AT&T launches digital TV service in the Triangle

Some Triangle viewers who buy their TV service have a new choice. Starting Monday, cable and satellite aren't the only games around.

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RALEIGH, N.C. — AT&T is now offering its U-verse TV service as well as high-speed Internet service in the Triangle.

U-verse includes more than 75 high-definition channels as well as digital video-recording capability.

AT&T is positioning the service as an alternative to cable and satellite TV services. The North Carolina General Assembly helped open the way for AT&T to offer the TV service in 2006 when it passed the Video Service Competition Act.

"This is actually a step forward in providing video entertainment,” said Bob Sellman, with AT&T. "That gives us the capability to start integrating features of computing, as well as video."

The experience is much like watching cable or satellite TV,  with an on-screen programming guide. However, AT&T says U-verse has a big advantage when you want to use the DVR. With a single recorder, you can watch shows on any connected TV in the house.

"No more being glued to one particular TV, because that's the only place where you have something recorded," Sellman said.

U-verse is available to people only in the AT&T service area. Packages start at $44 a month.

With the new competition, Time Warner Cable reported it is adding new features, including more high-definition channels. A service that allows you to restart and watch programs from the beginning is also in the works. Plus, a feature that allows you to watch shows you missed, up to 48 hours after the program originally aired.

"You really have to take a look at it and just ultimately decide what you're getting and what you're paying for,” Sellman said.

AT&T is currently taking orders for U-verse. The phone company is also offering a new suite of high-speed Internet services.

  • Max 18: Downstream speeds up to 18.0 megabits per second (mbps), upstream speeds up to 1.5 mbps
  • Max: Downstream speeds up to 10.0 mbps, upstream speeds up to 1.5 mbps
  • Elite: Downstream speeds up to 6.0 mbps, upstream speeds up to 1.0 mbps
  • Pro: Downstream speeds up to 3.0 mbps, upstream speeds up to 1.0 mbps
  • Express: Downstream speeds up to 1.5 mbps, upstream speeds up to 1.0 mbps

You can sign up online or at AT&T retail stores.