SD channels at the beginning of your guide before you get to locals. Also means you have to enter 1xxx to go directly to an HD channel.
* picture can get "blinky" or freeze altogether - sometimes a quick rewind will reset it other times an unplug is required

These are just a few things that I could think of. Again, both services are great IMO.
post #6 of 385
Thread Starter 
How large is the PQ difference? And do you have any clue how close you are to a VRAD?
post #7 of 385
I think I'm within about 10 houses of the VRAD. Can record 3 HD shows at once.

Picture quality-wise, I'd rate UVerse around an 8, with Directv being a 10. I see more macro-blocking, pixelation, etc with UVerse than I did on Directv.

Another thing I miss that UVerse doesn't offer - mix-channels for the major Tennis and Golf championships. Uverse does have some mix-channels but not those in particular.
post #8 of 385
Thread Starter 
Well uverse was a complete and utter disaster. The installer did confirm the vrad was about 400ft from the house. In the three days it was Installed, I wasn't able to watch a single show without interruption. We'd be 15-30min into a show and it would start stuttering, freeze and claim playback was temporarily unavailable due to network issues... And this happened programs that were actually "recorded" into the DVR!!! On-demand was a joke as well, we couldn't get more than two minutes into a program before it started freezing.

The Internet tested at 21 MB per second yet was too slow for video streaming. Shows on Vudu would play with one bar and it didn't look like high definition. So AT&T uverse is another piece of pathetic technology that was released on to a public before it was ready.
post #9 of 385
Quote:
Originally Posted by plissken99 View Post

Well uverse was a complete and utter disaster. The installer did confirm the vrad was about 400ft from the house. In the three days it was Installed, I wasn't able to watch a single show without interruption. We'd be 15-30min into a show and it would start stuttering, freeze and claim playback was temporarily unavailable due to network issues... And this happened programs that were actually "recorded" into the DVR!!! On-demand was a joke as well, we couldn't get more than two minutes into a program before it started freezing.
The Internet tested at 21 MB per second yet was too slow for video streaming. Shows on Vudu would play with one bar and it didn't look like high definition. So AT&T uverse is another piece of pathetic technology that was released on to a public before it was ready.
Don't badmouth the entire service because of your negative experience. We've had U-verse since December, 2009 and have four HDTVs hooked up with nary a problem since inception. The service has only "gone down" once and that was when a car knocked down a power pole. So, while I'm sorry that it didn't work for you, I certainly don't consider it a piece of pathetic technology. Geez...
post #10 of 385
Did you call them regarding the problems? Did the tech connect the receivers through Coax or Ethernet? Did you download Uverse Realtime, so you had some info to give & compare to what the Tech's had, when they showed? I have UVerse, and yes there is some pixeling & sparkles on certain channels, and certainly with Sports like Football, the Olympics during the swimming competitions, but it has been rock solid for me also.

If you are getting 21mbps and stating that there are problems streaming shows, either it is a problem with how you are connecting to your network, the router if you placed another behind the RG, or just the service period. I do not use Vudu, but due to the higher PQ of their service, and along with how much bandwidth it uses possibly, yes there could be underlying issues there, but only way to compare, is to find someone else in your area with either another ISP, or same ISP and compare same movie that you tried.
post #11 of 385
Thread Starter 
I spent three hours with tech support trying various things, the one that I thought worked was the master rebooting of the two receivers. Everything looked great until that night when it locked up half way through a show. Dunno what Uverse Realtime is, tech support made no mention of it, but said everything looked perfect on their end.

One reciever was connected via coax, the other was wireless, with the transmitter directly next to the box. All of my devices(Oppo, Xbox) are hard wired to the modem/gateway via cat 6 ethernet cables(hate wifi). For the record the pq was fine, a bit pixely here and there, but not bad, just doesn't matter when you can't watch anything. I'm back with Charter, they test out to 32mbps, and streaming is perfect.

There is the remote possibility a tech being sent might accomplish something, but AT&T support didn't seem to think it a necissary or a priority. I'm just glad I was able to jump ship before the three business days allowed in the contract were up. I'll recommend any and all to avoid the service.
Edited by plissken99 - 8/21/12 at 9:31am
post #12 of 385
For what it's worth, I'd "recommend any and all" to get the service. When it became available in our neighborhood, there was a massive switch from Comcast to U-verse. Right now, including mine, I can "see" 7 U-verse internet customers when I click on "available networks." And, I live in a single family home neighborhood with large lots and where the houses aren't all that close to each other. There is only one Comcast customer in my immediate area and no satellite antennas that I can see out of any of my windows, so U-verse must be doing something right. Again, sorry for your bad experience.
post #13 of 385
plisken99, your problem started when calling the call center idiots and dealing with them. If you would have posted your problems, or gone through the ATT Direct forum to talk to real tech's at dslreports.com, you would have had 99% of your headaches gone, by not dealing with the low level script reading idiots on the phone.
post #14 of 385
BoilerJim, once ATT lit the majority of neighborhoods up for UVerse, you could not get into the local Comcast office, nor drop off boxes at the drop off box outside, due to everyone jumped ship. When I went in to drop my two boxes, the wireless router we had, and the Arris emta, no questions were asked, because they knew they lost out to the competition.
post #15 of 385
Quote:
Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post

