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Digital TV vs cable

How Does Digital Television Service Differ From Cable Television?

Your old antenna television will need a digital converter box to receive DTV.Before the advent of digital television, it was simple to understand the difference between cable and regular TV. In 2011, however, with the replacement of analogue broadcast television by standard digital television, and also with the advent of high-definition digital cable, it's easy to confuse the terms and misunderstand which is which.

Digital Television

Digital television (DTV) has replaced analogue television as the broadcast method for television stations. DTV allows television stations to broadcast their content with better picture and sound quality, as well as enabling stations to broadcast on multiple channels. DTV benefits viewers by offering not only better picture and sound, but also a wider variety of television programming. Unlike cable television, digital television is free.

Cable Television

Cable television, also known as Community Antenna Television (CATV), provides programming to televisions connected to a community antenna by a cable. This is a paid service that consumers receive via subscription to a cable television provider, and it generally includes different levels of service, beginning with basic. Basic cable packages usually include a combination of local programming and specialty channels that aren't broadcast over the open airwaves like DTV channels. Premium cable packages usually include specialized programming, such as movies and sports.

HD Digital Cable

To confuse matters, there is also digital cable. This is cable television that, like DTV, is broadcast via a digital signal rather than an analogue signal. Digital cable is also broadcast in high definition (HD), providing the clearest picture on HD-enabled television sets.



HDFrequency HD Frequency Cable Cutter Indoor/Outdoor HD Digital TV Antenna (CC-17)
Speakers (HDFrequency)
  • Premium HD TV antenna designed to pick up free Over-the-Air TV broadcast signals
  • Supports digital TV frequencies including VHF and UHF with up to 50 miles gain
  • Suitable for Indoor or Outdoor use, with a sleek, modern, and durable design
  • DISCLAIMER: Does not work on TVs manufactured prior to 2006. Channel reception varies based on what is broadcast in your area, your distance from broadcast towers...
HDFrequency HD Frequency Cable Cutter Indoor/Outdoor HD Digital TV Antenna (CC-17)
Speakers (HDFrequency)
  • Premium HD TV antenna designed to pick up free Over-the-Air TV broadcast signals
  • Supports digital TV frequencies including VHF and UHF with up to 50 miles gain
  • Suitable for Indoor or Outdoor use, with a sleek, modern, and durable design
  • DISCLAIMER: Does not work on TVs manufactured prior to 2006. Channel reception varies based on what is broadcast in your area, your distance from broadcast towers...
Mohu Leaf 50 TV Antenna, Indoor, Amplified, 50 Mile Range, Original Paper-thin, Reversible, Paintable, 4K-Ready HDTV, 16 Foot Detachable Cable, Premium Materials for Performance, USA Made, MH-110584
Speakers (Mohu)
  • 50-mile range to access Over-the-Air TV channels without a cable or satellite subscription (NOTE: Enables access to free channels only - does not enable access to...
  • CleanPeak Filter technology filters out cellular and FM signals, resulting in a clearer picture and allowing access to more channels
  • Multi-directional and Reversible: No pointing needed and comes with included 16 ft. high performance cable
  • DISCLAIMER: Channel reception varies based on what is broadcast in your area, your distance from broadcast towers, and any geographical obstructions between you...
  • Comes with 1 Year warranty. Email us at support@gomohu.com for help setting up your product. You can also visit .gomohu.com or call 1-855-4GOMOHU (855-446-6648).
Winegard FlatWave Amped FL5500A Amplified Digital Indoor HD TV Antenna (OTA / High-VHF / UHF / Ultra-Thin / Black and White - Reversible / USB Power Supply) - 50 Mile Long Range
Speakers (Winegard Company)
  • IMPORTANT NOTE: Please download the manual below the product descriptoin. The most advanced indoor antenna
  • Embedded Ultra Low Noise Amplifier with Clear Circuit TechnologyTM (1.0 dB typical noise figure)
  • Dual-band amplified HDTV reception up to 50 miles/Extra Long Quality Coax (18 ft)
  • Energy saving USB power supply with LED power indicator
  • Designed and made in the USA by Winegard, the antenna experts
  • 50 Mile Range, High Definition dual band VHF/UHF
  • Embedded ultra low noise (1db) digital amplifier for the best antenna performance
  • Includes: FlatWave Antenna with embedded low noise digital amplifier, 18.5 ft. mini 59 coaxial cable (attached to antenna), 3 ft. USB power cable with 110V adapter...
  • Clear Circuit Technology: Ultra-low noise preamplifier embedded directly at the antenna elements, 1dB noise (typical), compared to 3dB+ from other preamplifiers
  • Multi-directional, Designed and made in the USA
RCA RCA ANT751 Durable Compact Outdoor Antenna
Speakers (RCA)
  • Enjoy top-rated HDTV network programming and your favorite shows for Free with no monthly fee or subscription
  • Simplifies installation with pre-assembled design, easy-lock fold-out UHF reflector and snap-lock elements
  • Supports up to 1080i HDTV broadcasts for high-quality picture and sound - 40+ miles from the towers
  • DISCLAIMER: Reception quality and channels received will depend on distance from towers, broadcast power, terrain and other factors.
  • Withstands tough outdoor conditions with durable construction and materials
  • Superior reception outdoors or even when mounted in the attic
  • Includes mast, locking mast clamp, mounting hardware and 75-ohm matching transformer
  • Designed and engineered in the USA



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