U-Verse Installation Guide

At one time, cable TV ruled with an iron fist over the paid TV industry. With satellite TV being expensive and geared toward the higher tax bracket, cable was all the average consumer had to work with. Over the years however, technology evolved and the price on satellite TV has dropped significantly, labeling services such as Dish Network and DirecTV a major threat to the mighty cable kings. Today, viewers have even more options to choose from and AT&T U-verse is one service that appears to be leading the charge for alternatives.

What is U-verse?

U-verse is AT&T’s answer to the television, internet and phone services offered by cable TV providers. Unlike cable services, U-verse delivers an IPTV (Internet Protocol Television) signal over a technologically advanced fiber-optic network. According to AT&T, the data travels to a node that is no less than 3,000 feet from your residence. From there, it travels over a DSL or traditional copper telephone line until reaching your home. The combination of Internet Protocol and fiber-optic technology is said to provide speed and video clarity that towers over cable TV with stability and performance that outdoes satellite TV services. If this service is available in your area, you too can enjoy what many are calling the “next generation of digital television”. Before subscribing, you would probably like to know what to expect from the installation process. This article will shed some light on the subject.

Installation Equipment

Similar to cable and satellite TV services, AT&T U-verse offers free equipment and installation to get you up and running quickly. Installation includes a set up of your residential gateway (modem) and receivers along with any additional wiring that is required. A professional AT&T U-verse technician will set up the gateway via a Wi-Fi, Ethernet or USB connection for high-speed internet connectivity and connect the HD-ready receiver to your televison or home entertainment center. A single receiver is capable of simultaneously recording up to four programs on different TVs but you will have to pay $7 per month for each receiver if additional boxes are needed.

What You Should Know About Installation

Shortly after ordering the U-verse service, you will receive a postcard in the mail that contains your 9-digit U-verse account number. More importantly, the card will provide a summary detailing the specific date and time the installation is scheduled to occur. It will also let you know the following:

- The installation will take anywhere from 5 to 8 hours

- Someone 18 years or older and authorized to make decisions regarding your U-verse account must be present during the installation.

- The U-verse installation technician is not permitted to move any furniture in your home. This means it is up to you to make sure that the connections to your TV sets and computers are accessible.

How Long Will it Really Take?

There have been reports of U-verse installations taking as little as two hours and others taking as many as a few days to complete. The actual time frame you endure of course, all depends on your situation and the competency of the installer. In most cases, it is problems with existing wires that result in lengthy installations. Sometimes, the connections used to power your cable box just won’t work with the more sophisticated U-verse set up. So even though most installations are routinely completed with little to no problems, you should still try to be a bit more patient and let the technician or technicians do their thing. Even if the installation process ends up being a nightmare, you will probably forget about it once everything is set up and functioning properly.

Many have found that the speed and picture quality of U-verse is well worth the sometimes grueling installation process.

{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

tim sullivan June 8, 2010 at 5:21 pm

got U-verse, couldn’t afford / didn’t want to pay for all 9 TVs to be hooked up. Several rarely get used so no big deal. We were told we could move the digital box from room to room as needed as all wires would be “hot”. Got a new wide screen TV for the living room and moved the digital box from the kitchen to the LR. Can’t get a signal. The living room is a dead end run to the splitter with working TVs off of it. Connections are all tightly crimped, shouldn’t be any issues, but, still no TV in the LR. Still works in the kitchen. Anybody got any ideas?

Vanessa July 7, 2010 at 11:50 pm

I am very much interested in U-Verse. However, I refuse to use my existing wiring. Dish Network ran wires around walls, under doors that I can’t close and it is a total mess, but that was their idea of “Basic Installation”. If this company can give me a clean installation, where my walls are not bordered with white wires, then I’m ready. I have heard from many people that I’ll be very happy with this service.

ana mejia November 12, 2010 at 1:18 am

Yes, Uverse is the best, ATT has one of the best customer service, all the installations that I’ve had are very neat…I dont know if depends of the installer or the property…the 1st guy took 3 days to install the service!! I lived in a duplex now that I moved to an apt only took 4 hrs to this other guy (townhome)/ I recommend it!!

willia hunter January 21, 2011 at 6:19 pm

I had a terrible experience with the horrible new AT&T it WAS a good co for 60 years .Now they have made it garbage!!!!!!

