The Real Scoop on AT&T U-Verse

18 09 2010

AT&T U-verse Review

by Superforce Newsvine

Okay, so everybody is finding out about this new TV, Internet, and Home Phone service called U-verse from AT&T, right?  The boxes (nodes) which bring the signal to your local neighborhoods are spreading throughout the county.  With prices at competitive rates, and the demand for better and faster technology growing, many people are switching over to U-verse.

But, exactly how dependable is it??  Let’s talk about some pros and cons-

TV

The signal is tremendously stronger and fiber optic (essentially glass cables that are ran underground to bring you a better resolution and signal for crystal clear picture).  But they don’t run Fiber to the unit.

Fiber is only ran to the neighborhood (except in some of the newer development in New Japan) in Miami (this is what is called Fiber-to-the-node).  Those big beige boxes that you have been seeing the AT&T trucks working on, those are nodes, where the signal and fiber runs to.

From a node, signal is brought to your house or unit using existing copper wires, ones that were once, Southern Bell lines, which AT&T recently bought out (economically-speaking).

PRICING

Anywhere from 99.00 to 237.00 for all three service, AT&T offers “solutions”, which are (in essence) TV Channel Preferences, Internet Speed necessity, and Phone Lines.

A good package runs you about 147.00 for all three services, with 60% of the Movie Channels. All except HBO.

QUALITY

AT&T’s regular standard signal is 720p, which is Comcast’s High-Def signal resolution.   U-verse’s HD, is actually 1080i, not “p”.  So depending on your equipment, 1080p may be the better quality, therefore making the U-verse 1080i, one notch lower in quality.

INTERNET

The modem they give you (called a Gateway) is developed by Cisco systems and was specially designed to be compatible with fiber optic networking, a first of it’s kind.  It is the brain of the entire U-verse system.  It brings in the signal for your TV, Internet (with 4 Network Connection Ports/ethernet), and also powers the VOip Digital Telephone service.  If you have AT&T DSL, this is twice as fast, and more.

Another thing about nodes (and quality) is the Internet’s signal strength.  One thing I always used to tell my customers, was a little inside tip I received from a technician, one day stopping for a coffee break, and just taking it easy in the South Florida sun.

Technician:  “We have to pump enough signal for it be able to reach up to 1 mile from these nodes.  In order to be able to push that much signal through these wires, we have to give it a lot of juice. ” – says My New Pal.

He continues, saying-  “That means, that if the customer at the end of this grid line wants to pay for the biggest package and fastest internet, and he wants 32Mbps, we are going to have to pump like 100Mbps through that line jsut to be able to reach that last customer, and it’s almost sometimes impossible to tweak and precisely control that kind of power stream!”

WHAT DOES ALL THIS MUMBO-JUMBO MEAN?

That people living closer to the node, may get away paying for only 12Mbps of Internet Speed ( The MAX Package), but they’ll most likely receive like 30Mbps of speed on the house, due to this phenomenon!

Final OVERVIEW

YES! YOU CAN GET ANOTHER SERVICE FOR CHEAPER.  But you cannot get (in some neighborhoods) the speed U-verse has.  The signal for Hi-Def might be 1080i, as opposed to Direct TV’s 1080p, but on the up-side, you won’t lose signal because of a little storm cloud or a sudden rise of gusty winds.

Some channels that certain satellite providers contain, U-verse does not currently have on their network of channels they provide.  but inside info, is that many channels are being internally requested (even I used to request them after sales call if I had a customer that was bargaining with that as his decision-maker), but requesting the channels is not a gurantee they will be supplied.

Channels like TV Caracol, TV Chile, The Dutch Channel, TVe,  and a few others.

If you live close to a node, you may benefit more than your other neighbors who live further down the line.  You’ll have your own dedicated line for Internet, as opposed to Comcast’s DSL (which is on one shared line which you share with all your neighbors on that same line; the reason why your speeds fluctuate from hour to hour, and it sucks).

Finally, the phone service, well it’s VOip, that’s all I gotta say.  Some people like it, if it’s a luxury.  Other people who might be helpless if the power goes out and they lose their signal, may not like this feature.

It does come with a battery backup pack, but if the power goes out, and the modem goes out, the phone gets knocked off.  Unless you have a generator, you will lose your services in a blackout.  The U-verse and AT&T company nodes, and central offices, have generators and battery backups, and this mean even during blackouts, they are still streaming signal.  It just depends on you, how demanding your needs are for these service.
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