AT&T Bows Free U-verse DVRs

Customers of AT&T's U-verse will be offered free Total Home DVRs at no extra charge over the cost of their subscriptions.

AT&T is rolling out the free DVR in the San Francisco Bay Area and the rest of the U-verse subscribers will get it by the end of the year. U-verse costs $44-99/month depending on service plan.

The Total Home DVR can store up to 37 hours of high-def or 133 hours of standard-def programming. It can play back three programs in HD or four in SD.

AT&T is lagging in the race to provide telco TV to American households, with just 549,000 subscribers versus Verizon's healthier 1.4 million. While the two companies don't compete with one another, instead serving different territories, this might be viewed as a victory for Verizon, which went with an all-fiber FiOS system. AT&T's service uses a hybrid of fiber and last-mile copper wiring. I'm guessing Verizon's aggressive and omnipresent TV ad campaign has something to do with it.