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TELUS TV Feature Updates - Ongoing

Optik-Kate
TELUS Team Member
TELUS Team Member

Dear Neighbours, 

 

We’re experimenting with different formats to assure you we’re listening and working on improvements to the TELUS TV platforms. We have frequent releases designed to tackle the platform's immediate and long-term stability, and we’ll do our best to keep this thread up to date with each new release to celebrate our wins together.

 

Please note this is not an exhaustive list; minor customer-facing fixes and non-customer-facing backend work are not included. 

 

Q1 2024 (WIP):

  • Recording improvements: Series recording on news-related programs
  • Guide filter selection such as “my favourite channel” remains after turning the TV off and on
  • Search results are now expanded to include third-party streaming apps availability in the program detail page
  • Optimized search functionality via content type and cast member names
  • Default focus on home - requiring only one click of the “back” button to return to the last watched stream
  • User experience and design improvement on Apple TV and iOS

Q4 2023:

  • Additional 4K channels on the TELUS TV Digital Box and Android TV devices 
  • New and Live tags in the TV Guide
  • Increased Cloud Recording duration to 90 days
  • Pay Per View events are now available for purchase
  • Recording improvements 
    • Unviewable recordings can now be deleted
    • The recordings manager now shows the newest recordings first
    • Bug fixes related to recordings going missing
    • Bug fixes for sports recording auto-extension 
  • Surround Sound is now available
  • Dismissing the “next episode” prompt is now working correctly

Q3 2023

  • Chromecast - cast from TELUS TV+ mobile app to Chromecast-enabled receivers
  • Game Zone - a dedicated zone on the Telus TV Digital Box with over 180 free and simple-to-play games using your mobile device as the controller 
  • Resume from your Apps row on the home screen to resume shows from Disney+, Apple TV+, Prime Video and more

Q2 2023 

  • Playback Performance Toggle - A new option in the Settings menu aimed at improving video playback on older Android devices (mobile/tablet).
  • Pause Live TV for up to 15 minutes on the TELUS TV Digital Box and TELUS TV+ app
  • Restart a show from the beginning that aired up to 30 hours in the past
  • Profile improvements
    • Recordings only show in individual profiles
    • ‘Recommended for you’ personalized by profile
    • ‘Favourite channels’ and ‘Favourite movies & series’ by profile
  • Live Sports recordings are automatically extended; 90 minutes for tennis & 60 minutes for all other sports

 

Regards,

Your Friendly Neighbourhood TV Product Development Team.

126 REPLIES 126

Have you been told this or is this an assumption?

KHR
TELUS Team Member
TELUS Team Member

Hi @KTown 

 

When and if you are upgraded, you will be presented with options for functionality, equipment and pricing. If you want to opt out of certain equipment, you can do that at any time. If you don't want the ability to record, you can opt out of that at any time as well (for example, you can return your PVR and opt for a Digital Box without harddrive). 

 

Further, you seem concerned about the pricing changes. As an example, our current pricing structure for new customers is:

 

TELUS TV Digital Box rental price: $10/month

Cloud PVR: $10/month

Core package: $35/month

TOTAL: $55/month

 

The legacy pricing is: 

Optik 4K PVR rental price: $20/month

Recordings: included

Essentials package: $43/month

TOTAL: $63/month

 

The new pricing structure is less expensive AND offers more flexibility.

 

I hope this helps.

KTown
Just Moved In

I pay $43/month for my essentials package with one HD PVR and one wireless HD box and don't pay any rental fees on either. So this new hardware initiative will cost me at least $12 more a month.

I'm on 50mb/s single strand copper (not even bonded pair) so supporting two 4K boxes is not feasible. My connection struggles with 2 people streaming HD content and another person browsing. And as far as I'm aware there are no plans to install fiber on my block.

It looks like in my case that after 12 years as a customer, Telus will be losing a customer even if it means paying the penalty to break my contract.

KHR
TELUS Team Member
TELUS Team Member

I'd strongly recommend reaching out to our customer service representatives first to discuss your options rather than deciding simply to cancel. They have tools and discounts at their disposal to ensure that you're satisfied with your bill. Even though the newer 4K PVRs and boxes support 4K video, only ~12 of the over 400 channels on Optik TV offer content in 4K resolution (I believe only 1 or 2 channels in the Essentials is in 4K). You could upgrade your equipment and only ever watch HD channels and nothing would change bandwidth wise. 

 

If you're not paying rental fees on either of your current boxes, you have either purchased the boxes outright or you have an offsetting discount for being on a service agreement. If you have equipment discounts, these would still apply on upgraded equipment.

Montell
Coach

Just to point again and this has been an issue for awhile. Telus and I believe every major cable company is offering the first week of mlb extra innings free for users.

 

Works fine on the old optik, on the new optik platform you get nothing other then asking us to subscribe.

 

I am not sure why this is still an issue on this platform, why we never get free previews on this platform that the old optik users get??

No comment on this from the team? You just don't get free previews on these boxes for some reason?

KHR
TELUS Team Member
TELUS Team Member

Hi @Montell 

 

I can't comment on what other telcos offer for free previews, but capabilities, pricing and reliability certainly all vary. The TELUS TV Digital Box (and the TELUS TV+ app) are based on a different back-end platform which doesn't support free previews the same way as the legacy Optik TV platform. 

 

I know the response won't be satisfactory, but free previews are on the development roadmap, however they are lower in priority than items like video quality and HDR/SDR switching. If there is programming or content that matters to you, you are welcome to subscribe.

