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Family, Finances & Tech

My Telus TV review has been read and commented upon like crazy—it’s my most popular post by far!

To update that post, Telus has recently been working on installing fibre optic connections around my neighbourhood. My townhouse complex is currently being retro-fitted for their new 25Mbps service! It should be up and running by late December. I can’t wait for this insane bandwidth to run through my house. Not only will this rawk my Internet speed, but it brings with it a free HDTV trial period. I’ll share more details after it’s up and running.

My understanding is that I’ll receive new gateway hardware as well as a new set top box for my TV. However, the HD signal will only be available for one TV initially (crap!). But I’ll now be able to surf the InterWeb while watching two TVs without any slowdown or synchronization issues (sweet!).

Bring on the multi-lane Information Superhighway!

Categories: Technology

32 Responses so far.

  1. Phil Liu says:

    I have a 2-Wire 2700HG-E wireless router when I committed to a 3 yr contract a year ago. Early in September, Telus sent me a Thomsen Speedtouch modem. They claimed if I don’t switch over to this new router by September 25, my internet connection will not work. However, my 1.5M connection remained the same.

    Are you aware the Speedtouch modem will speed up my 1.5M download?

  2. Chris says:

    I have the same 2-Wire modem at the moment. However, when the fibre optic gets installed in the very near future, I believe I’ll be getting a whole new router to handle the bandwidth.

    The technician didn’t say that if I kept my 2-Wire, my Internet connection wouldn’t work. As far as I know, I can keep my 2-Wire and everything will continue to work fine at the current 1.5 Mbps.

  3. Peter says:

    I’ve been on TTV for 1+ years. When we bought a house in Coquitlam, I thought I’d check if the service was available in our new neighborhood. Lo and behold, it was. The 3 year contract deal meant a wack of free programming for 3 months, in addition to free internet for the same. Telus also threw $200 in gift cards our way, which took care of a couple trips to Costco. Like others, we had a number of issues in the early days. The most frustrating being the signal loss during one of the Canucks playoff games. Nonetheless, since the summer, we haven’t had a system crash or a channel become unavailable. Now, we’ve got an HDTV and I’m itching for a clean HD signal. My in-laws are on Shaw digital so I go there to watch the hockey games. I’m getting impatient with Telus on their delivery of the HD programming. I’m not sure how much longer we’ll be willing to wait for the service upgrade before we pull chute and hook up with Bell or Shaw…

  4. Guy says:

    I’m in the same boat about HDTV and Telus. I’ve got 3 months remaining on my contract and if they don’t have HDTV by then (April 08), I’m pulling the chute and heading to Shaw for all services (including phone). I’m not too pleased with the TV boxes either – constant problems, delays and sometimes they just won’t respond to the remote. Frustrating. They have 3 months to really improve.

  5. George says:

    Hi Chris
    Do you know what box telus is going to use for there HD is it going to be able to do hdmi and RGB (old School) also do you get this box now or when hd becomes available

    • Chris says:

      Apparently the set top boxes are manufactured by Scientific Atlantic – not sure which model though. I’ve heard PVR functionality will be coming too, either recorded by your box or to a central storage location operated and maintained by Telus. I’m guessing you pay for X GB of storage space and record away.

      And I’m not sure about RGB or HDMI. I have a Telus tech coming to install the new HD hardware next in a week. I’ll post a follow about hardware and performance when it’s running.

    • Caterina says:

      Yes I am also interested in the freguency of the digital box- if one has a 1080 frequency HD TV is the Telus digtal box compatable?
      Thanks

      • Chris says:

        Caterina – the Telus set top box can operate at 1080i, 720p, 720i, and 480p. So your 1080p/i resolution will work nicely. I personally use it at 720p instead of 1080, but the quality difference is negligible.

  6. RV says:

    It’s the Scientific Atlantic SA IPN330HD. It does HDMI, RGB, and component.

    Here’s a link. http://www.scientificatlanta.com/products/customers/prod_sub_IPTV_settops.htm

    • Chris says:

      Thanks for the info RV.

      My biggest frustration with the current Telus TV RCA box is the slow channel changing. I’m the annoying channel flipper, and slow channel changing really cramps my style! :)

  7. KC says:

    Wondering what your current experience is with Telus TV?
    I’m considering switching over from Shaw.

    1. Has the channel surfing problem been solved? Me too channel flipper.

    2. 2 or more TVs – same household – solved?

