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4K TV finally reaches Western Canada thanks to Telus

by on July 20, 2016

Stephan Jukic – July 20, 2016

For all our Canadian readers: While the content landscape for 4K Ultra HD offerings has by now been remarkably well covered in the much more densely populated eastern regions of Canada, the western provinces seem to have been neglected in terms of 4K digital entertainment, until now that is.

Telus announced today that is launching a 4K content selection on its Optik TV service in the western provinces of British Columbia and Alberta. This will make it the first and for now at least the only telecom to offer 4K cable programming of any kind in Western Canada (including the middle provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan).

4K content from internet-based content streaming apps like Netflix or Amazon Prime via ultra-high speed internet connectivity is of course already available to owners of 4K ultra HD TVs in all parts of Canada (assuming they have a home internet connection of at least 15 to 20Mbps and preferably higher) but this is the first time a major Canadian broadcaster is offering a direct broadcast content service in 4K to Canadians in the west.

For now at least, the new Telus 4K lineup through Optik will be fairly limited. It will consist of TSN 4K, Stingray Ambiance and a small collection of On Demand movies and local productions from Optik itself. There will also be an Adrenaline Sports On Demand offering in 4K, which features events like surfing, dirt biking and snowboarding competitions.

Nonetheless, the new service is something of a milestone for the Canadian ultra HD content broadcasting landscape in general and for the Western Canadian broadcasting scene in particular.


Furthermore, Telus is promising new titles and channels to come in the near future and on an ongoing basis as the scope and size of their Optik 4K content section ramp up.

According to Wade Domries, Telus’ vice-president of home solutions,

“We’re just beginning to see the introduction of 4K programming, and over the next few years it will become industry standard. As more and more shows, movies and sporting events are produced in 4K, TELUS customers will be able to enjoy the most advanced TV viewing experience available.”

The new Telus 4K service of course isn’t free either. It obviously enough requires ownership of a newer-model (2014 to 2016) 4K TV and one of the company’s PVR along with a minimum Telus internet plan tier of “Internet 50”. Subscribers to the Telus service can have one of the company’s PVR devices for free if they sign a 2 year contract or pay an extra $20 pero month for their Telus service if they’ve gotten it without a fixed minimum term contract. The PVR from Telus can also be bought as a stand-alone device for $450.

Bell is the only other major Telus competitor which is also offering 4K content services in the eastern Canadian provinces of Quebec and Ontario.

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