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.

Call 855-716-4737

Overall Score

4.0

Price

3.0

Selection

5.0

Contract

4.0

Sports

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.

To start, call (855) 716-4737 for the latest promotions.

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.

    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.

For unlimited channel choices and plenty of HD content, AT&T U-verse is a great option. To sign up, just call (855) 716-4737.

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.

Alternatives to U-Verse

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.

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.

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.

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.

Write to Khairie A at feedback@creditdonkey.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

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