OT: AT&T U-verse opinions

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"If you have any more questions, post them. I will try to answer them."
I have a few questions regarding the UVerse setup that pertain to the hardware/wiring.
I understand that UVerse is fiber-optic to the "box" in the local neighborhood area (called a "VRAD", is that correct?), and from there, it comes to your house on ordinary copper pair, just as DSL (over the phone lines).
Once it gets to the network interface on the outside of the house, how many wires run from the outside to the inside? Just 2 (a single "pair" going to the residential gateway)? (With DSL, the voice and DSL channels at my house are "split" at the network interface, one pair for voice, the other for DSL, 4 wires total).
If I choose to convert my voice telephone from ordinary "landline" to VOIP through UVerse, the "plain ol'" phone line begins at the residential gateway, is that correct?
Also, where does the battery backup unit get wired in?
Diid you choose cat5 or coax for the connection between the RG and the set-top box? Any particular reason to choose one over the other?
Here's my current setup, and how I'd like to "convert" it over to UVerse:
I live in an old house (1911). My computers/router are upstairs, and rather than try drilling through floors and plaster walls, when I "modernized" my phones (back in the years when you had a second phone line for internet, no DSL yet!) I bought some heavy-duty "outdoor" red/green/yellow/black 4-conductor phone line, and ran it from a terminal block just inside the cellar (where the line from the network interface comes in), OUTSIDE the house, and back in through a hole in the outside wall where a tv cable once went through.
Upstairs I just split off the r/g for voice and y/b for internet. It's worked fine for years now, no problems with the physical wiring at all.
When my sister finally got a laptop, I got a 75' cat 5 ethernet cable, and just ran it along the walls and downstairs and "left it loose" down there, so she could just plug in when needed. Not sophisticated, but it works. I recently added a second wireless router downstairs (upstairs router is an old "wired only" model) so we have the option of wired or wireless downstairs now.
What I'd like to do with UVerse (rather than have the installer guy trying to drill from the upstairs to the basement):
Assuming the line is just 2-wires coming into the house from the network interface, I'd like to run it to my junction block, and then send it upstairs to the residential gateway on two wires of my r/g/y/b cable. I'll connect the gateway, and split the phone signal and then run the phone _back downstairs_ to my foyer phone via the other two conductors.
There's no tv upstairs, only downstairs (where the computer gets used there). I'd like to take the existing 75' ethernet cable, and just use that to run from the residential gateway to the set-top box. Actually, I'm wondering (since the signal is ethernet) if I can't run from the RG to the downstairs router, and then run another cat5 from the LAN port on the back of the router to the set-top box? Or, must there be a "direct connection" between the RG and the set-top box?
I suppose I could just leave it all to the install guy, but I'd rather play a more active roll in the installation, for no other reason that to have a clear understanding of how it works should I encounter problems down the line and need to troubleshoot it.
Thanks, - John
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On 2/11/2012 9:08 AM, snipped-for-privacy@fdcx.net wrote:

I have Uverse. My major complaint is the TV remote. I have service in two rooms and in the living-room the DVR is in a console below the TV, like most people. Because the DVR is "a little" lower the line-of-sight isn't as good as in the bedroom. So, in the living-room the remote is squirrely. Sometimes it works and other times it doesn't. VERY frustrating.
I sent the first DVR back and got the newest version of the DVR ATT offers but it's remote is just as bad as the first one. ATT offers a radio remote that is supposed to work better but it has a one-time $50 cost. Personally, I think it's a ATT problem and they shouldn't make the customers pay for the radio remote. They should just send it instead.
The internet service isn't that great either. I haven't checked the upload/download rate that much but my bet would be it's not as good as advertised. Fairly reliable and can handle streaming Netflix videos "fairly" well.
Good things? Seems to be cheaper than most services. The bill remains constant, which was my major complaint with Comcast. The TV service is pretty good other than the remote issues. Lot's of pay and free on-demand. Records 4 shows at the same time.
If a shitty remote doesn't bother you I'd say go for it. It has been cheaper, for the first year at least. Try to put the DVR in a higher than normal place with a straight line-of-sight. That's how we have it in the bedroom and the remote works better in there. You have to be pretty close (10 feet or less) and pointing "right at" the DVR for the remote to work well. It was almost a deal breaker for me but I've resigned myself to living with it (the remote).
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On Sat, 11 Feb 2012 12:51:59 -0600, gonjah <gonjah.net> wrote:

I bought an RF remote from DirectTv and it is only $25. Ask them if they price match. I ended up getting two of them and frankly, in the two rooms where I use them I'd never go back to IR again. So nice not to have to point it at anything.
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On 2/11/2012 10:08 AM, snipped-for-privacy@fdcx.net wrote:

Here is western NC I'm paying $150/mo for slow (3Meg) DSL, 2 phone numbers with all distance (US) calling (Caller ID, Call waiting and voice mail on 1st line only) and Dish 200. I only wish I could have FIOS or Uverse.
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On Feb 11, 9:08 am, snipped-for-privacy@fdcx.net wrote:

Well, after reading most of the posts here I find myself very reluctant to reply to your actual question for fear of being ridiculed but here goes anyway.
I dumped TimeWarner about 5 years ago and went with ATT Uverse. The first year or two they were still cutting their teeth with the UVERSE package but it was still far better that TimeWarner even then. I have several friends who have tried the satelite route and from what I have seen, thanks but no thanks...besides I still needed other connections for phone and internet.
For the last couple of years the service level has been outstanding with only a few hic-ups now and then. The current package allows me to record multiple HD Channels while watching an HD Channel and use the internet too. I got the midlevel internet package and it seem plenty fast for everything I have used it for including downloading some movies.
Hope this helps.
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On Tue, 14 Feb 2012 10:35:39 -0800 (PST), BobR

U-Verse is not available here or I may have gone that route. I got fed up with my cable company so the only other alternative was satellite. I hesitated for years because of the stories I heard about it. Finally took the plunge about 18 months ago.
Over the years, the equipment, especially the dish, has improved. The quality is excellent and only once did I have a reception problem for about 15 minutes. Cable used to do that at times too. The record snows of last year were not noticed at all.
I still have to have phone and DSL for internet. The cable companies can give me faster download, but at a greater cost.
No matter what you have for service, the rates will continue to go up.
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