Entry: TV for Me and U(verse) Friday, October 03, 2008

My brother David and I were always were fascinated by sci-fi.  Anything odd.  Futuristic.  Will Robinson was our hero, and Rod Serling our mentor.  We always wanted to know what was just down the hall and around the corner....in the Twilight Zone.

Mom dissed Rod as "just plain weird." which, of course, made the show that much more appealing.

I think that early ingestion of sci-fi inspired us to be forwarding-thinking, at least occasionally.  Well, sometimes.  Okay, rarely.  Anyway...

I worked at Remco TV Rental through my five years at the University of Houston.  I started as a "gofer" but because the company was rapidly expanding, I got to grow with it and try my hand at all sorts of marketing, HR and sales ventures.  After the owner discovered I loved to read, he started flipping pamphlets, magazines and books on my desk with a "give me a one-pager" command.  Oh.  My. Gosh.  Talk about throwing me in the brier patch!  I was thrilled.  I devoured stacks of opinions and studies about the future of television which - interestingly enough - was often tied to the future of telecommunications. 

Future Shock was the first non-textbook, non-Bible I'd ever highlighted.

After graduation, I interviewed with several companies, and had offers from a few.  But even though the jobs were what I wanted to do - write, create, organize - I couldn't get excited about them.  I didn't care about insurance.  Or personnel recruitment.  Or mining.  My reading convinced me that at some point in my life, there would be one telecommunications device in the home.  TV - with me - would be part of it.

Danger, Will Robinson!  Don't go to work in an industry you don't care about.

Al Gore hadn't invented the internet yet.  I couldn't have told you "IP" from "Dr. Smith," but I knew that someone would build it, and we'd come.

I eventually interviewed with Southwestern Bell, and started there in 1979, just hoping to be some part of what I knew would come.  Sometime.  Somewhere in telecomm.  It didn't come in 25 years of Training, Finance, External Affairs, Marketing, Sales Support, Sports & Events, Advertising or Online.  But darned if it didn't emerge through a hand-picked team (including me) working on a new product called U-verse, a marriage of TV, internet and voice.  The techies throw up when I say this, but to me, it's TV over the internet.  And it's way cooler than anything else out there.  And I know  it's the way TV is going to be in the future. 

Keith works on U-verse, too, and this week was happy for both of us as Total Home DVR launched in San Antonio.  We were up early to check it out, with Keith snatching remotes and verifying our ability to record then watch in any room.  The girls shared our excitement, so Rachel made this video.  Yes, it's goofy.  But so is she.

Rachel tells me, "Mom, you're always selling something."  Maybe so.  Everyone I meet in our neighborhood gets an invitation to visit our church, one of our girls' babysitting fliers...and yes, an AT&T pitch.  Been known to do that on the bus, too.  And in the grocery store line.  And at school functions.  Etc.  Why not?  If you believe in something - promote it.  If you don't - hush.  And ask yourself why you're associated with it.

So if you want an invitation to our church, or one of our girls' babysitting fliers, or...yes...more information on U-verse, just hit the "Contact Me" link on the left.  I'll ping you back...after my rerun of The Twilight Zone is finished.  I recorded it weeks ago in our bedroom and plan to watch in the kitchen while I do tomorrow's breakfast prep.  Then maybe I'll check our call history on one of our TVs, or program our DVR online or with my cell phone, or email Keith a voice mail, or check the Yellow Pages on my TV, or click a number online to call it.  Yeah, you can do all that - and plenty more.


You're traveling through another dimension -- a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. That's a signpost up ahead: your next stop: the Twilight Zone!

Message to Rod - Finalleeeee.  We're there, buddy.  We're there.


October 8, 2008   06:12 PM PDT
we are in FIOS territory -- I feel like a traitor! I do feel proud to see the Uverse commercials .... also makes me a little sad!
Stephanie A
October 6, 2008   09:50 PM PDT
Becky - You're the greatest! Good job *as always*.

Rachel - Love the video. You just crack me up.
October 4, 2008   12:17 PM PDT
I love U-verse more every day!
Kay B
October 4, 2008   12:09 PM PDT
We love U-verse!! Come on Woodworth Dad - tell us what those new top-secret projects are, are are dying to know!!
October 4, 2008   05:57 AM PDT
yes it sounds cool. but, from a family who doesn't even have DVR and who still watches movies on VHS, i don't think this will be coming into our home anytime soon.

hang on, i have to take a call on my 3 yr old cell phone. bye!
October 3, 2008   09:50 PM PDT
Remember that U-verse is not Cable TV, it is an entertainment platform. I can't really say anything because I work on stuff we have not announced yet, but look for more and better features coming out over the next several months and years. We will be adding more cool features for years, this will look as much like TV as the Wright Brothers look like a 777. I've had Cable, I've had both small dish providers, and U-verse blows them all away.
October 3, 2008   09:08 PM PDT
First to comment!!!! Yeah

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