Author Topic: AT&T U-verse TV - Yet another VOIP topic  (Read 12571 times)

Offline GG

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Re: Uverse "Joy" with AT&T
« Reply #30 on: October 15, 2011, 03:58:15 AM »


Be nice when you talk to them: honey works better than vinegar.

Curiosity works best of all: you're trying to solve a mystery. 

Emotions are contagious, and curiosity is particularly viral, so put your puzzle-solving hat on before you make the phone call to ask what's up. 

BTW, I had a turn-up & test with AT&T on one of their new IP-based "bundled" business phone services for a client last week.  All went perfectly according to plan.  I did have to remind them to give me G.711 transmission (landline-quality audio) rather than G.729 (cellphone audio), but that was all done and everything worked.

Offline Dave F

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Re: Uverse "Joy" with AT&T
« Reply #31 on: October 15, 2011, 11:42:10 PM »


As a generalization I'd suggest that folks here not mess with "bundles" of any kind unless they're prepared to undergo various forms of lawful torture to keep their old phones working and maintain reliable service. 

Very often these "new" types of service don't operate with rotary phones.  Very often they use VOIP transmission which means no modems either (don't laugh, there are still viable uses for modems: I use dialup to connect to PBXs for remote programming).  VOIP, depending on how it's implemented, can also result in a decrease in transmission quality, sometimes as bad as a cellphone (G.729 compression). 

Usually these services depend on ATAs that in turn depend on grid power and have a backup battery that might be good for a couple of hours of standby: not a good thing in natural disasters that knock out the grid power. 

Keep the POTS line if you have one.  Only way to be certain that things continue to work as they always have.  And it's reassuring to know the phone will keep working during power failures. 
Amen...Never give up your POTS line.  I sure won't!

Offline Doug Rose

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Re: Uverse "Joy" with AT&T
« Reply #32 on: October 16, 2011, 08:06:34 AM »
I haven't had a Plain Old telephone line for three years now. I don't miss it a bit, well maybe the radio station that supplied music on talk from Verizon that was "my CPE inside cabling," even though I proved it to them with a butt set at the DMark, but I regress. I went to Comcast digital and it has been wonderful. More of my old phones ring when connected than when I had Verizon. I purchased a Panasonic 616 for testing old phones and I never looked back. POTS line was almost $40 with no LD back when I terminated service. To keep it around would have cost me $500 a year. With number portability, we got to keep the number we had had forever.  A Pansonic 616 for the cost of 1 month of a POTS line was the best investment I ever made. For serious collectors it is a must. Just my humble opinion....Doug
Kidphone

Offline Dave F

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Re: Uverse "Joy" with AT&T
« Reply #33 on: October 16, 2011, 02:26:38 PM »
I haven't had a Plain Old telephone line for three years now. I don't miss it a bit, well maybe the radio station that supplied music on talk from Verizon that was "my CPE inside cabling," even though I proved it to them with a butt set at the DMark, but I regress. I went to Comcast digital and it has been wonderful. More of my old phones ring when connected than when I had Verizon. I purchased a Panasonic 616 for testing old phones and I never looked back. POTS line was almost $40 with no LD back when I terminated service. To keep it around would have cost me $500 a year. With number portability, we got to keep the number we had had forever.  A Pansonic 616 for the cost of 1 month of a POTS line was the best investment I ever made. For serious collectors it is a must. Just my humble opinion....Doug
Most of the time, a new digital phone line will be just fine.  However, in due course, for any variety of reasons, the cable will go down, and then you won't have phone service.  My Time Warner cable TV service suffers routine outages, some of which last for more than a whole day.  Still, they are constantly harassing me to bundle it with digital phone service.  I think not.

The cable companies, as well as the cell phone vendors, are fighting tooth and nail to prevent the government from requiring back-up power for their systems.  This is understandable, as backing up a million cell transmitters will cost a ton of money.  My POTS line comes from the Culver City C.O., just over a mile from my house.  I have had the privilege of visiting the basement there, and have seen close-up the rows of batteries and the diesel generator which should protect my service if and when the time comes.  I have had the same phone number since 1964, and in all that time I can't ever recall a time when my service was down for more than the time it took some repairman to finish his doings on the pole.  JMHO.

Dave

Offline GG

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Re: Uverse "Joy" with AT&T
« Reply #34 on: October 16, 2011, 11:31:20 PM »


Ultimately that is a problem of using the wrong architecture for a network: making technologies do things they are not really suited for.

