Despite the emergence of cord-cutting services in the US, Canada still does not have many options for watching your favorite cable TV networks without a cable subscription. So, if you’re considering a cable TV subscription in Vancouver, BC, you’re in the right place. In this guide, we’ll discuss a couple of cable alternatives for Vancouver residents, and help you choose between the best cable TV providers in Vancouver, BC. Let’s get started.
Do You Really Need Cable in Vancouver, BC?
If you only need a few cable channels in Vancouver, or you mostly watch channels like CBC, Citytv and CTV, you may not need to get cable TV in Vancouver, BC. There are a couple of other options. Let’s discuss them now.
RiverTV is Canada’s first internet TV service. It’s similar to services like Sling TV and fuboTV, which are offered in the US. With this service, you can watch 30+ cable channels all without a traditional cable subscription.
RiverTV Pricing & Packages
RiverTV gives you a total of 30+ live and on-demand channels for the monthly subscription price of $16.99. You can also get a $3.99/month add-on that provides you with some extra movies and on-demand content.
You’ll get a wide variety of cable TV channels on RiverTV, including Adult Swim, History, Lifetime, Newsy, National Geographic, and Smithsonian Channel, to name just a few. Soon, you’ll also have the option to pay additional fees for add-on programming from channels including Nick+, Fuse, GINX eSports TV, and iTV News.
RiverTV Supported Devices
Despite having launched in early 2020, RiverTV already has pretty good device support. You can watch RiverTV on Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Roku, as well as some Android, Fire, and Roku smart TVs. It also supports iPhone and iPad.
Chromecast, Android, and Mac/PC browsers are not currently supported, but support for these devices is coming soon, according to RiverTV.
RiverTV Simultaneous Streams
With RiverTV, you can watch on up to 3 devices at once, so you can share your subscription with other members of your household.
There is currently no cloud DVR available with RiverTV, but since it has a large library of on-demand content, this is not usually too much of an issue.
RiverTV On-Demand Library
RiverTV offers thousands of hours of on-demand content from the various channels included in your package. You can also use the “Look Back” feature to watch most live TV content up to 48-72 hours after it has aired.
Get OTA Channels In Vancouver, BC With A Digital Antenna
Did you know that you can get free TV in Canada if you buy a digital antenna and plug it into your television? Since many Canadians subscribe to cable, they often forget that channels like CBC, CTV and CityTV are all available for free with an antenna.
All you need to do to get these channels without a cable TV provider in Vancouver, BC is purchase a digital antenna and set it up. Then, you can scan for channels in your area, and enjoy free TV. Channelguides.ca is a useful resource if you’d like to see which channels are available near you.
For more information about how to set up a digital OTA antenna, you can refer to the below article from Flixed. It’s intended for US cord-cutters, but the steps you’ll need to take are pretty much identical in Canada.
Top Cable Providers In Vancouver, BC
Unfortunately, you don’t have as many cable alternatives in Vancouver, BC as you do in the US, so if the channels you want aren’t available on OTA networks or on RiverTV, you may need to get cable.
So, to help you make the right choice, we’ve put together a list of the top cable providers in Vancouver, BC. Read on to get some more details about each one.
Shaw Communications is a well-known cable provider in Vancouver, BC, and this company has a few different channel packages to choose from. Let’s discuss the basics now.
Shaw Communications Contract Terms
Shaw Communications offers most of its services on a 2-year contract, during which you’ll enjoy a lower promotional rate. After this time, your TV price may rise according to prevailing market rates. In addition, you may need to pay additional fees for equipment rentals, installation, and other costs.
Shaw Communications Plans & Pricing
Shaw Communications has two primary TV plans, as follows:
Limited TV: This package includes a total of about 40 channels for $25/month. Available channels include CBC, CityTV, Yes, ICI Tele, and more.
Total TV: This package includes more than 117 channels for $95/month. These channels include A&E, CNN, Cooking Channel, FX Canada, History, HGTV, and pretty much every other cable channel you could want.
In addition, you have the option of bundling Total TV with Fibre 300 internet service for $175/month, so this may be a good deal if you’re also looking for a new internet provider.
Novus is a well-known cable provider in Vancouver, BC, and may be a good choice if you’re looking for a new cable TV provider in the area. Let’s take a look at this company’s available plans now.
Novus Contract Terms
Novus does not have a contract for its TV service. You will also get unlimited free tech support with no activation fees. However, you will be charged an additional fee for HD box rental, which is not included with your cable package.
Novus Plans & Pricing
Novus has one basic TV package, which is called “TV Intro.”
TV Intro: This package includes about 60 channels for $25/month. The provided channels include CBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, PBS, AMC, and more. You can choose from a variety of “theme packs” to add more channels like beIN Sports, BBC World News, Disney Channel, and more. All of these theme packs carry an additional fee, however.
