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AT&T U-verse
Website http://www.uverse.att.com

AT&T U-verse is a VDSL service offered by AT&T in various parts of the United States. It provides broadband internet access, TV, and phone through a fiber-to-the-node communications network.

As of December 9, 2009, U-verse Internet had 2 million customers (up 100% in last year). According to a press release from AT&T,[1] U-verse is available to 20 million living units in 22 states. Its largest competitor in most markets is cable company Comcast who recently re-branded its trio of services "XFINITY" in an effort to better take on AT&T U-verse.[2]

Contents

Services

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U-verse TV

AT&T U-verse's electronic program guide.

U-verse TV is delivered via IPTV from the head-end to the consumer's Total Home DVR or standard set-top box.[3] U-verse uses H.264 (MPEG-4 AVC) encoding for some of its channels, which compresses video more efficiently than the traditional MPEG-2 codec. U-verse also uses Windows Media Encoder 9 to encode some of the channels at 1.25 Mbps with a resolution of 480 x 480. Broadcast channels are distributed via IP multicast, allowing a single stream (channel) to be sent to any number of recipients. The system is also designed for individual unicasts for video on demand, central time shifting, start-over services and other programs desired by only one home at that particular time. The set-top box does not have a conventional tuner, but is an IP multicast client which requests the desired stream. In the IP multicast model, only the streams the customer uses are sent. The customer's connection need not have the capacity to carry all available channels simultaneously. U-Verse TV service allows for up to four live streams into the home at one time. AT&T has also changed how DVR's work in the home. U-Verse's Total Home DVR (THDVR) allows customers to record up to four standard definition or two high definition shows airing on some of the channels it offers at once on a single DVR. A customer is not always able to record with the DVR all programming available on the service. A user can record and play back shows on any TV with a U-verse receiver, play one recorded show on different TVs at the same time and control them separately and record up to 233 hours (SD) or 65 hours (HD) of programming. The THDVR also allows access your DVR from any device with an internet connection to schedule and manage your recordings and also includes an iPhone app to set up recordings as well. Note: AT&T U-verse does not provide The CW channel as a local channel in certain states.

U-verse Internet

Internet service is provided to computers connected to the on-premises ethernet cabling or a HomePNA residential gateway. U-verse Internet is available either bundled with AT&T's home phone service or as dry loop DSL. The raw speed tiers that are offered are as follows:

Tier Download speed (in Mbps) Upload speed (in Mbps) Price
Pro up to 3 up to 1 $38
Elite up to 6 up to 1 $43
Max up to 12 up to 1.5 $45
Max Plus up to 18 up to 1.5 $55
Max Turbo up to 24 up to 3 $65

U-verse Voice

Call history on U-verse TV.

AT&T U-verse Voice is a voice communication service delivered over AT&T's IP network. Customers subscribing to both AT&T U-verse TV and Voice are provided features such as call history, caller ID on the TV, and Click to Call, which displays missed and answered calls on the customer's TV if subscribed to U-verse TV.

Technical details

AT&T provides their U-verse services primarily through fiber to the node technology (FTTN),[4] but has begun offering the service through fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP).[5] Only FTTN employs a video ready access device (VRAD) in the neighborhood, while FTTP provides service directly from the Central Office usually located in the central part of the city. FTTN uses a digital subscriber line access multiplexer (DSLAM), while FTTP uses a fiber multiplexer with the conversion to copper taking place at the termination point on the customer property. FTTN is more common, with FTTP employed only in new housing developments or areas not otherwise served by copper POTS. VDSL2 is used in FTTN systems with speeds up to 32Mbps for download and 5Mbps for upload for customers in the closest range and speeds up to 19Mbps for download and 2Mbps for upload for those at the farthest allowable range. Currently up to 7Mbps is reserved for cable television, and up to 24Mbps for internet service and VOIP. Once inside the customer's property, service is carried over ethernet or the existing coax network using HomePNA.

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