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Millennials seem to be shaking everything up. Whether its buying hearing aids online or getting rid of cable services, there’s always a new way things can be done. If you’re interested in participating in the new wave of “cord cutting,” Audicus can teach you more about the process and your options to ensure you’re making the best possible choice for you and your family.

History of cable

Back in July of 1941, black and white television became commercially available. 77 years of television — can you believe that? Around the same time period, cable was introduced, meaning Americans barely knew a time of television without the option for cable. Cable became so popular that by 2000, NCTA – the Internet and Television Association, reported 65 million subscribers.

History of streaming services

You may think that streaming services came about quite recently. Sure, cable has been around for decades, but that’s not the case for companies like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu, right? Actually, Netflix launched in 1998, Amazon Video in 2006, and Hulu in 2007. Their popularity has grown over recent years in part because of their original content found nowhere else and their convenience, but mostly because of cost. As cable prices increase, streaming services are available at a fraction of the cost.

Should I join the cord cutters?

“Cutting the cord” is another way to say you are ending your cable services. Before you take the leap, consider how you interact with your television, what kind of Internet speeds and Internet package you have, and also what shows you definitely want to watch. If you are interested in mostly movies, you have different needs than an avid football watcher or a family with small children who watch cartoons. Fortunately, if you want to get rid of cable, there are plenty of options to fill the void to be able to watch your favorite shows.

Required technology for cord cutters

If you cut the cord, you need some way of watching your preferred streaming services. The easiest (but most expensive) option tends to be Smart TVs which come equipped with Internet access capabilities and downloadable applications. If your current television does not have this ability, options like the Roku, Chromecast, Apple TV, or Amazon Fire exist to allow you to add streaming functionality at a cheaper price ($20-200). With these options, you could subscribe to services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video, ESPN, HBO, Showtime, Starz, or CBS All Access. With these streaming services, you watch pre-recorded shows or movies and can tune in at any time.

There’s no set schedule for weekly programming, so it can be a bit of a bumpy transition if you are used to enjoying ABC’s Thursday night line-up or catching a NBC show every Wednesday at 8 pm. The benefit with many of these streaming services is that they release entire seasons of shows at once and offer them with little to no commercial interruption. Beware – the cost of these streaming services may add up. With Netflix costing $9-16/month, Hulu at $8-12, and Amazon at $13, paying for multiple services could cost as much as cable! Digital Trends provides a breakdown of these services and even provides a few more options to allow you to fully customize your television watching to your needs. Good luck with cutting the cord!

By: Diana Michel

Sources: NCTA, Wired, Amazon, BusinessWire, Digital Trends