09-13-2010 12:36 AM
Hi, I'm looking to switch from Comcast to ATT Uverse in another week or so. Right now, all of the specials in my area (Indianapolis, IN) require signing up for TV as well, so I was looking for an opinon at whether or not it would work for our situation.
Our setup includes internet (with 2 out of 7 computers usually simultaneously using internet), home phone (new ATT brand DECT 6.0 phone), and the most basic cable we could get (6 TVs, max four channels at once, only 1 HD TV.) 3 computers have hard wire connections and the other 4 use the recently purchased wireless router. We are...quite an electronic loving family, haha. The house has been wired in the best possible way for using our devices.
Our current problems with Comcast all started when they switched to digital.
1) When the phone started giving static and cutting out, we tried replacing the phone and the headset. No change.
2) Our 12 mbps internet service works sporadically. At speedtest.net, running 10 tests in a 20 minute period, 2 tests show a speed around 10 mbps. The other 8 error out and cannot complete the test. Sometimes google loads immediately, other times it takes 15 seconds to load or times out. As we have both a business in the home and students taking online courses, this is not a good thing.
3) Using several of our TVs at once has always caused some signal problems. When it was analog, the picture might get a little fuzzy on one TV. Now that it's digital, the picture goes out completely on whatever set of channels it's decided to affect. The new Xfinity that's supposed to be great...rarely works. The On Demand box will load On Demand only half the time, and the website is shottily designed at best.
4) Customer support is a serious joke. The last time we called someone out, the technician called 6 hours after the latest time he was supposed to arrive and told us that our problems were caused by our wireless box (without knowing what kind it was or our setup) and it wouldn't be worth his time to come out. When we tried to activate our last TV adapter the phone support gave us incorrect information and then literally hung up on us.
We realize that comcast is not a good service right now, but we believe that what might be contributing to our service problems is the amount of service we have. Taking one incoming signal and splitting it to not only phone, tv, and internet, but 6 TVs 7 computers and a phone is likely causing some signal loss.
So, the question. If we were to switch everything to Uverse, would there be the same signal problems? I know about the max 4 channels at once on TVs, but as there's only 4 people in the house I'm hoping no one is watching 3 channels at once. Has anyone experienced problems having all 3 services and a lot of devices?
TL;DR If you have internet, phone, and TV from Uverse, can there be signal loss/drop on some devices when a large quantity (10-15) of devices are connected?
09-13-2010 1:05 AM
Based on what you have said, it sounds like U-verse would be perfect for you, the only issue you may have is that you will need an STB for every TV, which runs around $7/mo per TV
You should easily be able to connect all 7 computers, and being that you said that you will only be using around 2 at a time, bandwidth shouldn't be much of a problem, the 4 wireless computers can connect directly to the RG (U-verse wireless gateway/modem), though if you want to continue using your router, you could do that also
The Dect 6.0 phones should work fine with the RG (if you are planning on using the U-voice VoIP service), and being they are Dect 6.0, they should work perfect alongside the wireless (no interference)
There is a limit of 4 SD video streams coming into the house which can be used on any TV, recordings do count as one of those streams though, so if you are recording one show, you will only have 3 available streams left, though if 2 televisions (or a recording) are on the same channel, that will only count as one stream, depending on how close you are to the VRAD (neighborhood fiber to copper node), you can get up to 3 HD streams, the further away from the VRAD, the less HD streams you can get (the tech should be able to tell you how many HD channels you can get when doing the install), your HD channels will take up one of the SD streams as well, so if you are watching an HD channel, you will only have 3 SD streams left, since you said that you will have only 4 TVs on at once max, and being that you only have one HDTV, that shouldn't be much of an issue
09-13-2010 1:46 AM
That seems to be a common problem. I personally had conflicts until we went to 3HD/1SD. To add to what Mike said while your limited to four live streams you can watch another 3 recordings. So if you do a lot of recording while asleep or away from home, it will further reduce conflicts. Now concerning Uverse you have a dedicated pipeline. the current profiles are 19/2, 25/2, 32/5. All will give you 1HD/3SD streams at once. With 25/2 its 2/2 and 32/5 its 3/1. Uverse prioritizes as follows IPTV(tv) is first, then VOIP(phone) second with a dedicated 2Meg bandwidth and lastly HSIA(internet). And no you can't take VOIP's 2megs even if you don't have the service. Its a FED law. A Uverse HD feed take 5.5megs, a SD 1.5megs. If you are watching 4 feeds it can impact you HSIA if its above the 6Mbs (3,6,12,18,24mbs are available). I actually up'd my internet to 12Meg because we watch several HD streams from HULU and Netflix at once. If you count those feeds over the internet in, you could have another 4-6 streams of HD per 12mbs. It really can add up. And Uverse is quite superior to crappy cable co products all sharing the same pipeline. Enjoy.
09-13-2010 7:44 AM
I believe there are multiple inaccuracies in the previous post. My understanding is:
1) VOIP traffic is higher priority than IPTV traffic (which is then followed by Internet traffic).
2) If VOIP is not in use, then the bandwidth for it is not reserved and is usable by other services.
3) VOIP doesn't consume anywhere near 2 Mbps, even when both channels are in use.
4) HD can take up to 6.0 Mbps, SD takes closer to 2.0 than 1.5 Mbps. These are channel and content dependant numbers though, YRMV.
09-13-2010 9:13 AM
The OP mentioned On Demand content not loading, consistently. I noticed that with Comcast and once in a while with UV. If On Demand is important to you, note that UV's "catalog" is not quite what Comcast's is. I also find that CC's OD was better laid out / less clicks. That being said, I'm happy with UV and don't use OD very much.
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