Does streaming mean saving? Cord-cutting explained

- YouTube is expanding its live streaming.   You can get live TV from SlingTV, DirecTV Now, Hulu, and Playstation.  HBO is available without cable. Soon, ESPN. And Disney itself will go streaming in 2019.

"You see a lot more people asking, ‘How can I cut the cord? How can I get rid of my extremely expensive cable bill?’" said Jose Vasquez of Best Buy.

It can be overwhelming figuring out if cutting the cord really cuts costs.  So let’s break it down.

GET THE GADGETS

Ranging in price from about $30 to more than $100 -- unless you have the capability in your smart TV --there are two types of streaming gadgets: Set-top boxes and HDMI sticks.

The sticks are the size of USB drives and plug right into your TV, and they're cheaper than set-top boxes. But they sometimes don't have as strong as a Wi-Fi signal

"The way you'll decide on the streaming devices will solely depend on what your viewing habits are," Vasquez explained.

It's not just about buying the device; it's about seeing what services this device provides. Many don't offer sports channels or local channels. You'll need to get a digital antenna for that.

LIST THEN CHECK

You'll need to list what you love to watch then check the channels -- see which streaming services carry your shows.

The website suppose.tv is a new online resource that can help make that easier. To use the free site, you click the channels you want and see which bundle is best for you.

COUNT THE COSTS

Cord-cutters say they save hundreds, and there's a good chance you can too. But you have to "count the costs." Because, don’t forget, you'll have to pay for internet on top of whatever streaming service you're buying.

A savings calculator from Slate.com is a great tool to see if you'll save over cable. You enter what you're currently paying and compare to streaming bundles.

Consultants with the Convergence Research Group recently released a report called "Battle for the American Couch Potato.”  They predict by the end of the year, nearly one in four Americans will no longer have traditional cable or satellite TV.

But before you join the cord-cutters, be sure to crunch the numbers because streaming doesn't always mean saving.

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