AT&T will be offering a wireless set top box from Cisco Systems to their U-verse customers in the near future. The ISB7005 was approved by the Federal Trade Commission (FCC) and is on its way.
IMS Research, an independent provider of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry voiced their opinion after a preliminary analysis. They indicated that AT&T was using an extreme compression of their video. Low HD video bitrates let them use relatively inexpensive 2×2 dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi radio based on the Broadcom BRCM4717 chip. Stephen Froehlich said: "AT&T can use such a simple design because its HD video is encoded at approximately 5Mbps compared to 5-8Mbps for HDTV over satellite and 16Mbps for HDTV over cable."
The Cisco ISB7005 also includes the Ethernet and HomePNA wired networking interfaces. Michael Weissman, VP of Corporate Marketing for Sigma Designs? who manufactures the HomePNA chips used by U-Verse says: "We are confident that our Clear Path powerline networking technology will be able to deliver the performance that operators need from a wired network with the convenience of self-install."
Cisco’s AT&T branded ISB7005 Set-Top-Box for U-Verse TV Service
Gemtek Technology of Taiwan submitted an engineering sample of their Internet Protocol Wireless Set Top Box under the brand name Cisco to Bureau Veritas Consumer Products Services (H.K.), Taoyuan Branch Hsin Chu Laboratory for testing in October 2010. Classified as an RF (radio frequency) product, testing was performed to determine that the product performed under the maximum permissible exposure specified in FCC 1.1310 to indicate the harmlessness of radiation to the human body. Since the antenna is at least 20cm away from the user?s body, the product was classified as a Mobile Device.
Identified with the FCC ID MXF-S981116N, the ISB7005 was found to be in compliance with FCC Part 15, Subpart E (Section 15.407) ANSI C63.10-2009. The product was listed with the following I/O ports: two USB ports, a COMPNT VIDEO port (Y/Pb/Pr), one S-VIDEO port, HDMI port, Coaxial port, RJ45, Fiber port, and two AV ports.
AT&T is in competition with several other IPTV providers. CenturyLink is said to also be considering going to wireless to transmit IPTV and to make installation of its Prism easier for home owners.
AT&T?s U-verse has several apps that are attractive to consumers, including U-verse TV Multiview which lets you watch several channels at once on your TV screen, Online Photos from Flickr, lets you view photos on your TV that you have uploaded to the photo sharing site, and Yahoo! Sports Fantasy Football, helps you manage your fantasy teams from the U-verse TV screen.