I heard Telus isn't selling or supporting the PIK TV box anymore. I'm not sure if that's true but are there any plans to bring Android 8.0 update soon?
With the current software and Android 7.1.1 Kodi has a terrible issue with buffering video playback (mostly 720p, MP4). Constant buffering with the loading circle when connected via 5 GHz to the T3200m. When I connect it directly via a Ethernet cable it plays everything smoothly. No hiccups.
I read from previous threads, and experienced, the mouse cursor has been disabled. I still have my Google Nexus Player (Android 7.1.1) and everything just works. Without the mouse function I can't use Google Photos or Chrome. I'm hoping Android 8.0 update will address all these issues.
One more thing is that I can sideload Optik TV app to my Nexus Player and get it to run "okay" but sideloading it to the PIK TV I just can't get it to navigate with the provided remote to get it playing the channels or at least without a mouse I couldn't get it to move around in the app.
Does Telus need to hire new software programmers?
For Kodi - you should be starting on their forums looking for assistance. (https://forum.kodi.tv/index.php) Kodi is not supported by Telus. Even a quick google search brings up a lot of information regarding Kodi and buffering 720p that has nothing to do with just one specific device.
The Pik TV hardware is still being sold and last I heard still supported. Telus has not announced any major system updates yet.
As for the Optik TV app, it was not released for the Android TV platform, or coded to support the remote. So the app having limitations when side-loaded on to an unsupported device isn't a surprise. Users with PikTV will not be able to have Optik TV on the same account either way. Same goes for those with Optik, they won't be able to have PikTV.
Google has not released an Android TV compatible version of Chrome or Google Photos either. If you're looking for a TV based box to use as a PC you're better off getting a ChromeBox, or just a PC.
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"For Kodi - you should be starting on their forums looking for assistance. (https://forum.kodi.tv/index.php) Kodi is not supported by Telus. Even a quick google search brings up a lot of information regarding Kodi and buffering 720p that has nothing to do with just one specific device."
Kodi is available officially on the PikTV via AndroidTV playstore, it should actually work if Telus has properly implemented "media codec" (that's the whole reason Kodi team spent ages killing support for third party chip specific decoders and kept pushing suppliers to properly implement official Google decoders), with that said, I have found 720p/1080p videos to run fine on the PikTV (be on on Kodi or any other playback software) on the other hand local 4K hardware decoding is broken right out of the box (be it via Kodi or any other local playback software, again installed directly from playstore), that's is an issue specific to the PikTV and Kodi has nothing to do with it (even the 4K videos that runs fine via the YT app on the box fails when downloaded locally).
"Google has not released an Android TV compatible version of Chrome or Google Photos either."
Google has allowed "remote" install of "official" Chrome on AndroidTV box for ages (you could just just open playstore on a PC and select PikTV as a target device and install would proceed without an issue), it wasn't until recently that they have decided to mark incompatible (thus disabling remote install), that said, Chrome can still be sideloaded and works fully on any AndroidTV device given the manufacturer supports mouse input.
While, in all fairness, the reference AndroidTV source code has mouse disabled, yet it takes couple of lines of codes to re-enable it if Telus chooses to do so, and many AndroidTV providers realized the value in that and re-enabled it (NvidiaShield and MiBox), disabling mouse support achieves nothing but makes the box way less useful.
"The Pik TV hardware is still being sold and last I heard still supported."
True indeed, I think the main issue is Telus focus was just for the box to be merely a delivery platform for the PikTV app/services with no real interest to unlock the true potential of the box as an AndroidTV device, this box had so much potential but I guess it is what it is.