Looking to leverage the flexibility of IP, AT&T today announced a set of new enhancements for U-Verse customers. Beginning today and over the next few weeks, AT&T will roll out upgraded DVR capabilities, user interface enhancements, increased downstream speeds for U-Verse High Speed Internet Max residential and business customers, and a new On-Demand Top Picks application for customers in select markets at no extra cost, the company announced.
“These latest upgrades are further examples of how we’re using Internet Protocol (IP) technology to give you more control and more value. With AT&T U-verse, you’re getting DVR capabilities you can’t find from any cable providers, exciting and useful apps, and faster broadband speeds,” said Jeff Weber, vice president of video services for AT&T’s Mobility and Consumer Markets in a media release.
With DVR, AT&T is trying to differentiate itself over cable and satellite competitors. Its DVR service has historically been seen as a competitive advantage. Today’s announcements appear to be an attempt to enhance that advantage. Customers will be able to schedule and manage recordings from any U-Verse receiver, a feature that is unique to AT&T among multi-room DVR providers, the company says. This will enable viewers to set or delete recordings from any room in their home instead of from the DVR receiver room only.
Launched last year, Total Home DVR allows U-Verse DVR customers to watch standard and High-Definition recorded shows on up to eight connected TVs in the home from a single DVR. In addition AT&T will also add remote scheduling for DVR recordings to the list of U-Verse features. Working with Yahoo!, AT&T is also rolling out a new interface will enable customers to schedule and manage DVR recordings from any Web-connected PC. Webber comments that these enhancements only represent “the beginning” of a more enhanced entertainment experience from U-Verse TV.
AT&T is also tinkering with broadband tiers, which for them, is an area where they face significant competitive scrutiny. Unfortunately, boosting the downstream speed for High Speed Internet Max customers from up to 10 Mbps to up to 12 Mbps won’t do much to meet the competitive challenge posed by DOCSIS 3.0 competitors.