Digital cable TV is usually one of two selections offered by a cable company. The other is basic cable. Digital cable TV usually offers premium and special interest channels along with the programming of basic cable.
Digital cable TV usually expands upon the programming available in a basic cable TV package. Basic cable typically offers only local, educational and government channels. The offerings tend to vary by location and provider. Sometimes a provider offers two forms of basic cable: limited basic and expanded basic. The latter offers some major cable channels to go along with the basic local and government channels.
Digital cable TV includes all of basic cable, including local channels, and then expands into other packages such as sports and movies. Often a basic digital tier forms the base of a digital cable package, and then subscribers can add other tiers. This can have some local variation, such as Latino channels in certain areas. The other difference is that digital cable typically offers some type of set-top box for recording shows. Digital cable is also often bundled with other services from the cable company, which can include high-speed Internet, phone service and even security service. This is usually not an option with basic cable.