Service behind AT&T U-Verse could be sold within weeks
Microsoft is allegedly talking to Ericsson to sell its IPTV business. The sale, which would include the same MediaRoom unit that powers the U-Verse IPTV service from AT&T among others, could be announced by the companies in the next few weeks, and could be a way for Microsoft to streamline its Entertainment and Devices division.
U-verse for Xbox 360 removed from sale temporarily
AT&T has stopped sales of the U-verse bundle for Xbox 360, citing work to “improve and enhance” the functionality, according to a message on its website. The bundle will not be up for sale again until the new functionality is added, a representative has told Multichannel.
Convergence Consulting estimates 2012 cutters too
Over one million pay TV customers stopped their subscriptions in the US last year, a Convergence Consulting Group research report (PDF) published this month found. The total number was 2.65 million since 2008, as users look to online streaming services such as Netflix. Researchers estimated the 2011 figure at 1.05 million.
AT&T U-verse iPad app now live, brings EPG, more
AT&T has now released the U-verse iPad app (free, App Store), meant as a companion to the TV watching experience. U-verse TV subscribers can get extra information and bonus content through the app on the TV show they're watching, such as photos, cast and crew data, similar shows, a synopsis, and more. The app will also turn the iPad into a remote control and a guide, letting users schedule DVR recordings and see what's coming up.
Delay hints back-office hiccups
Last March, AT&T confirmed that it was planning to cap its Internet services and begin charging overage fees. It is now almost a year later and the provider has still not implemented its strategy. It is likely that AT&T hasn't done so because it still hasn't figured out how to measure usage accurately and then bill for overages.
AT&T to ship wireless TV receiver on October 31
AT&T has just introduced its latest U-verse TV accessory, the TV Wireless Receiver (PDF). Due on October 31, it will connect to the company's residential gateway and send broadcasts over Wi-Fi from the receiver to the TV. This lets customers put TV sets in rooms or other places, such as patios or backyards, where there are no TV outlets.
Microsoft shows ATT Windows Phones
Microsoft's Andy Lees used the AsiaD conference to show off the finished versions of AT&T's Windows Phone 7.5 roster. Its headliner and completely new model, the Focus S, looks like what Electronista and others saw before with the same 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus screen and 8.6mm profile as the Galaxy S II, just with a 1.4GHz single-core Snapdragon and a 1.3-megapixel front camera instead of the two of the Android phone. The phone won't necessarily perform slower in practice due to WP7's light demand.
UFC starts on Xbox as ATT U-verse clamps down
Microsoft finished off the week with word that its promised live UFC games on the Xbox 360 would go live on December 1. Along with on-demand clips, it will give viewers the option of pay-per-view live fights much like they would on the web or regular TV. The first live event should be UFC 140 in Toronto with Jon Jones and Lyoto Machida.
U-verse Mobile app comes to Infuse 4G, HD7S, more
AT&T has once again expanded the number of phones that can access its U-verse Mobile app for watching TV shows and scheduling recordings. The newly added Android-powered devices include the LG Thrive and variant LG Phoenix along with the Samsung Infuse 4G, with the Windows Phone-powered HTC HD7S getting the functionality as well. This makes the app available on more than 20 devices and four different operating systems.
Comcast goes through MIT to test IPTV system
Comcast revealed Wednesday that it was testing a TV-over-IP system for its network. A dry run on MIT's grounds in the fall would prove it can deliver its regular TV service using Internet protocol in a way that would simplify delivering it beyond TV sets. The move as cast by the Wall Street Journal would simplify watching real-time broadcasts on tablets like the iPad, Xbox 360s, and other devices that Comcast can't normally reach.
ABI says online and telco TV hurting cable
In spite of doubts of cord cutting, at least some cable TV providers are feeling an impact from Internet video and some of their more digitally-aware phone companies, ABI Research found in a new study. Cable still had the lead but dropped from 72 percent of TV viewing worldwide in 2009 to 69 percent this past year. What growth there was took place in areas such as Latin America, where many hadn't had access to cable TV to start with and, in Brazil's case, were getting it through a government access plan.
HTC HD7s priced and dated for ATT
HTC and AT&T together committed to final launch plans for the HD7s. The AT&T-native conversion of HTC's main Windows Phone 7 device will be in the carrier's stores on June 5 for the industry-standard $199 on contract. Owners will have access to the WP7 version of the U-verse Mobile TV streaming app as well as AT&T Navigator for subscription GPS.
Music Choice adds VJ channel, 46 music stations
AT&T and Music Choice have announced the addition of Music Choice to the AT&T U-verse TV channel line-up through a unique TV application. The Music Choice app adds SWRV, an interactive music network that puts viewers in control by allowing them act as a VJ, creating their own playlists that get voted on by other users. In addition, the Music Choice app allows users to choose from 46 music stations, commercial free.
Our first-hand test of the HTC HD7s
AT&T put out a small surprise when it unveiled the HTC HD7s this week, not the least of which is that it didn't remain the same. The new Windows Phone 7 hardware was billed as having an "improved" version of the 4.3-inch LCD. We'll find out in our hands-on what that means and how it compares to the T-Mobile HD7.
