Cable TV is starting to go the way of the landline. But that doesn't mean people have stopped watching movies and TV shows. We're just doing it differently.
Cord cutting has become a buzz phrase in many households, and not only because streaming services offer your favorite shows and original programming. Done right, cord cutting can save you some serious money.
But as you go about cutting the old cord or even just start considering it, ask yourself this: Is there only one show I really like and have to watch? Or, do I watch a handful of shows? If your answer is yes to either, we have news you can use.
Devoted to a show, not a network
You would think with all the chatter about streaming services, original programming or cable versus cord cutting, all we do is watch TV. Yeah, OK, we watch a lot of TV.
But there are plenty of people who have other interests who don't find themselves glued to the television. But they're still hooked on one or two shows on different networks.
If this describes you, why do you have cable or a streaming service just to watch one or two shows? The answer is, you don't have to.
Buy the shows you want
Back in the pre-streaming days, you could buy a DVD set of the past season of your favorite show. Of course, you would have to wait a while for the DVDs to come out, but once they did you could pop them into your DVD player and binge.
Today, it's a bit easier. If you love one particular show, you can go to Amazon Prime Video, iTunes, Google Play and YouTube to see if they have the show. Episodes are usually available the day after they air.
You can buy each episode of your favorite show, usually a day after it airs, for between $2 and $3. If you buy each episode, you can binge the whole season again later but the total cost will be around $36 dollars.
Another option is to buy the entire season upfront for between $19 and $24. Called a season pass, you get each episode after it airs and then the entire season is all yours. Buying upfront is obviously the better deal. You can also buy past seasons so you can happily binge.
About the only downside is that you may have to make some adjustments to watch them on a standard TV. App stores that are connected to various platforms allow you to watch your shows on your smartphone, tablet or computer.
Now you could watch your show on a smart TV that supports the buying platform. Either the TV already has the capacity to support Amazon Prime for example, so you're good to go.
Or, if you own a dumb TV, you can buy a streaming device like a Roku or Amazon Fire TV and add the app you purchased the show from. A Roku will run from $99 for a top of the line model to $29 for your most basic needs.
If that's all you need, you can get rid of cable TV (although you might want to buy an antenna for local channels), don't bother with streaming services and keep the internet. Just by looking at my own cable and streaming services bills I know I would save hundreds of dollars a year if I only watched a few shows. And you can too.
Guide to cutting the cord -- 5 things you need to do
Nobody likes paying for cable these days. And with so many excellent streaming solutions out there, why would you? Between Amazon Fire, Apple TV, and Roku devices, users have a selection of premium gadgets and streaming services to choose from -- each with more choices and original content than any basic cable subscription could come up with.