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Old 01-15-2009, 11:07 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: San Fernando Valley (SoCal)
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Default Re: Flat screen TVs - need advice

Originally Posted by GregMann View Post

The way I understand AT&T's U-verse is that it is fibre-optic on the street and phone line into the house. If you have their internet service everything goes to the modem. TV signals and phone service branches out from there...

AT&T is busy installing VRADs (Video Ready Access Devices) all over the country, which are those big beige junction boxes you can now see sitting along curbs. They run fiber-optic cable to the VRADS and standard copper wire from there to the homes. Each VRAD can feed about 750 homes, but can be no farther than 3000 feet from the home.

Installed in the home is an RA (Residential Gateway), which is basically a hybrid router. Each RA has 4 ports, so the total number of feeds to TVs and/or computers is 4 (maybe by now upgraded to 6, things change fast). That means if you have 4 TVs (or 6) being watched in your house at one time, you will have to shut one off in order to log on to the internet, or vice versa.

Wiring (for TV service) from the RA through the house can be either Ethernet cable (Cat 5e or better), or existing coax cable (RG6 or better) using an adapter. Ethernet cabling is said to give a better picture.

Until Colin mentioned U-verse in this thread I knew very little about it. Since I am in the process of running new wiring through the walls of my house for my Internet and media servers, I was very interested in anything new that may be coming our way. It looks like if I run both RG6 and Cat 6a cabling I should be good to go for several years to come, no matter which Internet or TV service provider I choose.

In talking with AT&T, I found out that the closest VRAD to my house is about one block farther from my house than the 3000 ft. maximum. And they don't know when one will be installed any closer. So, U-verse is not an option for me at this time. But at least I'll be ready for it when it gets here.
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