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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]

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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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See also

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U-verse is a VDSL service operated by AT&T. It provides internet access up to 18Mbit/s along with phone and television services. Total bandwidth is 20-25Mbit/s dependent on the distance from the neighborhood fiber gateway.

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Short description

AT&T provides their U-verse services primarily through fiber-to-the-node and recently fiber-to-the-premises. Both methods employ a VRAD, in FTTN it is a DSLAM, in FTTP the VRAD is a fiber multiplexer with the conversion to copper taking place at the demarcation point on the customer property. FTTN is more common, with FTTP only in new housing developments or areas not otherwise served by copper POTS. VDSL is used with speeds up to 25Mbit/s down and 3Mbit/s up, but as with all DSL systems, speed can vary with increased distance from the VRAD. Currently 7Mbit/s is used for Cable television with the remaining 18Mbit/s for internet service and VOIP. VDSL can provide faster speeds but AT&T does not offer them. Once inside the customer's property, service is carried over Ethernet or the existing coax network using HomePNA.

U-verse TV

U-verse TV is AT&T's television service, part of the U-verse bundle of services, which is 100-percent Internet Protocol (IP)-based video service.[1] U-Verse delivers its digital television services to its customers via phone lines or over fiber using Internet protocol (IPTV - Internet Protocol TV). The IP services are delivered over AT&T's expanded fiber network. AT&T is bringing fiber even closer to customers' homes using fiber-to-the-node (FTTN) and fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) technologies. U-verse TV is delivered over IP from the head end to the consumer's set-top box. U-verse uses H.264 (MPEG-4 AVC) encoding which compresses video more efficiently than the traditional MPEG-2. 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 joins the IP multicast group corresponding to the stream ("channel") desired. 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.

Total Home DVR

Total Home DVR is a DVR service that can record four standard definition or two high definition video streams at once and play them back on any TV connected to U-verse via a set-top box. The DVR can be programmed to record from the on-screen menu or any internet connection using AT&T's website[2]

U-verse Internet

Internet service is provided to computers connected to the on premise Ethernet cabling or a HomePNA gateway. AT&T U-verse High Speed Internet is offered in five speed tiers:

  • Express - Download Speed: Up to 1.5 Mbit/s; Upstream Speed: Up to 1.0 Mbit/s
  • Pro - Download Speed: Up to 3.0 Mbit/s; Upstream Speed: Up to 1.0 Mbit/s
  • Elite - Download Speed: Up to 6.0 Mbit/s; Upstream Speed: Up to 1.0 Mbit/s
  • Max - Download Speed: Up to 12.0 Mbit/s; Upstream Speed: Up to 1.5 Mbit/s
  • Max 18 - Download Speed: Up to 18.0 Mbit/s; Upstream Speed: Up to 1.5 Mbit/s

AT&T does offer dry loop service for internet only users, it is now available on the website but is rather difficult to find because there are two U-Verse sections. There is a one-time set up fee of $150 for internet-only.

U-verse Voice

AT&T U-verse Voice is a voice communication service delivered over AT&T's IP network. U-verse voice is currently available only in some areas. Customers subscribing to both AT&T U-verse TV and Voice are provided an added feature, Call History and Click to Call, which displays missed and answered calls on your TV screen and with a click of your remote returns a call. U-verse voice is $25 per month with a 250 minute calling package, and $30 per month with unlimited calling. Both packages include long distance service within the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada.

History

In June 2004, AT&T announced Project Lightspeed. Alcatel-Lucent was named as the Systems Integrator for Project Lightspeed. AT&T originally planned to reach nearly 18 million homes by the end of 2007,[3] a target not likely to be met until early 2009. U-verse will also be available to a limited number of homes in the old BellSouth region. AT&T has not announced whether they would offer faster 50-100 megabit symmetric service to the 1.5M homes announced by BellSouth before the purchase. [4]BellSouth had already invested in fiber to the curb, so the higher speeds would require little additional investment. Some parts of San Antonio, Texas offered SD TV commercial service in June 2006 with 30 HD channels available to some in December, although limited to a single channel per household. AT&T has announced they will offer two HD channels to a home, which will allow watching one channel while recording a second. As of the end of July 2008 many U-Verse customers finally have the two HD channel offering. The standard definition packages currently offer as many as 400 channels. Pricing varies widely, with "special offers" changing rapidly. The channel lineup and pricing of AT&T U-verse is similar to most cable and satellite systems. There may, of course, be differences between a local cable provider and the AT&T U-verse selection. For a listing in a specific area, consult the U-verse channel lineup. Voice over IP is available in only some U-Verse areas in July, 2008.

References

  1. "Innovative New Entertainment Experience". AT&T U-verse. http://www.att.com/gen/press-room?pid=5838. 
  2. AT&T DVR Web Remote Access
  3. SBC Gives Customers U-verse
  4. VON: BellSouth plans major VDSL2 upgrade

External links


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