By Melanie Mayberry, programming editor

TV Answer Man, we are thinking of cutting the cord and getting rid of DIRECTV. Do you know if you need a Smart TV to cut the cord? A salesman at Best Buy said you did but I don’t know if I trust him. — Ginni, Waldorf, Maryland.

Ginni, the TV Answer Woman is going to take this one for you. Traditional cable and satellite subscriptions are gradually being replaced by cord-cutting options, where viewers rely on Internet-based streaming platforms to access their favorite shows and movies. However, there’s often confusion surrounding the necessity of owning a Smart TV to join the cord-cutting movement.

Let’s first explain what cord cutting is.
Cord cutting refers to the act of canceling traditional cable or satellite subscriptions in favor of streaming services. By leveraging Internet connectivity, cord cutters can access an array of content from platforms like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and more. The freedom to choose what, when, and how to watch has made cord cutting an appealing option for many consumers.

What Is a Smart TV?
A Smart TV is essentially a television set that is equipped with built-in Internet connectivity and pre-installed streaming applications. These televisions allow users to access streaming services directly without the need for external devices like set-top boxes or streaming sticks. The user interface and app selection vary across different brands, but the fundamental principle remains the same: the integration of Internet functionality into the television itself.

Do You Need a Smart TV to Cut the Cord?
The short answer is no. You don’t necessarily need a Smart TV to cut the cord. While a Smart TV offers convenience by eliminating the need for additional devices, it is not the only way to access streaming services. There are alternative methods available to transform your regular TV into a smart one, including:

1. Streaming Devices

Streaming devices such as Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV Stick, and Google Chromecast can be connected to any standard TV with an HDMI port. These devices provide access to various streaming platforms, making them an excellent option for cord cutters. They often offer additional features like voice control, advanced search functionalities, and support for 4K content.

gaming consoles can make any TV a Smart TV.
2. Game Consoles

Modern gaming consoles like PlayStation and Xbox also function as media hubs. They come equipped with streaming apps and can be connected to your TV, allowing you to access popular streaming services.

If you already own a non-Smart TV, you can make it “smart” by using external devices like media players, streaming sticks, or even connecting a computer or laptop to your TV. These methods utilize HDMI or other connection options to access streaming services.

While a Smart TV can streamline the cord-cutting experience, there are numerous alternative options available. The choice ultimately depends on your preferences, budget, and existing setup.

The research for this article was compiled by the TV Answer Man team and ChatGPT.

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