Understandable and the hdr/sdr issue falls under picture quality which I said needs to be number 1. My Nvidia shield can properly switch between hdr and sdr but I know these boxes need that fixed. As mentioned though by many the bitrate and bitrate starved streams should be improved as well. You can only improve picture so much if the streams are bitrate starved. Generally a good encoder can only do so much with a low bitrate.

With that said on the free previews spectrum welcoming us to subscribe is not a great answer. That defeats the entire purpose of free previews, so we can see the channels and decide if we want to subscribe. It should be addressed, I had this box last year and did not get any free previews either. At some point a year later customers are going to want features present on the old optik system for years.

I do appreciate Telus employees taking time to respond here though.

Sorry one more. Given where this platform is at and the concerns of customers I also hope internally Telus as a company is providing the resources needed to address these issues expressed by customers. Hopefully they are giving the dev team enough resources to start knocking some of these off the list as this platform gets pushed to more customers. Can't have a small dev team overworked expecting to fix everything. Hopefully Telus is supporting them enough.

You used to be able to see what was currently in free preview but according to Telus, "there was a business decision to pull the free previews page on TELUS" so not easy to find any further info...

 

https://forum.telus.com/t5/Optik-TV/Free-Previews-List/m-p/145277#M13797

bimmerdriver
Organizer

I currently have UIW8001 PVR and 3X UIW4001e. They work pretty well. The old saying, "if it isn't broken, don't fix it" comes to mind.

 

From all of the reviews and comments here and elsewhere, such as DSLReports (https://www.dslreports.com/forum/r33851979-ALL-Comments-Experience-New-Telus-TV-Digital-Box-TelusTV-...), these new boxes sound like a step backwards, not only in terms of functionality and also picture quality. I've been with Telus long enough to highly suspect that customers will pay more for the priviledge of having less functionaly and worse picture quality. 

 

Considering that 4K TVs are common and 8K TVs are becoming more common, it's not reasonable to expect that customers will be satisfied with poor picture quality on their big and expensive TVs.

 

This makes me wonder if Telus is serious about staying in this business. Eventually, charging more for less will catch up with you. Unless Telus is intentionally trying to kill the TV market, these new TV boxes sound like a mistake.

I see the new Telus TV Android boxes getting a lot of flack here, and I personally don't think it's entirely deserved. 

 

Full disclosure, I worked at Shaw for 12 years, and via the employee discounts had every iteration of their TV boxes. This includes Rovi, HD Guide, Gateway, and their new X1 boxes both QAM and IP based (Bluesky/Bluecurve TV, now called Ignite TV under Rogers). I'm a big fan of the Comcast X1 platform, so my basis of comparison is that platform. 

 

I've had the new Telus TV Android boxes for a few months now, after not having cable for a year. Prior to the year without cable I was on Shaw Bluecurve (now Ignite TV) which is the syndicated Comcast X1 platform. I feel like I'm quite particular with picture quality, and quite honestly I don't notice a difference between the Bluecurve  boxes and these new Telus TV boxes. In the past Telus has struggled with picture quality particularly when compared directly to Shaw, but I was pleasantly surprised with these new boxes. Not sure why/how others are saying the picture quality is worse, but my experience has been very positive in this aspect. 

 

The guide/UI is a little clumsy, and this is where I see Telus has the most opportunity for improvement. I don't like having to hit the back button 10 times to get out of Netflix, and the guide can be a little slow to load when the box first turns on. Having seen multiple iterations of tv boxes launch at Shaw, I know that development is always ongoing and most of those platforms had a less than that stellar launch (I'm looking at you, HD Guide). Keep in mind that Telus is actively developing for this platform so I would expect things to improve substantially over time. 

 

I got Telus TV in time for the Superbowl and was very happy to be able to watch it on TSK in 4K. It looked fantastic. While these boxes aren't about to win awards for most outstanding anything, I feel like they're better than their reputation on this blog (and the Telus subreddit).

 

My 2 cents anyways. 

Craigvee
Friendly Neighbour
The issue is with 4K tvs and with the box pushing content in hdr even if it’s hd resulting in a blown out picture quality.

I have both the previous iteration 4K Arris box and the Android box and the picture quality for HD is not even in the same league.

The firmware issues with the Android box are confirmed by Telus and apparently we’re to wait for a new Android OS.

Are you using a 4K tv?

It’s honestly a joke they’d push this out to customers. I only use it for 4K and for streaming services.

Yup, using 2 4K TV's and one non-4k. Guess I'm lucky I don't have this issue. 

Do your 4k tvs have HDR? I know my 8 or 9 year old Sony tv has 4k but no HDR compatible.

That I'm not sure. These TV's are 5 or 6 years old, and I don't see anything in the options in the settings about HDR. So I'm guessing they don't have HDR. 

Nailed it.

After a recent billing issue with my internet service, I called in and discovered that my TV agreement expires at the end of this month. I’ll cancel and try the OTA TV thing for a while. I purchased an HDHomeRun box with 4 tuners and I’ll pair it with my Plex server for PVR capabilities. I’ll be saving $80 a month and can stream anything that I can’t get over the air.

Good luck to existing and future Optik customers.

Best of luck... Waiting for my contract to expire but another 13 months to go 😢

 

13 months isn’t too bad. I may regret my decision—time will tell.

13 months - Feels like an age to me... and hey, if you regret your decision, I'm sure they won't stop you from coming back! lol.