Cable TV subscriptions in Edmonton and elsewhere in Canada have remained affordable, thanks in large part to legislation that requires cable providers to offer at least one budget subscription option. A few over-the-top streaming services are starting to emerge, as well. Keep reading to learn about the best cable TV providers in Edmonton, AB.
Do You Really Need Cable in Edmonton, AB?
The answer to this question might very well be yes. As mentioned in the intro, there aren’t many streamers that are operating in Alberta. RiverTV is brand new OTT live TV streaming service that’s accessible everywhere in Canada. It’s probably your best bet if you want to watch TV without cable in Edmonton. The sports-oriented American streaming service fuboTV also operates across Canada, but only a handful of channels are available.
RiverTV was the first Canada-based streamer to hit the market. You can use it to watch over 30 cable channels. The service is entirely internet based and you don’t need a special set-top box to access it.
RiverTV Pricing & Packages
For just $17 per month, you get 30+ live channels. Upcoming channel packs will let you add channels like HollywoodSuite, SuperChannel, i24 and Nick+.
All kinds of American cable channels are accessible through RiverTV’s base channel pack. These include Adult Swim, History, Lifetime, Newsy, National Geographic, Smithsonian Channel and several others. Quite a few Canadian channels are also available.
RiverTV Supported Devices
RiverTV has most of the bases covered here, even though it just came out this year. Apps are available for Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Roku. Some smart TVs (Android, Fire, and Roku) are also in the device lineup. Mobile apps for iPhone and iPad are in the mix as well.
RiverTV Simultaneous Streams
The three-device simultaneous stream limit puts RiverTV in the same category as most American streaming services when it comes to account sharing flexibility.
The fact that you can’t record any live TV content yet is one of RiverTV’s only noticeable weaknesses. However, most programs are available on-demand.
RiverTV On-Demand Library
The Look Back feature lets you pull up recently aired programs and view them at your leisure. Most of the content disappears after about 72 hours.
The sports-oriented streaming service fuboTV is the only American streamer that has made its way to Canada. Unfortunately, only a small fraction of the channels that it carries are available in the Great White North.
There’s only one subscription plan that you can get in Canada: fuboTV Canada. That costs $16/month, but it only comes with eight different sports channels. The cloud DVR Plus upgrade is also available.
Learn more about fuboTV’s subscription plans here.
fuboTV Canada comes with the following channels: beIN Sports, beIN Sports en Español, beIN Sports Canada, BenficaTV, Fight Network, fuboTV Network, GameTV, Paramount Network. If you’re willing to pay $12/month more, you can get two additional cycling channels via the fubo Cycling channel pack.
You can see a full channel list here.
The creators of fuboTV have made apps for just about every major streaming hardware platform, including Apple TV, Roku and many other devices.
You can learn more about fuboTV’s supported devices here.
The fuboTV website doesn’t specify whether or not the standard account sharing rules apply to Canadian subscribers. American fuboTV subscribers get two streams to start out with and can add a third stream by purchasing an upgrade.
You can learn more about fuboTV simultaneous streams here.
You get 30 hours of recording time when you join. You can boost that number to 500 hours by purchasing the cloud DVR Plus upgrade, which costs $10/month more.
You can learn more about the fuboTV DVR here.
American fuboTV subscribers can use fuboTV’s Lookback feature to view recently broadcast content. The same feature is most likely available in Canada.
You can learn more about the fuboTV’s on-demand library here.
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Top Cable TV Providers in Edmonton, AB
Shaw, Rodgers, Bell and Telus are Canada’s top four cable TV providers. With the exception of Rodgers, they are all available in Edmonton, AB. Here’s a quick breakdown of how they compare.
Based in Alberta, Shaw‘s territory extends to most parts of the province. The satellite service is available nationwide, though.
Shaw Contract Terms
Shaw’s two-year ValuePlan eliminates some of the fees that you’ll incur if you go with the month-by-month option. These fees include an installation charge (which you won’t have to pay if you install everything yourself), a BlueCurve TV rental fee and a few others. Further details about the contract are available here.
Shaw Plans and Pricing
Limited TV package: The government-mandated, budget-minded subscription option costs $25 per month and comes with 40 channels. Fees for TV equipment, installation and other charges are not included in that price. Channels that come with the package include CBC, City, CTV and Global. American channels like ABC, CBS, ABC and NBC are also included.
Total TV: This package comes with 117+ channels and costs $95 per month. You get A&E, CNN, Cooking Channel, FX Canada, History, HGTV, and many other channels covering all the major genres including lifestyle, news, family and more.
Bell is headquartered in Montreal, but its live TV services are available in Edmonton and most parts of west Canada.
Bell Contract Terms
Bell Plans and Pricing
Starter: Bell’s government-mandated $25 per month plan is slightly less attractive compared to what Shaw is offering because it comes with ten fewer channels. CBS, FOX and PBS are some of the American channels that it comes with.