Julius June 27, 2011 at 7:08 pm

What type of Cat5E wire would I need to wire my whole house?
Do I need the shielded or unshielder with solid coper?

Thanks.
Julius

dee henry July 3, 2011 at 3:11 pm

I’ve had Directv for 10 years now. I’ve always been VERY pleased with my service. I LOVE my Directv SAT. I recently order the new at&t u-verse. I have 2 weeks to find out more about it before the tech arrives to install it. Please, I need feed back on Directv vs. At&t u-verse. I.m still not sure I need to be reasured that I.m doing the right thing. If anyone out there has made this switch, please tell me what you think. Thanks DEE

Caitlin July 16, 2011 at 6:15 pm

I just ordered ATT U-verse (TV and Internet) yesterday, and received an e-mail today telling me that the installation is scheduled for OVER A MONTH AWAY. That is absolutely ridiculous. I called them up, and they said they could move it up by 2 days (which obviously isn’t going to help much). I already had a lot of problems setting up the account (prices online didn’t match what I was being quoted), so after seeing this, I’m pretty fed up and already thinking about switching to a different provider. Just… wow. Who would wait that long for installation???

Mofo August 7, 2011 at 10:08 am

RE: Julius (What type of Cat5E wire)

If insistant on using Cat5, then unshielded solid copper wire is my recommendation.

However, I would urge you to run coaxial cable, rather than UTP (Unshielded twisted pair). The protocol currently used with U-verse is HPNA, which incidentally enough offers better QOS for video. Also Coaxial cable is very much compatible with other cable providers, making it more likely to have a higher ROI.

I would also recommend AGAINST using shielded cat5, where will you BOND your shielding to?

Will August 13, 2011 at 6:04 pm

I ordered ATT U-verse on July29th and they told me install date of Sept. 5th. Informed them this was unacceptable. Salesman told me to give him a day or so. Waited until Aug 1st whereas I received a text from the salesman, new install date Aug 20th $200 MC Giftcard and waived $36.00 activation. (Cha-CHING!) U300 Service / Max 12Mbps Internet will cost me $100.00 a month for 6 months then goes to $153.00 unless I drop to a lower package (2 room setup).

Jon Olson August 31, 2011 at 12:48 pm

I have new (RG6 I think it is) coaxial buried in my lawn to the power pole at the rear edge. I am trying to find out if AT&T can use that line to connect to, at the pole. (I don’t want a line in the air, going from pole to roof and then down the wall).

Daniel November 28, 2011 at 5:52 pm

I have had my U-verse since April 2011 and I would not recommend it to anyone. It always has a problem when the TV sets are not on for some time. Have to turn the tv back off and then back on so I can operate the channel selections. Had approx. 6 techs here to install and it
took them about a month to get it right and I still don’t think it is 100%. And if you need help at times it is a nightmare to find the right person to help. I get mostly people for help from overseas and I think I know more about the problems then they do. So if you get U-verse I will you all the luck you can find.

chelle December 29, 2011 at 6:36 pm

orderd uverse said theyd be out dec 29 between 1and 3 never showed didnt even get a call took time off work called them didnt know what happened to order now scheduled january 29th! they are un beleivable decided to call crappy cable co. theyll be here mon todays thur lets see how long it takes for att to really get here when i moved in it took them two months to get reg landline service working correctly with internet another two months i sick of every bussiness in america!

shanice January 22, 2012 at 1:57 pm

Hi i just signed up for u verse tv. I was recently told by 2 dierctv technicians that they could not install a dish on my balcony or roof because it was facing north. I live in a condo on the 5th floor, and i was wondering if the installation is going to be a problem. Has anyone here had u verse tv installed in there condo and if not what is my alternative if u verse doesn’t work, i really want cable.

