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Posted Dec 16, 2013
10:45:40 AM
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Uverse and Comcast TV and Internet Weekend Experiment

Including Friday, this weekend I had a chance to have both Uverse and Comcast TV and internet at the same time. I have my own router setup so switching between them for internet was easy. I thought I would share my experience. I am in Michigan.

 

Comcast - Preferred digital with HD DVR and 1 HD box, standard internet with cable modem router that includes wifi.

 

Uverse - U200 with HD DVR and 1 HD box, 24Mbps internet.

 

TV Picture Quality: Comcast easy win. Far less pixillation, in some cases channels like CBS looked so good on Comcast in comparison to Uverse that it really made me wonder if there is something wrong with Uverse's CBS connection.

 

Audio Quality: Uverse win. None of my Comcast boxes could do surround sound. Clarity of sound was good with both services so if surround sound isn't a big deal it would be a tie.

 

DVR functionality: Uverse easy win. If you've had Comcast sometime from 1995 on you should know it is the same terrible interface from 1995. It is faster than before, but that is the best thing I can say. Uverse DVR, scheduling shows, online access, playback, and menu system put Comcast to shame. Some key things to point out about Comcast's DVR:

 

  1. The online access to your DVR would be great except that it barely works. I entered a number of shows to record on Comcast and some never were added to the DVR. Some shows I would specifically set to record new, record for 2 minutes after, record only this channel, and record in HD. When I refreshed the series recording list and it now says record new and repeat, ends recording on time, records any channel, and records in SD. On the DVR it would have some weird mix of those.
  2. The box they gave me (and I had no choice) can only record 2 things at a time, or 1 thing and live TV.
  3. The fast forward has 2 speeds: Stupidly slow and way too fast. They do have jump back feature that Uverse has so it goes back to where it thinks you wanted to stop but on Comcast it is completely random.
  4. I know I said the interface was terrible, but I need to say again the DVR system is embarrassingly bad. I don't understand how they've managed to make it this long with such an awful interface. Now I know why people buy Tivos.
  5. Comcast DVR seems to have no idea what is new and what isn't. At one point it scheduled 4 episodes on one day when the setting was set to new shows only. Worse: it set to record the same exact episode twice because it couldn't tell it already recorded it.

 

On Demand: Comcast has way more content, but Uverse has a better interface. Comcast plays ads during regular commercial breaks with on demand shows and they are often exactly the same. I think I saw an ad for Finding Mr. Banks about 50 times this weekend. Yes you can fast forward but it is even worse than the regular DVR fast forward. It will sometimes stop fast forwarding at the end of a commercial and sometimes it goes so fast you end up 4-5 minutes into the show you are watching.

 

Remotes: Comcast still has those terrible huge silver things from 1995. Uverse easy win.  There is also no step forward capability that I could find like the Uverse remote.

 

Channels: Comcast win. Uverse has a similar channel line up, but Comcast edges it out with more channels being in HD and more support for sub digital channels. In my area I can't get CW on Uverse at all, and a some channels like Independent Film are in SD only. Comcast has nearly all channels in HD including even the Canadian channel they randomly have added to our lineup. Uverse has no excuse here in my opinion.

 

2nd Box Experience: Uverse win. The bedroom Comcast box has no idea that there is a DVR in the house let alone another box. There is no pause in one room continue in the next or view your DVR content in the bedroom.

 

Internet Speed: Comcast win (but see below). If you are talking pure download speed (and I am not talking speed test websites, I am talking sustained large file transfer) Comcast wins. I was getting 32Mbps with their standard internet package. Uverse is capped at 24 and I am paying a lot for that.

 

Streaming Video (Netflix/AppleTV/etc): Uverse win, and a big one. I was surprised to find that while Comcast can sustain 32Mbps they either purposely hinder or have problems with streaming services. My tests were done by switching services within the same 10 minute period with the same video. Netflix TV shows on Comcast would start at lowest quality, briefly peak at 720p, then hold steady at 480p. AppleTV rented movies would frequently stop playback as it tried to catch up on play back. Comcast could never get to SuperHD quality, in fact I was lucky to get 720p. Switching the internet connection to Uverse all of a sudden TV shows stayed at 720p, movies stayed at SuperHD, Apple TV easily downloaded the whole move rental well before it needed to play it. This, for me, was one of the biggest deciding factors and one that puzzled me. I suspect Comcast is giving lower priority to competitor streaming services, but maybe it is innocent and just a bottle neck somewhere else.

