Review by Chris 313
Good "Every channel I had from my Comcast TV service for at least 30 bucks less."
- Location: Houma,Terrebonne,LA
- Cost: $90 per month
- Install: about 1 days
Bad "Less then stellar TV bitrates, limited HSI speeds vs cable. Very Frustrating pre-setup. Dated 4 tuner DVR, limited HDD space"
Overall "AT&T U-Verse TV service was the best bang for my buck! Interesting alternative over Comcast"
|Pre Sales Information:|
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)
Ive been thinking about getting U-Verse for a while at least for TV since Comcast has been failing me in features, DVR hard drive size, and the big one: Price. My triple Play package will be going up by 30 bucks once the deal is over. Their DVR is too small, limiting the amount of recording I could save and limiting the number of shows I could record at one time. As of yesterday 12/9/10, I went to the mall and to the AT&T store to get U-Verse TV set up. There began a very frustrating pre-set up. I got a woman named Lena. They had complaints about my ID and several false starts ensued until they decided they could use my ID. I was fed bunk about not being able to get TV service only and had to bundle it with Internet too.
I called her on it, as if you look online, you can get a package with TV only. Though I was kind of tempted to get 24/3 U-Verse internet since Comcast hasnt upgraded me yet and Im still at 8/2. I still hate to be talked into things that I dont want at the time. Next thing that almost had me walking out was my being told that to even get service, I had to do Autopay for 6 months and if I wouldnt that, she couldnt set me up. (Im still awaiting confirmation on that since those saleswomen already lied to me once about a channel I wanted added to my package.) I refused at first, but relented as I didnt want to waste everything I did to get service started up until that point. But I was not happy in the slightest. I got 95% of everything I wanted channel wise in the package I chose, U-450. I wanted Anime Network On Demand added to my package. They looked at me funny and insisted it was part of my package and couldnt or wouldnt look further for it, though its possible in my frustration, I mightve mis-explained it, and I really shouldve wrote it down. Another add-on I wanted was said to be included in my package, but I dont think so. Im still on the fence about it anyway and could do without it and save my 5 bucks. No matter as youll read below.
After getting things set up, choice of install dates came up and as I wanted to get rid of Comcast TV as soon as possible. Going from my friends U-Verse install, I was expecting at least a week delay. Instead, I got an install date for 12/10/10 for between 1-3 pm. I was shocked and happy. Still, I left angry since I had a feeling things were going to go wrong. I came home, looked up the Anime Network On Demand channel and it wasnt a part of my package like they had insisted. I talked to a Tier 2 tech named, Matt. He got me squared away and did what he could to help me get that forced Autopay situation handled.
Lovely tech support and my pre-set up with U-Verse wouldve went much smoother and faster if he had been behind the counter and talking to me face to face.
That brings us to today.
I was awakened by a phone call at 8:33 am from the outside tech, Barry. He said hed be there in 15 minutes. He showed up, replaced my NID and some wiring and was getting in his truck and driving off by 9:40 am. The first part of the install went swimmingly and I was happy. Now all that was left was to wait a few hours for the tech that was going to come do my inside work. 10 minutes after Barry left, I got another call from the 2nd tech, JB. He asked me if he could come do the install earlier then my appointment time window. I told him come on down! I was thrilled. He told me hed be there in about an hour. He arrived at 10:43 am, introduced himself and got to looking at my set up. I was planning on reusing the cable my Comcast TV service was on if it was possible. He went and traced the wires and tested the signal and things were fine. I was also told that I was 1,054 feet from the VRAD and on the 32/5 profile. The best there is, or so I was told. A little wiring work later, he went back to his truck and brought in a 2Wire 3800HGV-B model Residential Gateway unit and a Cisco IPN4320 DVR STB. He unhooked the Comcast DVR and I was shocked to see AT&Ts boxes are about half the size of the Comcast box.
The install was neat, clean and works real well. I have an even better SD picture then I had with Comcasts TV service
It took about 5 minutes for the boxes to boot and then things got working. I was definitely blown by the difference in channel line up that Ill have to relearn, but, eh. Im a tech. Ill figure it out (or at least my favorite channels in short order) soon. I also found out after hooking it to an HD monitor I have that the box switches resolutions between my SDTV Tube TV and my HDTV monitor. Too bad I cant watch 2 different channels on each hookup while doing that. When watching the HD hook up, I see what others have said about U-Verse HD quality with the blurriness and slightly blocky picture. Though by the time I get an actual HDTV, theyll have probably improved things further.
