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Tech review: 4 great streaming apps worth trying

The Tubi app features movies, reality shows, children's

The Tubi app features movies, reality shows, children's programs and some newer series. Credit: Newsday/Tubi TV

What’s on TV? Almost everything. These free streaming services have a collection of movies, new original shows and an array of classic series that can keep you glued to the tube or attached to your mobile devices.

Peacock

(iOS, Android; free)

One of the big success stories of 2020, NBC’s Peacock has a paid tier ($5/month), but its free tier is loaded with on-demand episodes of new shows (such as "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" and "Late Night With Seth Meyers") movies, classic TV shows such as "Cheers," "Everybody Loves Raymond" "Saturday Night Live" and 257 episodes of the classic "Alfred Hitchcock Presents." It recently added "The Office," but only the first two seasons are free.

Pluto TV

(iOS, Android; free)

Pluto started as a niche cable TV-like service, but its success attracted the eye of Viacom, which snapped it up for $340 million a year ago. Pluto features scores of classic TV shows and movies in a "linear" format, meaning the programs play on a set schedule on more than 250 channels. Among the shows are classics like "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and offerings as varied as the "The Dick Van Dyke Show" and "Baywatch."

Tubi

(iOS, Android; free)

This excellent addition to your free streaming arsenal includes a mix of recent movies, reality shows, children’s programs and some newer series such as Kevin James’ Long Island-based "Kevin Can Wait." For those of a certain (older) age, there are long-forgotten classics including Groucho Marx’s "You Bet Your Life" quiz show, the groundbreaking Golden Age of TV sitcom "The Goldbergs" (with episodes from 1949!) and the swinging ‘60s spy series "Secret Agent."

Crackle

(iOS, Android; free)

Crackle lost its biggest attraction three years ago when Jerry Seinfeld took his "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee" series to Netflix, but the streaming service still has a lot to offer. In addition to original new programming, Crackle has recent movies and a wide selection of classic TV series beginning in 1960s. The ad-supported service lets you watch without creating an account.

Super Bowl LV 4K? Forget about it

Excited about watching the Super Bowl on your state-of-the-art TV in crystal-clear 4K? Lower your visual expectations. CBS, which will telecast Super Bowl LV, told The Verge the game will not be broadcast in ultra-high-definition 4K because of “production limitations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.” Last year’s Super Bowl, telecast by Fox, was available in 4K. CBS will telecast the game in 1080p high-definition.

— PETER KING

PC sales surge

With the pandemic causing an increase in working from home and remote learning, PCs registered their biggest year for sales in a decade. Research firm IDC said shipments of desktops, notebooks, and workstations grew 13.1 percent in 2020, the biggest annual rise since 2010. Despite the increased shipments, IDC noted supply still lagged demand and concluded that “this surge still has a way to go.”

— PETER KING

Internet balloon venture shuttered

Google parent company Alphabet is letting the air out of Loon, an internet-beaming balloon venture aimed at providing online access to the world’s 4.8 billion unwired people. When Loon started nine years ago, the goal was to launch thousands of massive Wi-Fi balloons 12 miles into the stratosphere. But countries that had little internet access have since gotten more ways to go online because of the explosive growth of smartphones.

— AP

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