Back in October AT&T announced their Wireless Receiver for U-Verse customers (More info). Zach in Florida was kind enough to write up his impression of the device. From AT&T's website:
TV content is delivered from the wireless access point near the residential gateway over your in-home Wi-Fi to the U-verse Wireless Receiver, made by Cisco. All U-verse Internet packages include wireless home networking at no extra cost. The easy set-up reduces the time for installation appointments because technicians won’t need to rewire or add outlets, and it’s also simple for existing customers to add a wireless receiver on their own.
- The flexibility to design your room and arrange your furniture to suit your style, since the TV is no longer tied to the TV outlet.
- The ability to have a TV in rooms not typically wired for TV, including an outdoor covered patio.
- The ability to easily move your TV for special events.
- The ability to move your TV to the guest room or basement for house guests.
- Extra value of one receiver serving multiple rooms.
- A faster and simpler set-up process for customers and U-verse technicians.
- The Wireless Receiver also has full Total Home DVR capabilities to manage and play back recordings and pause and rewind live TV from any TV in the home.
AT&T shipped the box 2nd day air (probably what the one-time $50 fee goes to), and setup was simple. Surprisingly, I needed to add an additional WAP device (not much larger than an AppleTV) that uses one ethernet port on the Uverse wireless gateway. I had thought that the existing gateway would provide the signal.
Using the device itself is exactly the same. The unit indicates WIFI strength on the front (1-5 bars), and the directions say that 3 bars are required for initial setup to work. AT&T notes that video quality drops with weak signal, but I haven't seen this. However, my signal is strong (always 4-5 bars) and I only use the unit for SD. The box is noticeably more responsive to remote commands, possibly a product of upgraded hardware; and the video quality is exactly the same as far as I can tell.
There is an extremely slight video anomaly every 10sec or so, which I can best describe as a "tick." However it is so slight that I have to pay attention in order to catch it. This is persistent even when menus are displayed, so it has something to do with the video output overall and not a problem with the wireless transmission. I don't know if this still occurs over HDMI; AT&T may simply have skimped on the analogue video components since everyone's going HD. It could just be my box, but it's so minor I'm not concerned.
It gets the job done reliably; I am more than pleased.
Zach in FL