Published On: Sat, Jul 18th, 2015

Keeping Up with Television in the Digital Age

When most of us were growing up, keeping up with our favorite television shows meant making time to sit down in front of the set. We had to either schedule our lives around those shows or hope that our VCR actually recorded the show we wanted at the time we wanted (ask your parents, kids).

We had to carefully plan out our television viewing habits too, because back then, the only way to watch two different shows that aired at the same time was to buy a second TV set, put it in another room and then run back and forth between the two at air time and hope you didn’t miss too much.

Thank heavens those days are over. Today, thanks to the internet, satellites and millennium technology, you can find whatever show you want to watch and watch it whenever is most convenient for your schedule.

source: W. Trusz, J. Dombrowicki

source: W. Trusz, J. Dombrowicki

It’s no wonder, with all of the media currently available that Americans are watching more TV than ever.

For example, there are at least a dozen different streaming media services out there that allow people to watch currently airing seasons of their favorite shows without requiring them to have a cable subscription. Sure you usually have to wait until the next day, but what do you care? You have the freedom to watch whenever you want!

A lot of individual channels have also gotten in on the act, offering their specific programming via channel specific streaming services.

supergirl-tv-show-image-melissa-benoist-portraitYou can find just about any show somewhere online, either through the show’s own website, the website for the network that airs it or…other (less legitimate and honest which we are absolutely not advocating at all) means.

There is also the option to DVR. Kids, the DVR you take for granted is like a digital version of the VCR your parents grew up with. DVRing is great because most of the newer models allow you to record at least a couple of shows at once. DVRs are great for keeping you up to date on the shows that might not make it on to streaming media right away (or at all, though this is getting rarer).

Finally, if you do still subscribe to cable–and we know that there are a few romantic purists out there who do–the OnDemand services offered by cable companies and satellite networks is great. These services are especially great for premium channel subscribers who might not want to make DVR room for movies or other cable-specific programming.

The primary issue with having all of these different services available is cost. Subscribing to every single service out there gets expensive. This is why it’s best to take some time and do some research before signing up for every streaming media, subscription or cable service you can find. Figure out who carries what and then plan your budget accordingly.

For example, let’s say you live in Pittsburgh. A Direct TV Pittsburgh package starts at about $50. This gives you access to a bunch of programming via their OnDemand library and sets you up with DVR. To supplement these, we’d recommend choosing two streaming services: one that gives you access to currently airing shows and one that allows you to binge watch entire seasons (or movies) all at once. If you still have a show or two missing from your services, consider buying that show outright. The amount you spend for a season of your favorite show will be much less than you’d spend on an annual subscription to the only streaming service that offers it.

So what shows are going to be most worth your interest this fall?

Here are a few of our favorites:

The Muppets. Yes. The Muppets are coming back to prime time, this time with their own version of a reality show. Think Modern Family but with Kermit and the gang. It looks like it is going to be amazing.

Supergirl. Superman’s younger cousin has found her way to earth and decides to start helping people. Hijinks, as they tend to do on these kinds of shows, inevitably ensue. This iteration of Supergirl also features Calista Flockhart, so count us in!

Scream Queens. We weren’t so sure about a horror show that takes place in a sorority house, even after we found out that Ryan Murphy was at it’s helm. After watching the trailers, though, we have to say it looks pretty great. Plus is has Jamie Lee Curtis! Who doesn’t love Jamie Lee Curtis?

And of course, this is in addition to Big Bang Theory, Gotham, Bones, Sleepy Hollow, and the rest of the returning greats. What about you, viewers? Which shows are you most looking forward to this fall and how will you choose to keep up with them?

Gotham cast photo

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About the Author

- Adam Lee is a financial writer who has insightful knowledge in dealing with different financial issues. He tries to help people to get out of difficult financial situations by contributing financial write ups to websites and blogs such as Moneyforlunch.com and Moneynewsnow.com

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