April 21, 2018

AT&T U-Verse Review

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AT&T's U-Verse TV has some of the biggest channel lineups. Its top package has 550+ channels available. That's more than what most providers have. Still, is it worth it? Read on to find out.

Overall Score

4.3

Sports

4.0

Price

4.0

Selection

5.0

Contract

4.0
5-point scale (the higher, the better)

Pros and Cons

  • High channel count
  • No DVR fees
  • Good international offerings
  • Uncertain future
  • Limited availability

Bottom Line

Good TV provider with plenty of channels for channel surfers

When it comes to paid TV, the choices are endless. Even AT&T gives you a choice between their DIRECTV and U-Verse TV service.

So, should you go with satellite, cable, or fiber optic TV? Each option has its own pros and cons. We break down AT&T's U-Verse TV service, so you'll know what you get before subscribing.

HOW U-VERSE TV WORKS

Like DIRECTV, U-Verse TV is also a pay-TV service. The difference is that it uses fiber optic technology instead of satellite.

Potential customers pick one of U-Verse's pricing tiers. They then register online or by calling their customer service. AT&T will send a technician to install the service in their homes.

10 REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TO U-VERSE TV

  1. You want unlimited channel choices: U-Verse TV has some of the highest channel counts of any provider. At the highest tier, it has more than 550+ channels. That's 200 channels more than DIRECTV's highest package. The U450 also includes premier channels such as HBO, Showtime, CINEMAX, and STARZ. There's also the Sports Package, which has Fox College Sports, The Sportsman Channel, Outdoor Channel, Horseracing TV, and more. If you're a hardcore TV enthusiast and love channel surfing, U-Verse is the way to go.

    How much are AT&T U-Verse packages?

    U-Basic ($19/month): 20+ channels
    U-Family ($40/month): 200+ channels
    U200 ($60/month): 360+ channels
    U300 ($65/month): 470+ channels
    U450 ($115/month): 550+ channels

  2. You like introductory price plans and bonus deals: Just like DIRECTV, U-Verse TV also has promotional prices for the first year. There is a one-year contract, but you can terminate your contract before the price jumps back to the regular rate in the second year. You also get the HD DVR fee included in the base price. If you sign up online, they'll also waive the $35 activation fee for you.

    Don't want to be locked in? If you have a fast internet connection, consider AT&T's streaming TV service - DIRECTV Now. It has the highest channels counts compared to other streaming TV providers. There is no contract or installation required, so you have total flexibility.

  3. You want bundling options: Since U-Verse TV uses fiber optic technology, you can pair it with AT&T Internet and Phone. The advantage of bundling is that you get a discount on your unified bill, making your AT&T services cheaper overall.

  4. Weather proof reception: Satellite TV services like DIRECTV are prone to service interruptions due to the weather. U-Verse TV's service is more reliable, since fiber optic cables aren't affected.

  5. You like international offerings: U-Verse TV has plenty of international channels you can add to your base package. There are programs in Russian, Vietnamese, Filipino, Japanese, Polish, and other languages to choose from.

  6. Total home DVR: While not the best, U-Verse's home DVR system is adequate. It records up to five shows at once. It can also play back shows from any room in your home, and stores up to 422 hours of SD or 155 hours of HD content.

  7. No monthly DVR fees: U-Verse "Total Home DVR" system doesn't have a monthly DVR fee. If you're planning on watching U-Verse on only one TV in your home, there are no extra charges. However, if you want to watch it one more than one TV, you'd have to pay $10/month for each receiver.

  8. 24/7 Technical Support: AT&T's live chat service is available 24/7, so if you have a problem, you can contact a customer service representative anytime. The wait times are short, and you can have the transcript e-mailed to you after it's finished. This can come in handy if you'd like to dispute something down the road.

  9. U-Verse App: U-Verse TV has an app for mobile and tablet devices. You can use the app to control your DVR and watch TV. The app is much like the U-Verse DVR interface, with simple functions. It allows you to watch both live and on-demand programming.

  10. Plenty of HD channels: At the highest tier, U-Verse offers more than 200 channels in HD. While this comes with a bigger price tag, those who need HD content will be happy with U-Verse's wide selection.

REASONS TO CONSIDER OTHER PAY-TV OPTIONS

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  • Uncertain future: It's no secret that AT&T has been directing a lot of its customers to DIRECTV. And while AT&T has been actively investing in DIRECTV, it's been scaling back on its U-Verse TV service. This suggests that AT&T intends to replace U-Verse with DIRECTV as its main TV service. If you're looking for a long-term TV service, it might be better to go with DIRECTV.

  • Weak channel lineup: It may seem like U-Verse has plenty of channels, but the selection isn't great. You'll find channels missing at the entry level. U-Family, for example, claims that it has 200+ channels. However, it's missing channels like Cartoon Network and AMC. For that, you'd have to upgrade to the middle tier package, the U200.

