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Tablets most popular second screen for streaming video at home, but lots use smart phones

Consumer Reports News: August 08, 2012 04:08 PM

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A perhaps surprising number of people are viewing video on smart phones, even when they're at home, according to the results of our recent survey on viewing habits of CRO subscribers. Many of our questions had to do with viewing streaming video on TVs, but we also asked respondents about their experiences viewing on other screens: their laptops, tablets, and smart phones.

When respondents want to remain mobile at home when viewing streaming video, tablets stood out as the device most likely to have been used (60 percent), and another 44 percent view streaming video on laptops—but 39 percent use their smart phones. We didn't ask why—but maybe portability trumps screen size for these respondents.

We also asked subscribers about their viewing habits when they're away from home, and as you might expect, a high number said they stream video on their smart phones (70 percent). 44 percent use tablets when on the road, and 27 percent use laptops. (And 6 percent say they use desktops; do they really lug them along?)

Based on responses in March 2012 from 10,872 subscribers who provided 9,387 responses about services to stream full-length videos.

If you're curious about our other findings from this survey, including Ratings of streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Hulu, and iTunes, see the September 2012 issue of Consumer Reports magazine or go to

How do you stream video at home and on the road? Let us know!

Carol Mangis

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