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Rookie Optik Questions

25081 Views 84 Replies 44 Participants Last post by  merve04
Optik noob questions

I am planning to pull the trigger and switch from Shaw to Optik in the next week or two. I've been browsing the forums but haven't found the answers to these questions: should hopefully be easy and any Optik user can answer them.

1) The install: I understand they put in their router or whatever near a phone outlet and connect it to a coax outlet, and then every coax outlet in the house becomes 'active' for Optik. Does every TV then require a 'set top box'. Is this like a box that takes the signal from coax and then gives component / HDMI output?

2) How many set top boxes do you get with an Optik install?

3) How many remotes do you get? No real issues with the Harmony One that anyone is aware of? (I did see this thread, but don't know what flavor of Harmony remote)

Thanks and sorry if this info is posted elsewhere- it seems so basic but I couldn't find it.
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Hi 7cal,

1) Telus Optik TV is an all-digital system, which means that you will need a Set-Top-Box for each TV. The STBs can communicate using Cat5 Ethernet or coax for network connectivity. There is no analog signal on the coax cable. The STBs are all HD (HDMI, component, optical audio) and also contain S-Video, composite and analog coax for SD TVs. The STBs are smaller than the Shaw HD STBs.

2) You can order up to 6 STBs. You can get a free PVR rental with a 3 year contract. Here are all the hardware prices.

3) You get a remote with each STB, which can also be programmed to control other devices. If you prefer to use a Harmony One, those work as well.
Telus will give you the maximum number of streams that the technology allows at your location. The price is the same regardless of the number of streams.
@Volks, I'll just add a bit on the stereo. Since Optik is all-digital, you can use a STB to connect to your stereo using either optical digital or red/white analog RCA connectors. Telus carries a large number of radio stations in addition to the Galaxie music channels.
@thejoker the lowest profile is 15 Mbps which allows 1 HD and 2 SD. You should be able to get close to 13 Mbps download speed when no TV streams are active.

Telus installs the highest profile it can at your location. It sounds like you may be quite far from the fibre-optic node which limits the line speed. Telus is in the process of upgrading to VDSL2 which probably will allow you to get the 19.4 profile (2HD/1SD).

Your Shaw speed test may be inflated by their Power Boost feature which gives a short burst of speed and then caps the speed based on your plan. For example, if you have the regular Shaw High-Speed, your download speed will be capped at 7.5 Mbps after the short burst and your upload speed is .5 Mbps max.
@insync44, you can check with Telus to find out how many HD and SD streams you can receive simultaneously. That will tell you which profile you will be on and how fast your internet speed will be.

The typical profile is 19.2 Mbps with 2HD and 1 SD and an internet speed around 15 Mbps down.

There are many threads here describing the Telus PVR features.

When you cancel your Shaw internet account, you will no longer have access to you email address. Any emails saved on your PC (such as in Outlook) will still be there. You can use a Telus email address or a web-based email service such as Gmail or Hotmail.
insync44, I don't think Telus can redirect emails. Shaw has complete control of the domain. Here is another alternative from the Shaw forum:

Cancel Internet, but keep email account
Rdew, all the STBs are HD capable so if you upgrade your TVs in the future you don't have to change the boxes. You can also watch HD channels and the STB will downgrade the video to SD depending on your connection.
@kssxs, Telus is running version 1.6.25075. To the best of my knowledge no telco has v2.0 in production yet, so it's probably a little early to speculate as to which features Telus will enable and when.

The encryption in Mediaroom is very tight, so the only way to stream to a PC would be analog.

Microsoft has written an Xbox STB emulator so you can use an Xbox instead of a STB to view live or recorded content from the central PVR.
I think I read that Optik TV HD is 6 mbps. How does that compare to the Shaw feed or is that comparing apples to oranges?
That is comparing a apples to oranges since Optik uses Mpeg-4 which is about twice as efficient as Mpeg-2 which Shaw uses for it's TV channels.

You can choose to have the STB output either 1080i or 720p, depending on which looks better on your TV.
@netBEUI, MPEG-4 is more modern and efficient than MPEG-2 which means that Telus can get similar picture quality while using much less bandwidth. If both were using the same bandwidth, MPEG-4 would produce higher quality. Incidentally, Blu-ray uses MPEG-4 at higher bit rates to produce better quality than DVD using MPEG-2.
I can confirm that the version of Mediaroom that Telus is using doesn't support the features in #1 and #3. I use Mediaroom with MTS in Winnipeg and we just upgraded from the version that Telus uses to a newer version. It supports keeping a specified number of episodes of a series. and also allows you to specify for a given series "keep all episodes until I erase".

1. You can go back into "Setup Favourites" and press OK to toggle the check-marks on or off. You can also customize your channels to remove channels from the guide altogether.

2. There isn't a way to set up a recurring recording by time - it's a one-time thing. The easiest way to do what you want is to record the series and fast-forward through the first part. The fastest speed should take about 30 seconds to skip 2.5 hours.
@Frankd914, yes the HD channel is still sent as an HD stream to the STB. The STB then converts it to 480 for the TV in your case.

If you want to stop a TV from using any HD streams, you can customize the channel guide and remove the HD channels. They will not be visible in the guide or searches and will be skipped when you press channel-up. However, you can still tune to a hidden channel by keying in the exact number. Each STB is customized separately and doesn't affect the other TVs.

Use Menu, Settings, Television, Customize Channel Guide.
Your PC is capturing analog standard definition TV. Telus is all-digital, so you will need a STB to convert the signal. You can connect your PC to a Telus STB with coax or composite connections and watch SD TV that way if you wish.

The Hauppauge HD PVR will allow you to watch or record HDTV on your PC.
I've never seen that exact problem. Did you try pressing INFO and "start Over" to get to the beginning?

If you start watching a program on one TV and later start watching the same program even on a different TV, it will resume where you left off.

I sometimes get a problem when I try to rewind live TV when it seems to get stuck at a certain point. If I record the program, it will play from the beginning.
Could it have been I was out of feeds for 15 minutes? What happens when all feeds are being used and the time for a scheduled recording comes up? Does the recoding get skipped? I'd rather have recordings take priority over live, but I have not seen this option.
Frankd914, Mediaroom will not schedule a partial program. If you manually started a recording part way through the program, the start time will show the actual start time (eg. 8:15) and the progress bar will still start at 0.

Recordings automatically take priority over live TV. If all the streams are in use when a recording is scheduled to start, the PVR will allocate the oldest live stream to the recording. If all the streams are in use when you try to tune to a live channel, Mediaroom will give you the choice to interrupt another TV or a recording.

If you try to schedule more recordings than you have streams, Mediaroom will warn you and allow you to resolve the conflict. If a conflict occurs in the future due to episodes being rescheduled, Mediaroom will flag the lowest priority program with a red circle and an 'X' in the Scheduled List. You can periodically scan the scheduled list for conflicts and resolve any you wish to change. You can often reschedule one of the programs to a time-shift channel.
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