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Monday, August 4, 2008

Followup on ATT Uverse Installation

I posted previously about having AT&T UVerse installed in my home. I just wanted to followup with more details on the installation process and the home phone service I chose. My package also includes high speed internet and TV aka a triple play phone internet tv bundle. So that certainly adds to the installation time and involvement.

At&t warns that the installation is expected to take 4-6 hours. This is true. My installation took around 4.5 hours. Local cable companies here like Time Warner run commercials criticizing how long it takes ATT to install. My thought is it does take a long time but it is worth it. As long as your house is wired correctly ( my cable company seemed to have done an interesting job running the cable through the basement) and the fiber optics cabinets are close enough to your home, it is not that complicated.

After the installer determines where the phone and cable lines run, he will hookup what they call their Residential Gateway. This is a box that is a combination modem/router, replacing 2 devices in my case. The cable and the phone line connect to this device. When plugged into a working cable jack this enables IP phone for the house. In my case I also had ethernet run to 1 PC and my other PCs are connected wirelessly.

The phone and internet were on and working at that point. On my wired PC I just broughtup Internet Explorer and was prompted to register with ATT. On my wireless internet connections, I simply connected as normal. Meaning I found the wireless network in range and entered the WEP to connect.

One of the things that takes the longest is getting the IP TV service connected and working. Of course this is probably the least involved thing as it's mostly about hooking up the cable box receiver and plugging it in. But since it is all on ip streams, it takes awhile for the box to download? the service. After the Motorola receivers were plugged in they would say something like "downloading service, 36 minutes left." All my TVs were already hooked up to cable and this just used the existing wiring to the new U-verse receivers.

As far as the home phone service, as I stated before my needs are minimal. I just need a working phone line for light usuage. I got the 1000 minute plan, but there is also an unlimited ATT phone service for 10 dollars more per month.

The TV service works great and is much clearer. The only slightly disappointing thing is losing some channels. You gain some but you also losing some depending on your current service. Now, I COULD have gotten a higher level programming package.

Friday, August 1, 2008

I got AT&T U-Verse Installed in my Home

I just got Uverse installed. I went with a Phone/IP TV/ Internet triple play bundle. I have uVerse voice 100 for my local home phone service, "Elite" High Speed internet 6 Mbps, and U100 for my TV.

My previous setup was traditional AT&T landline home phone with my own discount long distance carrier at 2.9 cpm. The new ATT phone deal includes 1000 local and long distance per month. Since it doesn't distinguish between local and long distance toll calls, I will no longer need my own long distance service. I don't use the home phone enough to need more than 1000 minutes a month total.

For internet I went from 4Mbps from a cable company to Uverses 6Mbps. They installed a residential gateway which serves as a combined modem and router, so I no longer need the modem and router than I own. Their gateway comes with the service and includes a battery backup system. The cable company required me to provide my own modem and networking or rent a modem from them.

I only had basic cable through the phone company. And by basic, I mean basic analog, not even digital. I also only used 1 box for my 3 TVs because I didnt want to pay extra for extra boxes and remotes.I now have 3 uVerse Motorola receivers. There was a $5 charge for the 2nd and 3rd boxes. However, my total cost for the entire bundle is basically the same as I was paying before. The Uverse 100 in the lowest cost package, but I did not need anything great as I only had basic cable that ran from channel 2 through 72. My cable company was going to discontinue this package at the end of the year and raise my bill $14 anyway.

I will actually have more to post including my review of the installation service and quality I have experienced so far. Thanks.