BoilerJim, once ATT lit the majority of neighborhoods up for UVerse, you could not get into the local Comcast office, nor drop off boxes at the drop off box outside, due to everyone jumped ship. When I went in to drop my two boxes, the wireless router we had, and the Arris emta, no questions were asked, because they knew they lost out to the competition.
That's what happened to us. We had to park over at the adjacent shopping center, walk to the Comcast office, and wait for over an hour to return our equipment.
post #16 of 385
We just had u-verse installed about a week ago and are having good luck with it so far. The internet package is the 18meg and consistently get 20 most of the time. The pic quality is very good, hard to see a difference from the mediacom cable we had which I think looks as good as my daughters direct tv. I think it's maybe a slight bit pixley on a few channels but motocross on nbc sports is very nice.

We have 6 boxes and two are on newer plasmas. They had to run a new line from the pole in the yard to the house due to '50s slyle wiring, lol. The vrad is down the street and around the corner. We are the only ones on the block that have it. The system works well but just a tad laggy at times to button presses. I had to unplug the main dvr twice to unlock it, other than that it's solid. They ran cat 6 from the RG to the dvr and there's a mix of old rg6 and cat5e around the house. I haven't had it long enough to see any other problems but if I do I'll report back here.
post #17 of 385
Thread Starter 
Oh yeah not to mention the little sales chick lied on the pricing. She said TV and internet at $105 a month for 2 years. According to the people when cancelling my account, they had me at $166 a month, when I mentioned the discounts offered, the manager said she couldn't imagine anyone authorized to give that discount. Whole thing felt like massive bad omens all around. As it is, I dropped my Directv bill down to $100 a month by going to the basic entertainment package which has all the channels I watch, and dropping all but HBO.
post #18 of 385
U-verse sucks, I wouldn't want it if it was free. I'll stick with my directv and charter broadband.
post #19 of 385
Quote:
Originally Posted by colour View Post

U-verse sucks, I wouldn't want it if it was free. I'll stick with my directv and charter broadband.
Did you have it once and didn't like it?
post #20 of 385

Love Uverse personally.  The HD quality might not be quite up there with DirecTV but frankly I don't really notice it.  The dozens of extra HD channels and much cheaper price more then make up for it.  But that's just my family and our opinion.

post #21 of 385
My Uverse install will be a week from today. It has to be better than the infernally poor TWC service we've suffered through over the last month.

After years of service outages on the days after it rained, I finally got Level 3 TW techs to admit that the problem is not in my house and never has been. In addition to that problem, we have consistently seen our Internet and TW phone service go out after 10:30pm every night.They had the line techs run the fiber optics and now they've decided that it's a "headend" problem. It's been over 30 days with no resolution. We're done.

I tried what is known in our family lore as "The Great Dish Network Experiment" about 4 or 5 years ago and it was an absymal failure. Given that we are about 150 feet from the VRAD, I am optimistically hopeful that "The Great Uverse Experiment" will turn out better.
post #22 of 385
Chiefillinifan, first thing, go to http://www.uvrealtime.com and download the tool from there. When the tech shows up to do the install, insist on Cat-5e or Cat-6 for the boxes, not coax. Depending on how many boxes you get, anything over 3, you will need a switch. I suggest getting one of the Netgear gs--105's or gs-108's for both the boxes and any wired computers.

I have had Uverse for over a year, and with a small glitch caused by the main office in Kansas City, no problems with service. I sit about 1900' from our VRAD, and get 4HD. Along with having the Cisco ISB7500, which gives me 500gb of space. That gives us 140 hours of HD recording space, and 380 hours of SD.

I have had only one problem with equipment, and that was our first DVR, which went out, due to a power issue, that was caused by a Tree Rat, who took out one of the lines, nothing else went tits up, just the DVR, due to it kept rebooting because of the power going on and off 20 times in a five min. period, and caused the DVR to crash the hard drive.

