AT&T Brings U-verse IPTV to PCs

AT&T has announced U-verse OnTheGo, a new service developed in conjunction with MobiTV which enables subscribers to AT&T;s Internet-based U-verse television service to tap into live television anywhere they can get a broadband Internet connection. The service offering is a first for a television provider, and AT&T doesn’t plan to top with putting U-verse television on PCs: it wants to bring it to AT&T mobile phones, too.

“AT&amo;T U-verse represents the evolution of entertainment, and we’re taking that to the next level with AT&T U-verse OnTheGo,” said Michael Grasso, assistant VP of AT&T’s consumer marketing, in a release “In today’s on-demand world, customers want to be able to access news and entertainment using a variety of devices. AT&T U-verse OnTheGo is an example of how we’re delivering that type of capability today.”

AT&T’s U-verse service offers access to about 30 channels, several of which (like The Weather Channel and Bloomberg Television) offer live programming. Other channels consist mostly of the sort of programmed content familiar to MobiTV users. In contrast, products like the Slingbox make a user’s complete home video capability (including television, DVR, and even recorded media) available over the Internet without additional fees, but AT&T clearly hopes to score points with consumers by offering a one-stop solution and features which differentiate it from satellite and cable offerings.

AT&T plans to expand U-verse IPTV programming to include movie trailers and other on-demand content; it also plans to expand the channel lineup. The company also wants to bring U-verse OnTheGo to AT&T mobile phone users as part of the company’s strategy to offer services on the “three screens that customers value the most.” (Those would be the TV, the PC, and a mobile phone. Quick: name another.)

U-verse OnTheGo is priced at $10/month for current U-verse customers; AT&T is offering a free two-week trial. U-verse OnTheGo requires Windows XP SP2, Windows Media Player 9, and Flash 8 or later, and Internet Explorer; the product does not support Macs or Linux systems. U-verse OnTheGo works with Windows Vista, but only with Internet Explorer; support for Firefox is not currently available.