Device Setup

While D-- completes the wiring and works with C-- to improve signal strength, we place the U-verse DVR and plug it in.

Oops. D-- says installation procedure is to power the DVR after the Residential Gateway is up and running. The DVRs need to download updates on first boot. Because they have a lot of updates, new installs can download-and-patch cycle for 30 minutes or more.

We unplug the box. D-- thinks it will be okay.

AT&T's Residental Gateway is a 2Wire Corp. 3800HGV-B. It too requires a boot-download-patch cycle. The process hangs; D-- calls and is told again the central servers are slow and the update may take time.
He sets the time zone, line type (RJ-11), and broadband type (DSL).

Once the RG is up and running, there are more passwords to set. The U-verse account must be activated through the RG. U-verse accounts are distinct from other AT&T accounts, so it's create Yet Another Login and Password. Account creation interface at att.net gonks after completing, so we do it twice to ensure it takes.

The RG has a nice web interface. The unit answers on; adding mdc to the URL opens the simplified management and diagnostic console (the admin password is printed on its side). D-- sets the time zone, line type (RJ-11), and broadband type (DSL) again and power-on resets the unit once more to get it to update. It's back online in about 10 minutes, and any signal strength problems seem fixed.

Next, the DVR. Power-on, download-and-patch (20 minutes). Wedge. Hold down the power reset key, restart. BSOD. Power reset key, restart. TV appears. The screen resolution is iffy. The Westinghouse LTV32-W6 can show 720p and 1080i, but the package has no HD service. D-- sets the remote to recognize the TV, sets the DVR to send 1080, and stuff appears. Joy.

D-- gives a tour of the U-verse interface: Guide, recording options, video on demand, pay channels, controls. None of the HD channels work, but since the TV/DVR resolution is ok, upgrading is a good idea. D-- says the box holds 120 hrs of recordings but it gets hinkey when the disk is >85% full. He shows how to find the disk space monitor: Options > System Settings > System Information. D-- is a peach.

We are good to go. D-- leaves around 6pm. Elapsed time, five hours.

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