Looking at Paul F's "zone charts" in the "Help ID this phone" topic, you see 302s in the long rural lines category beyond Zone 5: this worked because the central office could feed power to carrier equipment located along the long cable spans.

With a multitude of cellphone carriers, that's not possible as it is under a regulated monopoly.  So each carrier has to provide its own backup batteries at each cell tower, and for the most part these batteries are only good for a few hours rather than days, and of course don't have diesel generators to keep them charged. 

Coaxial cable was originally developed as an interexchange carrier medium for long hauls, up to and including undersea cables.  In that role the equipment at each end, at the COs, is backed up by the CO battery banks and diesel generators.  Coax also made possible "CATV" or "Community Antenna Television," to bring TV to suburban and rural areas beyond the reach of household antennae: one big antenna tower plus a coax cable network could serve a town.  This morphed into "cable TV" with its growing multitude of channels.   (And originally it was also sold as having "no commercials" because you paid for your subscription!)

Coax is ideally suited for those applications.  But it requires local terminal equipment at each subscriber's location, and that in turn depends on the power grid.  So making it do double-duty to provide telephone service, is stretching the architecture beyond its designed limits. 

Further, when the potential subscriber base is spread out over a multitude of competing carriers, and each carrier's market share can fluctuate almost at random, none of those carriers is able to engage in the kind of long-term planning and capital investment that characterized the regulated monopoly model.  This is why the cable & cell carriers balk at the thought of having to invest in more robust power supply infrastructure.

Lastly, investment itself has changed from a dividend-based model (buy stock, keep the stock, earn your profit on the dividends of the company's profits) to a trading or speculation based model (buy and sell rapidly to profit from moment-to-moment changes in stock prices).  This has also spelled the end of what used to be known as "safe stocks" such as utilities and "industrials."  It is also ultimately what led to the recent economic bubbles and the present economic depression, that in turn spawned populist protest movements in both political parties (the Tea Party among Republicans, and Occupy Wall Street among Democrats). 

So, to get things back to where they should be, we would: a) restore the rules that made for a stable investment climate, b) regulate the telecom infrastructure according to sound engineering principles. 

Two other examples of what that looks like in practice:

As it is, you can download a movie via Netflix.  When millions of people are doing that, the internet groans under the load, and carriers have to start charging "measured rates" for data service. 

Under the "new old paradigm", you would order the movie via the internet over DSL on your phone line, and it would be downloaded via the cable TV network into your set-top box for viewing at your leisure.  The internet would not groan under the load of being stretched to serve the purpose (television) best served by coaxial cable networks. 

As it is, you have fragmented cellular and landline service, with power interruptions and bad audio on cellular, and neglected station wiring in buildings as an impediment to landline service.

Under the "new old paradigm," cell towers would be backed up by central office power supply, telcos could invest in improving cellular audio to near-landline quality, telcos could invest in upgrading the inside wiring in buildings, and you would have one phone number that rang both your landline and mobile at the same time (with a call-transfer feature between them as in Centrex).

And the same rules that made it possible for each type of carrier to do what it does best, would also smooth out fluctuations in the economy, from the present "bulimia/anorexia" model (boom and bust, binge and purge), to a normal business cycle where the fluctuations were moderate rather than extreme. 

We can have this if we want it: start by writing to your elected officials.

Offline rtp129495

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Re: Uverse "Joy" with AT&T
« Reply #35 on: October 19, 2011, 07:35:46 AM »
FINALLY!!! I have uverse working WITH POTS!!!

I called AT&T again and this time they sent out a Tech. I was glad becuase I was certian they messed up wiring the line for uverse. It turns out they disconnected the POTS wires and left the wires hanging in the tech closet and hooked my original phoneline directly to the DSLAM Fiber optic Wires from the fiber switch on the street. After finding my original POTS wires, I asked if he could hook the DSLAM Wires to the yellow/Black Pair in my main phone wire and the POTS wires to red/green. he agreed and hooked it up this way, I dont have to use DSL FILTERS!!! He was an AT&T employee since 1980!!! he remebered the old days and it was fun chatting with this tech. I showed him some of my phones and he thought it was really neat and didn't charge me anything for the extra wiring! I guess I made out after all. Had they not messed it up I wouldn't have met this guy or gotten the custom wiring to my condo!

Offline GG

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Re: Uverse "Joy" with AT&T
« Reply #36 on: October 19, 2011, 12:06:29 PM »


Great to hear it!  All's well that ends well.  And now you have the best of both worlds, and a chat with a cool dude from the telco. 