Before JB left, I checked on Anime Network On Demand and found it not working, though it kicked in a bit after he left. So far, Im great now. All my channels are working and Im loving the change. AT&T U-Verse TV is well worth my money and Im glad I switched. He left at 12:30 pm. The install went well and the only thing thats off is the fact my VCR wasnt hooked back up, but I can do it myself later. So, no harm.
A few hours after the install, I got back in touch with Matt of Tier 2 and told him about things and he informed me that although I had 4HD channels available to me, I could only record 3 and watch 1 on another TV, which isnt possible since only one TV is hooked up to the service. I tested it earlier and was able to record all 4 channels on the one box like I had originally wanted. This shocked him as he thought I wasnt in a test area for that feature. (I had read on another forum that recording 4 channels was being sent to each new customer from the beginning instead of an upgrade.) So I picked a great time to sign up, eh?
The remote and various things like setting up series recordings and search will take some getting used to, but Im rapidly adapting and I love the service. I shouldve switched before now.
The actual techs that serviced me and Matt at Tier 2 were exceptional
Ill be dumping Comcast TV on Monday now that Im hooked up. Ill be updating this review when I find out what my next bill is and what the Autopay situation is.
Just got access to the U-Verse site and set everything up. Was able to cancel my Autopay. It remains to be seen if it'll effect anything. I believe that the lady doing my pre-order set up was lying to me saying that Auto pay is mandatory for 6 months.
Got a piece of mail from AT&T saying that my now canceled Autopay was approved and a warning that any services requiring Autopay, if Autopay was canceled, service would be shut off and if service is terminated, would incur ETFs, etc. If this is true, with others having U-Verse service and others without forced Autopay. I won't pay any fees and might even consider going back to Comcast if my service is shut off for something as stupid as forcing Autopay, when I fully intend to pay my bill every month without it.
I was just watching one of my recordings and have finally seen what others have mentioned with pixelation and micro-blocking. It was nasty. Their faces were blurred out during this few seconds. Though, this was on the SD version of the channel, HD may be better. I'll have to do some testing. Still, it's not bad enough for me to get overly pissed about it. Their DVR box is enough to keep me on the service for a long while. Being able to record 4 shows at once is too addicting to switch.
Since the last update, I've had the service for over a month now and I like it. I've since dropped all add on packages like Anime Network on Demand, and just went with the U-450 as it is out of the box to save the 7 dollars in add ons I was spending. I was gonna go with the HD add on package of channels in addition to the Anime Network on Demand package, so I could get the Funimation Channel, but decided against it. I'm glad I did as just as I was making the decision, U-Verse ran a week of everything they had to offer for free. So I got to see just what the HD package I was gonna order was like. I wasn't too impressed. And the Funimation Channel offered 2 shows that I wanted, but could get on DVD or Hulu anytime I chose. So here I am. Matt from Tier 2 was very helpful in getting me squared away and off I go. I've also paid my first month's bill since then and have basically shown that woman at the mall to be a liar. I don't have to have mandatory autopay like she insisted I did. Instead, I pay it with my bank's bill pay service and haven't heard a peep out of AT&T about it. My 6 month promo is up in June, so we'll see then if I make any changes to my TV package or service in general.
This month, my 6 month U-Verse TV promotion expired and my bill went from 113 to 124. The expected price increase to 117 happened and the rest was just fees and taxes. I don't use a lot of the channels such as HBO and others, so I decided to cut my package down to something below 100 bucks that doesn't have premium channels included. Since I watch only maybe 20-30 channels regularly, I looked for a package with those and went from U-450 (their top package with every Premium channel) down to U-200. It has everything that I use of the U-450 package, and nothing I don't. I'll also save 25 if not more, dollars a month from the switch. Don't know what my exact bill will be now. but it will be less then 100 bucks. I'm expecting around 80 or slightly less.
Also, on the 5th, I got the fabled Phase 3 update and my DVR matches what Comcast had in terms of being able to see how much recording space my DVR has left without having to go through a bunch of menus first. It is a bit slower, though. And they changed the fast forward controls. Can't say I like that, but it's an extra hit on the button and the slowness? Maybe it's just me. We'll see.