Good: This plan comes with over 70 channels. It has all the major networks and comes with an expanded selection of specialty channels like TSN, SN, History and others. It costs $70 per month and includes Bell’s internet service.
Better: You get around 130 channels with this plan and some of them are available in 4K. Disney, Nat Geo, TSN2 and SN360 are some of the most notable channels that are a part of this pack.
Best: Best comes with over 140 channels, including all the channels that come with Starter, Good and Better.
Telus was originally based in Edmonton before it joined forces with BC Tel and moved to Vancouver. It’s still available in Edmonton and throughout western Canada.
Telus Contract Terms
If you’re sure you want Telus, the most economical way to go is with a long-term contract. However, month-to-month plans are available as well. Month-to-month subscribers have to pay setup and cable box rental fees. Cancellation fees can be as high as $720, depending on a variety of factors.
Telus Communications Plans & Pricing
Pik TV Basics + Pik 5: Pic TV is a live TV service that’s comparable to Hulu with Live TV, YouTube TV and other similar US streamers. You don’t need an expensive cable box to access it, bu you can’t sign up without buying internet service through Telus. It costs $20 per month and comes with 23 local and regional channels. You can “Pik 5” channels of your choice when you join.
Pik TV Basics + Crave: If you don’t have an on-demand service like Netflix, you may want to go with this plan instead of Pik TV Basics + Pik 5. The fees are the same ($20 per month) but it comes with the on-demand service Crave. You don’t get to pick out five additional channels, though.
Pik Max: The deluxe version of Pik costs $50 per month and lets you add ten additional channels to the base plan. It comes with the Crave on-demand service, as well.
Optik TV Lite: This budget cable plan has 35 channels, but the low cost ($25 per month) may be appealing to people that don’t want to spend lots of money on entertainment. There’s a small equipment rental fee ($15 per month) that adds to the cost. The installation fee is $150.
Optik TV Starter: Optik TV Starter is a $140/month plan comes with 150 Mbps internet and 39 HD TV channels.
Optik TV Standard: The next step up is Optik TV Standard, which costs $190/month and comes with Netflix and four additional channel packs.
Optik TV Standard Plus: The deluxe plan from Telus costs $230/month. The TV selection is the same, but the internet is much faster. Instead of 150 Mbps, you get 940 Mbps.
Top IPTV Providers in Edmonton, AB
IPTV is different from cable TV because it uses the internet instead of cable lines to deliver TV channels. Here are a few of the best IPTV providers that are available in Edmonton.
Similar to a cable TV service, Cogeco Connexion requires its subscribes to rent a special set-top-box when they sign up. The box is based on the popular TiVo digital video recorder.
Cogeco Connexion Contract Terms
You don’t have to sign up for internet to access Cogeco’s live TV service, but you can save money if you do. The installation fee will be waved if you elect to install the equipment yourself. Taxes, activation and other fees are not included in the base fees.
Cogeco Connexion Plans and Pricing
Basic Channels: The mandatory $25 per month plan comes with 25 different local, regional and educational channels as well as a selection of music channels and on-demand videos. There’s a built-in system for ordering pay-per-view movies, as well.
My Mix: The theme behind this plan is customization. You start out with the same 25 channels included in the Basic Channels plan, and then you can pick out anywhere from ten to 40 additional channels from the 160-channel menu. Fees range from $56 per month to $79 per month.
Perfect Mix: This plan gives you access to Sportsnet, CBC News, CNN and 30 other channels in addition to the 25-channel core lineup. It costs $77 per month.
Ultimate Mix: The deluxe subscription adds 40 channels to the base plan, including the on-demand service Crave and HBO.
Ontario-based VMedia was founded in 2013 and expanded into Alberta in 2016. It’s similar to Cogeco, only there’s no “TV only” option. In other words, you have to sign up for Vmedia’s internet service if you want to subscribe to its TV plans.
VMedia Contract Terms
You’ll need to either buy or rent VMedia’s VBox to gain access to the company’s TV channels. It only costs $100, though. That’s cheap compared to what other similar companies charge for their hardware. If you don’t want to get a VBox, you can use a Roku to watch TV instead. VMedia is working developing apps for other popular streaming devices. There are no fixed-term contracts or cancellation fees, either.
VMedia Plans and Pricing
The Skinny: Since the mandatory $25-per-month plan comes with 32 channels, it’s a slightly better deal than basic plans from Shaw, Bell, Telus and other competing TV services.
The Basic: For a $40 monthly fee, you get 45 popular specialty channels.
Premium Flex: The next step up is Premium Flex, which has 70 channels and costs $53 per month. Four different themes (Classic, Family, Lifestyle or Sport) determine the kinds of extra channels you get.
Grand Premium: Vmedia’s premium plan costs $71 per month and comes with 100+ channels.