Author Topic: AT&T U-verse TV - Yet another VOIP topic  (Read 16156 times)

Offline GusHerb

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AT&T U-verse TV - Yet another VOIP topic
« on: July 24, 2011, 08:21:48 PM »
Hi everyone it's been awhile since I've been around. I've been getting up to speed on all the latest VOIP discussion but I've found nothing that answers my questions and dilemma that have come up.

We're looking into getting AT&T Uverse so we can upgrade our internet service, right now we have two AT&T POTS lines and DSL for internet. One of the pots lines has a second number and distinctive ring for a fax machine (the second, line a business line) and then the main house line.

Say we move over to Uverse, the cheapest thing to do to maintain those 3 numbers would be to convert the two lines to VOIP and make the 3rd (distinctive ring) number it's own POTS line for the fax (Uverse only allows up to two lines). That leaves us with the main house line and the business line on VOIP.  Now here's my problem, the main house line is the line I use my rotary phones on, (302 is the main line's ringer) and there is no way I will allow my phones to become useless in dialing out.

I was looking into the rotatone and other pulse to tone converters but a few of them say they specifically won't work with Uverse modems, (it's already known that the Uverse modem is not pulse capable). I also saw the dial gizmo, has anyone used that one before? their website said nothing about what modems it might or might not be compatible with.
I know another option is finding a good used PBX, but that's gonna be out of the budget for awhile.

The other thing were considering is keeping the main number on POTS, and the two other numbers VOIP, but that's gonna cost more that way in the plan. (it will cost more that way because we need voicemail and caller ID on the main number, but not on a fax number)

Anyway, to finally get to the point. Does anyone have Uverse and have you found a way to make your rotary phones work on it? I'd love to know what you did.

 Thanks,
Jonathan
« Last Edit: June 05, 2012, 09:25:19 PM by AE_collector »
Jonathan

Offline JorgeAmely

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Re: AT&T Uverse - Yet another VOIP topic
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2011, 12:36:56 AM »
You can get ATT Uverse with improved Internet service and not have to touch your POTS lines. That's the way we have it set up at home.
Jorge

Offline AE_Collector

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Re: AT&T Uverse - Yet another VOIP topic
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2011, 01:02:13 AM »
You can get ATT Uverse with improved Internet service and not have to touch your POTS lines. That's the way we have it set up at home.


Thats exactly what I was thinking Jorge. I don't know the ins and outs of how AT&T markets Uverse TV but I have Telus Optik TV here in Western Canada and it is the same thing. Microsoft Mediaroom delivered over ADSL service via neighbourhood RDAC cabinets that are fiber fed so only "the last mile" of the circuit is copper. I currently have 31 meg ADSL service giving me three HDTV streams and one SDTV stream to the house along with 15 meg reserved for internet. Nothing else changed as far as my phone service and I have pretty much what GusHerb has. Two POTS lines. One is just the fax line and the other POTS line has two numbers on it (distinctive ringing), voice mail, call display AND the DSL/TV service.

Terry

Offline GusHerb

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Re: AT&T Uverse - Yet another VOIP topic
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2011, 01:40:41 AM »
Thanks guys. If we did that then I'd assume they would have to use the 3rd pair in the line coming to the house for the Uverse internet since I believe you can't do both POTS and Uverse internet on the same pair of wires (no idea about that but that's my impression).
I think keeping the two POTS lines as they are and then adding Uverse internet might be more expensive then doing two lines on VOIP and having a single POTS line, I'll have to start looking into that tomorrow.

There's so many options it's overwhelming, I've spent this whole day analyzing all of our available options that allow rotary/pulse dialing to STAY and internet speed to be improved vastly without increasing costs by too much.

Jorge you telling me that you have kept POTS and upgraded to Uverse internet at the same time is pretty much what I was hoping to hear. Did you have to use a separate wire pair for the internet service then? Did AT&T make a big stink about that?
The techs were saying that it's all on fiber optic now (I remember when they installed the fiber in the neighborhood 7 years ago...) and the difference between regular DSL service and the Uverse, is regular DSL service is converted to analog when it switches to copper where Uverse stays a digital signal all the way to the house. I'm not entirely clear on that but that is also my impression.

