Note: First let me say that I am an AT&T employee so take this review with that in mind. Also I am expressing my personal opinion and I am not representing my employer.
Last week I attended some AT&T U-verse installation training (here's a Wiki entry). Still I really want this service. :-) We got some time to play with the service and the middle U-verse package (U200). I had a lot of fun with it and it worked well (despite my tries to blow it up ;-). The U-verse package comes with a DVR and several STBs as part of the package. The ability to record/watch up to four streams at the same time is great and while you can only record/watch two HD streams at the same time (the other two streams would be standard TV streams) that doesn't bother me. Heck I'm still running an older 13 inch color TV (my wife has a 29 inch TV that we're not quite ready to replace just yet, though I am tempted). Each STB can view the stream recorded on the DVR (independent of another STB or the DVR). My current cable service gives us 1 channel/stream (to get more we have to purchase additional service). My wife and I have Tivo DVR (at extra cost but worth it) and if we wanted to use the cable provider's DVR, again it's at an extra cost. The current cable service we have is about $30 more than AT&T's equivalent and with the cable service extras it would be a lot more than AT&T's U-verse service. The AT&T service also includes VoIP which our current cable provider doesn't include in the above referenced prices. So why don't I have AT&T's service? Well I live in the North East (US) and AT&T doesn't have coverage in this area (rats!). Sorry I'm not about to move either, at least not yet.
In other related news, Verizon is building out their FIOS service in my development. I see the FIOS techs throughout the neighborhood, as busy as bees! This is great news for the local consumers because it means competition. While my cable provider is not known for dropping prices they have been known to add features to remain competitive. I certainly hope so as I'd really like to drop my cable provider. They'll need to do a lot of work to convince me to remain their customer. They're also not known for their customer service and I'm tired of all the nickle and dime increases we've seen tacked onto our bills over the years.