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AT&T Plans Slew of U-Verse Updates in 2013
Though Most of Them Are Already Available Elsewhere
by Karl Bode 08:48AM Tuesday Dec 18 2012
AT&T is preparing a slew of improvements to its U-Verse TV platform expected to launch sometime in 2013. According to Telecompetitor, AT&T unveiled the plans at the company's first ever 2012 Consumer Industry Analyst Conference in Atlanta, where the website says they demonstrated a load of apps that will be coming to U-Verse customers next year. Much of the content is aimed at making in-home content transfers easier without angering the copyright gods:
quote:
AT&T also demonstrated its U-verse TV second-screen user interface for Packet Video’s Twonky Beam service. This gives U-verse subscribers access to “over the top” Internet video content on the TV, without the need for a separate “OTT” streaming video CPE device. Rather than coming to the TV through the U-verse set-top box or its Microsoft Mediaroom middleware, content delivered into the home via Twonky Beam goes through the broadband wireless router directly to the user’s iPad, which in turn “serves” the content to the TV.

Additional proof-of-concept applications have been developed by AT&T Labs, to enable multiple second-screen users to interact with a single TV simultaneously. One is a Texas Hold-em poker game, where the table is on the TV screen and each tablet user holds a hand of cards. Another is a “brokered jukebox,” where guests can bring their own music collections on their mobile devices, and play them through the TV.
The piece goes to great length to insist this is innovation on AT&T's part, though you'll note the majority of things being described (from MultiView to streaming channels over IP to the iPad) are already being done elsewhere. AT&T's lauded as developing a tablet and smartphone poker game, for example, though Bold Poker already does this.

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AnonFTW

@reliablehosting.com

Airplay?

said by article :
... Twonky Beam goes through the broadband wireless router directly to the user’s iPad which in turn “serves” the content to the TV.
This sounds like Apple's Airplay technology to me, which every iPhone/iPad/Mac is capable of.
ISurfTooMuch

join:2007-04-23
Tuscaloosa, AL

Who cares?

I have a suggestion for AT&T. Three, in fact. If they want to improve U-verse, do these three things:

1. Offer better video quality.
2. Offer faster speeds.
3. Offer the service in entire communities instead of the Swiss cheese deployments they're doing now.

Anything else is fluff that few people want.
UverseTech

join:2012-08-04
Reviews:
·Charter

Re: Who cares?

How about just cleaning up existing Crossboxes. I know for sure that in Houston and Dallas they could improve their existing base by simple maintenance.

There were seveal boxes in SW houston early this year with nothing more than black plastic covering them.

Most current Uverse customers are being served on less than sub-par infrastructure, and to put more strain on this is absolute incompetence from Stevenson.

trparky
Apple... YUM
Premium,MVM
join:2000-05-24
Cleveland, OH
kudos:2

2 edits

1 recommendation

Re: Who cares?

said by UverseTech:

Most current Uverse customers are being served on less than sub-par infrastructure, and to put more strain on this is absolute incompetence from Stevenson.

Stevenson has said in the past, AT&T is a "wireless" company.

Truth be told, if he could somehow convince the government to allow AT&T to completely divest themselves of the wireline service and simply let it rot on the polls and send that division absolutely none of the money that the wireless cashcow is making, I'm sure that he would do it. Stevenson doesn't care about wireline, he only cares about wireless since that's AT&T big cashcow. The wired side of AT&T has always been a drain on the company's accounts, the faster that Stevenson can get rid of it the happier he'll be.

These "improvements" are nothing but something to try to convince those who have AT&T's wireline service that AT&T still cares about them, nothing can be farther from the truth.

AT&T is pushing wireless service because they know that it's the cashcow. There's very little capex needed to keep that wireless service functioning on a daily basis. Once the tower is up, it's good to go for nearly a decade. Granted, there's upgrades that need to be done every once in a while but it's far cheaper than having to inspect miles and miles of copper cable and replacing it.

As bad as this might sound, if I was in his position and I was looking at the raw numbers, you bet your ass I would be doing the same thing he's doing.
--
Tom
Boycott AT&T uVerse! | Tom's Android Blog | AOKP (The Android Open Kang Project)
TBBroadband

join:2012-10-26
Fremont, OH

Re: Who cares?