Will update when I get my latest bill in with the U-200 plan changes.
Wednesday night at 7:30 pm, my RG lost connection and I was left with a blinking red light. I can't use my TV service for the time being. I suspect the RG is fried. This will have been the second RG to break since I got my service on 12/10/10.
I'm awaiting replacement and will update with how that goes.
After a bit of a false start with Tech support, I got an appointment for 9/24/12 for them to send a tech out about my issue. Talked to a nice guy named Travis, who to my shock, said that it wasn't my RG as I thought, but that there was a break in the line between the VRAD and my home wiring. Whether or not it was at my house wasn't known at the time.
I gleaned an appointment from 12-4 pm. At 3:22 PM, an inside tech named Jason came and a few minutes into running his tests says that I'm dead at the house and it isn't my house wiring. So they have to get a line tech into the mix as there is nothing more Jason can do on his end. He leaves after this and I'm waiting for the Line tech to come.
At 4:11 PM, the Line tech, Mike calls. We talked for a few minutes and I surprised him with my knowledge of the setup, as regular customers don't know these things. I'm not your regular customer as I make it my business to know everything I can about a given tech as it helps with troubleshooting.
About 4:30, he comes, tells me that he's got good signal down the road, so it must be the box closer to my house. 100 feet away line wise is the box that my wires connect to. He goes and opens that up and low and behold. There is a pair of cut wires that lead back to my home and the reason why I've not got service. They weren't labeled as active either. So he hooks they back up and hopefully labeled them as he said he would do and he runs his tests while I go back inside and check things on my end.
By the time I get back in, my TV is already playing live, DVR hasn't come up yet. But after a few minutes, everything is working. By 5:00, it's like nothing happened and I'm catching up on my missed TV eps.
I also got a credit on my account for the days that I wasn't able to use my service. I need a real case of bad weather to really put the repair work through it's paces, but I'm happy and hope that I don't have any more problems for a good while.
Well, on 12/10/13, it's been my 3 year anniversary with U-Verse TV. It's been quite a ride so far. 2 box swaps and an RG later, here I still am. Though, maybe not for much longer. There is a price increase coming at the end of the month. I'll be looking for a Promo. If I don't get one, I'll be shopping around to carry out my threat of leaving. I have no interest in U-Verse phone or their slower internet. Cable has been making good strides in catching up to the TV service that snagged me. So we'll see.
We'll see where it goes from here. And I'll update with whatever I find out.
On 3/6/15, after a few months debate, I dropped AT&T U-Verse TV, which was the only service I had from them. They offered me a package deal to stay. Even tried to hook me with internet (Yeah, right, when Comcast has them beat and has to do very little to continue to do so) and cell phone service. (I was tempted since I could've gotten an iPhone 5 for a penny, but I was tired and wanted to make sure of all the hidden fees and things before I committed.) U-Verse TV service, especially all the SD stuff my package had just wasn't doing it for me anymore. Recently, I paid for a month's service and never even used the DVR. That woke me up. I also took stock of everything I had DVR'd, only to find I could get it on Netflix, Amazon Prime instant video, or Hulu for a lot less then the 89.30 I was paying a month. After almost 5 years, the 4 tuner DVR and 500GB hard drive was showing it's age. The picture quality, even as HD, left things to be desired over services like Netflix, etc. So, I called up on the 6th and after about a 40 minute wait on hold, got a nice CSR named David, who took care of me. He also said I was owed a refund for the rest of the unused month, which equated to 45-50 bucks. The only thing that sucked was that they have 45 days to pay it out. All in all, a satisfying end to almost 5 years of service.
Though, about a day after the disconnect, I started getting bothersome "We want you back" and survey calls. If I was happy with the service, I'd not have disconnected it in the first place. Though, David definitely deserved his kudos.
On 3/17/15, I took the boxes in and mailed them off at the UPS store, and despite appearances, it was confirmed by another CSR I talked to today, Brandon, that they got the boxes on the 20th and I owed nothing now.
Today, I logged into my former AT&T U-Verse account and found they listed my credit as 51.32. Slightly more then I expected. Yay! The only sad thing about it is that I have to wait up to 6 weeks to get it. I wish it was just deposited into my bank account and ready for use, immediately.
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