 

Internet Gateway: Uverse win. The Comcast internet gateway does not let you turn off wireless. This bugs me enough to appoint Uverse the winner.

 

Lights on Boxes: Comcast win. Seriously someone needs to stop putting LEDs in Uverse boxes that are stupidly bright.

 

Conclusion: Comcast equipment went back to the Comcast store. The first killer feature Uverse has is the DVR and interface. They put Comcast to shame in user friendliness, features, and visual appeal. The streaming video internet problems Comcast had were a deal breaker. Once I figured that out I was not keeping Comcast internet. After struggling with their terrible DVR I wasn't keeping Comcast TV.

 

Note: Yes I know Comcast has the X1 platform which is supposed to be amazing. But they don't have it in my area. Also for X1 you have to have voice, internet, and TV with 2 premium channels, and the sports package to get it even if it was available.

Including Friday, this weekend I had a chance to have both Uverse and Comcast TV and internet at the same time. I have my own router setup so switching between them for internet was easy. I thought I would share my experience. I am in Michigan.

 

Comcast - Preferred digital with HD DVR and 1 HD box, standard internet with cable modem router that includes wifi.

 

Uverse - U200 with HD DVR and 1 HD box, 24Mbps internet.

 

TV Picture Quality: Comcast easy win. Far less pixillation, in some cases channels like CBS looked so good on Comcast in comparison to Uverse that it really made me wonder if there is something wrong with Uverse's CBS connection.

 

Audio Quality: Uverse win. None of my Comcast boxes could do surround sound. Clarity of sound was good with both services so if surround sound isn't a big deal it would be a tie.

 

DVR functionality: Uverse easy win. If you've had Comcast sometime from 1995 on you should know it is the same terrible interface from 1995. It is faster than before, but that is the best thing I can say. Uverse DVR, scheduling shows, online access, playback, and menu system put Comcast to shame. Some key things to point out about Comcast's DVR:

 

  1. The online access to your DVR would be great except that it barely works. I entered a number of shows to record on Comcast and some never were added to the DVR. Some shows I would specifically set to record new, record for 2 minutes after, record only this channel, and record in HD. When I refreshed the series recording list and it now says record new and repeat, ends recording on time, records any channel, and records in SD. On the DVR it would have some weird mix of those.
  2. The box they gave me (and I had no choice) can only record 2 things at a time, or 1 thing and live TV.
  3. The fast forward has 2 speeds: Stupidly slow and way too fast. They do have jump back feature that Uverse has so it goes back to where it thinks you wanted to stop but on Comcast it is completely random.
  4. I know I said the interface was terrible, but I need to say again the DVR system is embarrassingly bad. I don't understand how they've managed to make it this long with such an awful interface. Now I know why people buy Tivos.
  5. Comcast DVR seems to have no idea what is new and what isn't. At one point it scheduled 4 episodes on one day when the setting was set to new shows only. Worse: it set to record the same exact episode twice because it couldn't tell it already recorded it.

 

On Demand: Comcast has way more content, but Uverse has a better interface. Comcast plays ads during regular commercial breaks with on demand shows and they are often exactly the same. I think I saw an ad for Finding Mr. Banks about 50 times this weekend. Yes you can fast forward but it is even worse than the regular DVR fast forward. It will sometimes stop fast forwarding at the end of a commercial and sometimes it goes so fast you end up 4-5 minutes into the show you are watching.

 

Remotes: Comcast still has those terrible huge silver things from 1995. Uverse easy win.  There is also no step forward capability that I could find like the Uverse remote.

 

Channels: Comcast win. Uverse has a similar channel line up, but Comcast edges it out with more channels being in HD and more support for sub digital channels. In my area I can't get CW on Uverse at all, and a some channels like Independent Film are in SD only. Comcast has nearly all channels in HD including even the Canadian channel they randomly have added to our lineup. Uverse has no excuse here in my opinion.

 

2nd Box Experience: Uverse win. The bedroom Comcast box has no idea that there is a DVR in the house let alone another box. There is no pause in one room continue in the next or view your DVR content in the bedroom.

 

Internet Speed: Comcast win (but see below). If you are talking pure download speed (and I am not talking speed test websites, I am talking sustained large file transfer) Comcast wins. I was getting 32Mbps with their standard internet package. Uverse is capped at 24 and I am paying a lot for that.