  • Availability: U-Verse is only available in 21 states. Even within those states, it's limited to certain areas. We tried posing as customers and looking for an area which has U-Verse TV - we couldn't find it. Because of U-Verse's limited coverage, we think DIRECTV is the better alternative.

  • Plenty of additional charges: With U-Verse TV, be prepared to pay for plenty of hidden fees. They have broadcast fees, additional receiver fees, and HD channel fees. Altogether, these can add up to more than $20/month! If you're a budget user, it's better to go with another provider.

OTHER PAY-TV OPTIONS TO CONSIDER

DIRECTV: If you're already an AT&T customer, you can still enjoy the benefits of bundling with the DIRECTV service. It's available nationwide, and has better quality channels and sports content. The NFL Sunday Ticket is a huge value-driver, and DIRECTV's DVR, the Genie, is also one of the best in the market.

 

AT&T U-Verse

DIRECTV

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Benefits and Features

DVRAT&T's U-Verse Total Home DVR can record up to 4 shows at once. Has 500GB storage space. Paired with receivers to connect up to 4 TV sets, with a total of 4 unique streams. Larger DVR unit with 6 unique streams and 1TB storage space available.Genie HD-DVR can record up to 5 simultaneous recordings. 1 TB storage space for 200 hours of HD or 800 hours of SD recording. Paired with receivers (Mini Genie) to connect up to 8 TV sets, however only 4 active viewings at one time.
PackagesU-Basic ($19/month): 20+ channels
U-Family ($40/month): 200+ channels
U200 ($60/month): 360+ channels
U300 ($65/month): 470+ channels
U450 ($115/month): 550+ channels
Select ($35/month): 150+ channels.
Entertainment ($40/month): 155+ channels.
Choice ($45/month): 185+ channels, NFL Sunday Ticket.
Xtra ($55/month): 230+ channels, NFL Sunday Ticket.
Ultimate ($60/month): 245+ channels, NFL Sunday Ticket.
Premier ($110/month): 325+ channels, NFL Sunday Ticket, DIRECTV Sports Pack.
Cancellation$180 early termination fee per service, pro rated $15 per month. All equipments is leased and must be returned, unreturned equipment fees apply.Early termination fees are $20 for each remaining month left in contract. All equipment is leased and must be returned, unreturned equipment fees apply.
ContractUsers must sign up for a 12-month agreement to get promotional prices. Regular pricing applies in the second year.User agreement requires a base TV package of $29.99/month for a 24-month contract minimum. Promotional pricing only applies for first 12 months; regular pricing applies after.
InstallationStandard professional installation included for up to 3 rooms. Additional installations cost extra.Standard professional installation included in up to 4 rooms only; additional installations cost extra.
Autopay$5 discount if you sign up for autopay feature. Can be set up with bank account, credit/debit card.$5/month discount for the first 12 months if you sign up for DIRECTV autopay feature. Autopay can be setup with bank account, debit card, or credit card.
Receiver FeeAdditional receiver ($10/month)Equipment rental fee of $7/month for each receiver on account.
Regional Sports FeeNo regional sports fee.Up to $7.29/month may apply (varies depending on location)

AT&T U-Verse: Pricing information including fees, features and contract length was obtained on April 12, 2018 from published websites and is believed to be accurate, but not guaranteed.

DIRECTV: Pricing information including fees, features and contract length was obtained on December 6, 2017 from published websites and is believed to be accurate, but not guaranteed.

DISH Network: DISH Network is one of DIRECTV's main competitors. Like DIRECTV, they're a satellite TV service, which means they're available nationwide. They've got a strong channel lineup and competitive pricing, which makes them a good alternative to AT&T.

