Telus TV – Why you should get Telus Optik TV

If you live in BC, Alberta, or Quebec, I want to share a review and look at Telus TV which is now known as Telus Optik TV. I don’t have many negatives about the service since I’ve signed up. I started with the original Telus TV and later moved onto Optik TV which was made available where I live.

I’m not alone in my fondness for Telus TV. I have two other friends who have signed up and are technically competent and skeptical of most things. They are equally as happy so that should tell you something right there. If you can get Optik TV in your area then consider it.

One reason to consider Telus TV is because of saving money. If you’re willing to jump in with both feet it can save you real money. You might be leery of putting all your eggs in one basket but I think save money now and you likely won’t worry about the “what ifs”. For myself I had been tied into Shaw for half a lifetime it seemed before I even had the opportunity for a second choice. Why would I fear a 3-year contract or commitment with Telus especially when I could save money? What’s better is that for new customers who sign-up for a 3-year term for Telus Optik TV and Telus Internet, you get something real incentive freebies. Right now you can get either a free Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet,  a free LG 42-inch LED HDTV or a free HP Pavilion G6 laptop. You also get free HD PVR rental and 2 HD Digital boxes. If that wasn’t enough, you can also get $50 if you get a friend to sign-up for either Telus Optik TV or Telus Satellite TV.

You can bundle all your services including: internet, television, phone line, and mobile phone. If you put all those together you’re going to save money and so you should. I won’t break down the dollars and cents just yet but I will create a separate section below for that. I realize that bundling a mobile phone into the mix isn’t possible for a lot of people because you’re likely already tied into a contract. That said, you can look and see about either getting out of your existing plan or you can see about switching to Telus Mobility in the future. Not a massive savings when bundling your mobile phone into you package, but it’s something and honestly it’s only recently that they added that to bundle savings. Savings.

To be clear, not all areas in British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec are able to support Optik TV. Telus is expanding as quickly as possible, but you should first check availability in your area. If you can’t get Optik, you should be able to get Telus Satellite which have many of the same freebies when you sign-up for a 3-year term.

Speaking in generalities, what I like most about Telus TV is that you can incorporate your devices. Telus TV On Demand is one example. Another is remote recording which you can do from smartphones, tablets or PCs. You can check your recordings, delete recordings, setup recordings and even adjust your channels via a remote device. Setting up a recording when you’re away from home is something that comes in handy more than you think. Even if I’m at home on the PC, I would rather setup a recording on my computer than turn on the TV and HD PVR. The convenience might sound minimal but the technology does make life simpler and less cumbersome.

I can’t really speak to how the HD PVR experience on Telus TV compares to Shaw, but I will say the software on the PVR is brilliant, easy to navigate and is updated on a regular basis with new and improved features. For example, up until about 6 months ago, if you wanted to find out the available storage space on your HD PVR you had to get through a number of menus. A pain it was. Now? It’s moved to a much quicker and simply location in the menus thanks to a software update.

Ask yourself, how many times when you were fast forwarding on a VCR or cassette tape did you overshoot the start of a show after a commercial? So of course you press rewind by a few seconds, then clunk, then the gears would engage and hopefully by then you aren’t too far back into the commercials you were just trying to avoid. Heck I bet your last HD PVR experience was the same. So how is the Optik TV HD PVR experience different or better? If you prefer the fast forward way of skimming through recorded shows as opposed to using the skip button, you will like this. I think of it as a smart fast forward/rewind.  So if you are fast forwarding at 2x speed, when you click play to get back watching after skipping commercials, the PVR will go back a number of seconds. If you are fast forwarding at 3x speed, the PVR will go back even further. Same with 4x speed, the recording will reverse by even more because who the heck has such quick reflexes when the video is flying by so quick! Essentially this feature means you won’t cut into your show as much. It’s brilliant and you will enjoy it, believe me! It’s increases your enjoyment while watching television believe me. It’s so nice that I do wonder what the future is for television commercials. Is it worth watching a show live anymore? Record it and start watching it after about 20 minutes and you will watch a one hour long show in about 40 minutes. Good for us, but bad for them. Oh well.

