Difference Between Cable TV and Digital TV

Having a television channel in our home and a good tv connection will allow us to watch any type of channels that we want at any time. For that, we need to contact the service provider to enable that connection in our home. There are two connections available, and they are used by many people. One is Cable TV, and the other one is Digital TV.

Cable TV vs Digital TV

The main difference between Cable TV and Digital TV is cable tv uses only analog signals for transmitting signals. But Digital TV uses both analog and digital signals for transmission. In cable tv, you cannot add or remove channels of your choice. You can watch only whatever is provided by the servicer. But on digital TV, you can add and remove channels of your choice. 

Cable TV and Digital TV

Cable TV is a connection used by people for watching television channels. For that, they used to pay some amount of money to the cable service operator every month to get their connection and the channels provided by them. To watch any live broadcast, you have to get a cable tv connection. There are still some people who use cable tv for watching television channels. But not everybody is using it nowadays. 

Digital TV allows you to watch channels of your choice. You can contact the nearby digital service provider to enable this application in your home. It is a very simple process, and all you need to have is a coaxial cable connection in your home. This will make the process simple for the digital connection service provider. You have to pay some amount monthly to the service provider to make this connection stay in your home as long as you want. 

Comparison Table Between Cable TV and Digital TV

Parameters of ComparisonCable TVDigital TV
SignalsIt works only with analog signalsIt works with both analog and digital signals
Signal transmissionIt used to transmit signals through coaxial cablesSignals will be directly sent to the television set
Broadcast qualityLong distances will affect the quality of broadcastLong distances will affect the quality of broadcast
ChannelsYou cannot add and remove any of your favorite channelsYou can easily add and remove channels of your choice
QualityDue to noise and interference, there will be a loss in the picture and sound qualityIt will clean results and they won’t get affected by noise and interference

What is Cable TV?

In Cable television, the signals will be transmitted through either coaxial or fiber optic cables. Here the signals will be solely distributed through satellite. It provided high-quality signals to its subscribers. Not only that, but it also provides additional television channels to its subscribers at no cost. For cable tv, we usually have to pay some amount. This amount depends upon the place and the kind of subscriber you pay. 

Sometimes the prices will be high as well. Simply having an old wire antenna will not help you in getting a cable tv connection. The cable tv company will not come and contact you for this television service. You won’t get their service and connection unless you contact them for services and pay them. Cable TV was first started by John Walson in the United States of America. He is called the founder of the cable television industry. 

For getting a cable tv connection in your house, your area should contain the wires that are required for giving connection to the cable services. This can be done with the help of coaxial cables. Because many cable tv connections are given with the help of coaxial cables. Once you get a cable tv connection, you can start watching television channels. But the drawback is you can watch channels that are only provided in their services. You can’t watch any additional channels on your own. This feature is not available there.

What is Digital TV?

Digital TV will transmit the signals digitally rather than using analog signals for transmission. It has good bandwidth, so the resolutions of the image will be good. Here it will understand only the binary codes that are o’s and 1’s. Also, it will not use radio signals for transmission. It will use only digital signals for transmission. Nowadays, many people are using digital tv in their homes due to its features and advantages.

It improves the spectrum efficiency so that data can be transmitted per bandwidth as well. It has a better signal quality which increases the robustness. It has good support of HD services and interaction between them. For getting a digital tv connection, you have to contact the nearby digital service operator. It will require a coaxial cable for the connection. First, you have to connect one end of your coaxial cable to the other end of the coaxial port of your television.

Then you have to connect the other end of the coaxial cable like the connection mentioned earlier. Then you have to turn on your television and press the many buttons to select the channels of your choice. One good advantage of using digital tv is that you can watch any channel of your choice. It will allow you to add and delete channels of your choice. This feature is not available in cable tv connection. That is why many people prefer digital tv connections. 

Main Differences Between Cable TV and Digital TV

  1. Cable TV will work only with analog signals. On the other hand, Digital TV will work with both analog and digital signals.
  2. For Cable TV connection, it uses coaxial cables to transmit signals. On the other hand, for Digital TV connection will directly transmit the signals to the television set.
  3. The quality of the broadcast on cable tv will be affected when you have a long distance. On the other hand, the quality of the broadcast on digital tv will not be affected for long distances.
  4. In Cable TV, you cannot add or remove any of your channels. But in Digital TV, you can add or remove channels of your choice.
  5. Because of the noise and interference, the picture and sound quality in cable tv will be affected. But sound and interference will not affect the picture and sound quality in digital tv. 


Both these options are provided by the service providers. We can select the ones that we want. For that, we need coaxial cables in our home which will make the connection even easier. Nowadays, many people prefer using digital tv to cable tv because it has lots of features and advantages to cable tv. One such feature which attracted many people is their choice of adding and removing channels.

This service is not available on cable tv. You can watch only the channels provided by them. If you want to watch any live broadcast, then you should have either of these two connections, or else you cannot watch them without having a tv connection. 


  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308596109000780
  2. https://dl.acm.org/doi/abs/10.1145/2325616.2325632
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