The U-Verse Universe
AT&T’s U-Verse service offers TV, broadband (VDSL) Internet, and (VoIP) Phone. It is provided via a Fiber Optic backbone, similar to Verizon’s FiOS service, however the “last mile” connections to homes and businesses are provided via traditional coaxial cable wiring. This essentially means it’s easier and less costly to deploy.
AT&T is one of few telecommunication providers using a relatively new technology called Internet Protocol television (IPTV) to distribute the TV service within the homes or businesses. Among other things, this helps tie the TV service with the local network and Internet. This enables media sharing from computers to the TVs and brings other neat Internet features to the TVs.
The number of subscribers at the end of the second quarter of 2010 was estimated to be 3.2 million for Verizon’s FiOS and 2.5 million for AT&T’s U-Verse. Given the exponential growth of U-Verse subscribers, I believe AT&T will soon catch up or surpass Verizon. AT&T is bringing more and more areas online with U-Verse throughout the United States. You can check the availability in your area.
In this article, we’ll discuss the networking features of the U-Verse TV and Internet service. You’ll see how you can use and configure the built-in Wi-Fi. You’ll also see how you could use your own wireless router instead or in addition. We’ll also discover how you can share photos and music from your computers, or using Flickr, and view or play them right on your TV.
If AT&T forced me to use one of these obnoxious devices I would never switch. As annoying as having more boxes sitting somewhere is, you're better off with a dedicated cable modem and a router/wireless setup of your choice.