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yeah unfortunately I dont have the luxury of hours of internet research. but i get the point you are making.


looks like from the time i have spent reading pages upon pages of posts, what it boils down to is, get it installed, like it or dont like it, and act accordingly.


ive made some notes to address during the install, and also calibration steps for a u-Verse specific input. And essentially its a case-by case comparison, my comcast HD PQ seems to be below average from what i have read, and it looks like this may be on par with the BEST u-verse PQ. so maybe it wont be a big deal.


Ken-H, if you dont mind me asking, what town in metro detroit do you live? I live in Howell. I cant get FIOS, so im just going to have to try this U-Verse and judge for myself. Im wondering what your Comcast HD experience is like? Do you know if they are ever going to add all of the channels they are claiming they will (in our area)?
 

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I'll continue to monitor this thread for a few days but,as a reaction to these initial and welcome responses about the quality of U-verse HD pictures and DVR functioning, I'm prone to saving myself a lot of aggravation and AT&T some installation costs by cancelling my order. Unlike Supraru, I've had reasonable success in getting Comcast's customer rentention group here in SE michigan to come through with discounts on my monthly cable costs, 33% off their regular rate for the past twelve months. If I can't get a repeat performance from them in December, I just might try to get by with OTA and my DVD recorder as a time shift machine for a month or two while I research Dish Network and Direct TV as options. Just doesn't appear that U-verse is an acceptable alternative from any vantage point.


Is there anyone out there who's experienced good-to-great HD picture quality and failure-free DVR performance over a sustained period from U-verse?
 

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yeah im still kinda on the fence, but i figure it may be worth the aggravation to rule out U-Verse as a good option. I got through many, many aggravating proceedings in the name of R&D.


not to keep going on about comcast, but i had a ton of issues with their internet service as well. plus, the overall HD programming availability is substantially less that what U-Verse is claiming. Right now, the juice is worth the squeeze for a potential better alternative.


I will certainly have to go back to comcast at my new place if the u-verse quality is unbearable. Honestly i dont watch a ton of tv, and when i do Im often working or just on the internet at the same time, so maybe my expectations arent very high for TV HD viewing. with that said, I dont think ive ever actually sat down and watched any program in SD, since comcast finally picked up SpeedHD for my F1 viewing pleasure.


Im more of a serious movie viewer, and expect absolutely no compromises when viewing movies. Until HD TV programming reaches blu-ray potential (joke) i will expect compromises.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by supraru /forum/post/17476054


so are you saying that, more recent than 2 years ago, you still have to reboot often? VCR is not a problem, and is the PIP you are referring to TV based or service based? meaning, were you expecting to still have both TV tuners work with PIP on your TV, or is it the uverse PIP-style that was not going to function?


i wish i could renegotiate with comcast here in SE Michigan. I tried, told them why i was leaving, and that i would listen to any offers they had. Both people i spoke with just referred to the 6month discount offer available to anyone who knows how to use the internet. When asked if i was leaving Comcast because it was not offered in the area I was moving to, I straight up told them "No, its offered just like anywhere else, but frankly your HD service is far too overpriced and not nearly as comprehensive as the competitions, which also happens to be at a more competitive price."


there was literally no response for a good 10 seconds, with both people I spoke to. Its like they were both searching a database of rebuttals but couldn't find any for the comments I made. kinda weird. oh well, comcast rant over.


oh and in reference to peoples comments about the quality of HD, id really like to see (as suggested in my first post in this thread) some actual quantification of these claims. Everything seems to be opinion based, which is like asking people online for speaker comparisons . I dont doubt people are correct in these assumptions, but Im wondering where this actual claim was spawned from? What is the real reason for this? and is it closer than people make it out to be? comcast now runs a U-verse HD bashing commercial, which immediately makes me think that its BS


I tried to ask a "technical associate" at att's u-verse line, what the bitrate of their HD was, and he wasnt familiar with the word. This was after i asked twice and both times he attempted to tell me the price of the HD service (thinking that the word "bitrate" was a slang word for "rate"). Thats not too encouraging for someone who was interested in having their service installed....

