Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums banner

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
193 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have been using TELUS Optik TV for a year without issues but all of the sudden since two week ago there are multiple channels MSNBC, CBS, ABC, NBC American channels all show this message when attempting to open them: “Sorry, playback is only available when connected to your TELUS Internet at Home.” This means I just lost access to many channels while at gym, transit, work break etc.

The problem persists even when connected to my own router in bridge mode to the TELUS Router. Playback is only possible when connected to Telus” own router only.

I already called customer service and they said “they will look into it and will call me back but it’s been already a week and they haven’t responded yet. I wonder if something fishy is going on, like changing details of service while telling me while I am on contract. Isn’t this some kind of violation?

Is anyone else experiencing the same problem?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,657 Posts
The Optik TV app states that US network channels are only available to watch at home. This also applies to a few of other channels. Maybe it just started working as it should and was not before.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
56,439 Posts
Correct. It's the same with Rogers. The "rights" that are purchased by the service provider differ depending on if you're watching:

- On the provider's box at home
- On a computer/browser
- On a tablet
- also based on location.

I found it interesting that I could watch any of my subscribed channels on my computer at home, but could only watch certain channels on my iPad at home (some were "greyed out"). (Using Rogers AnyPlace)

The "error message" that comes up does not really provide the correct information. We get the same one on Rogers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,657 Posts
Canadian ISPs do not purchase rights for US OTA channels but there may be other regulations in effect. I believe carriage of OTA on cable is covered under the Canada-US copyright treaty which could limit or exclude certain uses of US OTA channels. Canadian ISPs would need to negotiate with US stations for internet "re-transmission" which would open up negotiation for BDU carriage payments which would raise rates for those channels. High rates for OTA station carriage is a common point of contention for US BDUs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
193 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
The Optik TV app states that US network channels are only available to watch at home. This also applies to a few of other channels. Maybe it just started working as it should and was not before.
@ExDilbert, could you let me know where exactly did you read "US network channels are only available to watch at home?"

I am reading the app description on Apple's App Store right now and the closest phrases that implies restriction is "online access for some channels requires TELUS Internet service."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
193 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Correct. It's the same with Rogers. The "rights" that are purchased by the service provider differ depending on if you're watching:

- On the provider's box at home
- On a computer/browser
- On a tablet
- also based on location.

I found it interesting that I could watch any of my subscribed channels on my computer at home, but could only watch certain channels on my iPad at home (some were "greyed out"). (Using Rogers AnyPlace)

The "error message" that comes up does not really provide the correct information. We get the same one on Rogers.
Thanks for shedding some light on this @57. A couple of questions then:

1. Why would TELUS all of the sudden implement this restriction all of the sudden? For more than a year, I have been able to watch all my subscribed channels on the Optik TV app.

2. Previously I was with Shaw for more than 4 years and I never experienced this type of restriction either. Is this limited to Rogers and Telus only?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
193 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Does anyone know of a provider that does not restrict US channels on their TV app?

The reason I went to Telus from Shaw is because of the same access of channels on their mobile app but Telus had faster Internet speed at the time when I signed up, but recently Shaw started to offer the same speeds in my neighbourhood so if there is confirmation that Shaw does not have this restriction I am considering a switch back to Shaw.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
16,593 Posts
@DigitalCanadian Here is the Telus page that lists the channels available through the app.

https://www.telus.com/en/tv/optik/app?type=mobile

"Access up to 185 live TV channels with the most popular and specialty channels, including multicultural content

165 channels available in home and out of home

20 channels available in home only"
ABC, AMC, AMI télé, AMI TV, APTN, BC Legislative Assembly, CBS, Chek, Fox, GINX, GMA Pinoy TV, LS Times, NBC, Omni, PBS, The Filipino Channel, TMN Encore, E!, Yes TV, Super channel vault

The Canadian Copyright Act allows a cable or comparable company to retransmit an OTA signal live to your home without violating the Copyright Act, which means they can do so without needing permission of the OTA station.

Digital transmission outside the home via an app comes under the definition of "new media" and is not exempt. Therefore, licence terms would have to be negotiated with the content owners. Since the affiliates of the U.S. networks are only licensed to distribute the programs within the USA, they can never sign a contract with a Canadian TV provider to distribute anything. Only the channels that have licensed the content for Canada can do so (CTV, Global, Citytv, etc.) No Canadian TV provider can legally provide a feed of a U.S. OTA network through an app outside the home. (Keep in mind I'm not a lawyer.)

FYI the Shaw FreeRange app doesn't allow viewing U.S. networks even in the home.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
56,439 Posts
1. Why would TELUS all of the sudden implement this restriction?
Someone may have reported them, or a rights holder may have noticed, or the software was updated to do the correct thing.

I've seen lots of stuff done by Bell that Rogers doesn't do. Perhaps Rogers doesn't wish to have problems with rights or patent holders, while other providers seem willing to risk certain aspects of their "transmissions".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,657 Posts
From what I've seen, most BDUs have similar restrictions on streaming TV channels outside the home. Telus appears to be one of the least restrictive. I've seen services that restrict some channels inside the home as well.

