AT&T U-verse is a suite of services and products that primarily consist of internet, television and phone services. These services are delivered using highly advanced fiber-to-the-node and fiber-to-the-premises technologies. Unlike traditional TV systems, U-Verse is a service based entirely on IP or Internet Protocol. The utilization of IP enables video to be split in a series of data packets, which are delivered over a private network and subsequently to the STB (set top box) or receiver in the customer’s home. Once received, the box then processes the signal in a format that can be displayed on the subscriber’s TV screen. The use of Internet Protocol allows various applications to be supported from a receiver. Some of the common examples include U-verse features that permit you to play poker against people in other cities, send instant messages and browse online photo albums all from your remote control.
The Essentials of U-verse
AT&T U-verse is compromised of three main services: U-verse TV, U-verse High Speed Internet and U-verse Voice. Here is a brief overview of what you get with each service.
AT&T U-verse TV is a television service that offers a variety of digital programming and viewing options to the subscriber. The major difference it has in comparison to cable and satellite TV services is speed. When changing channels with your U-verse remote, you will notice that the changes are made almost instantly. This speed is attributed to the enhanced method of connectivity and the use of Internet Protocol. U-Verse is well known for its HD DVR that permits you to record up to four programs at once. Referred to as Total Home DVR, the newest version of this receiver is capable of holding up to 233 hours of SD programming and 65 hours of HD programming. The total home DVR also always playback and control of the DVR from any TV in the house.
U-verse High-Speed Internet
The AT&T U-verse High Speed Internet service utilizes fiber technology to provide internet connectivity at higher speeds and performance than cable. Some of the features that come along with the service include AT&T Mail Plus, SpamGuard, AT&T Messenger and Flickr photo storage access.
U-Verse High Speed Internet is currently available in five speed tiers:
- Express: Up to 1.5 Mbps Downstream Speed
- Pro: Up to 3 Mbps Downstream Speed
- Elite: Up to 6 Mbps Downstream Speed
- Max: Up to 10 Mbps Downstream Speed
- Max 18: Up to 18 Mbps Downstream Speed
U-verse Voice is AT&T’s advanced telephone and voice communications service. Like the other services in the suite, it is provided over an IP-based network. U-verse Voice delivers crystal-clear quality along with features such as voice mail and others that come included with traditional phone services. Some of the more sophisticated features include Click-to-Call, Call History, U-Verse Messaging and Do Not Disturb. Unlike many other VoIP services, U-verse Voice offers the ability to call 911 for emergency purposes. You should keep in mind that because the service runs on electricity, you will not be able to place emergency calls during an outage unless you have a functioning backup power source. AT&T U-verse Voice is now available in approximately 80 markets and switching to the service is fairly easy. Aside from being able to keep your existing phone and number, you can also install up to two lines in your home.
AT&T U-verse is a unique service that truly sets itself apart from the competition. Exclusive features such as having the ability to program your DVR online and play Yahoo games on your TV are luxuries you just don’t get with traditional services. With new customers signing up at a rapid rate, AT&T is proving that its robust IP-based solution is a worthy alternative to cable.