Here's a possibly productive tip if you're still considering a negotion with Comcast: don't bother with the service representatives you access via the main Comcast telephone number. Instead, get the Comcast employee telephone number from directory assistance (I got the same number from a Comcast rep working a Best Buy floor three years ago and it's led to successful negotiated rates for me for three years now.). When someboday answers that number, ask for the "Customer Retention" group or anyone who can help you arrange a way to stay with Comcast. Make sure and have a competitor's low rate to cite when you call. Worked for me. Let's hope it might work for you and others.
 

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thats good advice, ill have to keep that in mind. would the number you got be any different than the one I would find since I am also located in SE michigan? or is it a city by city type of grouping?


thanks for the help, do you know anything about Comcast expanding their lineup?
 

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And FWIW, i intend on giving a first impression review next week after i get everything installed, operating and calibrated etc. Although it may not be fair due to the service being in a different location (5.4 miles from my comcast service location)
 

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I'm in Dearborn Heights, Michigan so I don't know if the number I have would apply to you or not. If it sounds like it might, PM me and I'll put the number in a reply. I'm not aware of any major additions to the Comcast lineup but it seems as though they add an HD free movie channel or whatever about every forty-five days to so. Incidentally, I'm on the threshold of cancelling my U-verse order and getting a price from AT&T for Dish Network just in case my Comcast dickering doesn't work this time(I already have a pair of Dish dishes on my roof courtesy of the previous homeowner.). I've heard and read mostly good things about Dish HD quality and the reliability and performance of their DVR(722?). Any confirming or countering opinions about Dish?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by RCA don /forum/post/17475601


Can any of you current or recent U-verse customers confirm that the above problems are a thing of the past with U-verse? Or do the problems persist?

Based on your observations, I'll either carry through with the installation or cancel it and negotiate like crazy with Comcast.

I switched from Charter in St. Louis to U-Verse at the beginning of September. So far I'm very happy with the system.


My System:

5 TV boxes

3 HDTVs, 2 SDTVs

Windows Home Server

2 HTPCs

3 other PCs

3 Netcams

450 package

Phone

18M internet


My comments:


SDPQ - Much better than Charter


HDPQ - As least as good as charter - I see pixelation at times, but I had the same on Charter. I believe I have it less on U-verse on the main HDTV, and much less on the 2nd HDTV


Menus - Now that I am used to them, I like them better than the Moxi menus on Charter (which I thought were pretty good at the time)


The ability to watch recorded shows on any TV is simply outstandng.


The ability to stream music from my home server to any TV/Stereo setup is nice.


Setting up remote access for the WHS to took a little time and research, but worked. The Residential gateway/router replaced my Linksys router and WHS couldn't configure the ports automatically - but I was able to do it manually.


All of the TV boxes are connected with Coax, and I have one network switch connected to the RG. all works fine


Internet speed is consistently around 17M down, 1.4M up.


I've had to reboot one TV box twice to get back HDMI sound to one (older) HDTV. The other TV connected by HDMI has had no problems.


Price is just about the same as Charter wanted for everything I had - 10M internet and one less TV box.


I had fairly reliable service from Charter for 10 years, but it was a pain to get anything chnaged of fixed. ATT so far has been very responsive.


The only complaint I have is with CallerID on the phones - I had to move my main phone down by the RG to get it to work, and it is still flaky sometimes. ATT said they are aware of the problem, are working on it, and gave me a $10 credit on my bill.


Right now, I have no desire to go back to charter or anyone else.


Ned
 

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My experience with Uverse DVRs has been very good. The Uverse DVR system for me is far better than the Comcast DVR, and slightly worse than the TivoHD. I have had no problems with freezing/pausing or rebooting. The worst glitch I've had was when I deleted a show and it never actually was removed from the list of shows until I deleted it again. Channels tune surprisingly fast and multi-room viewing works as advertised. I have the Cisco 4320 DVR.


For picture quality, on my 32in TV it looks great, on my 46in TV it looks good enough. Comcast looked better when it worked, OTA looked better than Comcast. If getting the absolute best PQ is your primary concern do not get Uverse, you will be disappointed.


If you are like me and you are looking for a number of things like reliability, cost, internet that consistently works, decent TV package selection, along with PQ then maybe Uverse is worth it. Go to an ATT store and look at it yourself if you are unsure.


