View/print Business Card


Is "Uverse" for You?
Published 08/04/2009
"Uverse" is a bundled service currently being offered by AT&T that combines your land line telephone, high speed internet and HD television into a single package. All these services are brought into your home or office through a device called a "residential gateway". This is basically a large modem type device (pictured below) that will manage the incoming digital signals to provide you with digital HD television, high speed internet and land line telephone, or any combination of those services. The gateway device is approximately 12" x 10" x 2", so while it is not as small as, say, a cable modem, it can be used either upright or lying down.
The RG (Residential Gateway pictured above) is connected to the outside world via a coax cable run from your outside telephone box. The phone box on the outside of you home will be replaced by the tech with a digital box to provide the signal to the RG. He will run a triple shielded coax cable from that box to your RG. Each television in your home or office will also have to have either a coax cable or cat 5 network cable run to it to connect to the set top box (STB) that will be provided by the technician. The STB (pictured below) is relatively small and simple to use. A STB is required for each TV and there is a fee for each STB ($7.00/mo at the time of this publication). The remote control that is included with each STB is relative small and very easy to use. The tech will also program it to the particular TV in that room so you will only need to use one remote control.

Here are some of the key advantages to the Uverse package:

  • 4 video streams allow you record or view 4 different programs at the same time, although only two of those streams can be HD.

  • You will have internet speeds that are as fast as cable, but are not affected by the number of users on line in your area at any given time.

  • You can record and view any program from any TV.

  • You can watch a recording, pause it and then resume from a different TV.

  • To move to the HD channels, you simply add 1000 to the channel number you are accustomed to using. For instance, channel 4 is not digital, but channel 1004 is the same channel in the digital lineup.

  • Each broadcast in the lineup that is actually in HD is clearly labeled as such. Not all programs on a particular digital channel are HD broadcasts.

  • The overall monthly charges for the Uverse package could save you as much as 40 to 50% compared to your current rates, depending on what package you select.

Here are some points to consider:

  • The STB can be connected by either the coax cable or Cat 5 cable, but not if the Cat 5 is run through a hub or switch.

  • The technician will run the triple shielded cable to each TV free of charge if you bundle the services. If you do not bundle, expect to pay $150 or more for the cable runs.

  • If you plan to run the coax yourself, factor in the cost at approximately $0.35 per foot.

  • You might find the HD quality to actually be superior to the cable quality.

  • If you log onto the Uverse website and attempt to sign up, you will probably pull your hair out! You will find it MUCH easier to either call them by phone or stop by one of their retail locations.

If you have questions or need assistance, please contact me at the number listed below.


KIT Homepage