The newest addition to the streaming TV offerings landscape comes from none other than mobile telephone service provider T-Mobile.
TVision launched on November 1st to current T-Mobile subscribers and later in the month to its Sprint subscribers. They plan to expand to the general public sometime in 2021.
TVision has a few different “flavors” available based on your tastes. The service offers a lot of flexibility for different programming types, including live television and a library of over 35,000 on-demand titles.
TVision LIVE – Live TV
The “Live TV” package has 35 channels, including local network channels depending on location. This package gives you the basics for news and sports coverage plus a few other entertainment channels and something for the kids, all for $40/month.
TVision LIVE – Live TV+
Each package builds on the previous, so Live TV+ gives you a total of 57 channels. You’ll get all of the channels from the “Live TV” package plus a bunch more sports options and a few other general and kids programming channels for $50/month.
TVision LIVE – Live Zone
The “Live Zone” package has 67 channels, adding even more sports and additional general and kids programming options for $60/month.
VIBE is a separate offering from TVision Live and is billed as “the best of comedy, lifestyle, and drama.” This is where you will find your cable mainstays like Food Network, HGTV, Discovery Channel, and the Hallmark channels. This package has 34 channels and costs $10/month, making it a very competitive offering for the most popular channels on cable.
You can add premium a-la-carte entertainment like EPIX, Showtime, and Starz, starting from $5.99/month on top of the other packages.
DVR, streams, and supported platforms
With TVision LIVE, you can save all your favorite shows and movies in the Cloud with 100 hours of storage included, and watch anytime with three simultaneous streams. If you plan to purchase just the VIBE package, you can add the DVR capability for an additional charge.
The TVision app will be available at launch for Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, some smart TVs, and iOS and Android devices. A notable omission is that TVision is not currently available on Roku.
TVision HUB is T-Mobile’s answer to the Tivo Stream 4K or Google’s Chromecast with Google TV.
The HUB is an HDMI dongle that plugs into your TV and runs Android TV with a T-Mobile customized interface that incorporates the capabilities of TVision for Live TV along with it’s DVR and on-demand functionality. Besides, you get the capabilities of Google Assistant for finding additional apps or content.
The HUB remote is very similar to a standard remote and contains shortcut buttons to Netflix, YouTube, the TVision guide, and DVR. Notably, TVision uses channel numbers, so you can easily enter the channel number on the remote to surf to your favorite network.
At $50, the HUB provides a great entry solution for customers who otherwise don’t have other streaming devices in their household.
T-Mobile’s initial entry into the streaming space looks to be a good start. Performance on both iOS and Android TV devices seemed speedy, and while the apps are pretty basic, they function well and feel uncluttered.
There are obvious omissions, such as the lack of Roku support or the ability to watch from a web browser, but these are capabilities that we’ll hopefully see in the future. Another omission is when it comes to live network TV; CBS is notably absent, while others like ABC, NBC, and FOX are available in most areas.
The channel selection is definitely heavy on sports content, which will appeal to a lot of viewers. Still, the VIBE package is so competitively priced that it caught the attention of Discovery executives and competitors alike. Still, T-Mobile has stated that they are within the requirements of their contract. The VIBE package may be all that is needed for a cord cutter that is looking for a lineup with the most popular cable channels bundled in one place.
My personal preference is that there was one weather network like The Weather Channel, AccuWeather, or even WeatherNation as part of their live channel offering. Still, those are also nowhere to be found in any of TVision’s packages. That’s not that uncommon; The Weather Channel is only available on a couple of the major streaming providers. Die-hard Weather Channel fans will likely still need cable for their fix.