When I get a promotion from Comcast they tell me I have to wait a minimum of 6 months before I can get another promotion and they do not budge on that stance. Even retentions refused to offer anything except "Did you know Comcast offers the MOST HD and the BEST PICTURE QUALITY?" over and over and over until I hung up on them.
 

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FWIW on the comparison, I had an ATT sales guy saying they could install Uverse and leave whatever else I had so I could compare during the 30 day trial period. If I did not like Uverse, I could bail in the 30 day period.


I had to tell him twice what over the air meant. I also told him about this site.


Basically OTA is the least compressed and therefore best PQ for me. I think all my other options Dish, TWC, Direct, TWC, and Uverse are all selling channels not PQ so they necessarily have to compress the 'as broadcast' signal.


Long story short, in some Uverse markets they are allowing direct A/B comparison for the 30day trial period.
 

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Just recently moved into a house, and opted to go with U-Verse. Previously had Brighthouse Cable in my apartment, and have been using my antenna for locals the last month or so. Figured it was about time I got internet and ESPN back, though.


Price for me was the motivating factor; BHN was sticking it to me for a limited supply of HD channels. U-Verse is not only going to be $15-$20 cheaper, but I will also be getting three times as many HD channels. After hearing the quality isn't that top notch, I will have to gauge it against what I had seen with BHN, because I was not all that impressed with their quality, either. In any event, I will still have antennas for the locals, and will have no problems watching them that way.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by RCA don /forum/post/17475601


Can any of you current or recent U-verse customers confirm that the above problems are a thing of the past with U-verse? Or do the problems persist?

Based on your observations, I'll either carry through with the installation or cancel it and negotiate like crazy with Comcast.

I started U-verse two weeks ago after being with TWC for over ten years. My main reason for switching was to get more sports channels (there are at least five that TWC does not have here in San Diego that U-verse does). I am happy that I made the change despite U-verse not having the NHL Center Ice package available.


The positives in addition to the channel selection are price, a smooth install, a better UI on the DVR, and, unexpectedly, much faster internet speed (and I had "turbo boost" with RR).


One negative so far and that is what you have read elsewhere about the PQ. At this point, there is only significant issue for me and that is during Sunday NFL games. There has been plenty of debate about the PQ, but I will tell you that NHL games look just as good, if not better, on U-verse (both SD and HD). Not sure why hockey looks better than football, but it is fine by me.


I would say go for it on the install and see how you like it for two to four weeks.
 

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Just got the install today, few comments:


First impressions were very good. As mentioned in a prior post, I came from Comcast in the SE MI area. My specific area seems to have had a below than average HD PQ. So I didnt have much to lose.


Install couldnt have been any better. Turns out all my phone lines were actually Cat5, so we switched to RJ45s everywhere (I dont use home phone) and wired the RG into my home phone/cable hub. I then used my own router behind it. The installer was actually a really good guy who was pretty geeked on my HT setup, was generally interested in HT, and worked with me to accomplish everything I intended to do with this service (integrating within the HT). So all TVs were run via Cat5. Very simple to exclude all coax. He even ran considerable lengths of extra Cat5 cable to accommodate my server into my laundry room, my A/V rack in living room etc. He also worked with me to conceal all the extra wiring, running it out of site/under carpet/tucked along wall and changing all wallplates. We made sure everything was working properly, did some speed tests and I was completely satisfied with the results. So if i were to give a grade

it would certainly be a A/A+. Only other installs ive had were comcast, which is obviously a much different process, so cant compare.