Terry your setup sounds just like Uverse. I hope they are the same in allowing the two POTS lines to stay and just add the improved internet service. I'll find out tomorrow hopefully.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2011, 01:42:15 AM by GusHerb »
Jonathan

Offline Owain

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Re: AT&T Uverse - Yet another VOIP topic
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2011, 04:33:17 AM »
Ditch the fax altogether and use fax-to-email service for incoming faxes if you really have to.


Offline JorgeAmely

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Re: AT&T Uverse - Yet another VOIP topic
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2011, 11:31:09 AM »
GusHerb:

All the Internet services, plus bunches of channels that we can't possibly ever watch come over the tip and ring wires of your POTS line. Plus we get to keep the POTS line.

Inside the phone utility box next to the house, they have a signal splitter that separates the Internet and TV signals one way and regular POTS the other way. The house wiring for all the phones in my house is connected to the POTS side of the splitter. The other side of the splitter goes to the Uverse gateway, which is pretty much like a router on steroids, because it handles all Internet services inside the house plus wireless access plus it serves the TV boxes (which essentially are internet devices with their own IP address) in the house PLUS 2 jacks for phones. We elected to keep our POTS line, however, if we had decided to use more modern phones, they would be connected to these two jacks. Currently, these jacks are not used.

I also elected not to use the wireless router inside the Uverse gateway. I use my own WRT54G router connected to the internet side of the gateway. To disable the Uverse gateway, I turned down the output power to the point where you can't see it anymore. Our internet ready printer is connected to the Uverse gateway, so that everyone in the house can use it.

It works very well. I can post some pictures of the installation when I get home tonite.

« Last Edit: July 25, 2011, 11:41:49 AM by JorgeAmely »
Jorge

Offline GusHerb

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Re: AT&T Uverse - Yet another VOIP topic
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2011, 05:40:00 PM »
GusHerb:

All the Internet services, plus bunches of channels that we can't possibly ever watch come over the tip and ring wires of your POTS line. Plus we get to keep the POTS line.

Inside the phone utility box next to the house, they have a signal splitter that separates the Internet and TV signals one way and regular POTS the other way. The house wiring for all the phones in my house is connected to the POTS side of the splitter. The other side of the splitter goes to the Uverse gateway, which is pretty much like a router on steroids, because it handles all Internet services inside the house plus wireless access plus it serves the TV boxes (which essentially are internet devices with their own IP address) in the house PLUS 2 jacks for phones. We elected to keep our POTS line, however, if we had decided to use more modern phones, they would be connected to these two jacks. Currently, these jacks are not used.

I also elected not to use the wireless router inside the Uverse gateway. I use my own WRT54G router connected to the internet side of the gateway. To disable the Uverse gateway, I turned down the output power to the point where you can't see it anymore. Our internet ready printer is connected to the Uverse gateway, so that everyone in the house can use it.

It works very well. I can post some pictures of the installation when I get home tonite.



When I was looking at my router (2Wire 2701HG) I discovered it allows me to turn the wireless off completely, I would assume the Uverse gateway would allow the same?? it's really only a beefier version of what we have so I would assume most of the settings are the same.

Apparently it's not gonna be cost effective to maintain BOTH pots lines and upgrade the internet as well, I learned today, I think that adds like 20+ dollars to the monthly bill, so were gonna look into just keeping the one line (main house number) on POTS and switching the home office line over to the VOIP, which I think should keep the monthly bill around the same. and I still get to keep my pulse dialing on one line at least. (haven't called around yet to get any updated numbers)
Jonathan

Offline GusHerb

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Re: AT&T Uverse - Yet another VOIP topic
« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2011, 03:41:16 PM »
:UPDATE: Ok we ordered Uverse internet and TV (I didn't want it but my dad caved and got it for his own curiosity, we've never had pay TV before) Both phone lines are staying as is right now. After we get the new service we'll look into converting the business line over to VOIP with Vonage. it's quite a bit cheaper then paying for Uverse phone. Install date is the 11th of August.
Jonathan

Offline AE_Collector

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Re: AT&T Uverse - Yet another VOIP topic
« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2011, 09:05:16 PM »
we've never had pay TV before

So you mean that you have never had cable TV or any other provider, just over the air reception?

