TiVO for AT&T's U-Verse

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by cokyq, Sep 17, 2007.

  1. cokyq

    cokyq New Member

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    Has anyone heard if TiVO will come up with an HD set that will work with AT&T's U-Verse system?

    I am not very familiar with U-Verse, but I noticed they can record 4 channels simultaneously. Interestingly, if you have 4 TV's in you home, they can only watch one of the channels being recorded. U-verse has a huge modem/router which accepts an ethernet cable capable of handling extremely large bandwith. No RG-6 Coax cables from the modem/router to the (DVR) cable boxes.

    ANother interesting fact is that it appears all boxes are identical, but only one can record and be the DVR. I understand later this year any box in the house will be able to play any of the recorded programs (sort of like one box behaves like a media server and records the 4 streams) which then can be distributed over the network, sort of like TIVO2GO/MRV.

    A friend had ATT install his system a few days ago, and I had a chance to see it. Very interesting. Which brings me back to my original question... Will TIVO make a box compatible for U-Verse customers? Any rumors out there? They are claiming 26 HD channels available (for an additional $10/mo!

    SUbject for another topic, when will providers realize HD will be the "normal" way in the future and there should be no surcharges for HD content!

    cokyq
     
  2. 20TIL6

    20TIL6 BaDoop BaDoop BaDoop

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    If there was some way to get the S3 and HD to work with UVerse (like they can with FiOS), I'd like that. I have the bad feeling that Verizon is locked out of my area, so no FiOS for me. I see UVerse trucks around here, and I've gotten their flyers in the mail recently.

    But if I can't bring TiVo along, I won't switch. Comcast is sufficient for the time being, but the reports of them cutting off broadband users for too much downloading has my attention. I use TiVoCast and Unbox quite a bit. Perfectly legitimate broadband use.
     
  3. MickeS

    MickeS Active Member

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    Last I checked, you could only get one HD channel at a time with U-Verse, so no dual tuning functionality in HD. That would make it a hard sell to me.
     
  4. cokyq

    cokyq New Member

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    Any U-verse experts out there?
     
  5. moyekj

    moyekj Well-Known Member

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    U-Verse uses a completely different distribution system compared to traditional cable companies and FIOS. They use fiber to the node and then DSL over copper to individual homes. FIOS uses fiber all the way to the home and then traditional QAM & NTSC over coax for distribution inside the house (same as cable). U-Verse instead of QAM are using IP over DSL that only gives you a 24Mbps pipe (6Mbps reserved for internet) that only leaves 18Mbps for video which is why there is a restriction on how many unique streams of video you can view at a time (about 4 SD channels and 1 or 2 overly compressed HD channels). It's not a worthy replacement to traditional cable providers or FIOS that's for sure, at least in it's current incantation... The S3 & THD units with their ATSC, NTSC and QAM tuners would therefore be useless for U-Verse.
     
  6. 20TIL6

    20TIL6 BaDoop BaDoop BaDoop

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    Wow, thanks for the technical explanation. I won't be a UVerse TV customer, that's for sure.
     
  7. astrohip

    astrohip Well-Known Raconteur TCF Club

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    They've been installing Uverse in our neighborhood over the last couple weeks (technically, they're installing the infrastructure to support it). New ATT boxes around the neighborhood with fiber optic lines running in, and (on some streets) new cable along the poles for individual houses. (I'm not sure why some lines had to be replaced, and others not?)

    I've spent some time learning about Uverse, and moyekj pretty much nailed it. You can get up to four IP streams, but only one can be HD. And from reading a few forums, it appears the PQ is highly compressed and only so-so.

    It's hard to understand what ATT is thinking. HD is the big gorilla these days. We have two HD TVs. But to only watch one HD stream at a time? Huh? Can you imagine the arguments this will cause. "Honey, can you flip to Desperate Housewives in SD, so I can watch SNF in HD?"

    ETA: We're near Rice U in Houston, if you're curious where ATT is adding Uverse.
     
  8. MickeS

    MickeS Active Member

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    No kidding. When I first read about it, it looked interesting. When I read some more, I was sure that I must be missing something, since the idea of ONE HD channel at a time into a house seemed ludicrous and insane. But that's what they're doing.

    I can't imagine who would want this.

    The only (and I mean ONLY) reason I see for them to do this is as an intermediate step towards a FIOS like fiber-to-the-home solution. Even then, it would make more sens to me to build that out fully but gradually instead.
     
