Walmart appears to be getting into the streaming devices with the Onn Android TV UHD Streaming Device, according to a new listing on its website (spotted by 9to5Google). The company’s new streaming box (in this case, really more of a flattened cube) is currently listed for $29.88 but is also “out of stock” — which could be due to the fact it hasn’t been officially announced yet.
According to Walmart’s page, the Onn Android TV UHD Streaming Device can, unsurprisingly, stream in 4K and play “Dolby audio” — although there are no other specifics shared. The small device runs Android TV, connects to a TV over HDMI, and comes with what looks like a Google Assistant-enabled remote with dedicated buttons for YouTube, Netflix, Disney Plus, and HBO Max.
Design-wise, as 9to5Google notes, Walmart’s streaming device shares a lot of similarities with Google’s developer device, the ADT-3, albeit with Walmart’s electronics brand, “onn,” slapped on top. The remote that accompanies the Onn also seems to be using a new Google design that’s been rumored to come with a host of new Google TV products in 2021.
Walmart has been in a multiyear competition with Amazon over basically all forms of shopping online and off, so muscling into the streaming device market with what’s essentially a Fire Stick competitor shouldn’t be surprising. For Walmart, the streaming space has standardized and streamlined enough that it’s probably comparatively easy to come out with a cheap streaming cube, stock it in thousands of stores, and let customers do the rest.
It’s hard to not put Walmart’s device in the context of TiVo’s apparent exit from the streaming device space. Streaming sticks and boxes are increasingly becoming a game for big companies who can reach the scale and low costs that smaller companies can’t keep up with. They also tend to have a better handle on software — for Xperi, the TiVo brand’s current owner, Google integrating universal search aped the big feature that differentiated it from the competition.
The TiVo Stream 4K launched for $70, only to later drop to $39 in what seems like a bid to compete with the likes of the $50 Chromecast with Google TV, the $40 Roku Streaming Stick Plus, and Amazon’s $50 Fire Stick 4K. Assuming $30 is the Onn Android TV UHD Streaming Device’s actual price and it’s actually worth using, Walmart may be poised to start yet another race to the bottom.