My new Pik TV box (i.e. TELUS Digital TV box) arrived on April 26th as promised in a prior email from TELUS.
Installation / Setup / Hardware
The installation & setup of the box was simple and straight forward. The new box is physically smaller & lighter (than the previous Pik TV media box) but comes with the same number of input /output ports (i.e. 1 USB port, 1 HDMI port, & 1 Optical Audio port). The new remote retains all the functionality of the old remote and now includes an input changer button, a Google Assistant button, a number keypad, and dedicated buttons for Netflix & Prime video. The box's hardware specifications are; Quad-core 2.6 GHz (ARM Cortex-A53) CPU with 4 GB RAM and 16GB storage.
User Interface / Software
The user interface / experience is upgraded & different. The Android TV Home launcher has been replaced with a custom TELUS launcher that highlights only Pik TV content (On Demand & Live Channels) and YouTube recommendations on the Home screen. The Home screen cannot be edit to include recommended content from any other third party applications. In addition, the Pik TV / TELUS launcher is now the default application always running in the background to display the last selected TV channel. This means that after you exit all other 3rd party applications and return to Home you are returned to the last Live TV channel you were viewing. It also enables the user to browser through the "Settings' menu and installed Apps while a Live TV channel continues to play in background.
All of the above is to say that the user experience is such that the box feels more like a dedicated cable operator box ( i.e. TELUS Pik TV) with the ability to also run Android TV apps ( i.e. YouTube, Netflix, Prime Video, etc.), than an independent streamer box on which your cable TV app is one of many other apps. On this box the Pik TV app is main app on the box that is integrated into all aspects of the user interface. This might explain why the new box is provided only as free rental and must be returned to TELUS when you cancel your TV service.
Performance / Picture & Audio Quality
The performance is head and shoulders above the old Pik TV box. The Live channels and On Demand content load quickly without delay. The transition between Live channels is now almost instantaneous. The picture and audio quality is also very good.
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