  9. dkwong

    dkwong New Member

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    I had AT&T Uverse and cancelled it after a week. The HD quality is horribly overcompressed. Here is a link to some screenshots I took to compare Uverse with Comcast. This poll that I started seems to indicate that over half of the poll takers agree that AT&T's HD quality is subpar. I would wait until AT&T fixes their bandwidth problems before jumping in.
     
  10. cokyq

    cokyq New Member

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    Very interesting information! Thanks guys... Looks like ATT has some work in front of them!
     
  11. SullyND

    SullyND W: 31-17 TCF Club

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    They've been rapidly rolling out the infrastructure for uverse in my town, but have yet to go live with it. It's been amazing to see how much effort is put into each box, the one for my subdivision has had at least two people there, probably 10 of the last 14 days.

    I'd be interested in it for it's ability to give both Comcast and DirecTV some level of competition, but would much rather it were FIOS, I'd love to be able to use an S3 or THD with it.
     
  12. kmill14

    kmill14 New Member

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    Does AT&T EVER get it right? They basically make money via brute force, but at the end of the day always provide a crappy product.
     
  13. classicsat

    classicsat Astute User

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    For now, you can use a Series 2 with U-Verse.

    Were AT&T to open their API, there is an outside chance TiVo could apply that to the HD boxes (which have MPEG4 decoders in them).
     
  14. astrohip

    astrohip Well-Known Raconteur TCF Club

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    Same here. I finally had to stop and ask the workers what they were doing, since it was obvious after a couple weeks this was not a normal repair job.

    +1. That's why I did a bunch of research. I would *love* to have an alternative to ComCast, but only if the PQ is comparable (or better). At first I thought "Oh boy, we're getting FIOS", but then I remembered that was Verizon, not ATT. I don't think Verizon even has a presence here.

    Unless they ultimately run fiber to the house, I think Uverse is doomed. :confused:
     
  15. tlight

    tlight New Member

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    U-Verse in my neighborhood (Richardson Texas) is fiber to the premise (my house). Not sure about the rest of the above though. Anyone know where I can find out?
     
  16. HDTivoDesire

    HDTivoDesire Member

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    I just dumped Uverse. If you have ever owned a Tivo, you will not be able to tolerate the pathetic & awful DVR. The HD picture quality is very poor, especially on a TV larger than 24".
     
  17. astrohip

    astrohip Well-Known Raconteur TCF Club

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    Are you absolutely sure? It's not that I doubt you, but everything I have read states that Uverse is fiber to the neighborhood, and phone lines to the house. It's been pointed out often that the difference between FIOS & Uverse is FIOS *does* run fiber to the house (premise), and Uverse doesn't. This is also why Uverse is limited to one HD stream only, and FIOS has no limits.

    It would be news to me (and others) if there is a version of Uverse that runs fiber to the premise. And it could possibly change the dead-end future most see for Uverse.
     
  18. tlight

    tlight New Member

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    Yes I am sure that I have fiber all the way to my house. Although you are right, the majority of the U-verse branded service is FTTN (fiber to the node) with copper to the house.

    See the following article in Sound and Vision where they mention that AT&T is running FTTP (fiber to the premise) in some new construction.

    http://www.soundandvisionmag.com/features/2433/the-hd-deluge-is-here.html

    I guess my house is considered new construction even though the house is 5 years old. Of course this says nothing of whether or not they utilize that bandwidth for multiple HD feeds or not. I'm sure they can configure it however they want.

    HDTivoDesire- Do you know if your U-verse was fiber to the premise? If the HD quality is that bad on a 24" TV, I'd hate to see what it looks like on my 110" FP.
     
  19. tlight

    tlight New Member

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    Do you know if you had fiber to your house or just to your neighborhood? Also, how did you find the link between your set top box and TiVo worked or did you ever hook the two up?

    One big thumbs down for me is having to control the TiVo via IR blasters. That never worked well when I had to control my digital cable box. Once I got the serial port version of the box and wired ti directly to the TiVo I never had another problem.
     
  20. moyekj

    moyekj Well-Known Member

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    How about from the fiber drop at your house to your TV, what connection is being used there? If it's still a phone line then there are still bandwidth limitations though being a much shorter run will be much better than from the node. So maybe instead of 24Mbps it can be about double that - i.e. still limitations on bandwidth but not as severe. The problem however is for HD channels you are probably getting same feed as others with the fiber to the node restriction which means overly compressed mpeg4 HD channels still, so I don't think picture quality will be any better.
     

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