June 27, 2006 6:44 AM PDT

AT&T launches TV service

AT&T is officially in the TV market.

The company on Monday made its U-verse TV service commercially available to 5,000 homes in San Antonio.

Until this week, AT&T's TV service was available to only a handful of consumers in that city, the first of many on the list of U-verse prospects. AT&T expects to offer the service to a total of 15 to 20 markets by the end of the year. The company has said it plans to spend $4.6 billion through 2008 to bring television and high-speed Internet services to almost 19 million homes.

At least initially, AT&T's service, which is based on Internet Protocol technology, will be very similar to what is already offered by cable companies. The starting price for packages is $69 a month and goes up to $124, depending on Internet speeds and whether the customer opts for premium-channel packages.

AT&T is offering three months of free U-Verse service to customers as part of its promotional push. It's also marking down its installation fee to $20 from $95.

This offering is on par with those of its cable rivals. But AT&T claims that it offers customers more for their money, including fast channel changing, video-on-demand, three set-top boxes, a digital video recorder, a picture-in-picture feature that allows viewers to surf channels without switching channels and an interactive program guide.

But some features, such as DVR service for the entire home and high-definition TV programming, won't be available until October.

During the initial expansion, AT&T U-verse TV will offer more than 200 channels, including music, local, premium-movie and sports channels. However, it will be adding new channels, high-definition content and other interactive features later in the year.

Now through July 31, the company is offering qualified customers three months of free service.

Some analysts predict that competition from AT&T could eventually reduce TV prices overall. But the price cuts could be a long time coming. So far, Time Warner, AT&T's main rival in the San Antonio area, doesn't plan to reduce prices.

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19 comments

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Snooping!!!!
But, is AT&T telling all these "customers" that they'll be recording everything they do and that AT&T owns all their information?
Posted by Raemir (15 comments )
Reply Link Flag
wow
oh big deal,they are going to see that i watch tv land...ohhh big brother is here!!!
Posted by dibob (5 comments )
Link Flag
duh
what are you hiding...are you afraid people will find out you are a Liberal democrat...
Posted by dibob (5 comments )
Link Flag
cool - another service from AT&T to avoid
I'm adding this one to the list of AT&T spying^h^h^h^h^h^h^h services to avoid.
Posted by mfischer2 (9 comments )
Reply Link Flag
should have waited
They shouldn't have jumped the gun, waiting until they had DVR offerings (that had been field tested). Why sell an incomplete package? You'll lose some early adopters who are checking out the website right now going "What? No DVR? No thanks."

Same for HDTV, I expect.
Posted by TV James (680 comments )
Reply Link Flag
AT&T = Spying On Customers
People who value their privacy avoid all AT&T services.
Posted by john55440 (1020 comments )
Reply Link Flag
maroon
ok then we would like YOU to avoid getting a drivers license,ss card,flying on planes,getting a mortgage,buying a car,getting credit cards...why..because you have to give them information,so please stop all these horrible habits immediately.... you can keep your democratic membership card as they dont require any truthful information about ANYTHING!!!!
Posted by dibob (5 comments )
Link Flag
your info for sale here.
And with no oversight and not having to live up to the rules that
cable companies do, AT&T can now collect all the data they need to
discover if you are a terrorist or just like the home shopping
network at 3 in the morning. Then they can sell it to the
government. AT&T is simply becoming a brokearage firm of
information about citizens. Isn't that great. don't you feel safe
knowing that the government knows everything you do?
Posted by Splinechaser (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
cookoo
oh no the att will know im watching television at 3 am....my life is over....what kind of life do you have...
Posted by dibob (5 comments )
Link Flag
Conspiracy
Ma Bell is already watching you idiots. Wouldn't they have to put
a camera in your T.V. or one of the set top boxes to actually spy
on you. Ohhhh...that is right you're talking about internet data
spying. Maybe if you guys/girls would use your time
constructively to solve the world's problems instead of always
complaining, we might get somewhere. I for one am glad that
someone else is entering the monopolistic cable market. Since
when is a contract for cable service in a location which is good
for roughly 50-75 years reflect what the city council thinks I
might want for service in the future? Turn out the lights...Big
Brother is watching....ohhhh wait he has night vision so that
won't work!
Posted by phrogdriver71 (52 comments )
Reply Link Flag
DVR IS AVAILABLE
the dvr funtion is available - the users now have up to four set top boxes and all four can use the dvr funtion - i believe they may limit dvr functions on the set top boxes due to packages ordered -
Posted by lizardghp (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
In Soviet Amerika, the TV watches you.
So, AT&T has actually come clean and said
they'll monitor your TV viewing habits and
provide the information to the government and
marketers for a price.

If I am an AT&T customer and I accidentally
leave the set on for a Matlock marathon, I'll
start getting ads for Depends, but at least my
Terrorist Potential Index will go down a quarter
point.

Want to throw off the feds? Then turn the set to
Disney and throw away the remote (then again,
perhaps after 20 hours of Lilo and Stitch you'll
get flagged as an illegal alien...).
Posted by Zymurgist (397 comments )
Reply Link Flag
AT&T Won't Get My Internet or TV Business...
I am in the market they are launching their products but after their KGB style change in the usage records EULA they will not get ny business.
I use other services from them and as soon as they change the contract on those services then I will leave their service as I will not agree to new terms, especially those.
For those of you already subscribing to their Internet or U-Serve services remember that if you don't agree to the "new terms" of the contract (which they legally have to notify you of) then you are out of the contract with no legal recourse for them since they instituted the change.
It's like 'W' is running AT&T now.
Posted by fred dunn (793 comments )
Reply Link Flag
the best of the best
at&t has really done a 360. I can not wait to cancel my cable for U-Verse. I have been using at&t for years and everyday I notice this customer focused company making huge changes. These changes have not only improved my communication needs but have also saved me money.

Thank you for being a full service Telecommunication provider.
Posted by ag5251 (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
What do you have to hide?
Do you complain in the Airport line? If you dont have anything to hide then whats the problem. We really have to get out of this privacy stuff. Would you rather the govt. watches everyone or have another 911?
Posted by bnelms (11 comments )
Reply Link Flag
History Repeats Itself
Those that would give up freedom for security deserve neither.

Ben Franklin 1700's
Posted by smgcomm05 (1 comment )
Link Flag
Amen
Amen brotha,these Liberals WOULD rather have a whole city blasted away b4 they tell you what channel they are watching...of course unless there was a "democrat" in the the white house...then all the spying and torture,and information gathering , and the war would be "OK"
Posted by dibob (5 comments )
Link Flag
never is a long time, but no more dish or cable. for all the negative people, if you have nothing to hide why are you down on AT$T?????
Posted by weakmoyer (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
The cable companies already know what their viewers are watching. Personally, I would really like to see Comcast have some competition. Comcast is the only game in town and man are they working it. HIgh prices and rotten customer service, thats Comcat. Yes sir re.
Posted by ree-row (1 comment )
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