I know one feature that Shaw folks might enjoy that is available on the Optik TV PVR is a very simple recording system. Go into your guide, see the show, click the record button once and you just record it that one time. Click the record button twice in a row, and you’ve just set up a schedule to record that show whenever it’s one around the same time. If make a mistake and accidentally make it a scheduled recording as opposed to a single recording, simply push the record button once and it will remove the recording all together. The PVR will notify you of conflicts which then puts you into another menu where you can easily choose which of the 3 shows you want to record. It makes it very simple and user friendly to fix conflicts.

Collection of Telus Optik TV Tips and Tricks

  • How to clear off space on your PVR? Great question. The obvious answer is to delete old programs. Let me put it into perspective with a real example. I had 22% free space on my PVR. I decided to delete 56 Standard Definition show with a duration of 1 hour each. In the blink of an eye, I went to 41% free space! I doubt I’ve seen that much space on my PVR aside from the first week it was in my house. I hope that example gives you some perspective.

 

(please check back, just putting the article together)

telus-tv-optik

36 Responses to Telus TV – Why you should get Telus Optik TV

  1. Ryan July 2, 2013 at 4:01 pm #

    I was trying to figure out what Optik TV was. I picked up the Lumia 520 last month, and in the Windows Store there is a “Telus Apps” section. Only Optik TV was listed. Wonder if Optik TV will make it’s way to Ontario. I don’t want to switch to Bell just yet, however Slowgeco (err, Cogeco) is driving me up a wall with both TV and Internet.

    • President, Techaholic Inc. July 3, 2013 at 10:32 pm #

      From what I’ve read, Telus TV has no plans to expand into Ontario. My understanding is that the Ontario market is already dominated and for Telus, it would be a huge and expensive hill to climb. Thanks for your comment and visiting the site!

  2. Dave Van July 2, 2013 at 8:25 pm #

    “Why would I fear a 3-year contract or commitment with Telus especially when I could save money?”

    Because if the service is flakey then it can be a 3 year long nightmare.

    • President, Techaholic Inc. July 3, 2013 at 10:42 pm #

      I respect the fear of a 3-year commitment. I can only speak for myself, the experience of others and the rapid growth/success of Telus TV. Those are all signs that this isn’t a scary or risky service. Yes I’ve had a few issues but they were all resolved beyond my satisfaction. I would think that if someone isn’t willing to sign-up for more than say a year, then perhaps it’s not worth switching over. The freebies do count for something when you look at the overall cost of what you’re getting. Not everyone comes from the “Shaw” era where you had one choice, but I can say in that instance I was in a 10+ year term without even realizing it. Risk vs. reward. I think if anyone is thinking of switching to Telus TV, you really should jump in with both feet. That’s about the only way you can really save money, which is a big reason why I decided to go “all in”. Three years isn’t for everyone, no question about it. I’m not here as a Telus fanboy although it may sound like it.

      Thanks for visiting and commenting! It’s always good to have some different views/opinions on the site.

  3. James July 16, 2013 at 10:21 pm #

    ” I can only speak for myself, the experience of others and the rapid growth/success of Telus TV. Those are all signs that this isn’t a scary or risky service.”

    To give a little more specifics the rapid growth of telus has nothing to do with the quality of their services. At all. They are brilliant at marketing and their business plan is genius for the customers who never read the fine print. They have such large growth because they buy old equipment,tvs etc at cost because the supplier is trying to get rid of them. Telus will give these tvs or laptops or xboxes as a way to trap the customer in a three year service agreement, thus securing a guaranteed revenue stream for three years, and after the first year promotion you pay a higher regular rate than shaw. shaw has faster internet, better quality hd channels, their Gateway system blows their system out of the water. This article was written from the standpoint of someone who has never had shaw, and hasn’t done any research. If you want specifics, I can give you all the specifics you want. I challenge you though. Don’t listen to me, don’t listen to telus fans. Do the research yourself, open minded to get to the true differences between these companies. What would you rather have…a big price decrease for the first year, then a higher rate for two years, or a steady rate with much better quality? If you’re in a store you may navigate to the cheaper item at first, but once you read the labels you realize it’s worth it to pay the extra for a better product.

    • President, Techaholic Inc. July 16, 2013 at 10:35 pm #

      Great to have your views on Shaw. If you’re passionate about what they offer vs. Telus, please either add to your comment here or send me via email.