There are lots of reasons why Bell, Rogers and other companies do things differently. Bell tends to push the envelope when it's to their financial benefit. Another is technology. Bell and Telus probably have the best technology right now and the most mature IPTV platform by far. Then there is money (again.) Purchasing rights for streaming and other features can be expensive. Fibre, satellite and conventional cable companies have different regulations that apply. Bell has applied for and received exemptions from some CRTC regulations so they may appear to "get away" with more. Cable companies are hampered by US based lawsuits and equipment design regulations that limit some features. Bell benefits from buying their satellite equipment from Dish, a company that fights attempts by studios and lawmakers to impose limitations on their equipment and features.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
193 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Bell benefits from buying their satellite equipment from Dish, a company that fights attempts by studios and lawmakers to impose limitations on their equipment and features.
Thanks @ExDilbert for mentioning Bell, I think I may check them out when my contract at Telus expires, if they have a superior channel line and picture quality. I don't think they offer 4k or Fibe service in BC though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
193 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Hmm, after checking the Telus link provided by @Dr.Dave, I was able to see that MSNBC is on the "In and Out of Home" list but it is still not playable on the Optik TV app. Something is still not right.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
16,593 Posts
Thanks @Dr.Dave for the link.

By the way, before I switched from Shaw, I used FreeRange app to watch MSNBC almost on a daily basis so did they recently change?
When I said "Shaw FreeRange app doesn't allow viewing of U.S. networks," I was referring to ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC. Shaw has agreements with U.S. specialty channels like MSNBC to carry the channel in Canada and some of those agreements include "digital rights." I don't know if you can watch MSNBC with FreeRange, since I don't think Shaw has a published list.

If all your subscribed channels on the list work in the Optik app except MSNBC, you should contact Telus. It could be an error with the way MSNBC is set up, or it could be a problem with your account not having the proper permission for that channel in the app.

Bell probably has put the most time and effort into introducing new features in their Fibe TV app and negotiating agreements for 500 channels at home and 450 on the go. As you mentioned Bell Fibe TV isn't available in BC, Alberta and Saskatchewan. Bell Satellite is available, but the app doesn't have the same range of features, the same channels and the "at home" feature, since Bell internet isn't available in those provinces.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,657 Posts
Bell and Telus don't compete with each other for wired services in their respective areas. Shaw and Rogers have essentially divided the country into east and west regions and do the same. Satellite services are national though Telus resells Bell satellite under its own brand in the west.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
193 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Hmm, after checking the Telus link provided by @Dr.Dave, I was able to see that MSNBC is on the "In and Out of Home" list but it is still not playable on the Optik TV app. Something is still not right.
Update: Telus support got back to me 24 hours later and reported that MSNBC is no longer on "in home and out of home" list due to recent change, and they just haven't gotten around to updating the website yet.

My questions are:

1. Are providers allowed to just randomly changed terms of service like this for customers in the middle of contract? MSNBC was on "in home and out of home" list when I signed up and has remained so until this alleged change recently. Technically, it is still being advertised as an "in home and out of home" channel based on what is published on the website right now.

2. What are the chances that the agent was wrong? That MSNBC is still on the "in home and out of home" list but it's just that my account is mis-configured somehow?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
16,593 Posts
1. I think you will find that the entire Optik TV app isn't included in your terms of service and is just an extra bonus. TV providers sometimes drop channels entirely, such as when the channel shuts down or less often when a provider and channel aren't able to reach an agreement to renew the contract. (This has happened with AMC on some Canadian providers.)

2. I checked Bell's list of 500 channels on their Fibe TV app and MSNBC is "At Home" only, not available On the Go, so the Telus rep is probably correct. I only mentioned the possibility of an account screw-up because I heard of it happening with other providers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,657 Posts
There is a long history of BDUs dropping channels and changing other terms of service. Remember HDNet? A lot of people won't because it was dropped from all Canadian BDUs quite a few years ago. Few people received compensation and only those who asked. What BDUs can change is described in the terms of service. There is little they cannot do with the service unless there is a CRTC regulation against it. There isn't anything a subscriber can do except ask for compensation, which is at the discretion of the BDU, or file a complaint with the CRTC, which may or may not be addressed. Subscribers may not even be allowed to cancel the service if under contract. I've seen cases locally where enough public complaints to the BDU or CRTC resulted in a reversal of channel changes or other terms of service changes. Unless it contravenes some legal or CRTC guideline, there is little an individual can do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
193 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
@Dr.Dave and @ExDilbert, thanks for the informative responses.

Another Telus rep got back to me and confirmed that MSNBC has been dropped from OptikTV recently, so as a compromise, they are suggesting that I switch to PikTV which is confirmed to have MSNBC on the PikTV app.

But the issue I have is, I use DVR/PVR on daily basis to record shows to watch later and I was told that I am not allowed to have Optik TV and PikTV on the same account, even if I am willing to pay the extra $10/month PikTV service just to get MSNBC on my app.

Quite a conundrum I am in, do I lose the capability to record shows just because I want to watch MSNBC on the go? Or should I keep Optik TV for every other show I record but lose permanent access to MSNBC on the go.. Sigh.. any suggestions?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,657 Posts
It looks like it's a decision as to whether MSNBC is worth paying an extra $10/mo to watch outside the home with the app.
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top