    3. Does it still require install if you are already using Telus for Internet (gosh, is it S L O W!!!!! – but on a contract…)

    4. Do you know if they give you grief on those free gift cards – if you hate their service and go back to Shaw during the trial?
    (For example, switching to Telus for Internet, got the offer for the free computer or small match / laptop…BUT the “fine print” is that you have to “buy”(!!!!) the computer if you quit during or after the trial – the cancelation fee is very steep. If you didn’t get the computer, then you pay $125 to get rid of bad service, if you did, then it is like $400 you have to pay!)
    So, Telus really “hoops” you either way.

    Wondering what the “Fine print” is on the TV service that sales reps don’t share…?

    Thanks.

  8. Diana says:

    Chris,
    Any update on HD TTV?
    Did the install go well? Are you happy with the quality?

    • Chris says:

      Hi Diana. I haven’t had a chance to write my HD review, but in the meantime, I will say that it’s been GREAT. The review will come shortly.

  9. john blackwell says:

    Telus Tv Benefits:
    Lower bundle cost than Shaw, some Channel bundles make good sense…

    Telus TV disadvantages:
    Picture Resolution very poor on News Channel Bundle-super blurry

    Commercial Problem:

    If Toronto channel program same as Boston Channel , they dump lousy Canadian commercials on top…eg: SuperBowl,American Idol.
    Shaw leaves their Detroit channels alone so you can see the great US Superbowl and Idol commercials….

    Superchannel Problem: Shaw lets you pick Superchannels only…Telus makes you buy a lot of crummy movie channels to get WGN Chicago..where is the common sense and logic on this??????

  10. Stephen says:

    Just got Telus HDTV installed in our loft in Gastown a week ago. Way better picture quality than Shaw which I had disconnected today. The installer gave me a new modem and re-wried a couple of outlets. I also got two extra HDMI cables – Pretty sweet.

    • Chris says:

      Nice Stephen – I didn’t know they were offering it in Gastown.

      How long is yours free until? We get it free in Port Moody until July officially, but I’ve heard rumours that further testing is still needed and we’ll get our extended for another full year!

  11. k bach says:

    so pissing, Telus TV isn’t available in Maillardville, coquitlam yet. I am done with shaw and don’t want satelite,…

  12. Jacques says:

    I truly like the information provided in this forum.
    I need some suggestions, I have been with Shaw xtreme high speed internet for 4 years now, I stopped using the Shaw Cable tv service simply it wasn’t up to parr for its fees and plus you have to buy the HDPVR unit at 349.00 or 549.00 depending what you wish for and now the basic services is 66.00 if you are like me and watch your budget it does add up when you chip in Internet basic landline and cable of HDTV and cellphone.
    My questions are:
    I have an awesome Sharp gamer series HDTV LCD 32″
    HD channels are not so readily available or are they from what I read the news channels in Vancouver are available but not in the east.????
    Telus offers the digital box for free and shaw sells it at quite an expensive price what is the catch about telus freebie????
    Price wise I realize telus offers more affordable rates for the basic bundle HD but I would have to switch to Telus Internet is it worthed????
    customer service with telus truly sucks, I had but only bad experiences when it came to my land line and cellphone
    what would it be under telus TV and Internet?????
    I live in Gastown and we still do not have fibre optic services, but I know it is being installed as we speak, as for its provider I have no idea as of yet.
    Any response would be greatly appreciated

  13. Randy says:

    I have Telus HD connected to my 46″ Sharp Aquos. When it works, it is incredible, especially Discovery HD.

    However, it is wrought with problems. I’ve had Telus out several times for each problem.

    Problem 1:

    Every now and then, while watching an HD channel, the audio and video just go black for a second or two, then pop back on. Sometimes this happens once every day or so. Other times it will happen every minute or so over a half hour. Of course it only seems to happen just as someone scores a goal, or confesses to a crime. Very frustrating.

    The Telus installer spent quite a bit of time tracking this down. He put a scope inline with my signal to monitor exactly what was going on when the screen went black. We monitored the TV and the bitrate of the video coming in. For no apparent reason the bitrate would drop from like 8 Mb/s to 6 Mb/s for a couple of seconds, and then jump back up to normal. They had a tech at the other end of the pipe watching what was going out, and they could not explain the drop in data flow. They explained that when the rate drops the video buffer empties and there is literally no audio or video to display until the rate jumps back up and fills the data buffer.

    They had no explanation as to why it was happening, or how to fix it. The problem is still happening, even as I write this.

    Problem 2:

    When watching an SD channel my speakers will randomly blast out a very high pitched chirping sound. it is extremely annoying and can bring on a migraine if I already have the speakers up loud. It usually accompanies a huge chunk of video pixelation which lasts for a few seconds.