      I was just speaking with a couple friends I haven’t seen in a while and one is moving to Telus Optik TV from Shaw and my other friend was complaining about his spotty Shaw internet. Everyone’s experience isn’t going to be the same for sure. Because my one friend has issues with Shaw internet reliability, I wouldn’t suggest that it’s common. I’ve had a few calls to Telus because of complaints, trust me.

      If anyone has move from Shaw to Telus or vice versa, then please help educate people like me as to what’s better or worse with each company. The comment section is a great place to inform and educate!

      Thanks for visiting the site!

    • Jeff December 6, 2013 at 6:08 am #

      I’ve had both gateway and optik and I can say without a doubt the optik is a much better product. on paper and under the hood the gateway without a doubt is packing some extra horsepower but the interface and usability is terrible, it’s so clunky to use and not intuitive at all. The only real advantage it has is the fact that you can record/watch 6 separate shows at once whereas optik is restricted to 4. I have an older LG LCD and on gateway I was thinking it was time for a new tv but when I switched the picture was definitely better. The biggest thing I noticed was when watching sports, the little blur behind fast moving objects was gone on optik, glad I didn’t go by the new tv now. the other problem with shaw is all the equipment everywhere, phone modems, internet modems and now the gateway which is the size of a desktop pc with loud fans plus a portal at every tv. I was able to mount the actual gatway in my garage but I’ve seen places where they’ve got it sitting below the tv, TERRIBLE. With Telus you have a single modem, by your computer if it’s hardwired and the boxes(stb’s) with your TV’s, that’s it, so clean and unobtrusive. My modem is actually in a media panel in my basement feeding all my TV’s and a wifi router via Ethernet, no more old school coax either. as for pricing, dirt cheap to start out then the same as I was paying shaw but now I actually get the internet I pay for and not 10-20% less speed than I should be getting. Gotta love having a dedicated line to your house. On top of all this and to me this is the real clincher, fibre to the home. Here on Vancouver island telus is retrofitting the old copper with GPON FTTH. Shaw takes a fibre and feeds a few hundred houses but with telus you get one fibre just for you. I’m an Optik believer and I really feel that unless shaw starts to show some innovation they’re going to be in serious trouble in the not too distant future.

  4. Larry August 24, 2013 at 6:08 am #

    I just switched from the first generation Shaw PVR to the Gateway system and after one week I’m really disappointed. I’m considering returning the Gateway system and switching to Telus Optik TV and Internet but I wonder if I’d just have the same problems. The issues I have with Gateway largely involve the interface and they are these:
    1. The remote doesn’t operate my components so now I’m stuck using four remotes rather than one.
    2. The channel logos on the guide are too small to see from my viewing position.
    3. When I record a sporting event it doesn’t ask me if I want to extend the recording time. There is a way to do it but it is very clunky.
    4. The guide doesn’t list the cast in the information accompanying a movie.
    5. The most serious problem is that when I go from watching a recording to live TV, when I return to the recording it takes me back to the beginning. The Shaw tech told me I have to “stop” the recording first (there’s nothing in the user’s guide saying this) but I’ve had limited success using that method. It seems to take me back to random locations in my recording.

    My question is would I solve these problems with a switch to OpticTV?

    • President, Techaholic Inc. August 26, 2013 at 5:59 am #

      Great questions! Definitely I will add these to the main article. Let’s see if I can help on some of them right off the top of my head.

      1. How many devices can I program into my remote?

      Your remote can hold up to 4 devices simultaneously. The remote is already programmed to your digital box, so you can program the remote for your TV plus 2 additional devices.

      2. Hard to say whether these are larger or not. I’ll get some screenshots and post them.

      3. Optik tv makes this pretty darn easy. I can’t imagine it being any easier than how they do it.

      4. Cast is listed along with release date, rating, short description

      5. Switching between live and recorded couldn’t be easier. The recording is on channel 1, so if you go to say, channel 601 to watch the news, just go to channel 1 and the show picks up where you left off. Pretty seamless.

      Hope this helps! I’ll take what you’ve asked and include some of those questions and answers in the main article.

  5. Larry August 27, 2013 at 2:09 am #

    Thanks for the info about programming devices into my remote. The installation tech specifically told me I could not do it and the users’ manual is silent. I went to the remote website and found out how to do it and now everything works beautifully on one remote.