John Giesecke February 13, 2012 at 9:31 am

AT&T took 7 hours to install U-Verse and the installer drilled a hole in our basement from outside that entered 3 feet above our sofa in the middle of the wall. He proceeded to install several lime green cords that dropped behind the sofa and trailed around the wall to our TV.
I insisted the cords be concealed within the wall and this was done, but I was left with a 3″X4 1/2″ hole to repair and paint. Now, my upstairs TV “tiles” and pauses on recordings. The installation had to be “hardwired” as “either net did now work in our home”.

Board Room February 25, 2012 at 2:12 pm

I have a small business in a strip mall. With U-Verse, do I have to worry about the neighbors leeching off my internet, slowing it down?
Also, can a hard line still be run from the receiver to a desktop computer which runs the store’s p.o.s. system?
Thanks for any help.

Ferdinand Megelland Jr March 28, 2012 at 9:13 pm

I ordered U-verse from the AT&T sales lady and was happy with out hour long conversation, at which time i decided to drop Direct TV after 5 years of a few issues like when it rained the picture would go out and where i live it rained frequently last summer. after being with no service for 2 weeks and my reception just awful i decided i had enough and opted for u-Verse after my talk with the AT&T sales lady who made a committment that they would be coming out to my home on september 2nd and sent me a confirmation via email. the day finally arrived and i took that day off with no pay, and was even called 2 days prior to that from AT&T confirming that they would be here, thus my day off waiting .. and waiting …and waiting with a no show, and no call. needless to say i was livid. i called the company and complained and they said the technician had an emergency and could not be here. i told them that this was unacceptable and that someone should have called me.. ok after that we made another appointment for 2 weeks later at which time i was promised that there would be no issues like lateness and the technician would be here pronto at 9-10 AM .. again , no show… ok at this point i am so ticked off that i called the sales lady up who gave me her number and i told her to take it and shove it where the sun doesnt shine and i told her to cancel everything..i didnt want service from AT&T ever if this was any indication of how the service was going to be and that i was beginning to love Direct TV more and more as the days came because they were always on time and gave me a lot of freebies and free months of premium channels many times obver the 5 years i was with them and that they always kept their word.. at this time the sales lady got me hooked up with some VIP from AT&T who called me the next morning and offered me a year of every premium chanell that they had if i would Accept their aopology and please forgive them for all the messes.. i explained to them that i lost 2 days pay waiting on them with no shows and poor excuses.. the executive with U-verse sentme a 250.00 giift card and had them at my home the very next morning and although it took them all day to conect me, i was humbled with great reception on allof my TVs and got more than i could expect from anyother company.. although over all i was dissatisfied with the initial BS and lies from the sales lady , i am happy to say that everything turned out better than i could imagine and i am up and running.. the only thing i do not like is when i have issues which i do have with email pretty frequently.i call them and get someone from Thailand or the Philippines that first of alli cant undrstand their accent and they usually don’t know how to get my email up & going and this usually turns out tobe a fiasco but i eventually do get it back up after several attempts.thats the thign about AT&T. when you cal them, the call is routed to another country. i dontlike that because it just reeks of non americanism and just irks me that we now have to deal with another country that intercepts allof the technical aspects of IT issues.. and that realy sucks.. overall i am satisfied and willcontinue to use U-verse for the duration but willprobably eventually go back to Direct TV if i continue to have problems with my subaccounts and outlook exppress..as every other person here in this blog has expressed, DO NOT EXPECT THEM TO BE AT YOUR HOME IMMEDIATELY. there is going to be a month waiting or even more with AT&T U-Verse, and more thanlikely they will not show up as promised on the first appointment that they make and probably will not even call you to cancel so expect that kind of service from them.. this is so common and everyone i know that has at&t has had the same experience.. if you happen to talk to a sales person just rememberthis.theyare there to make a buck and get paid on commission.. and they will tell you anything to get your new business and will promise you the moon if you subscribe.. dont fall victim to their lies.. if i had known what i was in for, i can assure you i would have stayed with Direct TV inspite of the issues i had but at elast they were here when they made appointments to come to my home every time. over all i would rate AT&T service as poor, very poor at a 2 on a scale from 1-10 with 10 being best , but once installed, i would rate it at 8-9 for quality……

ATT Deano April 3, 2012 at 3:24 am

@Board Room – Neighbors cannot leech your TV or Internet signal with Uverse, unless you authorize them to do so explicitly.