Really their billing is a lot better than the cable companies. I can personally say that I have gone over 30 days before paying during this last year, and not once did I get shut off for non-pay on the due date, or hounded by phone calls. Now, if I went 45 or 60 days, yes probably would have gotten a call and threat to be turned off for non-pay before 60 days, but has not happened.
post #23 of 385
Thread Starter 
I just got back from returning all the stuff to a UPS store... they guy there said they get 1000 plus returns for AT&T a month at that location alone! Indeed there were two modems sitting on the counter, and the lady in line behind me had a reciever under her arm as well!

That is epidemic.
post #24 of 385
Really? You are taking the opinion of some disinterested party. Do you know that most are either downgrades, people that moved and no longer can get the service, or faulty equipment being sent back.

Has nothing to do with what the industry calls "Churn". Time for you to move on Plisken and just let it go. No need to let a service that you only had for 72hrs, an never took the effort to work with a tech on site, or tier 2 at the direct forum.

I consider this matter closed.
post #25 of 385
Thread Starter 
Wow, people really get weird over this stuff. The guy I had a brief conversation with said pretty much everyone comes in angry at AT&T. Sorry if you don't like what I have to report.
post #26 of 385
plisken, yes people are going to be upset with anything. They get mad if their cellphone does not work as it is supposed to, their car stops running, something in the house breaks, and yes, if they have a single problem caused by not following through, or thinking that the grass is always greener, when it comes to Pay to watch tv services options, you will have those too.

I deal with what we call in my line of work, the "Educated idiot syndrome." We deal with Pharmacists, doctors, PA's in pharmacies & doctors offices, that went to school, should know more than those answering their questions, know what medications they can request, but we are the ones actually doing their job.

I have worked for the cellular division also for Cellular One here in Illinois, then when it became Cingular, stuck with it, until I could take no more of the BS from both sides. I will tell you this first hand, a lot of CSR's have their hands tied by company policy, when it comes to this stuff. Also, back when my father worked for Illinois Bell, before that it was Western Electric, he could do stuff for people in solving issues, that took days, even weeks for the Premise tech's to get the ticket, that took my father only a couple of hours to resolve.

I will say this though, ATT has changed over the years from how it was in the past, to now a company focused on Investor returns, and when it comes to UVerse, it was to mainly compete with the likes of Verizon, and also to break the monopoly hold by companies like Comcast & TWC in those areas services wholly by the likes.

Also, I will tell you this, when I explained on the phone that I would not drive an hour and a half to go and drop off a DVR that went bad, I had to make a second call to finally get a CSR who would issue the USPS mailer label to send it. Then six weeks later I got charged for non-return, but worked with a Account Services rep at ATT, through the ATT forums, and you know what, they fixed the problem and went above and beyond what I expected.

Really, if you took more time to work through your problem, and post on here before jumping the gun after 72 hours, I bet that you would still have them for one service or another. I like them, and will tell you this, that with its little quirks, every day UVerse is a whole lot better than dealing with the crap that Comcast puts out there. Real whole house DVR, a working app that you can control your box from your iPhone, without hunting down the remote, also a working dvr app that works both through a browser, i device, and android.
post #27 of 385
Thread Starter 
Ah k, so I managed to jump ship on a program you like before I got stuck in a 2 year contract, which makes me an "educated idiot" to you... I can live with that. Perhaps if they had a 30 day trial period, a different outcome might have been had. As it stands I'm happily rid of them, and happily putting a warning out there for others. It is typical of companies to a rush a product to the market before it's ready just so they can compete with others, so that adds up.

Oh and Directv has a nifty little iPhone app for recording shows as well, works like a charm.
Edited by plissken99 - 8/25/12 at 8:11am
post #28 of 385
Never stated that you were an educated idiot. As for me, I never signed a two year contract, just signed up. BTW, put as many warnings out there you wish, but I will tell you this, that 99.99% will be ignored.
post #29 of 385
Thread Starter 
Hey if it's possible to try without a contract, knock yourself out.
post #30 of 385
I thought the original question was "which is better quality wise" Directv beats uverse without question. I know so many people that jumped on uverse due to the price, only to have repair men out shortly. Talked to a couple uverse techs in my neighborhood and what they said was they try to get by not installing it properly and hope the customers don't call back. The people I know that stuck with uverse don't know quality or don't care.

AT&T is still a crap company always has been. That's not to say Directv and Charter are perfect, they are both vastly improved, any issues I've had were due to their sub contractors. I have had zero service issues, Directv has been pretty much problem free and Charter broadband is stellar.

As a side note my dog loves people, for some reason she hates uverse salespeople.biggrin.gif
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