  6. Murray September 3, 2013 at 1:46 am #

    I signed up for telus satellite and what a mistake that was. Since I live just south of Red Deer I assumed I would get both Edmonton and Calgary stations. I only get Calgary because I am in the Calgary – Lethbridge region not in the Edmonton-Red Deer region. Unfortunately they don’t tell you what region you are in until after you sign up and the equipment is installed. There is nothing on their website that says anything about regions. BTW I can get 1 Edmonton station, its the FRENCH station. I have been fighting with Telus for over a month to try to get them to move me to the Red Deer region but to no avail so I will probably pay out the contract and go back to shaw and their terrible customer service.

    • President, Techaholic Inc. September 3, 2013 at 4:55 am #

      No fun. I would say, be persistent. My experience is that they will make it right and will make you happy in the end. Trust me, it hasn’t all been smooth sailing with me and Telus TV. Be willing to stay on hold or call a few times. They really seem to have a customer retention mandate.

  7. Jen October 6, 2013 at 6:36 am #

    I have some of the same frustrations with Shaw as listed by “Larry” in his August post (he has numbered them 2, 3, 4, 5. I have exactly the same issues. Many of my recordings chop off the last 20 seconds or so and I cannot adjust the “end time” of the recording like I could before. As well, their Search feature is cumbersome and often doesn’t work. I’ve been a Shaw customer for almost a decade and if they consider their recent changes as upgrades, they’re delusional.

    Telus is offering a one year free in the new development that we’ve moved to. It’s enticing but what happens if we move out of province in a year. These events are not always predictable. Is it worth buying out of the contract and, do you know how much it is?

  8. Lynn McElroy October 21, 2013 at 11:37 pm #

    We switched to Telus after being with Shaw for quite some time. When Shaw came and hooked us up they had (?) to run a cord around 3 rooms and it looked awful. Our sons were complaining that their XBOX games would lag a lot and be frustrated and we found that renting movies was sometimes frustrating because it would freeze just at the good parts (like the end). We decided to switch to Telus for Internet, Optic TV and home phone. We have had a few problems but Telus was friendly and fixed it promptly. The XBOX doesn’t lag and I really like the call display on the TV. Our bill is close to $200 mo. which usually has 2-3 movies rented on it and 6 theme packs.

  9. Al November 14, 2013 at 7:36 pm #

    Excellent discussion, thanks. Long time Shaw customer, not totally dissatisfied, but just looking over the fence. To be honest the free TV (on sale at Future shop right now for $688) is appealing. Question. Sometimes we record a program on our Shaw PVR that may have started late due to some network issue, and when we go to watch it, of course we miss the ending. Does Telus Optik have the same issue?

    • President, Techaholic Inc. November 15, 2013 at 3:12 am #

      Thanks for visiting and posting. What Optik has is the option, when you record, to easily extend that recording. You can choose like 10 minutes, 30 minutes, 60 minutes, etc. The process for extending couldn’t be easier or faster. If I notice an issue I can get into the Optik app on my smartphone and adjust on the fly. Some events I always extend. But there is no “auto detect” or something along those lines. It will take a manual action on your part to enable it. It’s also something you can do for recording a series so that it will always extend beyond the show scheduled end time. Hope that helps!

  10. doug November 15, 2013 at 5:57 am #

    I would not recommend Telus Optik TV to my worst enemy. We live in a newer neighbourhood in Langford, and have had the worst service imaginable. We signed a
    three year contract about 28 mths ago, and can’t wait till it’s over. We were previously with
    Shaw, and never had a problem, but changed because the telus bundle was $35.00 PM
    cheaper. Since then we have had numerous service interruptions, two modems, three
    optik boxes, with now a fourth defective one, and hours on the phone with Telus trying to
    get satisfaction. The service is complete crap. They don’t fulfill their end of the contract by
    providing the paid for service, and won’t let you out of it either. We have gone without TV
    for a couple of weekends so far, as well as numerous interruptions. There’s never a manager available either to voice your concerns. Again, never again. Pathetic service.

    • President, Techaholic Inc. November 15, 2013 at 3:15 pm #

      What your story tells me is that you are going to get a lot of compensation. I wouldn’t settle for anything less. I’ve had a few bumps in the road and trust me, in the end I was more than happy with the offerings they gave me. I hope you update and persist.

