Monday, July 16, 2007

IPTV Anyone?

It's not often that I get to be on the cutting edge of something (at least on my budget), but I've never minded playing lab rat, especially when there is a financial incentive to do so.

Last Friday my wife and I tried out AT&T's (sorry, at&t's) new Uverse video service. In a nutshell it delivers television to your home not over standard cable or satellite, but over your standard telephone line. I will admit to being a little flummoxed when I first heard of DSL, but when I got it a few years later I was pretty astonished at what it could do. Now they are compressing Internet AND Television over that same line: one of the benefits of deregulation apparently.

Install Technician showed up on time and proceeded to check out everything. Since my house is older, there was no telling how easy or how complicated the install would go. I told him that the house was a pier and beam foundation and that easy access could be had to most all of the house (except the office). First hitch was the phone interface (or NID as he called it - it was probably 60 years old and was original to the house) and the phone line running from the pole to the house. Both needed to be replaced. Apparently since at&t is handling all this, they have linemen on standby. A guy was there in two hours to replace the run to the house followed by the interface box. Once that was done it was simply an issue of mapping out the existing video lines and configuring everything. Install did take a little over six hours and we had to call tech support the next day regarding missing movie channels. Last night I did notice a stuttering in the box that required a reboot, but other than that it works pretty well.

the cost is less that what I was paying for Dish Network.
The channel lineup seems to be a bit more comprehensive.
I can record four shows at once (compared to two on DN).
Set top boxes are much smaller than those from DN.
SD video quality looks very nice.
Got a brand spankin' new RG and Access Point.
Access point came pre configured with a WEP key already in it.

The service currently allows only one HD video stream at a time. Apparently there is a fix for this coming down the pike.
HD quality seems to be a bit blocky.
Recorded shows can only be watched on the main STB. Supposedly there is a fix for this coming down the pike as well.

So far I'm pleased. Here's hoping.


edieraye said...

I had a dream about you last night! Well, actually, you just showed up as a random character. The main character was a friend of mine from ages ago. She was throwing a party at this huge ranch. I went out back to see what was going on and there were a bunch of people throwing frisbees. One came sailing towards me. As I went to retrieve it you came bounding up to get it. Amy was wayyyy up this hill so I could barely make her out and only got to wave at her. Honestly, ya'll must have had bionic arms to be able to toss the frisbee back and forth that far. Anyway, it was nice to see your smiling face after such a long time!

AVGeek said...

My real one is probably a little rounder than last you saw me. It would not surprise me that Amy could toss a frisbee that far. She's been working out and I have the bruises to prove it. ;-)

Hope things are going well for you and Austin.

Ensign Eddie said...

"IPTV Anyone?"

Actually, IP Dr Pepper.


AVGeek said...

Scooter, anytime, anywhere, anything . . . without fail you can always make me laugh.

I needed that. thanx