Hard lines (cat5 ethernet) can be run from the RG (main gateway/modem) to a desktop computer.

Hope this helps!

John Monte April 23, 2012 at 1:01 pm

I want to add my own real life experience call Katrina 2005.

In 2006 while reconstruction my house in New Orleans combined city and parish along with the different type of communication utilities available all being paid for by the federal government.

IT IS ALL ABOUTBUSINESS

Elsa June 13, 2012 at 3:12 pm

I just got U-verse (for a day) having had Comcast for years and not being that satisfied with their customer service I was ready to give them a try. Installation day came (U-Verse 300 package and Internet) with HD added. Anyways while it is a bit cheaper than Comcast, AT&T’s HD channels are not great in picture quality also all of their SD (standard definition) channels have pillars on the sides and there is no way to fix that unless you want to stretch (distort) the picture or click zoom (which cuts the heads of the actors). So while it is not terrible I wouldn’t recommend it. Their free movie selection is very minimal as well. So back to Comcast, bad. customer service and all lol

BillJay July 14, 2012 at 9:25 am

Jeez people… is anyone forcing you to get the service? Did they put a gun to your head? Just cancel or don’t order if you’re unhappy.

Oh and just to comment on a few things…

The AT&T from 60 years ago was broken up due to antitrust laws. The new AT&T is what was SBC after that breakup. So it is a completely different company at this point.

U-Verse is a new service and is far from perfect. They haven’t been selling, nor have they been installing the service nearly as long as “the other guys”, to be perfect at it.

Outsourcing Tech Support sucks, but it makes it cheaper on you. Would you prefer someone that uses the USA and charges for phone tech support (ie Apple)?

The tech is gonna try to install what is easiest and quickest for him. He has a whole route to complete and a set time to complete it. But if you request CAT5, etc., he must comply.

lighthouse9 September 8, 2012 at 7:55 pm

Two hour installation for internet only? 5 to 8 hours? A few days? And here I was thinking all along greater technology would be easier and more convenient. ATT couldn’t even get my order right, and was told 3 to 5 business days to correct. How inconvenient for someone who takes college courses online. “We’re AT&T. We’re too big to fail, and we don’t care”. “Rethink possible”. I’m certainly rethinking possible alright. Just my two bucks worth.

a+ October 15, 2012 at 9:23 pm

Tech came over for the uverse install…on time and as scheduled. Put up the outside box but no juice from the line so install couldnt be completed. Two other techs were sent out over a 3 day period working on it. Ive since rescheduled and waiting for the 2nd attempt. Keeping my fingers crossed everything goes smoothly. Ive been without internet and home phone for a good week. Just giving a heads up on the process. U may need line work before they can do anything with the install.

Tim November 12, 2012 at 2:52 am

Non of you mentioned the $100 to install and the $109 to buy the box. $209 and that is not including the TV package you might of upgraded. Thats just for the internet for 2 TVs.

Hector November 16, 2012 at 5:53 pm

I got AT&T U-VERSE installed a few months ago and I LOVE IT. I had them do a 100% cat5 installation and I’m using one wireless receiver. The picture quality I am receiving is amazing; however, my only issue is the lack of video on demand content available.

Lesa November 20, 2012 at 7:37 pm

Bill Jay, first of all people are not writing this just to gripe they put it here so that people like me can make an informed decision on what to buy, instead of only having one side of the information certaintly att is not going to say when you order that even though you have to wait a month or three for install they just may not show up at all. They aren’t going to tell you that they may drill a hole in your wall three feet above the back of your couch. I understand this is a new service but quality is still expected and att charges plenty plenty plenty plenty of money for their services so as a coustomer we should get decent coustomer service and i dont care what you say about that its over head vs. proffit they chime this out to other countries so they have less overhead and more proffit. They would not have to charge us extra for CS if they kept it in the US they just may have to cut back on big wig bonuses. So try not to be so rude because these people certainly helped me to understand that Uverse sounds good on commercial and company website however technology needs time to catch up so i am going to wait and let the installers do a little more learning from their mistakes because i as a coustomer expect to get what i pay for and free install is never free you are commiting your credit card and at least a year of commitment to the install so there is no backing out later if you don’t like it so when someone comes to my house i expect a wonderful job to be done and i dont want some yahoo to come there and act like my home isnt just as important as his very own. Common sense is necessary in these situations and you seem to have none. Politly Lesa

