Optik TV Smart Remote

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Connector

I would like to know why Telus has decided to drop the current Optik TV Smart Remote app to adopt their new and most confusing Optik TV GO or whatever its called. 

With the new app you will no longer be able to:

1) use your phone as a Remote,

2) change channels on your various boxes from your phone using the guide, THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT FUNCTION I CAN THINK OF FOR YOUR SERVICE. THIS FUNCTION ALLOWS ME OR FAMILY MEMBER TO CHECK THE GUIDE AND CHANGE CHANNELS WITHOUT HAVING TO USE THE ON-SCREEN GUIDE.

3) use the guide to jump to future dates or days

4) easily record and change record settings using the guide. 

5) manage your recordings on your PVR. 

 

My assumption is that the old app was powered by i.TV and Telus thought they could do a better job and not have to pay for i.TV rights to use. Well you didn't do a good job and actually succeeded in making a great app worse. 

 

The new app is extremely confusing and I consider myself to be a bit of a tech nerd. Multiple clicks required to drill into functions of the app, confusing record and show listings when using the guide. 

 

For all those who wish to see the old app remain functional chime in here. 

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Organizer

Came here and registered to say just what you said. The smart remote app is a REMOTE CONTROL. The optik tv app is not. 

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Connector

I also registered just to record my displeasure at this "replacement" of one of the best things about Optik TV.

The new app should not be called Optik TV because it has nothing whatsoever to do with our televisions.

The ability to scroll quickly through the guide to find a program and then to switch the TV to that channel is beautiful.

My showing people the Remote App has caused several of my friends and neighbours to switch from Shaw to Optik and now you are dropping it.

Even if I wanted to watch TV on my phone, which I have difficulty imagining, this new app doesn't fit on a phone.  Everything is way to big to scroll through and browse.  Did the designer make it fit on his laptop?

 

I am really angry about this and I'm pretty sure you don't care.

 

Cliff in Sherwood Park

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Connector

I agree completely. I especially miss the loss of the Search Optik TV function in the Guide.

 

With the Smart Remote app it was relatively easy to search for a show and set a recording. I didn't have to know the time or channel. How to do this in the new app? I tried searching and the results were dismal.

 

This is a total step backwards.

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Community Power User
Community Power User

I agree. Whenever I search all I get is PVR or VOD content. I totally didn't clue in that the guide content wasn't showing as the show I was searching for didn't air often.


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Connector

Telus has made a mistake by not including all the "remote control" features of the old app in the new one.  The only thing they left in there is the ability to set up a program to be recorded by the PVR.  What I need is remote control of the PVR from distant rooms in my house.  Watching TV on my iPad is not going to be very useful to me.

 

Here is how I use the old Telus Optik app:

 

I have 3 TVs in my house in 3 different rooms, all TVs are connected to one Telus PVR (my only Optik device) located in the family room.  All TVs show the same video from the PVR box.  Each TV is connected by a different video wiring method, living room TV is a new Sony 55" connected by HDMI and in a  home theatre type setup with AVR and 5.1 speakers etc, family room has a smaller low-end 1080P TV connected by component video, kitchen TV is composite video, and I might eventually hook up a 4th TV in a bedroom by the house coax wiring (VHF channel 3 or 4).  In the distant rooms I control the channel selection and PVR playback using the old Telus Optik app on an iPad, the old app works quite well as a remote control, although it has some minor problems.

 

The ability to play TV programs on my iPad with the new app is interesting but I will probably do that very infrequently.

 

If Telus does not want to put the full  "virtual remote control" functions in the new app, I have a suggestion.  Why not release a smaller app that is simply an emulation of the standard plastic infrared remote control?  All customers know how to use the standard remote control, so that would make things easy for them.  The GUI would simply show a picture of an Optik remote and the user would just press the virtual buttons. No need for the app to have a lot of information to display as the TV screen shows all that stuff, just like with the actual plastic remote control.

 

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Here is a secondary issue.  It needs to be pointed out that Telus has taken an annoying and crass approach in both the previous Optik app and the new one.  The apps are obviously designed to get people to buy pay-per-view movies and programs.  Telus should be less money-grabbing and instead concentrate on improving the customer experience of the Optik system.

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Resident

This app works great for using optik tv. Who is the freakin idiot at Telus who has decided to close the app. Give customers something that is useful then take it away. Bunch of jerks. Time to switch back to shaw I guess. 


@rkd2999 wrote:

I agree completely. I especially miss the loss of the Search Optik TV function in the Guide.

 

With the Smart Remote app it was relatively easy to search for a show and set a recording. I didn't have to know the time or channel. How to do this in the new app? I tried searching and the results were dismal.

