AT&T announced Thursday that its U-verse Internet Protocol television service will now allow subscribers to watch live programming on their PCs.
Until now, U-verse had been an IPTV competitor to traditional cable and satellite companies, much in the way Verizon's Fios fiber-optic network competes with cable and satellite. But with the new PC-based offering, an AT&T-branded MobiTV package called U-verse OnTheGo, the company is bringing television programming--some of it live--to subscribers' computers. Now, the company says, subscribers who opt into the OnTheGo deal can watch U-verse TV wherever a broadband Internet connection is available.
Some of the channels with live content that AT&T is touting as part of OnTheGo are The Weather Channel and Bloomberg Television.
AT&T is soliciting new customers with a 14-day free trial of OnTheGo, which currently features a lineup of slightly fewer than 30 channels and requires a prior subscription to the U-verse IPTV service. After that, it costs an extra $10 per month in addition to the cost of a U-verse package. Access to the new OnTheGo service is limited to computers running the Windows XP operating system with Microsoft's Internet Explorer or Mozilla's Firefox browser.
Only a handful of U.S. urban markets currently have access to AT&T's U-verse, and consequently subscriptions to the OnTheGo add-on are equally limited by geography. AT&T, however, stresses that this will change as its IPTV endeavors expand. The company promises more channels and content for OnTheGo soon, as well as increased availability throughout the country.
In addition, AT&T said, there are plans to bring the OnTheGo programming to mobile phones via AT&T's wireless service, the former Cingular Wireless.