L. Ozella Connor February 13, 2013 at 10:07 am

I’m moving from one apt complex to another and currently have
Comcast. At the new apt complex I arranged for Cable with DirectTV & their
bundled services which includes internet & phone with AT&T, all to be
installed in a few days from now. A friend suggested I change the order
& get AT&T U-Verse instead, that I’d be very happy. My question is: Can U-verse
be installed for residents living in an apartment?

luis March 14, 2013 at 12:04 am

Uverse installs take a long time as the tech has to basically upgrade your old wired by installing new wires and deal with dumb ass customers. Customers that for some apparent reason think that the tech has a magic wand and could conceal cables inside the walls, make miracles over complex structures. Just be patient with the tech and let him do his thing….

Lance April 29, 2013 at 9:48 pm

Question ? Im having U-verse installed this week. I currently have coax cable from tv to the pole on my house & its about 20yrs old. Question do I need to repace this old cable that works fine with a new cable ? will at&t use the cable or HAVE to replace it?
Thx lance

Reginald June 6, 2013 at 11:19 pm

It has been one month since I ordered service. The inside technician says something’s wrong outside. The outside technician says he fixed it. Another inside technician says nothing was fixed. The outside technician says that the inside technician messed with the wires. The customer service reps and supervisors say that they’ll call me as soon as anything is updated. No one ever calls me. And my building only allows AT&T to install. I’m a little beyond frustrated right now because I bend over backwards to schedule and I just feel like I’m begging them to take my money.

Anjelica August 22, 2013 at 4:57 am

Hello all,
If it will make anyone feel better about their “long” wait times, here I am to vent :)
I have been waiting 8 YEARS no that is not a typo! 8 Years! ATT tells me I will never get high speed DSL or U verse, in October 2005 Bell South was running the lines for DSL. ATT bought Bell South and scrapped the project. We were promised high speed internet by April 2006. I check availability every few months. NOPE! We use Virgin Mobile Broadband to go. Not much better than dial up. We are 3300 FEET from where ATT and Comcast Cable end. Comcast told me they would run cable for $35,000.00!!! My neighbors have a choice between the 2 I have none. No I do not live in the middle of nowhere. 3300 FEET from me they have it. My friend and neighbor just had his installed and I waited for the tech for him. I asked the tech WHY? Very nice man smiled and said “what is your address since you live so close. I will set it up for you” 2 minutes later “Oh I am sorry DSL nor U Verse is available at your address. I am sorry to say we will not be running U verse or installing any more DSL there EVER” I was NOT HAPPY!

I anyone knows a solution to this please let me know. Apparently there is no one to even complain to about this. Has anyone fought and actually won?

Thanks for listening and be happy even if you have to wait a month or so at least you got it :)

Jean Steckelberg September 17, 2013 at 3:02 am

I currently have Time Warner Cable for cable TV (2 DVR boxes and 3rd TV basic cable, Internet, phone.). My condo was built in 2000 and was premiered for cable throughout. I can’t have any dish due to condo regulations. I am looking for other options. I live in New Berlin. Any suggestions?

Jean Steckelberg September 17, 2013 at 3:03 am

Correction to above should read prewired.

Jeff September 25, 2013 at 2:43 pm

Ferdinand Megelland Jr,

I enjoyed your post and it reminded me of the trouble I had with Time Warner Cable. After speaking with Customer Retention, I made it clear I wanted their best price for the triple package. If they wouldn’t lower their price, they would lose a long term (25 years) customer. About 7 days after returning my boxes, I received a call from TWC and the person said they were “empowered to keep me as a customer”. I explained that it was too late, that I had switched and am happy I did. It seems that some businesses won’t respond until they realize they are about to lose you as a customer.

