For Orange County residents in AT&T U-verse territory, the TV service has unveiled it “Total Home DVR,” which allows up to four TVs in the same house watch the same recorded video or four different recorded shows.
I spotted this technology more than a year ago when visiting Cox Communications in Rancho Santa Margarita. Essentially, a home’s main TV is connected to a souped-up DVR that has four TV tuners (to record four shows simultaneously) and a massive hard drive (to store recorded TV shows). Other TVs in the house are then connected to regular set-top boxes that connect to the main DVR via Internet technology.
This way, any TV in the house can access the recorded TV shows on the main DVR. This comes in handy for people with multiple TVs who, for example, start watching a recorded movie downstairs on the living-room TV but finish watching it upstairs in bed. You can pause the movie downstairs and not miss a frame when you hit play upstairs.
The DVR stores up to 37 hours of high-definition video, or 133 hours of standard definition. And technically, says AT&T, you can watch up to 5 HD programs at the same time (that’s 2 live HD programs plus 3 recorded HD programs).
It’s free to users, but if you need service for more than one TV, you’ll need to rent additional U-verse TV receivers for $5 a month.
AT&T, if you haven’t figured out by now, began offering TV service in OC last year. Traditionally a telephone company, AT&T is using Internet technology to pipe TV broadcasts into the home. It’s just like its telecom rival Verizon, which uses a completely different technology for its FiOS TV service, which launched in OC last year, too.
When I last asked AT&T where U-verse was in Orange County, the company gave me a list of these cities (or parts thereof): Anaheim, Brea, Buena Park, Costa Mesa, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Irvine, La Habra, Laguna Niguel, Orange, Placentia, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Santa Ana, Tustin, Westminster and Yorba Linda.
AT&T will no longer divulge where its U-verse service is in OC but encourages people to check availability online at uverse.att.com.