Consumers frustrated with the current dearth of TV delivery options will be pleased to learn that AT&T -- now an SBC property -- has joined alternative provider Verizon and its FiOS service with an IPTV rollout that promises distinct advantages over satellite and cable. The company's U-verse service, which just went live in some 5,000 San Antonio area homes (and which should not be confused with its Homezone offering), uses either fiber directly to the home or connected to last-mile copper to deliver up to 200 channels of programming, hundred of hours of video-on-demand content, and download speeds up to 6.0Mbps. Customers can choose from among four TV packages and three Internet packages ( the 6.0Mbps Elite, 3.0Mbps Pro or 1.5Mbps Express options) to create service bundles that range from $69 to $124 per month, and include three set-top boxes (one with DVR) and a wireless router. Although AT&T is currently only using the technology to provide a few peripheral value-added features like picture-in-picture, IPTV opens up the possibility for other, more exotic functionality like TV-based caller ID and remote DVR programming that cable and satellite operators would have trouble implementing.

[Via Seattle Post-Intelligencer]

Long live component video!