 

This is a total step backwards.


 

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Resident
I totally agree. The reason I switched to Telus TV is the smart remote which is a great app. The new app just allow recording and is not a remote. TELUS DO NOT DROP THE SMART REMOTE APP OR I WILL DROP TELUS SERVICES.
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Connector
Another frustrated user annoyed by the backwards step Telus have taken here.

The ability to be able to easily access the PVR functionality remotely, view the guide to set recordings etc is a key functionality of a PVR. Why you'd remove this is beyond me.

Surely this can be added into the existing app?
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Resident

I didn't know they were replacing it with anything. On my IPAD it says only that it is "retiring" in June.  Would be great if TELUS publicized the replacement.  Disappointing to hear it will be missing many of the features.  Definitely would prefer the old app to remain.

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Community Power User
Community Power User

@Alister wrote:
The ability to be able to easily access the PVR functionality remotely, view the guide to set recordings etc is a key functionality of a PVR. Why you'd remove this is beyond me.

Surely this can be added into the existing app?

The current Optik app includes a guide from which you can set recordings on the PVR. Same as the old one. The feature people are concerned about in this discussion was the Smart Remote functionality which was the ability to control some features on the set top boxes like a physical remote control could.


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Connector
Thanks Nighthawk. You're right, I finally found it buried at the bottom of the screen, hidden as popup menu (on the Android version).

Wow, that version of the guide is a huge step backwards. Minimal features, and clunky.
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Connector

We are not using our phones to emulate the remote Nighthawk.

We are scrolling quickly and efficiently through the guide to something we want to watch and then switching to that channel with a simple tap.

Scrolling through the guide with the “new” app is incredibly frustrating due to the size of the icons and when I find what I want I can’t switch to it unless I want to watch it on my phone.

Why would our old app be removed when so many consider it important?

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Community Power User
Community Power User

This discussion is specifically regarding the remote features on the old app. Not the guide. If you have specific concerns that are not related to the remote control feature on the old app specifically, it would be best to start a new discussion on the forums here to have those specific concerns addressed. 


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Connector

Go back and read the first post here.

Yes our concern is that the new app won't control our TV/Optik box

But we are not trying to use our phones "as" remotes (instead of the Optik remote)

We are complaining that the new app does not control our Optik box.

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Connector

I think I just ran across the reason the "new app" is so awful to use on our phones and tablets.

It's really a browser app meant for your laptop/desktop.

You can go to :  https://watchoptik.telus.com

Log in to your Optik TV account and you will see the "New App" fitting nicely on a monitor.

So I assume this thing was designed on someone's laptop and then just squashed to try to fit it on our phones.

That would explain why the new "Optik Not-TV" app is so unbelievably clunky and over-sized on a mobile device.

 

Why the ability to tap on a show and have my Telus box switch to that show is being dropped I cannot imagine.

That is the single biggest advantage Telus has over Shaw in my opinion.

 

Resident

Totally agree that the new app is horrible to use.  It's designed for watching On Demand on your mobile device - not remotely controlling your PVR.  I love the old/existing app.  If I forgot to set my PVR for something I could easily do it while on the go from my iPhone.  Please can we have the same programming grid layout in the new app?  I can easily jump to any day/time and channel to hit record.  The new grid layout barely lets you see one hour's worth of programming per screen.

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Connector

I tried to put my concerns into a review of the new "Optik TV" app in the App Store, but the review cannot be submitted, the App Store (on my iPad Air) gets hung when I press the Send button.   Anyone else tried to write a review?

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Organizer

Just perused the app that we are now being directed to as the one I have used is flagging that it will no longer be supported as of June 26.  The old app worked really well, the new app is horrible, I thought I was a bit of a techy but this surely does not apply to being able to use the newer app, intuitive does not apply here at all.  Please keep the old app running; the guide function, scrolling ahead into the future and setting PVR recordings from off site are all really great.  The new app, dare I say again; horrible.

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Resident

My Optik TV boxes are not in the same room as my TV's, and in one case on a different floor of my house.  I rely on the Smart Remote app to control my Optik TV boxes.  They are discontinuing the app later in June 2018 and their new Optik TV app does not have the Smart Remote feature enabled.  I spoke to Telus Technical Support and they provided me with this information.  Without the Smart Remote app, I cannot control my boxes, making the Optik system completely useless.  I will have to cancel my Optik TV service and talk to another provider.

 

Not sure why Telus would cancel the Smart Remote app BEFORE they have the features enabled in their new app.

