- T-Mobile launches three TVision streaming services: Live, Vibe and Channels.
- An Android TV dongle, the TVision Hub, will also be presented.
- Service begins November 1st, but you must be a T-Mobile or Sprint customer.
T-Mobile is finally offering streaming TV services for cable cutters, and there is even hardware on offer. The carrier has launched three TVision brand offerings along with a long rumored Android TV dongle, the TVision Hub.
The first streaming service, TVision Live, is the closest replacement for a typical T-Mobile cable television package. The basic live TV has 30+ channels starting at $ 40 a month with news and sports channels that include ESPN. When you pay for Live TV + $ 50 per month, you get 10 additional channels that include local sports, as well as soccer and golf. If you’re into sports, the Live Zone adds another 10 channels to the Live Zone for $ 60 a month, which includes professional networks like NFL RedZone.
All three levels offer up to three simultaneous streams, 100 hours of cloud DVR recording and more than 10,000 shows on request.
TVision Vibe is aimed at viewers who are not interested in sports but still want the essentials. It’s available for $ 10 per month and includes over 30 live channels like AMC and TLC. Vibe supports two simultaneous streams, but there is no mention of a cloud DVR.
TVision Channels corresponds to T-Mobile’s Prime Video Channels and Apple TV Channels from Amazon, ie the gateway to third-party streaming services. You can add services like Epix, Showtime and Starz (more on the way) while using an app and signing in to watch it all. Subscriptions start at $ 6 per month and you don’t need any of the live TV packages.
As for the Android TV dongle? The TVision Hub (above) is a $ 50 device that includes a “familiar” show guide as well as Google Assistant voice control for media and your smart home. T-Mobile has not described all aspects of hub performance, but it does support 4K.
You do not need the dongle to test the T-Mobile service. It supports third-party Android TV hardware like the new Google Chromecast, regular Android devices, Amazon Fire TV, iPhones, iPads, and Apple TV.
Continue reading: The best live streaming TV services
There is one major catch to all of this though: you have to be a T-Mobile customer first. All TVision services and the hub dongle will only be available to T-Mobile postpaid subscribers when they start on November 1st. Sprint customers will get access on November 13th and prepaid users will have to wait until 2021. T-Mobile said TVision’s services will be available to everyone “over time,” but the initial focus is clearly on bundling customers with their phone service.
It’s hard to say how good TVision Live compares to competitors without the full channel lineup, but prices are at least competitive with lower-cost streaming services like Sling TV and among more expensive options like AT&T TV Now ($ 60 per month) and YouTube TV ($ 65 per month). However, the limited platform support can be an issue. You won’t find the new TVision options in Roku, smart TV platforms, or consoles in their early version, and that could be a deal breaker if you don’t have a Google- or Apple-centric budget.