Offline mwplefty

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We got the whole U-Verse package in bulk (Television, Internet, AND Phone) last October. I was a big fan of AT&T until U-Verse came to my house, and I'm sure that you can understand why. When we first got U-Verse, I still had a 28-year-old non-cable ready TV hooked up (with an adapter) to the cable output in the basement. We previously had Comcast X-finity, and I could pick up channels 2-13 on the Basic Analog system because, at the time, Comcast still supported local analog channels (as of April 24, they are 100% digital). I was able to use the knobs to change channels, and if I wanted digital cable, all I had to do was disconnect a little cable box from another TV, hook it up to this TV, and get over 100 channels.

So when we got U-Verse, there were two problems: no analog cable at all, rendering the tuning knobs useless. I couldn't just plug the cable into the output. I needed the box, which I thought wasn't the end of the world, but it still bothered me. Well, since I wanted to test U-Verse cable on this old TV, I removed the box from another TV already programmed with the box. When I tried to hook it up, I was told that I couldn't just move boxes from one TV to another like I did with Comcast X-finity. I needed the technician to come over to my house to re-program the cable box for this TV. At that point, I just said "screw it" and moved that TV into the back room unable to pick up more than 1 over-the-air channel. I knew that the technician would not program a cable box for such an old TV.

I was reluctantly coped with that until we got to the phone situation. First, we were only receiving Caller ID on 1 phone (out of 4). We get a lot of ridiculous automated sales calls, and we wanted to avoid picking up the phone to such callers. Next, as you all know, I couldn't dial out on my Model 500 rotary phone (yet calls still came in). And of course, I could not find any pulse-to-tone converters that functioned with AT&T, perhaps the only major telephone provider to go 100% pulse-dial free. I was told that U-Verse saved us $180 per month over Xfinity. Personally, I think that using my rotary dial phone, having Caller ID, and being able to move cable boxes at will from one TV to another is worth more than that per month. In the grand scheme of things, nothing is really cheaper. If you're saving money on something like this, you're probably sacrificing something else that you enjoy whose value is equal to or greater than the money saved. Therefore, the benefit of $180 less per month doesn't outweigh the "real" cost to you.

Offline Owain

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It all sounds terribly expensive to me. But then I'm cheap and pay:

- about 10 a month for landline phone (evening and weekend calls inclusive and my daytime calls are few). And the line supports pulse dialling :-)
- about 7 a month for internet (8MBps / 10 GB a month with Unlimited overnight usage)
- internet includes a free VoIP number (but not calls)
- another free VoIP number from sipgate.co.uk with calls about 1p/min.
- I don't have any subscription TV but have to pay the 145.50 per year TV licence (which is compulsory for all TV viewing and pays for the BBC)

For the TV, "Freeview" (digital terrestrial television) gives about 50 channels (about 10 'proper' channels excluding shopping etc) including the 4 peak-time adult BBC channels, 2 daytime children's BBC channels (all advert-free), a movie channel, etc. http://www.freeview.co.uk/Channels

Offline AE_Collector

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I know little about U-Verse TV other than that it runs on the Microsoft Media Room platform which is what my Telus Optik TV in Canada runs on. A fanatastic system that blows away all of the other competitors so far.

I am wondering if there is confusion with regards to moving your set top box. I can pop into programming on my STB's to change it from 4x3 to 16x9 output and 480/720/1080 etc to work properly on different TV's.  What you can't necesarily do is just move the STBB to another room and connect it to an old cable (or network) connection and expect it to work. If Mediaroom is running on Co-ax in your house the system turns those co-ax runs into an HPNA network which is nothing like the old analog coax feed to a TV. Thus you need a STB for every TV even if it is an ancient TV.

If you know what you are doing you can likely heat up an old coax in another room for a STB but previously unused (with U-Verse) runs aren't likely already connected and ready to go. Special HPNA splitters are required as well.

Here if we have a phone line with Optik TV it arrives at the house on copper so is a regular POTS phone line with ADSL on it to run the TV and Internet. Dial pulse is still supported as well. If we have FIOS (fibre to the house) the phone line is on the fibre and is seperated out to an ATA and connected into the twisted pair wiring inside the house.

On a side note, the system is capable of so much more than an ancient CRT TV can deliver. With everyone dumping their old CRT TV's for flat screen LCD/Plasma TV's it is dead easy to find used CRT TV's with slightly better resolution and lots of different types of Inputs (rather than just co-ax inputs) that will work considerably better with U-Verse or other TV providers and they can easily be found for free.

MW: I merged your topic into this existing U-Verse TV discussion.

Terry
« Last Edit: June 05, 2012, 09:22:08 PM by AE_collector »