 DISH
 Visit Site
 

AT&T U-Verse

DISH

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Benefits and Features

DVRAT&T's U-Verse Total Home DVR can record up to 4 shows at once. Has 500GB storage space. Paired with receivers to connect up to 4 TV sets, with a total of 4 unique streams. Larger DVR unit with 6 unique streams and 1TB storage space available.Hopper 3 HD-DVR can record up to 16 simultaneous recordings. Storage Space: 2 TB (500 hours of HD or 2000 hours of SD recording). Paired with receivers (Joeys) to connect to up to 7 TV sets, with a total of 8 unique channel streams.
PackagesU-Basic ($19/month): 20+ channels
U-Family ($40/month): 200+ channels
U200 ($60/month): 360+ channels
U300 ($65/month): 470+ channels
U450 ($115/month): 550+ channels
America's Top 120 ($59.99/month): 190 channels, 70+ Sirius XM Music Channels.
America's Top 120+ ($69.99/month): 190+ channels, includes ESPN, local channels, and regional sports channels, 70+ Sirius XM Music Channels.
America's Top 200 ($79.99/month): 240+ channels, includes MLB, NBA, and NHL networks, ESPN, local channels, and regional sports, 70+ Sirius XM Music Channels.
America's Top 250 ($89.99/month): 290+ channels, 70+ Sirius XM Music Channels, 17 additional movie channels (such as Turner Classic Movies, The Movie Channel, Starz Encore and others), additional channels such as Bloomberg, Nicktoons, and Nat Geo Wild, ESPN, Local channels, NFL, and Regional sports channels.
Cancellation$180 early termination fee per service, pro rated $15 per month. All equipments is leased and must be returned, unreturned equipment fees apply.Early termination fees are $20 for each remaining month left in contract. All equipment are leased and must be returned within 30 days following cancellation or disconnection of service. Unreturned equipment fees apply.
ContractUsers must sign up for a 12-month agreement to get promotional prices. Regular pricing applies in the second year.Users must sign up for a 24-month contract minimum, with a mandatory early termination fee and E-Autopay. DISH offers a two-year price guarantee for the duration of your contract.
InstallationStandard professional installation included for up to 3 rooms. Additional installations cost extra.Standard professional installation included for up to 6 rooms. Additional rooms and/or services will cost extra.
Autopay$5 discount if you sign up for autopay feature. Can be set up with bank account, credit/debit card.You can sign up with Dish's autopay feature from the MyDISH mobile or web application. The E-Autopay feature can be set up with either a bank account, debit/credit card.
Receiver FeeAdditional receiver ($10/month)Dish charges an additional equipment rental fee for every received beyond the first. Additional Joeys will add a $7/month fee to your monthly bill.
Regional Sports FeeNo regional sports fee.
No regional sports fee
 Visit Site

AT&T U-Verse: Pricing information including fees, features and contract length was obtained on April 12, 2018 from published websites and is believed to be accurate, but not guaranteed.

Streaming Services: For those of you looking to cut the cord, streaming services are a great alternative. With options like Sling TV and PlayStation Vue, you could watch live TV without worrying about contracts, installation, or equipment rental fees. While you would need limitless data and fast internet connection to watch it comfortably, streaming services are a great alternative.

 

AT&T U-Verse

Sling

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Try Sling TV free for 7 days - Learn More

 

Benefits and Features

DVRAT&T's U-Verse Total Home DVR can record up to 4 shows at once. Has 500GB storage space. Paired with receivers to connect up to 4 TV sets, with a total of 4 unique streams. Larger DVR unit with 6 unique streams and 1TB storage space available.Sling TV's cloud DVR can record any number of shows, although it's not available on all channels. 50 hours of cloud storage for $5/month. Cloud DVR beta users have 100 hours of cloud storage.
PackagesU-Basic ($19/month): 20+ channels
U-Family ($40/month): 200+ channels
U200 ($60/month): 360+ channels
U300 ($65/month): 470+ channels
U450 ($115/month): 550+ channels
Sling Orange ($25/month): 25+ channels Sling Blue ($25/month): 40+ channels Sling Orange + Blue ($40/month): 50+ channels
Cancellation$180 early termination fee per service, pro rated $15 per month. All equipments is leased and must be returned, unreturned equipment fees apply.No early termination fees. No refunds for prepaid or partial months of service.
ContractUsers must sign up for a 12-month agreement to get promotional prices. Regular pricing applies in the second year.No contract.
InstallationStandard professional installation included for up to 3 rooms. Additional installations cost extra.App-based TV service, can be installed on most smart devices.
Autopay$5 discount if you sign up for autopay feature. Can be set up with bank account, credit/debit card.Payments are automatically deducted from debit or credit card on file.
Receiver FeeAdditional receiver ($10/month)No equipment rental fee.
Regional Sports FeeNo regional sports fee.No regional sports fee.
 Visit Site

AT&T U-Verse: Pricing information including fees, features and contract length was obtained on April 12, 2018 from published websites and is believed to be accurate, but not guaranteed.

BOTTOM LINE

U-Verse does have one of the highest channel counts of all the TV providers, and the one-year contract does sound appealing. But for plenty of viewers, the quality of channels is more important than the number of channels. For viewers with a budget, it makes more sense to subscribe to a lower tier package from DIRECTV or DISH, with better channel choices.

Also, while U-Verse began as a great TV service, it's taken a back seat since AT&T's acquired DIRECTV. Although the free HD DVR and app does make it more appealing, we can't say how long the service will be around. We can't recommend subscribing to U-Verse at this stage.

Because of its uncertain future, limited availability, and channel lineup, we wouldn't suggest subscribing to U-Verse. If you're looking for a better pay-TV service, look at DIRECTV or DISH, or even streaming services, instead.

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author's alone. Please support CreditDonkey on our mission to help you make savvy decisions. Our free online service is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content.

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