Overall, Novus is a pretty good choice if you’re budget-minded and prefer to pick and choose your favorite channels from your cable TV provider in Vancouver, BC.
AEBC Internet has been providing cable and internet services in Vancouver for more than 15 years, and it’s definitely a good option to consider if you need a new cable TV provider in Vancouver, BC.
AEBC Contract Terms
To get TV with AEBC, you will need to subscribe to AEBC internet. The company offers a few different TV and internet bundles that you can pick from, starting at $98/month with a rate guarantee for 2 years. After this time, the rates may rise based on the prevailing market conditions.
AEBC Plans & Pricing
AEBC provides only one base package of channels called CipherTV Select.
CipherTV Select: This package costs $20/month, and comes with 28+ channels including CityTV, PBS, CBC, CBS, NBC, and FOX, to name a few. To get this package, you must have internet service from a CipherTV partnered internet service provider, such as AEBC. Like Novus, AEBC allows you to add individual channels or themed channel packs to your subscription, but you’ll pay an extra fee for each addition.
This package is relatively cheap, and you can get TV for a great rate if you bundle your TV service with internet service using AEBC.
Uniserve Communications is headquartered in Vancouver, and is one of the most well-known cable TV providers in the area. Let’s take a look at its offerings now.
Uniserve Communications Contract Terms
All Uniserve Communications TV plans require you to subscribe to Uniserve internet. Unlike some competitors, Uniserve has no contracts or promotional pricing – what you see is what you get.
This makes it easier to get the service you need with no nasty surprises or fees. However, you will need to pay a one-time activation fee, as well as a monthly fee for renting a cable modem and a TV box.
Uniserve Communications Plans & Pricing
You can choose from three primary packages with Uniserve, which are known as the Skinny, Loaded, and Fully Loaded plans.
Skinny: This package costs $25/month and comes with 44 total channels, including CBS, CBC, CW, NBC, CityTV, and more.
Loaded + Skinny: This package costs $47.50/month includes additional channels like Discovery, A&E, HGTV, History, DIY Network and more, as well as all of the channels from the Skinny package.
Fully Loaded + Loaded + Skinny: Need more channels? For $65/month, you can get even more channels like Nickelodeon, TSN, SportsNet, Bravo, and National Geographic.
In addition, you can add extra channels to each of these packages, and pick and choose the content you want.
Telus is well-known for its mobile services in Vancouver, BC, and is also one of the most widely-used cable providers in Canada.
Telus Contract Terms
Telus offers both fixed-term and month-to-month plans. If you choose a fixed-term plan, you’ll usually enjoy a lower introductory rate, but your price will jump to the standard market rate after it expires. Depending on the type of plan you choose, you may need to pay fees for setup of cable and internet, for PVR and digital cable box rental, and other costs.
Telus Communications Plans & Pricing
As a leading cable TV provider in Vancouver, BC, Telus offers a few different TV plans across its Pik TV and Optik TV plans. Let’s look at each one now.
Pik TV is an internet-based TV service that you can watch on your browser, mobile device, and smart devices like Roku. You don’t need a traditional cable box, but you must subscribe to Telus internet to get Pik TV. Here are the available plans.
Pik TV Basics + Pik 5 – Pik TV Basics + Pik 5 costs $10/month for 24 months for a 2 year plan when bundled with internet, and $20/month afterward. It comes with 23 local and regional channels, and 5 channels of your choice.
Pik TV Basics + Crave – This package costs $10/month for 24 months for a 2 year plan when bundled with internet, and $20/month afterward, and comes with Crave on-demand.
Pik Max – This package includes local channels, as well as sports channels, Crave, and up to 10 channels of your choice.
You can also add any extra channels you want to your package for a fee of $4/month per channel.
Optik TV offers a larger variety of channels and packages, and has extra features like multi-device viewing and 4K programming. It comes in a few primary packages.
Optik TV Lite – This package costs $25/month and comes with up to 35 channels. You’ll also pay a $15/month PVR hardware rental and a $5/month fee for a wireless digital box, with a $150 installation fee.
Optik TV Starter – You can bundle internet + Optik TV Starter for $120/month for 24 months, then it costs $140/month. You get 150 Mbps internet as well as at least 39 HD TV channels including ABC, CBC, CBS, FOX, CityTV and The CW>
Optik TV Standard – You can bundle internet + Optik TV Standard for $160/month for 24 months, then it costs $190/month. You get 300 Mbps internet as well as 4 theme packers that give you top cable channels like TSN and Sportsnet. You’ll also get a free Netflix subscription.
Optik TV Standard Plus – You can bundle internet + Optik TV Standard Plus for $160/month for 24 months, then it costs $230/month. You’ll get the same TV channels as the Standard package, but you’ll get 940 Mbps gigabit internet.
Of course, you can also add individual channels and more theme packs to each of these packages to customize your subscription.