  11. Graham December 19, 2013 at 3:11 am #

    We switched from Shaw to Optik TV in Victoria 9 months ago and generally we are very pleased with the excellent picture quality of the service and intuitive, user-friendly menus and commands.
    However one feature that we used and enjoyed on Shaw was the ability to hear a second audio channel for bilingual broadcasts ( e.g., English commentary on certain TV Japan programs). This option is present in the Optik TV settings and can be selected, but when activated it does not work.
    Have had numerous communications with Telus tech. support but no solution – believe it is a bug in their set-top box firmware.

  12. Ralph inEdmonton January 1, 2014 at 5:11 pm #

    I have just switched from Shaw Direct to Optik TV (10 days). For the most part I am happy with the change. BUT..
    That slimline remote drives me nuts. It is designed for the “texting” generation.. NOT for someone whose thumb was designed for hitchhiking. That “little” ring.. which moves your selection.. is much too close to the record.. or back selectors. <>>
    If.. anyone has found a suitable (reasonably priced) replacement remote that has the same functions.. please tel me the brand
    This slimline remote “could” be the sole reason I go back to Shaw Direct within my 30 day trail period.
    Besides the “little” ring issue there are also numerous times the remote will accept only one number.. then default to show Charlie..Again the source of much frustration.
    Thank you for your time.. a Happy New Year to all.

  13. App Lover January 3, 2014 at 11:34 pm #

    I was wondering if the tv apps are free.

    • President, Techaholic Inc. January 4, 2014 at 2:36 am #

      Yes the apps are free. I’m not sure how stellar they are however. The last time I gave them a try I found it to be too slow of an experience.

  14. James February 1, 2014 at 2:11 am #

    Will Telus Optik Tv be coming to Tumbler Ridge, BC anytime in the near future?

  15. Kent February 9, 2014 at 4:03 am #

    How does Telus Optik compare to Shaw for things like 2 or 3 Xbox playing and someone on the internet?

  16. SL March 1, 2014 at 6:58 am #

    what i find ridiculous about the 3 year contract is that your monthly rates can still go up. in the last 18 months since i started this contract, my internet/tv combo went up by $15/month. yeah, it is cheaper than shaw. yeah, i did get a free laptop out of it. but it really doesn’t seem appropriate that telus can decide at any time to increase your rates, and you have no choice but to suck it up because you’re on a 3 year contract. anyway, my two cents…

    • Bob April 24, 2014 at 12:43 am #

      My telus went up $10.00 in Mar 2014 and again another $11.00 in April 2014. I think that they are crooks. Their hardware is complete garbage. The sound breaks up at least once a week and lately if we are watching pvr and jump back it goes to the start of the show. Can’t wait till the contract is up.

  17. Clarissa April 11, 2014 at 7:29 pm #

    We switched from Shaw to Optik when it first rolled out in Edmonton and I will never go back. The picture is crisper, no pixels, no wait while changing channels. We’ve had great techs and support when we had a couple issues. I especially love the karaoke app! The guide is so much better than Shaw, more intuitive and clean. Never have any issues with slowdown on our internet. Love the on demand, not just for renting movies but also for catching series and movies from movie central, HBO etc. We currently pay $130 for phone, Internet and TV with movie channels. Whenever our promotions run out we call retentions and they can usually manage to throw in some new discounts to keep our bill down. Love the ability to watch the on demand free movies and series in my ipad or smartphone. My only complaint is that I just wish I could watch my pvr recordings on my ipad/phone. We used to have issues with Shaw all the time and have only had two with Telus, both of which were rectified in a timely manner.

  18. Ryan April 18, 2014 at 9:13 pm #

    What are people’s experiences with the wireless Optik service?

  19. Jax April 26, 2014 at 10:48 am #

    I’ll be moving to Calgary from Ontario shortly and was looking at what is available. The Optix sounds great. I also need internet and cell phone. With this type of technology do you need to have a landline or just have the jacks available? Also I don’t download much of anything but for video streaming; I like my Netflix. I’ll just have to figure out which internet plan and which channels to select. Thanks for helping to make up my mind.