Now, the PQ. Let me start by saying from the research I have done, I was going into this EXTREMELY critical. I could write a very long review on my first impressions but Ill get to the point: relative to my location, and my previous service, its very good. B+. With that said, I noticed certain programs with a lot of artifacts during scenes of quick movement. Standard scenes with no/average/slightly above average amounts of movement were identical to what I have seen w/ my previous comcast service. So yes, I can give examples of some pixelation for very short durations. BUT, unlike I expected, this is NOT TRUE across the board for all channels (in my case). While my installer was there, I was quickly going through the channel line up to point out HD problems. Took me a little bit to even find any (daytime programming may not be conducive to scenes of high action). I happen to find World Rally Championship on HDTheater. flipped it on, and its was absolutely UNWATCHABLE. Considerably worse than a YouTube video. Seriously. I instantly started bitching (half joking), and the installer was responded: "that is truly a horrible broadcast, make sure its just that channel." I did, and of course, it was. WRC ended, and some show about West Coast Customs came on, and the program went straight to being good PQ. Another example to illustrate my point that the HD PQ is not consistent across all channels, is that when I went to HBOHD, the Dark Knight was on, a film I am VERY familiar with on bluray, a favorite of mine. I can honestly say that the PQ was at the very least on par with my comcast. I am leaning towards saying that it was actually better. Scenes like the tractor trailer action scene were well detailed and I noticed NO pixelation! I have no idea why.


All accounts of the U-Verse service having a dark look to them are completely true in my case. Black detail is lost in "out of box" hook-up. I didnt even re-calibrate my monitor yet, for the room, let alone this service. But theres no way this is just the room cal that Im seeing. Ill update once I get everything together.


SD channels, are better than I experienced w/ comcast. Dont really care though because the HD channel line-up is why chose U-Verse in the first place. SD in the bedroom is great quality.


The HD channel availability is excellent, again, coming from comcast where they had less than half the channels.


The DVR is bigger, the GUI is much more pleasant, and logically ordered, and less cluttered. Just a better design overall in my opinion. Obviously the "whole home DVR" feature is great.


internet speed is very consistent so far, which doesn't mean much. Only had it up for 7 hours. Ill update if problems, but so far, from speedtest.net. my speeds are much faster (for supposedly identical 6m service). Which proves that comcast was really screwing me. My internet with them was approaching unacceptable. So this U-verse stuff is probably just standard.


So far not a single audio dropout via HDMI. again, ill have to wait to see if this is consistent.


Bottom line: as I expected, its just relative to your location and previous service quality. For me, I am going to live with the occasional decrease in PQ v. comcast PQ, the benefits FAR outnumber it at the moment. Like I said, it really seems that some channels are better. Some channels are worse. All SD is better. Internet is better. Channel selection is over double. Service is over $50 cheaper per month. User interaction and networking is far superior.


As a final note, I should mention again, that my comparison is at a new location, 5.4 miles from the location where I had comcast service. Not exactly a controlled experiment but because it is so close I feel it is a justifiable comparison for this town.


Ill chime in after 2 weeks and see if I still feel this way about it. Im pretty good at hating things I love after I get used to them....
 

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supraru - Do you have access to OTA to compare your PQ? I'm curious.

Also I have seen OTA pixellation on football. It was a game carried by one of our locals thru NFL Network. It's the only pixellation I have seen and really showed up when the action on the screen got lively. Maybe that's what you're seeing.
 

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SD Kirk: After actually giving all of the major providers a close look for HD quality and reading the most recent posts by yourself and Supraru, I'm almost certain that I'm going ahead with my U-verse installation on Dec. 4. Almost certain. Only an agreement from Comcast, my current service, to exend my current promotional rate for an additional year would give me pause. I believe my chances are, at best, one in five of that happening.


Here's where I netted out on my HD picture comparisions, beginning with U-verse at an AT&T store and ending with a look at Dish at a Radio Shack. I'll use a ten point scale.

Directv and Dish: 9.5 to 10. OTA: 10. Comcast: 8.5 to 9. U-verse: 7 to 7.5. Damn that low bit rate. I'd actually describe the U-verse picture quality as "near-HD." But guess what? I think it's a difference I can live with, at least for an extended in-home tryout. That's a nod to all of the U-verse benefits I noted: low price, scads of channnels, instant channel switches, absolutely beautiful and functional programming menus and more, plus the $200 rebate after two monshs or so


I'm just going to enhance my OTA reception quality with an outdoor antenna, make a list of the important installation considerations from this thread and wait for the U-verse tech to arrive. Unless, Comcast is in a generous, giving holiday mode when I call. Ho, ho, ho.

Thanks again for the input and recommendations, guys. I'll also post my impressions when(and if) my U-verse is up and running.
 

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Readers should remember this is primarily an HD forum, so it should be expected that HD image quality would be what most members are going to focus on.


Of course, many other considerations are valid.
 
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