Thoughts and musings of Peter Kupfer


Moving my AT&T U-Verse Around: What I Learned

Original post on July 26th, 2010 with an update on June 15th, 2011.

We are currently remodeling (really just painting) our office to turn it into IKup’s new “Big Boy” room and this necessitated that we move our AT&T U-Verse gateway (router) to a different location. We decided to move it to the living room next to the TV which had several benefits for us. First it allows us to hook up our blue ray player in the living room to the Internet for streaming of movies and Pandora, second it allowed us to put the network printer in the kitchen and receive a strong enough signal for it to work.

However, we were left with a problem. We decided during all of this to add a TV and blue ray player to the bedroom in the back of the house, but now the gateway that sends the TV signals is in the front of house, instead of in the next room like before. The new LG BD570 Network Blu-Ray Disc Player was going to be hooked up via WiFi, so that just left the TV. This seemed simple enough.

Originally the the green wire from AT&T was running, through the basement, to the gateway in bedroom 2 and then I ran a coaxial cable through the basement back to the living room to the DVR. The set top box was connected via an ethernet cable to the gateway. (Original Picture) Everything worked wonderfully. So, I thought I should be able to put the gateway in the living room, run an ethernet cable to the DVR and then run the coaxial back through the basement to the set top box. (This is kind of what is pictured in the after picture below, but I didn’t draw a full floor plan of the failed attempt.) Here is a rough floor plan of before and after:

ATT U-Verse Home Floor Plan Before ATT U-Verse Home Floor Plan After

This was a fine idea, except what when I tried this setup, recorded shows did not show up on the box in the bedroom. In the U-Verse system you have a DVR box where you can pause live TV and where all of your recorded shows are stored. This box can be attached to the gateway via coax with no problem since the recorded shows are stored on it. If you want to watch TV in other rooms you receive a Set Top Box (STB) from AT&T. You can watch live TV (but can’t pause) and recorded TV on the STB, but only (as I learned today) if you connect the STB via an Ethernet cable (not the coax). This is actually pretty cool that the video signals run via Ethernet cable and not coax.

Here is a summary of what I learned:

Lesson 1: To watch recorded TV on the non DVR (set top) box in the U-Verse setup it has to be connected via Ethernet to the gateway.

Additionally, I learned (I think) that you can only have the coax or the Ethernet cable hooked up to one of the U-Verse boxes, but not both. It seems to only be able to handle one link. I am not exactly sure if this is true, but it seems to be.


Lesson 2: To install an Ethernet wall plate you will have to strip off the end of an Ethernet cable and connect the colored wires to other colored wires (but the colors may not be the same).

So, I had one 50′ ethernet cable I could run through the wall, across the basement, back up to the bedroom and to the STB. (I just followed the old coax backwards.) Sadly, this cord was about 10′ short. At first I thought to try to use a router to fix the problem, but I didn’t really want to have to keep the router plugged in all the time. (Plus, when I tried it, it didn’t work.) So, I wanted to install a Cat 5 wall plate to basically just extend the cable. I headed to Home Depot to buy said wall plate.

The front of the wall plate looks simple enough as shown below, but the back blew my mind!

This picture shows the finished product but there were eight wires on the back of the wall plate and the colors of the wall plate wires did not match the colors of the wires in the Cat 5 cable!?! And, GE didn’t supply any instructions!! So, thanks to Google, I found a tutorial at Servers Servers to explain all the colors of the wires to connect. And even then, I had to follow a slightly different set of instructions down in the comments (there are a lot more comments now so I’m not sure which one I used but I think it was this one.) of that page because of my setup.

Once I had the wires connected to the wall plate, I plugged in the Ethernet cable to the new wall plate to the U-Verse STB and all was well.

Hopefully this will help you find a way to fix any problem you are experiencing. If you found this useful go ahead and leave a comment. Or, if you have other comments or advice for people who may be searching for the same information leave those comments below.

4 Responses to Moving my AT&T U-Verse Around: What I Learned

  1. Hi, I enjoyed this post. Would you mind breaking down the very first paragraph for me? We had to get a new gateway for U Verse recently, and when the tech was here, he said in order to relocate the gateway to the living room beside the stb dvr unit, out of my former office (daughter’s new big girl bedroom), would require a separate work order and a couple hundred dollars. I was thinking it would only need switching out a couple of coax cables and a phone line. No big mystery or expensive process. We were ok with hiding it up in daughter’s closet, but now we also have Vonage and a rechargeable phone for my elderly father, so we are recharging his handset in daughter’s closet every few days, so goofy and inconvenient. You made it sound easy, but I want to ask this favor, to explain how you moved the gateway. By the way, until Dad moved in, we were without a land line at all, so AT&T ran the phone line to the gateway, but we decided to use Vonage instead of going back to land line. Might have to change that for potential need for Life Line or other emergency service locating for Dad. But for now… Thanks!

  2. I updated the post with some clarifications after your post. Let me know if it helps.

  3. boricorazon says:

    So let me get this straight, It doesn’t matter if my Ethernet cable it 10′ or 100′ it will not lose signal?

  4. I do not know enough to say if I should lose signal or not, but I did not notice any loss of signal when I setup the receiver.