You are going to love Uverse, I'm thinking its going to open upo a new UNIVERSE for you. Are you getting the PVR and more than one box (for more than one TV set)?

Terry

Offline GusHerb

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Re: AT&T Uverse - Yet another VOIP topic
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2011, 04:04:57 PM »
we've never had pay TV before

So you mean that you have never had cable TV or any other provider, just over the air reception?

You are going to love Uverse, I'm thinking its going to open upo a new UNIVERSE for you. Are you getting the PVR and more than one box (for more than one TV set)?

Terry

Just one box, for the TV in the family room. So I won't really get to use it ever (the parents dominate the family room)
I certainly have known what I've been missing all these years but I'm not a TV nut so I don't really care though it will be nice to have. It would be nicer to have it in my room, where when I do watch TV is up there.  I was over at a friends house who has the whole Uverse package yesterday, playing around with everything getting to know the hardware for the "Uverse" system. She has Internet, Uverse phone, and TV.

I started playing around with the cable box and she never set it up for her 1080P HD TV, so I did and in the 720P and 1080P setting it cropped the system menu and guide fairly bad, I couldn't figure out what the deal was with that. I adjusted the zoom on the TV itself and that had nothing to do with the cropping of the menu...

Then I went into the interface of the 2Wire modem through the computer and started checking all those settings out and discovered I can ring the phones on command! that's a neat feature to have, now IF ONLY that modem would accept pulse dialing it would be PERFECT.
Jonathan

Offline JorgeAmely

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Re: AT&T Uverse - Yet another VOIP topic
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2011, 05:29:22 PM »
Here are some pictures of the ATT Uverse hardware the techs installed in my house.

# 1: this gray box interfaces to the POTS line that carries POTS plus the Uverse carrier and separates them. The black and yellow pair carries POTS to the rest of the house wiring, which didn't charge at all in this installation. The Uverse carrier goes to the gateway inside the house over the white shielded cable that exits the picture at 12 o'clock. The blue and blue-white pair is the original POTS line. The red-green pair is what returns from the house alarm and feeds the house wiring. This alarm can "cut-in" anytime it needs to. The rest of the hardware are leftovers from the first DSL installation we had in the house.

# 2: The gateway box sits in between a computer and printer. Notice the white cable that arrives from the signal splitter.

# 3: The back of the gateway shows the white input cable and another white cable that goes to the TV box. The blue cable provides internet connection to the Dell PC and to the printer on the left. Notice that the jacks for the phones are not used, since we chose to keep the original POTS line. Another jack from the gateway goes to these routers, which in turn provide wireless and wired Internet access to other PCs in the house.

# 4: The routers reach the gateway with wiring provided by the builder of the house.

# 5: This is the first TV box. It has a hard disk to store recorded shows. It is connected to the gateway and it has its own IP address.

# 6: The second TV box is smaller in size because it does not have a hard disk of its own; it uses the hard disk of the first box to store shows. It has its own IP address as well.

The advantage of this system is that if you are traveling and forget to record a particular show, you can log in to the ATT Uverse site, locate your box, log in into it and change your show recording choices. We have done that only once.
 
« Last Edit: July 31, 2011, 05:48:28 PM by JorgeAmely »
Jorge

Offline GusHerb

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Re: AT&T Uverse - Yet another VOIP topic
« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2011, 04:14:13 AM »
Here are some pictures of the ATT Uverse hardware the techs installed in my house.

# 1: this gray box interfaces to the POTS line that carries POTS plus the Uverse carrier and separates them. The black and yellow pair carries POTS to the rest of the house wiring, which didn't charge at all in this installation. The Uverse carrier goes to the gateway inside the house over the white shielded cable that exits the picture at 12 o'clock. The blue and blue-white pair is the original POTS line. The red-green pair is what returns from the house alarm and feeds the house wiring. This alarm can "cut-in" anytime it needs to. The rest of the hardware are leftovers from the first DSL installation we had in the house.