  20. ray June 22, 2014 at 2:35 pm #

    I switched from Shaw to Telus. My personal take is that the PVR is substantially better than Shaw. Far fewer issues playing, Rewinding and forwarding the recordings. 90% of my viewing is done through the PVR so this was a major issue to me as with Shaw it seemed like the PVR was accessing a recorded film reel between button presses. I would say that the Optik remote is absolutely the most frustrating remote I’ve ever used. The angle of usability of the remote is very limited…it seems to me that if your more than 15 degrees to the left or right the box isn’t receiving the signals. I just find the remote in general to be garbage and can’t understand why they can’t produce a remote that works as well as the actual system itself.

  21. Jill July 16, 2014 at 7:45 pm #

    I live in Kamloops, BC. I am wondering what other Telus customers have to say about service here with respect to TV and internet. Speed, clarity, issues, etc.

  22. Mike September 15, 2014 at 7:34 am #

    I switched from shaw for the 3 yr telus contract and its been downhill ever since. Within that 3 yrs my bill had inched up on a consistant basis and I am now paying 25% more per month. The equipment requires cinstant ressetting and the service sucks. The bandwidth is so poor at times my ipad had trouble running web base apps. Picture quality is poor. Oh yeah during installation they managed to disconnect all my phone lines running to my bedrooms. And watch your bill like a hawk. I was being overcharged evey month and it took me six months and a crazy ammount of phone calls and hrs trying to straighten out thier suspicious overchargers for 6 months straight. Im going back shaw. The best option is to seperate your tv provider from your internet provider the they cant use the tv as a reason your getting weak bandwidth. We need cheaper and better options with more accountability.

    • President, Techaholic Inc. September 15, 2014 at 7:58 am #

      Sounds like a bad experience. That said, I’m curious. Did you not get some free something for the billing mistake? Whenever that’s happened to me with Telus, I was given some type of reward like reduced charges.

      Regarding the bandwidth, if you run a Shaw speed test with no TV on and no TV recording, what are you getting? From there, turn on one HD channel on TV, then test the speed. Turn on 2 HD TV sources at one time and test one last time. I’m curious what you find you are getting. At the very least with that info you can call support and go from there.

      Shaw is not the answer to anyone’s prayers in my opinion. If you are mad at Telus then at the very least you should be speaking on the phone with someone who will do something to keep you onboard. You do have the ball, but most people don’t use it.

      Before anyone jumps into Optik you better know what is going on with bandwidth. In other words, how many HD channels you can watch at one time. One HD channel watching, one HD channel recording. It should be on the table what your home is capable of.

      Your complaint about quality of picture is curious because I’ve only heard positive feedback that Optik has superior HD quality and I’ve heard that from former Shaw patrons. If anything, that’s reason enough to have Telus show up at your place and see what is going on with your installation.

      Frustrating? Yes. Fixable? Yes, but it means spending time on the phone with Telus support.

  23. Norman September 15, 2014 at 4:05 pm #

    Bull. Shaw treats its customers like cash machines and Telus tries to fob off wonky technology as the latest and best. The CRTC put us, the consumers, in this position by limiting (more like making impossible) competition. Optik TV has real problems with HD – often the picture and sound are out of sync, and their solution is to reduce the resolution. Shaw raises prices whenever they feel like it because they can. What is needed, and thanks to the CRTC it’s too late, is real competition.

    • President, Techaholic Inc. September 15, 2014 at 4:26 pm #

      If anyone has issues with their HD resolution or sync, what did tech support say about it? I wouldn’t accept those quality issue even for a day. If that doesn’t get an installer back to your home then Telus is certainly misguided. That said, I don’t read a lot of stories on the internet about lousy Optik TV signal. I’m sure it might happen, but then that’s an installation issue. From what they told me, unless you have a certain level of available bandwidth where you live, Telus won’t even offer Optik.

  24. Peter October 11, 2014 at 11:54 pm #

    For all those that are having problems with either telus or shaw remotes, may I suggest getting a Logitech Harmony remote. I have used one for over 20 years, and just bought a new one, not because the old one quit, but to get more features on the new one.
    Easy to program, and because of the new ones using IR, works great if your components are in a cabinet with the doors closed. Yes, you can program the buttons any way you like, but when you use it after the programming, you will find it easy, and the buttons are far enough apart, that even my big thumbs don’t get in the way.
    Hope this helps……

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