09-05-2011 8:37 PM
I have my installation appointment tomorrow and have read all the documents on getting ready for installation and am still wondering what to expect. I live in an apartment and called the building manager on Friday, she told me that she had never been asked about getting U-verse installed and that she knew several people in the complex have that service. I had read somewhere that I had to have permission from the apartment to get the installation.
I am also wondering about the jacks in the walls and if they will just use those or if they'll have to install new jacks of some kind. Currently, I have Charter Cable with HD and DVR. The only other jacks in the apartment are telephone but they've not been used in the year we've been here because we don't have a land line telephone. So, does the U-verse service run through regular cable connections or through telephone jacks? I've read here and it gives all the technical names for the jacks or cable, not sure which, but I have no clue what that all means. If I am understadning correctly, one is ethernet cable, one is cable tv cable, and one is telephone cable.
One other questions I just thought of. Everything I read said not to disconnect your old service provider until the U-verse is installed and working, but how does that work if it is the cable connection that they are using for the U-verse services? The more I read, the more confused I am getting! While I am fairly proficient on a computer and have even set up my own WiFi network in three different living situation, I don't know the names of all the different cables and connections. Any explanation for what typically happens with internet and TV installation in an apartment would be greatly helpful! Thanks!
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09-05-2011 10:19 PM
09-05-2011 8:49 PM - edited 09-05-2011 8:52 PM
Basically when the tech gets there, before you even see them, they will check the outside premise & have I&R set up everything outside, so that they can do what they need inside your apartment.
If you are keeping a landline or POTS, they will wire the U-Verse RG on the other pair, and from there, they will use the inside Coax that you currently have, to wire up the DVR & Set top if you are having a second tv set wired. They will change out the splitter & cox ends for newer ones.
Just make sure that they do not have to move or unhook anything, so they can work as efficient. Ask questions also, which means that you are interested in how they are doing it, and when they get done, act like you have never had a dvr before, or any type of cable tv service.
The one screen that you should ask them to show, is the following: Menu > Options > System Options > System Information > System Resources. Also ask the about: Menu > Recordings > Recording Space.
If you are getting Internet also, and you have a Windows computer, go to http://www.uverserealtime.com and download the program. One of the regulars on here created it, and it is a very useful tool. I use it to watch the bandwidth when we watch Nettflix, and the useage, to see how much we use. I also use it to see what channel my son is watching on his set top. We use about 40 to 45 gig a month, which is pretty much watching Netflix in the highest profile, which allows for HD movie watching.
Do not hesitate to ask questions regarding the service. I have been satisfied with it, compared to when we had Comcast. Even my wife's grandmother & my wife's best friend's mom is very satisfied with the service. Some people are really picky about HD, especially with Sports, but if you tweak your tv, especially if you have a HD set, with something like the THX Optimizer on something like the Star Wars DVD's, and set the Sharpness down, it does help, and the picture quality is not bad. I am watching right now Star Wars Return of the Jedi on Spike, and UverseRealtime says that it is 5.7 meg bitrate, and without action, it is decent quality, not as good as Netflix, but it is good and sharp. You can see some artifacting during the fast action scenes like the speedbike race in the forest, but it is nothing to loose sleep over or call the system bad.
09-05-2011 8:52 PM
Well they ideally will probably use the regular CATV cable that you use for your HD Cable service. I think they say you have to get permission just incase you have to do something that requires them to install something on the complex itself. Not sure. I have had my service for about 2 months now and love it.
What they did when they did my install was they came in and tested the line, and went to check the hookups downstairs to make sure the line was good. Came back up, shortened the cable, cut it installed new cable (same line type), and started hooking it up.
The longest part was changing the hook up downstairs from the Time Warner I had to the AT&T line.
WIth AT&T you can get 3 different serives, DSL which is through the phone line, which ideally you do not want. Then you have the broadband that is via CATV, either through Coax cable, or Ethernet. They basically swtich the line downstairs (in my case) to point to AT&T. WIth Coax cable (your regular cable tv line) depending on the quality it will effect what speed you can support internet wise from my understanding. Like If you have very old bad wiring they will probably switch it out so you can support higher speeds. Where as ethernet is ideal because those issues shouldnt effect you.
So once they switch everything over, the line is still active just points to AT&T. From there depending on how you have everything wired will determine how you get hooked up.
In my case they hooked up the residental gateway in the office with Coax. Actually everything was hooked up via coax cable. All except the dvr is the office, that is plugged into the residental gateway via ethernet.
09-05-2011 9:22 PM
09-05-2011 9:36 PM - edited 09-05-2011 9:46 PM
Nothing confusing about it. You call Charter after the switch. What ATT does, is they get the okay from your building management that they are going to be doing some work in one of the apartments, and from there, the tech shows up, knocks on your door, and goes to where the Coax splitter is in your unit, and unhooks the line from from the outside box that Charter feeds the apartments with their service. When they unhook the Charter feed, they take the coax that feeds the various rooms in your apartment, and change the ends to new coax fittings, place the proper splitter for U-verse in that ATT service will work.
