AT&T is souping up its U-verse IPTV service as it continues to fight legislators as it seeks to expand its U-verse footprint.

The company unveiled the next generation features coming to U-verse at the TelcoTV conference in Atlanta this week. For starters, ScreenPlays reports that next year U-verse subscribers can expect a lot more HD content.

AT&T’s TelcoTV demo also showcased additional U-verse features including whole-home DVR, sending cellphone pix to a set-top box, integrating caller ID  on TV with voice mail, GPS-based "family finder" and "flight tracker" applications, and a second-generation U-verse set-top box in 2009.

Verizon also highlighted FiOS TV’s coming attractions at the TelcoTV confab, where it talked up integrating poster art to move beyond text-based searches, dynamic ad insertion and shorter VOD windows, reports xchange.

And EchoStar unveiled ViP-TV, its MPEG-4 based IPTV service, at TelcoTV this week.

AT&T’s IPTV service got a boost yesterday, receiving a green light from the Illinois Commerce Commission to start launching in the state, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.

Eyeing Comcast’s Chi-town turf with rollouts starting in the new year, Comcast Chicago spokesperson Angelynne Amores says her company isn’t worried.

"Comcast brought Illinois consumers a real choice for local phone service, and today we add 1,000 new Comcast phone customers every day — most of whom have left AT&T," Amores stated.

AT&T’s U-verse battle in Connecticut also reignited this week, when the co-chairmen of the legislature’s Energy and Technology Committee slammed the state Department of Public Utility Control’s decision to block U-verse, reports The Republican-American.

Rep. Steve Fontana (D-North Haven) and Sen. John Fonfara (D-Hartford) charged the DPUC with ignoring the legislative intent of their co-sponsored state law that took effect on Oct. 1 to encourage competition in the video marketplace.

AT&T, meanwhile, is making noises about pulling out. Regional VP John Emra confirmed to The Stamford Advocate that his company will abandon Connecticut if the DPUC decision is not overturned. (More commentary on the CT stand-off in the New Hampshire Register.)

Elsewhere, The Tennessean invited AT&T Tennessee president Gregg Morton and Tennessee Cable Telecommunications Assoc. president Stacey Briggs to debate the telco’s U-verse state franchise strategy this week.

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