    The Telus tech said that this is actually the same problem that happens with the HD signal going completely black. The only difference is that since SD has such a lower bitrate, that when the rate drops, like I mentioned above, there is enough data left in the buffer that the system can still decode enough information to produce audio and video. Unfortunately there is such little video that the image gets extremely pixelated and blocky, and the best the audio decoder can do is to produce the horrendous high-pitched squawk.

    Problem 3:

    Occassionaly an HD picture will become extremely pixelated, and while it is “clearing” itself, it will actually display two images at once: the current image, and an image about 5-10 seconds ago. Both images actually move but are so jumbled together that it is completely unwatchable. The ONLY way of fixing it is to change channels, then change back. I have no idea what is causing this, and neither do the techs.

    The techs do the best they can, but do not have a solution.

    Telus support just says, “Oh, it’s not supposed to do that!” and then waits for my reply, as if their answer is the solution. When I talk about canceling everything, they just say that the contract states that there is no guarantee that the system will work 100% of the time.

    I think the only reason that they even send anyone out is because I have all my services through Telus and Telus Mobility.

    I feel like ripping everything out of, and off of, the wall and setting it on fire in front the friggin’ Telus building. Their prick of a CEO Entewhistle completely bastardized Telus and turned them into the cheapest most arrogant company in Canada.

  14. Phil Liu says:

    I agreed with Randy on his comment under Problem 3. I have a Telus internet/phone bundle. When they ungraded my voice mail a year or so back, they turned my enhanced voice mail back to basic voice mail. When I recently called them, the rep changed it back to enhanced but charged me an extra $11.07 on the following bill, I complained. The next rep told me that the previous rep forgot to unchecked my basic voice mail option when enhanced was re-activated, causing the overcharge. Then she tried to talk me into signing up Telus TV. She claimed if I am not happy after I signed a contract, I can get out without an problem. She did not con me into that deal, thank God !

    One of the owners in our strata building has the same pixelated problem with no help or solution from tech support. She signed a contract so so has to bear and grin until the contract expires.
    Her rationale for signing up was that we have Telus fibre optic hubs at both end of our street. Bad mistake !

    Telus is run by a bunch of brainless morons with hands in your wallet. You want your complaints heard, write Darren Entwistle directly at ceo@telus.com and bitch at one of their public relations people. I did.

  15. Randy says:

    Another thing that pisses me off about Telus TV is that the fucking box keeps locking up. I turn everything on, then punch in a channel that I want to watch, and the box just locks up, and does nothing.

    This leads into another major Telus fuck up: If you unplug the power to the box you have to download the whole fucking operating system before it will operate again. That takes about 5-10 minutes of staring at some stupid meaningless download screen before you can watch TV again!

    Those morons at Telus must have decided to buy the absolutely cheapest fucking set-top boxes on the market, and gouge the most money out of the consumer with the least amount of support.

    I know how they can save even more money: Fire the entire customer service team and have their voice mail say, “Too fucking bad, we don’t give a shit!”

  16. Phil says:

    The Telus HD box is made by Scientific Atlanta. A lot of U.S. telephone companies use them. I don’t think it’s a digital box issue but rather a technical issue that Telus does not know how to resolve. I am not a Shaw fan but I am watching HD delivery by Telus before signing up. As of now, I think Telus has the capital investment to further enhance its TV delivery. Shaw remained to be skeptical in its delivery of HD i.e. number of channels, etc.

  17. TAD says:

    when will ttv add more hd channels

  18. TAD says:

    ttv will they have the nfl ticket and center ice packs soon? were can we send our comments about more programming to ttv.

  19. Ping says:

    I was scheduled to have new TV and Internet installed on Monday the 3rd. I took a half day off from work as I was told my appointment was scheduled in the morning. I waited until Noon, and then phoned the customer service. Without notice, they changed the schedule and claimed my appointment was a whole day schedule. By 3:30 I phoned them again and this time i was placed on hold for 45 minutes just to get the answer “Sorry, the technician is behind the schedule, he is not going to make it.” They promised to give me a call the next day (Nov 4) and to make my installation a priority. I was at home around Noon on the 4th, and I saw a Telus truck in the building so I phoned customer service again to see why I had not yet received the promised phone call, and I was placed on hold for another 20 minute wait. Then I was told that “they” would phone me by the end of today to get the rescheduling done. Yet again, I did not receive the promised phone call. I called customer service again around 5 pm. They claimed that they were not able to make changes to the scheduling system, and that I’d have to wait for someone to fix it the next day (the 5th), and they tentatively claimed that I would receive a phone call on the 5th for rescheduling. Again, I had not received the any phone call to resolve the issue on the 5th. I phoned again around 1:30 pm on the 5th and this time the rep said “There is nothing you or me can do but to wait. If you wish, I can cancel your service”.