Once they do the work where the splitter is, they place the RG in a location, that they are able to have a phone line to feed the U-verse service from the V-Rad to the RG or gateway, which feeds the STB & DVR. If it happens, that there is a coax & telephone line right where your tv set is in your living room, it will be real easy for the work. If you are only having a DVR installed, they will use a Cat-5e Jumper to connect the DVR to the RG, and will connect the RG to the telephone jack. If you have a HD set, and already have a HDMI cable or Component cables hooked up to your charter box, they will just disconnect those, and plug those into the DVr or Set top if not getting the DVR.
After hooked up, they will make sure that they have good signal levels from the V-rad, even though they checked before entering your apartment, and show you how to run the new U-Verse equipment. If you are getting Internet, they will walk you through setting up your ATT account at http://uverse.att.com and you will use that login to access your email through http://my.yahoo.com if you wish to use yahoo for email.
If you are also getting phone with U-Verse as the "Triple Play", they will hook up a phone to the RG, or will use the second pair in your apartment jack to wire the phone jacks, so that you can hook a phone up in another room that will connect to the RG. Basically incoming from the V-Rad to the apartment will be on one telephone pair, and inside the apartment, they will use the other pair.
Over all, it should take no more than an hour to complete. My wife's grandmother's took about two hours to complete, because they had to hunt down a junction point for the telephone wiring in the hallway drop ceiling, because her building uses landlines to buzz in people at the entry doors, so she has both a landline and U-verse just for Internet & TV.
And as for DVR's having small drives, keep in mind, that with Charter & ATT, you are leasing the equipment, not owning it, even though with Charter, you can use a Tivo-3 with cable cards to allow for your own dvr with a large hard drive space. Providers intend the DVR's to be used to allow recording of programs to watch later, not to archive programming, which I know a lot of people do with home brew dvr's and like the tivo-3, that you can have terra-bytes of programming.
The whole concept of companies like Charter, Comcast, ATT, etc, is that they are allowing you to time shift and record now, watch later stuff, that is why you see drives no larger on a lot of units of around 160 gb, some dvrs have like 320gb, which started to become the norm due to people want to record the majority of HD programming. My DVR says something like 274.9gb, which is about 300 hours for SD, and about 110 hours of HD. Right now, we have used about 13% of the space on our DVR, which is all HD programs. We will delete after watching, due to pretty much everything gets repeated on TV, or we can catch on Netflix, Amazon, Crackle, Qriocity.com even on our Blu-Ray. There are just too many ways to catch stuff now days, so saving forever is no longer the norm really.
09-05-2011 10:14 PM
09-05-2011 10:17 PM
I appreciate the attempt but you mught as eell be talking greek.with coax splitter rg stp vrad stuff Can someone answer my questions in plain English? This us the first I am reading about a phine jack being involved in this whole process! I thiught everything would ckme throught the cable connections just like my current setup? Half of what you typed in that last message does nothing to answer my questions as it is either greek or not what I asked about! You have ti excuse my terrible typing as I am on my Nook Color and typing on this thing is a PIT@! Thanks.
09-05-2011 10:19 PM
09-05-2011 10:23 PM
09-05-2011 10:23 PM
09-05-2011 10:37 PM
09-05-2011 10:45 PM
Don't worry about it, everything will be fine. If the installer can use your existing coax cable and/or telephone cable he will. If not he may have to pull some ethernet cable. The main thing you need to decide is where you want everything placed. There is no software to be installed. The signal will come into your apartment via a wire to be plugged into the RG (residential gateway). That is a device that is a combination modem and router. Wires will run from the RG to each of your connected tv's. One tv will have a DVR (digital video recorder) and the other tv's will each have a STB (set-top-box). A wire will also run from the RG to your desktop computer if you want it to be hardwired. Your printer can be hardwired also or wireless if it's a wireless printer. Finally, your laptops and smartphones can connect wirelessly via WIFI. During the install, he will disconnect the Charter cable modem. He may or may not use the same coax to deliver the U-Verse signal. After you are satisfied U-Verse is working properly, you need to call Charter to discontinue your service. Your HD tv should be basically the same as with Charter. Some people seem to thing Charter is slightly better, some say they are the same. I doubt you will notice any difference.
09-05-2011 10:49 PM
...and when I say telephone cable, I mean for the tv and internet install. I realize you are not getting telephone service.
09-05-2011 10:54 PM
Just as an example. I have a total coax install. They were able to use all the same coax wiring I had for Charter cable to install U-Verse. I have 8 individual coax cables running from the side of my house to 8 separate rooms. I put the RG in one room and have tv's in 3 other rooms. Therefore, they used 4 of the coax cables for my installation. At the side of the house where the 8 coax cables originate, they made all the necessary connections. It sounds complicated, but it's pretty simple actually.
09-05-2011 10:57 PM
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