AT&T upgraded U-verse TV with a "multiview" application that shows up to four channels on one screen, and added another feature lets subscribers access photos and music from a PC over a home network.
U-verse TV Multiview provides channels grouped by sports, news and children's programming genres, displaying four on the screen at one time. Using the down or up arrows on the remote, viewers can scroll through picture-in-picture screens to see additional channels in each genre. Programs can be scheduled to record without exiting the Multiview app. AT&T also is making a Multiview app available to subscribers of the ESPN GamePlan package.
Other providers offer similar multichannel "mosaic" views, including DirecTV and Comcast's video-rich-navigation guide.
AT&T's Media Share feature, which works only with Windows XP or Windows Vista PCs, allows U-verse TV subscriber to view photo slideshows of pictures and listen to music stored on their computers on the TV. The PC must be connected to the U-verse residential gateway over a home network, and the feature requires Windows Media Player 11.
In addition, the telco is launched an interactive TV application -- TV Awards and New Shows -- to provide info on this year's award-nominated television programs and details on new TV series premiering this fall. The app, on channel 95, will include a list of all programs nominated for the Primetime Emmy Awards, Teen Choice Awards and Television Critics Association Awards.
Each of the features is available now to U-verse TV customers at no extra charge.
Meanwhile, AT&T announced it will provide U-verse customers an exclusive preview of a new Spinal Tap short film, Stonehenge: 'Tis a Magic Place, on Saturday, Sept. 19, at 10 p.m. ET. The telco is offering the Spinal Tap short in partnership with U.K.-based ShortsHD.
AT&T had 1.577 million U-verse TV subscribers at the end of June, making it the 10th-largest pay-TV provider in the U.S., after the six biggest MSOs, DirecTV, Dish and Verizon FiOS.
According to AT&T, U-verse TV, Internet and voice services are now approaching an annual run rate of $2 billion in revenue.