 

Streaming Video (Netflix/AppleTV/etc): Uverse win, and a big one. I was surprised to find that while Comcast can sustain 32Mbps they either purposely hinder or have problems with streaming services. My tests were done by switching services within the same 10 minute period with the same video. Netflix TV shows on Comcast would start at lowest quality, briefly peak at 720p, then hold steady at 480p. AppleTV rented movies would frequently stop playback as it tried to catch up on play back. Comcast could never get to SuperHD quality, in fact I was lucky to get 720p. Switching the internet connection to Uverse all of a sudden TV shows stayed at 720p, movies stayed at SuperHD, Apple TV easily downloaded the whole move rental well before it needed to play it. This, for me, was one of the biggest deciding factors and one that puzzled me. I suspect Comcast is giving lower priority to competitor streaming services, but maybe it is innocent and just a bottle neck somewhere else.

 

Internet Gateway: Uverse win. The Comcast internet gateway does not let you turn off wireless. This bugs me enough to appoint Uverse the winner.

 

Lights on Boxes: Comcast win. Seriously someone needs to stop putting LEDs in Uverse boxes that are stupidly bright.

 

Conclusion: Comcast equipment went back to the Comcast store. The first killer feature Uverse has is the DVR and interface. They put Comcast to shame in user friendliness, features, and visual appeal. The streaming video internet problems Comcast had were a deal breaker. Once I figured that out I was not keeping Comcast internet. After struggling with their terrible DVR I wasn't keeping Comcast TV.

 

Note: Yes I know Comcast has the X1 platform which is supposed to be amazing. But they don't have it in my area. Also for X1 you have to have voice, internet, and TV with 2 premium channels, and the sports package to get it even if it was available.

Uverse and Comcast TV and Internet Weekend Experiment

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Dec 16, 2013 10:52:02 AM
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ACE - Expert

Nice writeup.  I wish you'd have posted it somewhere I could give you a kudo. 

 

Nice writeup.  I wish you'd have posted it somewhere I could give you a kudo. 

 

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

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Dec 16, 2013 11:03:19 AM
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ACE - Master

Agree with JefferMC.  Nice write up.........Thanks!!

"If you find this post helpful and it solved your issue please mark it as a solution.  This will help other forum members locate it and will also let everyone know that it corrected your problem. If they have the same issue they will know how to solve theirs"

Agree with JefferMC.  Nice write up.........Thanks!!

"If you find this post helpful and it solved your issue please mark it as a solution.  This will help other forum members locate it and will also let everyone know that it corrected your problem. If they have the same issue they will know how to solve theirs"

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

Re: Uverse and Comcast TV and Internet Weekend Experiment

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Dec 16, 2013 5:13:36 PM
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ACE - Professor

blarbles wrote:

 

Channels: Comcast win. Uverse has a similar channel line up, but Comcast edges it out with more channels being in HD and more support for sub digital channels. In my area I can't get CW on Uverse at all, and a some channels like Independent Film are in SD only. Comcast has nearly all channels in HD including even the Canadian channel they randomly have added to our lineup. Uverse has no excuse here in my opinion.

 


Comparing U-Verse to my local Comcast (Houston) U-Verse wins on this one. There are several more HD channels on U-Verse and the channel layout completely beats Comcast's hands down. Why do the HD channels start at 602 with the NFL network and not a local channel? U-Verse's is very simple: Find the SD channel you want to watch and add a 1000.

-------

Resident Xbox ACE. Ask me almost anything about Xbox on U-Verse.

Xbox Gamertag: americangame
PSN: americangame
Steam:americangame
When friending me mention that you found me on the AT&T forums.

blarbles wrote:

 

Channels: Comcast win. Uverse has a similar channel line up, but Comcast edges it out with more channels being in HD and more support for sub digital channels. In my area I can't get CW on Uverse at all, and a some channels like Independent Film are in SD only. Comcast has nearly all channels in HD including even the Canadian channel they randomly have added to our lineup. Uverse has no excuse here in my opinion.

 


Comparing U-Verse to my local Comcast (Houston) U-Verse wins on this one. There are several more HD channels on U-Verse and the channel layout completely beats Comcast's hands down. Why do the HD channels start at 602 with the NFL network and not a local channel? U-Verse's is very simple: Find the SD channel you want to watch and add a 1000.

-------

Resident Xbox ACE. Ask me almost anything about Xbox on U-Verse.