AT&T, Verizon offer free calls, texts to Japan
AT&T on Monday said it has made calling and texting to Japan free effective as of Friday, March 11 and until March 31. At the same time, Verizon is waiving fees for calls to Japan until April 10, again since Friday. This includes calling and texting, with AT&T's US and Puerto Rico customers having free calling while US customers also get text messaging.
ATT capping DSL and U-verse May 2
AT&T after a leak on Sunday confirmed that it will join other Internet providers in capping its service. Beginning on May 2, regular DSL subscribers will have up to 150GB per month, while those on its U-verse VDSL connections will have the same 250GB as a Comcast user. BBR was told overage fees of $10 for each extra 50GB of data will be in effect, but will only kick in for those who run over the cap three times, albeit over the duration of the account and not per year.
AT&T to bring out Cisco set-top box with Wi-Fi
AT&T on Monday announced it will soon offer a set-top box equipped with Wi-Fi. The Cisco ISB7005 will be offered to U-Verse customers and has just gone through FCC testing. The device will have Wi-Fi but, rather than use it for local network sharing, will let users receive TV signals without the need to connect a co-axial cable.
Free Entertainment Pack, music, TV shows and game
AT&T chose to aggressively promote Windows Phone 7 by launching a new promo. The Entertainment Pack will give every buyer of an HTC Surround or other new Windows Phone 7 device a free month's access to a Zune Pass along with the same 10 permanent MP3s they would get that month. The pack also brings a free month of TV show downloads from U-verse Mobile and a copy of the WP7 game ilomilo.
U-verse Mobile arrives for Android
AT&T on Monday expanded U-verse Mobile beyond the iPhone today by porting it to its Android devices as well as the BlackBerry Curve 3G. The app as always gives subscribers to the TV service a way of scheduling their DVRs from cellular or Wi-Fi. They can also download some TV shows to watch them later, though over Wi-Fi and when a show's producer has greenlit downloads.
ATT U-verse hits Xbox 360 and Windows Phone 7
AT&T during its turn at the Windows Phone 7 event [archive coming soon] confirmed a pair of expansions for the TV side of its U-verse service. As expected, the carrier will add Xbox 360 support to use the Microsoft console as a secondary set-top box for watching TV. It will need at least one regular DVR but can show the full HD video stream.
Service finally coming after a long wait
AT&T is reportedly set to enable Xbox 360 owners to access U-verse content from the game console. The feature is allegedly going live on November 7, following a long wait spanning several years, according to an internal memo posted by Engadget.
AT&T outs Voicemail Viewer app for iPhone, BB
AT&T on Friday released the Voicemail Viewer app for iPhone (free, App store) and BlackBrry users, which lets them access their home phone messages with visual voicemail. U-verse Voice subscribers can view their home voicemail messages in a visual list, not unlike an e-mail inbox, allowing them to listen to them in any order as they would for the cellphone's own calls. The app will also notify users when a new voicemail is left on their home phone.
U-verse Mobile links DVRs to iPhones, BlackBerries
AT&T today provided a rare link between TV and mobile by launching U-verse Mobile (free, App Store) for the iPhone. The app provides remote scheduling of the IPTV service's DVR but also opens the door to Internet viewing. Anyone with a U300 packager or better can download at least some episodes directly over Wi-Fi and watch them locally, even when no connection is available.
ATT puts tight controls on iPhone 4 launch
AT&T plans an even more ambitious launch for the iPhone 4 than for last year, if escaped release day plans remain intact. Stores will open at 7AM on June 24 for all customers, not just pre-orders as with last year. To keep supplies in check, the carrier is also imposing a hard limit of one iPhone of any kind for new customers and one per line for existing customers.
Dell 7-inch tablet gets Tegra 2, Android 2.1
Dell's larger tablet strategy will start off mildly, another leak suggested this evening. So far codenamed the Looking Glass, the 7-inch version should use an NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor and Android 2.1 but will largely be an upsized version of the Mini 5. Engadget understands that the Looking Glass should still have the 800x480 resolution, and its main advantages will be an ATSC or DVB-T TV tuner along with a possible AT&T U-verse TV access.
AT&T brings 24Mbps U-verse service to all markets
AT&T on Monday announced it will begin offering its fastest U-Verse High-Speed Internet Max Turbo service to every current U-Verse market, which would give users the option of 24Mbps downloads and 3Mbps uploads. U-Verse is currently offered in 120 cities in 22 states. The Max Turbo service is priced at $65 per month when bundled with AT&T U-Verse TV or $95 per month for smaller businesses.
Microsoft says TiVo copying Mediaroom tech
Microsoft late Tuesday was discovered to have sued TiVo over alleged patent infringement in its DVRs. The complaint accuses TiVo in a San Francisco court of copying Microsoft's Mediaroom IPTV technology in the DVRs themselves, the software and the subscription-based service. The suit would if successful block TiVo from selling DVRs without a licensing deal.
