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Understanding U-verse TV streams

Learn about high-definition (HD) and standard-definition (SD) streams available to watch live, record, and play back, AT&T Fiber, number of program streams you can receive, and on-screen stream messages.


ArticleOVERVIEW

HD and SD streams, bandwidth, and AT&T Fiber

HD and SD stream overview

Live TV, Pay Per View, U-verse Movies, On Demand, and other applications are delivered to your U-verse receivers as streams of content. U-verse TV can deliver a maximum of four simultaneous streams. Internet with AT&T FiberSM customers get six HD streams with the ITB PACE DVR providing storage of up to 900 hours of SD programming or 330 hours of HD programming.

Note: Find out more about the AT&T Fiber network and plans for expansion throughout U.S. cities.

Because DVR recordings don't count as streams, up to four receivers can be playing these recordings in a household at the same time with one being the DVR. Only three non-DVRs can simultaneously play back recordings. For non-AT&T Fiber Internet subscribers, if your DVR is recording four programs, this takes up all of your streams while three TVs displaying the same program only take up one stream.

Types of HD and SD streams available to watch live, record, and play back
AT&T U-verse offers up to six streams simultaneously for AT&T Fiber with 1TB PACE DVR and four streams otherwise.
  • The types of streams that can be delivered are dependent on the capacity of the network in your area and your subscriptions.
  • The UvClass determines the bandwidth coming into your home (network sync profile).
  • Based on the bandwidth of your connection and your account profile, the number of HD and SD streams that can play simultaneously may vary (view the table below for details).

To look up the specifications of your account on your U-verse TV, press MENU on your remote and select Options > System > System Information > Resources.

Number of HD and SD streams that can be played simultaneously
 AT&T Fiber
UvClass 18g
(100M/1G)
UvClass 16g (300M)
UvClass13UvClass12UvClass11UvClass10UvClass09
WAN Profile6HD/0SD4HD/0SD4HD/0SD4HD/0SD3HD/1SD2HD/2SD
Customers can watch live...6 HD programs
0 SD programs
4 HD programs
0 SD programs
4 HD programs
0 SD programs
4 HD programs
0 SD programs
3 HD programs
1 SD programs
2 HD programs
2 SD programs
Customers can record...6 HD programs
0 SD programs
4 HD programs
0 SD programs
4 HD programs
0 SD programs
4 HD programs
0 SD programs
3 HD programs
1 SD programs
2 HD programs
2 SD programs
Customers can play back...4 HD programs4 HD programs4 HD programs4 HD programs4 HD programs4 HD programs

Note:
4HD streams can be played back but one of the HD shows requires playing back on the TV connected to the DVR.

Household receivers vs. how many program streams you can receive

The number of receivers in a household doesn't impact the number of viewable programs. For example, three receivers watching the same channel counts as one stream and watching recorded content on the DVR receiver doesn't count as a stream at all.

Streams are allocated to a household and not to specific receivers; therefore, it is possible for the DVR receiver to consume multiple or all streams via recording. The non-DVR receivers can only consume one stream. All receivers in the home can now play, pause, and initiate recordings of live programs, and play back recorded programs.

Note: Each household can have up to eight receivers including only one DVR receiver. U-verse TV service comes with one receiver with a DVR for free (currently excluding grandfathered U100 subscribers). Additional receivers can be purchased for a recurring fee. 

On-screen messages when you experience stream conflicts
Any time you run into a stream conflict, you'll be presented with on-screen messages indicating that all TV services are in use as well as a list of available options.

You might experience stream conflicts if you're attempting to:
  • Record five TV shows at once.
  • Access five different live TV shows at the same time.
  • Record and watch live TV that adds up to more than four separate streams.
  • Watch or record more than the available number of HD streams.
  • Use the seventh stream (if you're a Fiber customer on the 6HD profile).

Streams are prioritized based on the type of stream and the remote control activity on the receiver. If a conflict occurs, preset priorities are used to determine which streams should be active. In the event the streams have the same priority, you'll get presented with the on-screen messaging. If the streams have different priorities, the lesser stream will be interrupted.

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