Actually they are different. AT&T Mobility, LLC and AT&T Inc.

Michail
Premium
join:2000-08-02
Boynton Beach, FL
kudos:1
said by ISurfTooMuch:

I have a suggestion for AT&T. Three, in fact. If they want to improve U-verse, do these three things:

1. Offer better video quality.
2. Offer faster speeds.
3. Offer the service in entire communities instead of the Swiss cheese deployments they're doing now.

Anything else is fluff that few people want.

Couldn't sum it up better myself. I was hoping for #1 when I saw the headline.

My girlfriend was watching one of our shows on Netflix the other day. Thinking it was U-verse I remarked that the picture quality looked better than it usually does on that show. Then she told me it was Netflix.

chip89

join:2012-07-05
Independence, OH
And lose the copper and make it like fios. The copper is the only reason I do not want to sign up For U - verse.

trparky
Apple... YUM
Premium,MVM
join:2000-05-24
Cleveland, OH
kudos:2

2 edits

Re: Who cares?

said by chip89:

And lose the copper and make it like fios. The copper is the only reason I do not want to sign up For U - verse.

Fat chance! They'll never do that. They would sooner divest themselves of the entire copper plant and go all wireless than to deploy fiber.

AT&T has already stated in no uncertain terms that they have absolutely no plans on deploying FTTH in brownfield developments, even if it means that they would lose to their competition.

Remember, in AT&T's world wireline is an economic sinkhole. Their investors do not want them to deploy FTTH. Even the little bit of improvements to uVerse that was mentioned a few weeks ago was met with serious investor opposition. If they even hinted at FTTH their stock price would tank.
--
Tom
Boycott AT&T uVerse! | Tom's Android Blog | AOKP (The Android Open Kang Project)
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH

Re: Who cares?

The investors are idiots, and shortsighted, just like the ones who stopped the FIOS rollout. If they had half a brain, they would be looking at the long term and DEMANDING a wide rollout of GPON FTTH over all of AT&T's territory or maybe even beyond. That way they could charge premium prices, and have the product to back them up.

trparky
Apple... YUM
Premium,MVM
join:2000-05-24
Cleveland, OH
kudos:2

2 edits

Re: Who cares?

True, but what the numbers don't say that. The numbers say that sticking with wireline is an economically bad decision.

Cable on the other hand, can still stuff a ton of data down that COAX and it seems that with each iteration of DOCSIS they can shove ever more amounts of data down that COAX line and it looks like there's no end in sight for COAX.

COAX was after all, built from the beginning to handle high frequencies, twisted-pair (telephone cable) however wasn't. DSL always did seem like trying to stuff an elephant through a garden hose.

Fiber is great and all, even I praised the idea of FTTH in the past but the numbers don't lie. It's just too expensive to do FTTH. Even Google's little fiber project is turning out to be very expensive to deploy. Face it, FTTH is just too expensive to deploy.

With cable, you can send fiber to a node (similar to how xDSL-based FTTN works) but unlike xDSL, cable isn't limited by the distance from the node and was practically built from the beginning to have support for repeaters to get the signal farther and farther down the line. It doesn't matter if you're 500 feet or 9000 feet from the node, cable works. You can't say that about xDSL.

So from an economic point of view, cable is in a much better position to be able to deliver tomorrow's high speeds with a quarter of the capex that would be needed in telco land.

With that being said, AT&T's idea to divorce themselves from the wireline business makes perfect sense. Drop what costs too much and instead put that money into something that's going to actually make money, and that's wireless.
--
Tom
Boycott AT&T uVerse! | Tom's Android Blog | AOKP (The Android Open Kang Project)

LightSpan
Premium
join:2004-02-18
Lexington, KY

Re: Who cares?

Look at their wire line profit from last year. Lte is the rual replacement for dsl. Wire line is very profitable on the big business end of wire line.company's can't get there hands on metro E solutions and cloud service's for their data fast enough. I have a backlog of jobs waiting to be spliced.Yes iam talking fiber to the prem and copper metro e solutions.

trparky
Apple... YUM
Premium,MVM
join:2000-05-24
Cleveland, OH
kudos:2

Re: Who cares?

I'm not denying that there is profit in wireline but that's the business side of wireline, not the residential side of wireline. The residential side of wireline is hemorrhaging cash and that's what AT&T wants to get rid of.

