On the cable you can recieve channel without actually having a box or paying for them. But the number of channels are limited.
When I bought my property in Almere I had no cable connection (i.e. box) but there was an a coaxial lead from the wall which fitted my tv, tuned my TV and hey presto the channels. A week later I got my UPC box and fitted it which meant I had "proper" TV and internet but the number of channels was much more (I was paying €37/month for basic TV, phone and Internet!) If I remember well the channels I got were NED1,2,3 RTL4,5,7,8 SBS6, Net5, Veronica, BBC1,2, MTV and another "music" channel and a couple of the discovery channels (before getting the box)
And then month later - proper TV as my dish was fitted!! Thank goodness for British TV (and we think our has dumbed down!!!) Dutch TV (except for current affairs and news on the NED/NPO channels) is absolutely rubbish and most of it are imports.
ITVGranada/BBC North West/C4/C5/NPO1,2,3/RTL4,5,7,8/SBS 6, Net 5,Veronica, SBS9