AT&T U-verse Cuts Cord With Cisco Wireless Set-Top

AT&T next week will debut a wireless IPTV receiver developed by Cisco Systems that flings HD video over an 802.11n Wi-Fi connection -- letting customers hook up their TVs without the need to string new wiring.

The telco will offer the Wi-Fi solution, which includes new wireless receivers and wireless access points, across the entire AT&T U-verse TV footprint beginning Monday, Oct. 31. The Cisco receivers will be available for a one-time fee of $49 plus a $7 monthly set-top lease fee.

The FCC approved Cisco's ISB7005 in March 2011.

The Cisco ISB7005 supports the 802.11n wireless standard, which provides a maximum data rate of up to 300 Megabits per second but will drop down to 6 Mbps depending on interference. The 802.11n spec has an indoor range of about 230 feet.

The wireless receiver delivers live TV channels and interactive services, and functions as a Total Home HD DVR, letting U-verse TV customers view and manage DVR recordings wirelessly from a wired DVR in the home.

For AT&T, the wireless setup promises to cut installation time and costs, because technicians don't need to run any wires to a customer's TV.

"AT&T is bringing a new freedom to the TV experience, giving consumers the benefit of watching TV in virtually any room in the home," AT&T executive director of U-verse marketing G.W. Shaw said in a statement. "Cisco's wireless IPTV solution gives our customers flexibility with where they can place and watch their TVs, and offers a faster and simpler set-up process for customers and U-verse technicians."

A video of the Cisco wireless TV solution is available at:

AT&T added 176,000 U-verse TV subscribers in the third quarter of 2011 -- fewer than analysts had expected, which the company blamed on storms and a technology upgrade. It has 3.58 million total IPTV subs.