AT&T wants the cashcows, wireless and business-side wireline. The faster AT&T can get rid of the residential side of wireline the happier they'll be.

When I talk about wireline, I'm generally referring to the residential side of the business.
--
Tom
Boycott AT&T uVerse! | Tom's Android Blog | AOKP (The Android Open Kang Project)
ISurfTooMuch

join:2007-04-23
Tuscaloosa, AL
The problem is that investors aren't interested in the long term. What they want is immediate stock appreciation, and you don't get that by building infrastructure that will need to be paid off.

It's indicative of our society, unfortunately. Look at the commercials pitching home equity loans. Most often, they say that you can use that money for something like the vacation of a lifetime or to "cash out" some equity. Why the hell would I want to do that? Sure, if I had an emergency that I needed to address and didn't have the money to do, I wouldn't have a choice, but there's no way I'm going into debt just so I can take a vacation or put some more cash in the bank. The same holds for the ads you see from J. G. Wentworth. Again, why would I want to sell a long-term settlement or annuity for far less than it's worth just to get the money now? Granted, if I really need it now, that's one thing, but otherwise it's a short-sighted, foolish move.

However, many investors don't think like that. They want the cash now; long term health of the company be damned.
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH

Re: Who cares?

Very true. Same for financing credit cards, 0-down car loans, etc, etc. It's unfortunate, however, that the executives who are paid the big bucks to manage a massive company are acting like irresponsible consumers who don't know how to think in the long term.
ISurfTooMuch

join:2007-04-23
Tuscaloosa, AL

Re: Who cares?

It is unfortunate. However, in a way, I can understand it. If management embarks on a strategy that investors don't like, they'll either sell their stock, or, if there are enough big ones who are angry enough, they'll yell to the board of directors. In either case, the board is going to come down hard on management and demand that it reverse course. Any exec who is brave or foolish enough to defy orders like that is going to be shown the door.

And you can't even count on the board to have the company's best interests at heart. Look at what Carl Icahn wanted to do to Yahoo. His whole plan was to pack the board with his cronies, and these people would vote to sell out to Microsoft.

I think that, if the proverbial goose that laid golden eggs was a company, the folks who owned it wouldn't care for it and allow it to lay those eggs in its own time. No, they'd do everything they could to make it lay them as fast as possible, knowing full well that the measures they took would eventually kill it.

chip89

join:2012-07-05
Independence, OH
Thats Right they could do that Sony did for a long time on their TVs because they where so much better than others.

Mr Anon

@k12.il.us

Boring, rather you didn't and save me on my bill.

All of these features are boring or have another issue.

Here is what I need in short order:
1. Android support, let me rephrase that, GOOD Android support and everything you are willing to give apple.
2. Home media support. These boxes run windows CE, have a chipset found in a Windows Media Center Extender box, I want that functionality. We have slow access with some media streaming.
3. Faster boxes! Takes forever to load any app.

4. This is a big one, you've gotta bring DVR and Live view to "second screen", Even if this is just local broadcast content at first or each show has to be given a special flag this HAS to be done!

I could expand on this or say whats wrong with the service but we all know.

jseymour

join:2009-12-11
Waterford, MI

Who Cares II?

As has oft been noted: You can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig.

U-verse was a lame idea. It's proven to be lame, in practice. It will always be lame.

Jim
Merlin

join:2012-06-08
Dallas, TX

Re: Who Cares II?

A pig that is kicking Verizon's ass in subscribers and JD Powers awards.
mjh2901

join:2001-08-02
Livermore, CA

Come on Uverse users want a few very simple things.

1. Uverse iPad, OS X and Windows Client. Allowing them to be TV's without another box.
2. More Speed
3. Higher Quality Streams.

I get the feeling that the Microsoft TV middleware has very onerous licensing and providing non box clients would still require some sort of monthly licensing fee to MS. Its to easy to hire a few people to write this software for ATT not to have done it yet. That and the whole xbox as a stub seemed to die pretty fast.

odreian615

join:2006-01-18
Chicago, IL

Fix OnDemand

I would like to know the date when then program became available. A real WP8 Uverse app

cybersleauth

join:2012-03-04
Livonia, MI

AT&T R&D

Just finish the last mile and be somebody.

cybersleauth
»www.viewcrafters.com