Xbox Gamertag: americangame
PSN: americangame
Steam:americangame
When friending me mention that you found me on the AT&T forums.
*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

Re: Uverse and Comcast TV and Internet Weekend Experiment

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Dec 17, 2013 6:42:12 AM
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ACE - Master

JefferMC wrote:

Nice writeup.  I wish you'd have posted it somewhere I could give you a kudo. 

 


Since this post is a discussion about U-Verse TV Features, a mod (IMHO) should have moved it to that forum.  Nice, nice write up, I agree!


JefferMC wrote:

Nice writeup.  I wish you'd have posted it somewhere I could give you a kudo. 

 


Since this post is a discussion about U-Verse TV Features, a mod (IMHO) should have moved it to that forum.  Nice, nice write up, I agree!

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

Re: Uverse and Comcast TV and Internet Weekend Experiment

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Dec 17, 2013 10:28:56 AM
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blarbles wrote:

Including Friday, this weekend I had a chance to have both Uverse and Comcast TV and internet at the same time. I have my own router setup so switching between them for internet was easy. I thought I would share my experience. I am in Michigan.

 

TV Picture Quality:Comcast easy win. Far less pixillation, in some cases channels like CBS looked so good on Comcast in comparison to Uverse that it really made me wonder if there is something wrong with Uverse's CBS connection.

.



Did you have any problem with Comcast freezing at all?  That was one of the main reasons I switched to U-Verse, although that was three years ago.  Still, I am not that convinced that Comcast fixed the underlying problem, which I am pretty sure is frequency sharing.

 

Then again, do you know if you live somewhere where Comcast uses Switched Digital Video?

 


blarbles wrote:

DVR functionality: Uverse easy win. If you've had Comcast sometime from 1995 on you should know it is the same terrible interface from 1995.

 


 

I got rid of my Comcast DVR the minute TiVo came out with a 2-tuner HD DVR with CableCard ability.  (Note that this led to mysterious porn charges appearing on my account, which ended with me having to disable the ability to order PPV and OnDemand directly from the box - I kept a non-DVR STB for things like messages - but that's another story.)

 


blarbles wrote:

Including Friday, this weekend I had a chance to have both Uverse and Comcast TV and internet at the same time. I have my own router setup so switching between them for internet was easy. I thought I would share my experience. I am in Michigan.

 

TV Picture Quality:Comcast easy win. Far less pixillation, in some cases channels like CBS looked so good on Comcast in comparison to Uverse that it really made me wonder if there is something wrong with Uverse's CBS connection.

.



Did you have any problem with Comcast freezing at all?  That was one of the main reasons I switched to U-Verse, although that was three years ago.  Still, I am not that convinced that Comcast fixed the underlying problem, which I am pretty sure is frequency sharing.

 

Then again, do you know if you live somewhere where Comcast uses Switched Digital Video?

 


blarbles wrote:

DVR functionality: Uverse easy win. If you've had Comcast sometime from 1995 on you should know it is the same terrible interface from 1995.

 


 

I got rid of my Comcast DVR the minute TiVo came out with a 2-tuner HD DVR with CableCard ability.  (Note that this led to mysterious porn charges appearing on my account, which ended with me having to disable the ability to order PPV and OnDemand directly from the box - I kept a non-DVR STB for things like messages - but that's another story.)

 

Re: Uverse and Comcast TV and Internet Weekend Experiment

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Dec 19, 2013 7:31:59 AM
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That Don Guy wrote:

Did you have any problem with Comcast freezing at all?  That was one of the main reasons I switched to U-Verse, although that was three years ago.  Still, I am not that convinced that Comcast fixed the underlying problem, which I am pretty sure is frequency sharing.

 

Then again, do you know if you live somewhere where Comcast uses Switched Digital Video?

 

Comcast TV did not freeze at all when I was watching, but channel changes were pretty slow. In my area we do not have switched digital video.

 

That Don Guy wrote:

Did you have any problem with Comcast freezing at all?  That was one of the main reasons I switched to U-Verse, although that was three years ago.  Still, I am not that convinced that Comcast fixed the underlying problem, which I am pretty sure is frequency sharing.

 

Then again, do you know if you live somewhere where Comcast uses Switched Digital Video?

 

Comcast TV did not freeze at all when I was watching, but channel changes were pretty slow. In my area we do not have switched digital video.

 

Re: Uverse and Comcast TV and Internet Weekend Experiment

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