Bcowboy November 30, 2013 at 4:03 am

After much research online I decided to make the switch to U-verse. The nail in the coffin for Time Warner Cable, was their unwillingness to work on a reasonable price.

I wired the house with Cat5 cable to all the rooms and to the room where I wanted the RG installed. the tech came to do the install and all he had to do was replace the outside box and wire to the pole, then plug everything in.

I am very impressed with the speeds I am getting and the clarity of the TV. (2895′ from VRAD and consistently getting 21-23Mbps on the 18 Mps tier)

Valerie Boatwright December 18, 2013 at 3:42 pm

Upon selling our home I had my ATT internet (not U-Verse) service disconnected. Three weeks later, I received a bill for the next month. When I called I was told I had never put in a request for disconnect, even though I had received a confirmation call the day before it was to be done….

Forward 18 months…Purchased new plance and decided to have U-Verse internet installed. Spent an hour online with a nice young man. He sid it would be connected the following week. He also told me that I had three installation options: self-install (free), tech install ($90+), or Geek Squad INstall ($23/month and could cancel after installation). I asked if I couldn’t just do the install myself and he said “Do you know anything about…and started throwing tech terms at me.” I said I didn’t, so he said I could not do the self-install and recommeneded Geek Squad. I agreed. Installation was to take place in 10 days.

I never received an e-mail or post card, so the day before the scheduled installation I called ATT – After 30 minutes and being transferred to 7 – yes SEVEN – different people, I was told that they could “see” my order but that the rep had never completed it! Then I was told it would be 3 weeks before they could get to my house to install it! I was also told that there would be a $100 installation fee, but that I would receive a $100 VISA gift card so that would offset the cost. When I asked about the Geek Squad membership I had paid for but not been able to use, they didn’t know what I was talking about. Apparently, that is supposed to be offered as an option AFTER purchase has taken place, not as an installation choice. But the reps get commission on every membership they sell, so my rep just seems to have decided to MAKE me purchase Geek Squad membership by scaring me out of trying to self-install.

Installation day arrived, and I got a call from a tech saying there was an outside wiring “issue” and he would have to have someone come look at it – probably later that day. He gave me a number to call to check the status. When I called that number, I was told that the second tech would not be able to come for 9 more days! I was furious.

The day… days later…came and went with no rep. Called and was told it would be done before 8 that night, then the next night. Finally done two days later.

I received my first bill today…SO CONFUSED! There is a “U-Verse INstallation Charge” of $33.33 (part of $100 to be split over 3 months), PLUS a 16.33 “U-Verse INTERNET Installation fee (again, seemeingly 1/3 of a total charge). So, $150 in “installation charges” for a self-install??? and why two different charges?? This is a racket!

As for the person who said “This is a totally different company than it was 60 years ago” – true, but ATT apparently wants people to THINK it is the SAME company or they would have changed their name! They have the absolute WORST CUSTOMER SERVICE OF ANY COMPANY I HAVE EVER DEALT WITH. EVER

kc December 28, 2013 at 9:09 am

Ok, basic questions that I haven’t found the answer to online and the salesperson I spoke with doesn’t seem to have answers.
What exactly are they installing to hook up tv/phone/internet? Are they using the existing telephone lines that come into the house?

There has never been a cable tv line on the property so there are no old cables or cable boxes. I live 1/4 of a mile off the main road and my lines are all buried so unless they are using the existing phone lines I’m not sure how they keep telling me I could have their u-verse packages.
When I read all your stories about wires laid out through the house it sounds awful. Their installation videos do not show me anything about what they are actually installing.
Any insight would be appreciated.

ECS March 1, 2014 at 11:55 pm

I am getting u-verse and wanted to know how they install the fiber optic in the house or if they could just us my RJ45 connector. I have cox right now . So I am set up running Rj45

tashawnda June 8, 2014 at 1:03 pm

Just wanted to know how long after installation before I get my first bill?

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