This week we switched from Comcast 7mb Internet and DirecTV satellite TV over to AT&T’s new U-verse service – a bundle that includes TV, Internet and VOIP phone. This change should save us around $50 a month and give us a faster connection. In general, I am happy with the way things have gone thus far. We were sold the new service by a door-to-door salesman (first one I’ve seen in decades). The ordering process was lengthy but reasonably easy to understand. Installation happened a week later (I postponed on them for a few days) and went off without a hitch. In fact, the installer went beyond the call of duty and took it upon himself to clear away and tidy up the side of the building previously occupied by my hodgepodge DirecTV rat’s nest. Setup took about 3.5 hours.
The new U-Verse service does not exactly duplicate my previous service. The largest difference is in the availability of HD streaming. We have 4 HD television sets on the property and previously we could watch HD programming on all 4 simultaneously. U-verse, on the other hand, can only manage 2 HD streams at one time plus 2 SD streams. But I am discovering that stated limitation is actually just the “guaranteed service level”. It appears, at least so far, that I can have 3 HD streams without any untoward effects. I haven’t tried 4 yet. Beyond this slight drawback there are many advantages. No satellite rain-outs disrupting our TV programs. The single DVR can record 4 programs simultaneously that can be played back on any TV in the house. The Internet access (at 12 megabit) is just dazzlingly fast. I’m a very happy camper so far.
I hear that Verizon has a similar service named FioS in their telephone network territory. Unlike AT&T, they actually string fiber directly to your home. So fat pipe Internet speeds should be at least theoretically possible with that service. Unfortunately I don’t live in their service area so I will have to wait for Ma Bell to upgrade the network.
Given my experience thus far, I can heartily recommend switching to U-Verse if its available in your area. Cheaper and better, what’s not to love?