    I don’t understand where there is such a problem with scheduling. I was scheduled on the 3rd, and then stood up while losing a days pay sitting at home frustrated all day without access to the TV or Internet. I did not receive compensation from your company for that, but instead receive one frustration after another and even have to put up with lousy attitude of the service rep who suggested to simply cancel the service. I am wondering with the scale of Telus’ business, why the scheduling system and customer service seems ridiculously unreliable. At the end of the day, it is really like living in the stone age without Internet and TV at home simply because a large multi-billion dollar company cannot manage their scheduling system correctly.

  20. Phil says:

    There’s no customer service anywhere, I do mean anywhere. In December 2001, a Shaw technician came to my home but could not get the internet program installed. Edmond, the technician was so technically incompetent he screwed up my computer and left. His rationale is that he had another appointment to attend and he just left. I had a Shaw rep trying to call me to get my business since. Trust me, I used every four letter word under the sun and insulted her and her “customer oriented” company. I have not had another call since. They tried to screw me when they made certain channel free and continued to bill me. I threaten to go the the press and they refunded more than what they charged me.

    I cannot image Telus is any better. Personally I would not allow Telus a second chance if they screwed me up for the first time. If they want my Telus TV business, they have to beg and kiss my ass …… and give me unconditional HD boxes without contract. If everybody is like me, they’ll smarten up.

    NOTHING, I mean NOTHING is worth taking time off from work and wait for someone to offer you their service.

  21. dave says:

    As for the problem that
    “Comment by: Randy | October 9, 2008 at 11:05 am”
    had i would recommend getting a new box. i had the same problem and had it resolved by getting a new TTV box.

  22. Diana says:

    Anyone out there ever see the telus tv verbal contract. Mine’s never worked well and it’s been impossible to connect with tech support. You can wait hours only to get cut off before you reach a human. Now they say they are going to charge me $125 to cancel.
    Anyone know where I can find this contract to have a look at it.
    D

  23. john blackwell says:

    when I cancelled telus due to poor picture quality and interruption of service, shaw picked up the telus cancellation fee of $120……

  24. dirk says:

    I find it interesting that a year or more down the line I’m having the same problems with television chirping described by other comments a year or so ago.

    IF Telus is to sell a product even in the absence of an explicit term there is the implied term that the product will function. The presence of a design fault in their system which is caused by a poor signal to noise ratio, network congestion, or complete inability on the part of Telus to understand network traffic prioritisation (known as Quality of Service in the telecommunications industry) is nothing less than the sale of a product with a latent defect.

    Setting fire to your Scientific Atlanta box in front of their building would only provide them with a basis for demonising your patronage. As things stand they don’t have a leg to stand on, I encourage you to publicise their poor service in a place that hurts them financially.

  25. Phil says:

    I like to call it a spade, a spade and a heart, a heart. Since my previous comments, I have upgraded from 1.5M to 6.M high speed internet. I further up my package to 15M(called the Turbo). I have download speed from 12.5M to almost 13M. I could not be happier.

    On the Thanksgiving long weekend, I tried to sign up for Telus TV. They offered me two HD boxes(one has PVR), up to 6M of high speed internet & a two feature phone line for $74.00 with no access fee. Prior to the TV installation, they lowered my high speed access to the 6M(called the Enhanced). I noticed a dramatic drop in download speed. As it turned out, Telus can only offer a total of 9M bandwidth for your 2 TVs and internet. That explains why I was getting only 2.6M download when I surf the net. I subsequently cancelled my Telus TV order and went back on the 15M option.

    During the entire process, Telus was very helpful and understood my needs. I have no other issues with the company but praises for their customer service staff.

    Unlike cable internet, ADSL does not slow down due to excessive traffic in your neighbourhood. I am a happy ADSL customer for almost 8 years now. I wish Shaw could make similar claim.

    I will look into signing up again if Telus improves the bandwidth allocation to each subscriber. There’s a good chance that they will bring the optical fibre into our building from the fibre hub down the corner of our street.

    For those frustrated Telus TV trial customers, there’s an old saying, “The grass on the other side is always greener”. But is it?

  26. davehatestelus says:

    The future may be friendlier on the other side however.

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