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Streaming services, SmartTV adoption and our favorite apps


About two in five American households now subscribe to a streaming video service such as Netflix or Amazon Prime, according to a recent survey by Nielsen. But not everyone has a smart TV capable of directly accessing these services. That’s where a streaming media player comes in. But which one to get? Consumer Reports recently tested nine models to see how they fared. Their electronics spokesman James McQueen is here to tell us which ones stood out.

Although the $70 Apple TV is getting a little long in the tooth — with its last major upgrade coming in 2012 —it’s a must-have for Apple-centric users who have a lot of content stored in iTunes, on a Mac computer, or on Apple’s iCloud.
Not surprisingly, Apple TV has the company’s usual super-friendly interface, and it seamlessly integrates with iTunes TV show, movie and music libraries, and Apple’s iCloud storage service. You can also use Apple TV to access the new Apple Music subscription service.

Amazon Fire TV, the retailer’s first streaming media player, offers fine, responsive performance and a few unique features. Fire TV lets you search for content using voice commands, and it offers a kids’ environment, called FreeTime, that lets parents choose what their kids can see and set time limits for viewing. Fire TV also has one of the most credible gaming platform of any streamer we’ve tested, with titles including “Minecraft-Pocket Edition,” “The Walking Dead,” and “Monsters University.” But you’ll really need to spring for the optional $30 game controller.

For more info on streaming media players, visit

This week on Into Tomorrow Chris recommended the app SkyView

One of the coolest apps I’ve found in a long time is called SkyView. Ever wondered what stars or other celestial bodies were overhead. If you live out in the middle of nowhere with no city lights to pollute the night sky, you just have to look up. Those of us that live in populated areas and can’t really see stars at night need another way. SkyView is a great stargazing app that uses the camera in your Smartphone or tablet. You just hold your phone up to the sky and, using augmented reality, it will overlay images of stars, constellations, planets, satellites and even some space junk. Move your phone around the sky to see what else is out there. You can even see what satellites are currently overhead, and as they orbit, you can see them move in the app. Want more information on something you see? Just tap on it and it’ll tell you about that object. It even works indoors. SkyView is $1.99 for iOS and Android, but they have a free version that lacks some of the extra features. But even the free version is enough to wow you.

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Written by Dave Graveline

Dave Graveline is the founder, Host & Executive Producer of "Into Tomorrow" in addition to being President of the Advanced Media Network".

Dave is also a trusted and familiar voice on many national commercials & narrations in addition to being an authority in consumer tech since 1994. He is also a former Police Officer and an FBI Certified Instructor.

Dave thrives on audience participation!

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