OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - In a market where cable and satellite dominate, there's a new competitor looking to shake things up. It's called U-Verse. It's television based on a new technology called Internet Protocol Television.
Essentially, your TV, internet, home phone and cell phone work together so you can customize what you want to see.
With AT&T's U-verse, cable and satellite on the market, people now have more choices in how they choose to get their TV.
Ocean Springs Mayor Connie Moran clicked her way through a test run at AT&T's call center Monday. Her city was the first on board with U-Verse.
"We've had people calling about more choices. It's all about competition that drives the economy," Moran said.
And with this competitor, the goal is to expand choice and consolidate services.
"It's about bringing a lot of value for the money you have today, as far as packing everything on one bill from one company," said Bonnie Denson of AT&T.
Interactive television is the approach U-Verse is taking to get a foothold in the market. From your computer, you type in cities to track for weather and traffic, news programs, stocks, even fantasy football. Viewers then see it from their television through a feature called the AT&T U-bar.
"It's like a [computer] toolbar for your TV," Denson said.
Denson also points to the interactivity between TV and phones. People can control DVR recordings from their AT&T smartphone, or look up businesses, dial them through the TV, then pick up the phone to finish the call.
Until U-Verse gains a foothold in the market, it's yet to be seen if it will be a viable competitor. But now people in South Mississippi have more choice in how they spend their entertainment and communication budget.
AT&T said the new service is primarily available in cities throughout Harrison and Jackson counties. To find out if this service is being offered in your area, you can visit www.att.com.
To learn more on the technology and how it works, visit the AT&T Newsroom.