Q. I read your story on AT-T TV and thought about getting it. But he has a two-year contract. Why is that so? Shouldn`t streaming just cut the cord and have a little freedom? – Aimee, Suitland, Maryland. The two-year contract ensures that a new customer stays on duty. That is, unless he or she wants to pay the fine. At an analyst meeting in August 2015, following the acquisition of satellite provider DirecTV by AT-T, AT-T announced plans for a new “Home Entertainment Gateway” platform that would converge DirecTV and U-verse around a common platform based on DirecTV hardware with “very thin hardware profiles.” John Stankey, CEO of AT-T Entertainment and Internet Services, said the new platform would offer “an installation for individual truck rolls for multiple products, local live streaming, improved content portability, broadband integration for mobile broadband and new user interface engineering.”   Nevertheless, you save about $20 a month during your first year of combining ATT TV and ATT Internet. It`s not too shabby. Suppose ATT TV negotiates a new transportation contract with ESPN, but the sports network charges a higher fee than the Satcaster wants to pay. If the discussions fail and ESPN sends its signal from ATT TV, you may be tempted to switch service. But if you`re still stuck in a two-year contract, you`ll think twice before paying what could be hundreds of dollars in termination fees.
Well, there`s another reason why you want to avoid the two-year contract. All in all, the equipment is rock. U-verse`s Total Home DVR does the job with its six simultaneous recordings and 300 hours of HD memory, and it`s included in most U-verse packages, with the exception of U-Basic. Promotional prices now start at $49.99 per month, which doesn`t seem so bad. But here, AT-T TV becomes a warning story. Like DIRECTV`s advertising plans, AT-T TV requires a two-year contract for these promotional prices. And it`s a bad deal for several reasons. If you connect your entire home to U-shaped verses, note that you pay $10.00 per month for wired receivers to connect to any additional TV. If you want to skip the wires, you can update up to two wireless receivers for a one-time fee of $49.00 per recipient. Most U-verse packages are available with a free installation, but require a one-time activation fee of $19.95.
In areas where AT-T verses use U verses via FTTN, they use high-speed digital subscriber lines using ADSL2 or VDSL technology. Service offers depend on the distance between the customer and a port available in the distribution node or headquarters. To qualify for the U-Verse television service (only available via VDSL2), the customer must be within 1000 metres of a VRAD, the VRAD must contain an available connection and the copper wire loop must be the qualification. Where torque link is available, the maximum service distance can be up to 1600 meters.