Comcast DOC 3 Ahead Sched
Comcast today revealed that the rollout of its much faster DOCSIS 3.0 cable Internet service is significantly ahead of its original timetable. The provider told BBR that while it had originally predicted covering 65 percent of its subscribers with the added speed by the end of this year, it now expects to reach 80 percent in the same timeframe. The next area to get a DOCSIS 3.0 upgrade should be made public in weeks, the company said.
ATT U Verse iPhone App
After days of silence on its presence, AT&T today formally launched its Mobile Remote Access app for the iPhone and iPod touch. The free software gives subscribers to the carrier's U-verse IPTV service control over their DVR units, including queuing up future recordings based on the TV schedule as well as deleting shows that are already stored on the set-top box. It can filter to only show favorites or HD content and can find shows based on metadata like an actor's name.
U verse over HD streams
AT&T is allegedly preparing to begin consumer trials that integrate Ruckus Wireless equipment with U-verse services, according to Light Reading. Unnamed sources suggest the company aims to reduce installation times by eliminating the need to run coaxial cable as the primary distribution method across a home. Instead, 802.11n wireless signals will carry HD IPTV streams to various equipment.
SlingPlayer vs U-verse Rum
AT&T's decision to disallow 3G for the iPhone edition of SlingPlayer may have been motivated as much by desires to quash a competitor as it is to avoid congestion, a claim suggests. Although AT&T's official explanation is that streaming TV consumes too much bandwidth, a tip from Gizmodo purports that the carrier has the ulterior motive of crippling SlingPlayer to protect a future U-verse app. Supposedly called i-Verse, it would let subscribers to AT&T's IPTV service either stream live TV over the 3G network or else play shows already recorded on the DVR.
TWC Meter Gone in NY Town
Time Warner Cable has scrapped its plans to trial metered Internet access in Rochester after political resistance, local news said on Thursday. Senator Chuck Schumer delivered surprise news that he had successfully negotiated with the Internet provider to drop Rochester from a planned expansion of metering, which would otherwise have arrived in August. A lack of competition is cited as the primary factor, as subscribers wouldn't get enough alternatives to Time Warner if they dislike the caps and overages.
i.TV 1.4 for iPhone
i.TV has launched version 1.4 of its TV and movie guide for the iPhone and iPod touch. The update provides AT&T U-verse listings for all coverage areas, and more support for Comcast customers, including video-on-demand information and other material. Stability and speed improvements have also been made; the latter cut the start-up time for the app roughly in half, and double active running speed.
ATT on New iPhone
AT&T has reportedly made statements supporting a new, faster iPhone in the June timeframe. Citing one or more unnamed executives at the provider as "100% confirmed" sources, BGR hears the new iPhone will be unveiled "around mid-June" and that speed should be a particular focus. It's suggested that this may include (but wouldn't be limited to) AT&T's planned 7.2Mbps 3G upgrades that should roughly double the theoretical peak download speed on AT&T's network.
ATT Q4 2008 Results
AT&T today reported results for the fall quarter that it attributes directly to continued iPhone 3G sales. The company says that its net income dropped from $3.1 billion in late 2007 to $2.4 billion in 2008 but says that its overall revenue climbed 2.4 percent to $31.1 billion based partly on increases in wireless performance and considers the iPhone 3G a "success." The carrier activated 1.9 million of the devices on its network before the end of December and notes that it activated a total of 4.3 million of the newer Apple handsets since launch.
ATT Cuts 12000 Jobs
AT&T today announced one of the larger job cuts in the midst of the US recession and said it would drop 12,000 employees, or about 4 percent of its total worker base. The effort is attributed both to the poor economy as well as to a "changing business mix" that has left its traditional landline service in decline. Much of that business is shifting towards cellphones and other wireless services, the company says. It also plans to reduce its overall capital spending at the same time but won't have details until January.
ATT Q208 and iPhone 3G
AT&T has sold almost twice as many iPhone 3G units on launch as it did a year ago, the company has revealed today along with its results for the past quarter. The wireless carrier claims that the new handset produced "nearly double" the same amount of sales in 12 days of sales as its predecessor did for its own launch. The company also notes that the number of smartphone owners on its network has more than doubled year-over-year, with the number of customers jumping from eight percent at the end of June 2007 to 18 percent by June 2008.
ATT Q1 2008 Results
AT&T today said it had generated "strong" results for the first quarter of 2008 that it says are owed primarily to its cellphone business. The American telecoms firm earned a total of $30.7 billion over the three-month span, up 4.6 percent from the same quarter in 2007 after adjusting for marketing income related to the past BellSouth acquisition (otherwise at 6.1 percent); however, wireless income grew by about 18.3 percent over the same period and was helped by an increase in the amount spent on data features for these plans: spending on Internet access, over-the-air downloads, and messaging spiked by 57.3 percent, AT&T says. Data in various forms now accounts for as much as 21.5 percent of AT&T's cellphone income, up from 16 percent a year ago.