No surprises here, but AT&T is doing the right thing by getting official with its Total Home DVR -- which we've been expecting for like, ever. A number of loyal U-verse users received word of the change last week, but now the provider is rolling the software out to the Bay Area at no additional charge; as for everyone else, expect to receive it before 2009 dawns. So, what's so fresh about Total Home? Oh, just the ability to watch five HD programs simultaneously throughout the home, among other nice extras listed in bulleted fashion after the jump.
AT&T U-VERSE INTRODUCES TOTAL HOME DVR, TAKING 'WHEN YOU WANT, WHERE YOU WANT' TV VIEWING TO WHOLE NEW LEVEL
Latest U-verse TV Enhancement - Made Possible by IP Technology - Enables DVR Playback on Any TV Throughout the Home
DALLAS, Sept. 9, 2008 - DVRs have given customers the flexibility to watch TV programs on their schedules, but limited where the programs can be watched by restricting recorded content to certain TV sets and rooms in the home. Now that's about to change for AT&T U-verseSM TV customers. Using the power of AT&T's Internet Protocol (IP) network, families no longer have to plan how or where they watch and record their favorite shows.
AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) today announced the launch of AT&T U-verse Total Home DVR, giving U-verse TV customers the freedom to play back Standard Definition (SD) and High Definition (HD) recorded programs on any connected TV in the home.
U-verse Total Home DVR is now being introduced to customers in the Bay Area at no additional charge and is planned for deployment to all U-verse TV customers by the end of 2008.
"AT&T U-verse is about providing the latest in entertainment and technology for a better TV experience," said Jeff Weber, AT&T vice president of video products. "With our 100 percent IP network, we are able to constantly evolve features and services to match the needs of viewers. Total Home DVR is the latest addition to our portfolio of unmatched features that give U-verse customers more control, on any TV, at a great price."
AT&T U-verse Total Home DVR customers can:
• Watch HD and SD DVR recordings on other connected TVs in the home. In addition to your DVR, you can access, play, pause, rewind and fast forward any recorded SD or HD program on up to seven additional U-verse-connected TVs. All U-verse DVRs and receivers are HD-capable.
• Pause a recorded show and pick up where you left off in another room.
• Play back multiple, independent viewings of the same recorded show on different TVs.
• Play back up to four recorded shows at once. Up to three can be HD recorded programs.
• Watch up to five HD programs simultaneously throughout the home, including two live HD programs and three recorded HD programs.
• Record more of the show you want to see with soft padding, which automatically adds 1 minute to the beginning and 2 minutes to the end of each pre-scheduled recording.
• Organize recorded content by series. Series recordings will be grouped as a single heading in the recorded TV menu, making it easier for customers to manage and select their recorded programs.
• Store up to 37 hours of HD content or up to 133 hours of SD content, which is more storage than most cable providers' DVRs.
• Record up to four programs at once on a single DVR - another feature that is exclusive to AT&T U-verse TV.
• Set the DVR while on the go from your PC or wireless phone. With AT&T Yahoo!® Web and Mobile Remote Access to DVR, you can schedule recordings from any Web-connected PC or compatible mobile phone (wireless service charges apply) by using your AT&T High Speed Internet account.
"While some other providers may claim to offer some form of whole home DVR, AT&T U-verse Total Home DVR is the only one that truly lets you play back recorded programs from a single DVR on any connected TV in the house," Weber said.
Using IP technology, Total Home DVR capabilities will be seamlessly provided to existing customers' DVRs without the need to swap their current equipment. The U-verse network architecture and IPTV service allow Total Home DVR functionality to be enabled by a software update, without any action or hassle for existing customers. The updates occur on a market-by-market basis, and existing AT&T U-verse customers in a market will gain the new functionality as their home equipment receives the update.
Total Home DVR is the latest addition to the constantly evolving suite of features that has been introduced to all U-verse TV customers at no extra charge since the AT&T U-verse launch in June 2006. These include:
• Mobile Remote Access to DVR, which lets you schedule and manage DVR recordings from any compatible mobile phone.
• AT&T U-bar, which brings customizable weather, stock, sports and traffic information to the U-verse TV screen, without interrupting the current program.
• AT&T Online Photos from Flickr, which allows you to simply and conveniently browse the photos you've uploaded to flickr.com and watch slide shows on your U-verse TV screen from the comfort of your couch.
• Yahoo! Sports Fantasy Football, which allows you to track the progress of your fantasy team - including current team matchups and league standings - directly from your TV screen through the AT&T U-bar.
• YELLOWPAGES.COM TV, for fast and easy searches to find local businesses and other information via your TV screen.
• AT&T Yahoo! Games, so you can play your favorite online games - including Sudoku, Solitaire, JT's Blocks, Mah-jongg Tiles and Chess - on the TV screen.
AT&T has also announced today the availability of AT&T U-verse Voice to all U-verse eligible customers in the Bay Area, bringing consumers a next-generation digital voice service with unique integrated features. AT&T U-verse services are currently available to more than 580,000 living units in the greater Bay Area, marking a significant expansion since AT&T U-verse launched locally in December 2006.
In the future, AT&T plans to add to its Total Home DVR service with the ability to schedule recordings and pause or control live TV from non-DVR receivers.
AT&T is deploying next-generation AT&T U-verse services as part of its mission to connect people with their world, everywhere they live and work, and do it better than anyone else. Customers benefit from integrated AT&T services across the three screens they value most: the TV, the PC and the wireless phone.