# 2: The gateway box sits in between a computer and printer. Notice the white cable that arrives from the signal splitter.

# 3: The back of the gateway shows the white input cable and another white cable that goes to the TV box. The blue cable provides internet connection to the Dell PC and to the printer on the left. Notice that the jacks for the phones are not used, since we chose to keep the original POTS line. Another jack from the gateway goes to these routers, which in turn provide wireless and wired Internet access to other PCs in the house.

# 4: The routers reach the gateway with wiring provided by the builder of the house.

# 5: This is the first TV box. It has a hard disk to store recorded shows. It is connected to the gateway and it has its own IP address.

# 6: The second TV box is smaller in size because it does not have a hard disk of its own; it uses the hard disk of the first box to store shows. It has its own IP address as well.

The advantage of this system is that if you are traveling and forget to record a particular show, you can log in to the ATT Uverse site, locate your box, log in into it and change your show recording choices. We have done that only once.
 

Thanks for posting these pictures!

The installation I was looking at they are using Cat5 to feed the modem which then uses that coax port on the back to feed the cable boxes. For the phone it's running back down another pair in the same Cat5 cable from the back of the modem, all the way back out to the NID outside, then back inside right on the other side of the NID where it then splits out to all the phone jacks in the house. 

It seems the Uverse system is designed with alot of varying wiring methods in mind. Interesting to see yours is fed with coax cable. Was there a particular reason they fed your modem with coax right from the splitter instead of using Cat5?
Jonathan

Offline JorgeAmely

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Re: AT&T Uverse - Yet another VOIP topic
« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2011, 12:32:21 PM »
Gus:

The ATT techs chose coax because the house is pre-wired with coax that arrives from every room in the house to the box just above the box in picture 1. You can fish the coax cables easily from the phone box. I really preferred this solution, otherwise the choice would have been to have them install coax or Cat5 over the walls and I would have declined the service if that had been the case.
Jorge

Offline AE_Collector

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Re: AT&T Uverse - Yet another VOIP topic
« Reply #13 on: August 01, 2011, 12:54:48 PM »
Jorge:

I am just trying to compare your set up to what we have here. Is your gateway a D-Link box? It looks just like the one I have except mine doesn't have the jacks for phone service output on the back. At least I don't think it does.

I haven't seen a gateway fed by coax before either. Output from the gateway to other STB's (Set top boxes) YES, but not theinput. Obviously it works but my gateway only has one coax connector and that is an output to go to other STB's.

You have one of each boxes, correct? What is the inputs to each box fed by? I see 3 RJ45/CAT5 cables out of your gateway.aid one feeds the computer, one feeds the WLS routers since you kept your WLS routers rather than using the WLS built into the Gateway. So there is one more RJ45/CAT5 cable to one of the STB's? What feeds the other STB or is there another router somewhere that picks up both STB's?

Good alarm system by the way (DSC)......

Terry

Offline GusHerb

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Re: AT&T Uverse - Yet another VOIP topic
« Reply #14 on: August 01, 2011, 11:59:16 PM »
Gus:

The ATT techs chose coax because the house is pre-wired with coax that arrives from every room in the house to the box just above the box in picture 1. You can fish the coax cables easily from the phone box. I really preferred this solution, otherwise the choice would have been to have them install coax or Cat5 over the walls and I would have declined the service if that had been the case.

I'll be interested to see what our installer will want to do. Coax is strung everywhere imaginable in our house. (and in a horrible un-neat manor too...) We have a central TV antenna in the attic feeding all of the TV's in the house. I know my dad is gonna insist that they don't disturb the current coax runs so they will have to run a new feeder to the TV. A cable will have to be run from one end of the house to the other since the modem and family room are on completely opposite ends about 60 feet apart. the modem right now is located right inside from the NID outside.

Your modem is fed with Coax but what are the cable boxes fed with? from what I take if your using the coax connector on the modem to feed it then you couldn't feed your cable boxes with coax since there is only one coax connection on the modem.
Jonathan