 

The existing Smart Remote app is poor, but I have been tolerating it for the last 3+ years as I have no other choice.  It needs to be refreshed and I was looking forward to hopefully a better upgrade in the new app, but now Telus is just cancelling it without replacing it.

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Resident
Very disappointed with the new app. I need the remote control functionality. I do not need to watch TV on my devices... I am not 12 years old. Please give us adults what we need as we are the ones choosing service providers and paying the bill.
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Organizer
We are very active users of smart remote. If it is discontinued, we will seek our tv service from Shaw. That’s how valuable smart remote is to us.
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Connector

Looks like the smart remote app (also named "Optik TV", the same name as the new app) is starting to be shut down, or maybe it's crapping out.  Guide no longer working, but I can still select recordings to play back, and select channels. 9pm PST June 25. 

 

Now I will need to go find and buy an IR extender, and those gadgets can be very unreliable.

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Resident

I also registered just to voice my displeasure with the loss of the remote app. It was the best thing about optik tv.

The new app, as has been stated is fine for twelve year olds who want to watch tv on a 5 inch screen. I didn't buy a 55 inch hdtv to use my IPad. I have been hedging on upgrading to the new ultra hd products because of the weak content of most of the channels. Is it worth it to watch the same 8 or 10 shows repeated every 4 hours or less in a day. I'm looking at you Smithsonian, Nat Geo and BBC Earth. The only reason I haven't cut the cord is it's just too easy to quickly look at the guide, tap the channel and it's on. No searching for a program and times, streaming or downloading. The Optik TV app is fine for what it was meant for, although clearly made for a laptop and not mobile devices. My Harmony remote is great for controlling multiple items via wifi. But the Optik app was a clean simple app that did both. Please give it back or I fear the prospect of saving $150 plus a month may be too much to resist.

        

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Resident

I hoped that once the old Optik TV app was disabled they would have added the “missing” features to the new app, but alas no.

 

It’s very frustrating to no longer be able to:

 

- quickly change the day/time

- change the channel on the Optik box from the app

- quickly jump to the different channel number sections

 

This is a big step backwards in functionality. Too bad no one from Telus has yet to chime in

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Connector

 The new app is certainly not a replacement but totally different.   As you can see, very few people like it as it is missing most of the things that you could do with the old app. I wish they would’ve just left the old out there and we could have used it if we wished instead of this new whatever it is. I’m sure there are a lot more of us out there who think this is a terrible change and we miss the functions of the old app. 

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Organizer

I just forwarded this thread link to Telus Support.  Hopeful they will come here and have a listen to our comments and input as well as chime in.

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Community Power User
Community Power User

In Smart Remote, if you look under Settings > About, you'll see "Powered by i.TV". The vendor (i.TV) that created the old app framework no longer exists. Their website doesn't exist anymore either and just redirects to a domain parking service. It looks like before they shut down they changed the focus of the company towards more social interaction relating to television and no longer on the apps. 

 

This is an article about i.TV from around the time Smart Remote came out.

 

With the vendor switching focus to social media and followed by their demise, support, updates, and fixes for the app would not have been possible. Whether or not there is an alternative vendor with a similar remote control framework will be the big question.

 

The company that was spun off of i.TV, yo.tv, is basically just a social media / TV guide hybrid that doesn't work well for Canada. The spin off company doesn't offer the same remote control framework.


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Connector

The Smart Remote app is still partially working and I hope they leave it running until a new app or other solution can be developed.

 

The Guide and Recordings views don't work any more. But I can select a channel by entering the number, also pause/play/forward/reverse buttons work on the pop up remote.  So I can use the app on an iPad in my secondary viewing room to at least pause/fast forward a program.  I can use my main TV room which has the PVR and regular remote to select a program or recording and then move to the other room (big TV there) to watch and pause/play/etc from the iPad app as needed.

 

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BTW if anyone is shopping for a IR extender, they come in 2 varieties.  The regular IR extender is about $30 and designed for people who have all their equipment in one room but want to put some devices out of sight in a nearby closed cabinet or closet.  The other type is a wireless IR extender and costs more at $50+ and can be used to allow an IR remote to be used in a separate room from the controlled equipment.

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Organizer

Yesterdays Social Media contact to @TELUSsupport went like this:

 

@TELUSsupport Hopeful the current Optik TV app will very soon carry over some important features from the original app. Here’s just a fraction sample of customers feeling on just that. Would be great if someone from @Telus could chime in here as well: :~) https://forum.telus.com/t5/Internet-TV-Home-Phone/Optik-TV-Smart-Remote/m-p/85926

 

@... We will make sure to pass on that information/suggestions to the correct teams

 

@TELUSsupport Thank you 👍