T-Mobile’s TVision pay TV service is indeed alive, and might soon roll out based on an Android TV platform, paperwork filed with the FCC reveals.
The filing to the FCC’s Office of Engineering and Technology reveals a TVision-branded remote, equipped with dedicated “Android home” and “Google Assistant” buttons, as well as button shortcuts to Netflix and YouTube. (9to5Google originally reported on the FCC filing.)
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The filing removes some mystery surrounding TVision, which is itself built on the backbone of T-Mobile’s $325 million purchase of pay TV service Layer3 TV back in January 2018.
Since taking over Layer3 TV and rebranding it TVision, T-Mobile hasn’t expanded it beyond its initial markets—New York, L.A., Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Philly and Washington, D.C.
T-Mobile says the service will be deployed as the bundled video compliment to the so-called Uncarrier’s fixed 5G wireless play, which T-Mobile adds, will reach 90% of the U.S. by 2024.
Light Reading reported earlier that a recent reengineering of the TVision tech has been completed. And it’s only the pandemic that’s delaying broader national rollout of TVision. Light Reading also reported that T-Mobile was partnering with MobiTV, maker of a proprietary app-based video delivery system, for its revised TVision tech.
However, outside of supporting integration with Google Assistant smart devices, neither the current iteration of TVision, or the reports of its reimagining, have referred to an Android TV play.
Certainly, there are other moves afoot in regard to TVision.
This week, T-Mobile’s Chief Content Officer, Lindsay Gardner, who came over in the Layer3 TV purchase, confirmed to Next TV that he’s leaving the company at the end of this month. It’s rumored that the Denver-based Gardner might be circling back with Layer3 TV’s original investors on a new project. (Light Reading was the first to report this, too.)
Layer3 TV founder and CEO Jeff Binder had been initially put in charge of TVision, but left the company back in May 2019. He’s now running a Denver-area firm called Harvard Venture Partners.
In the limited markets in which TVision is currently available, T-Mobile is offering a $90-a-month base tier of 154 channels, 1 terabyte of DVR storage (about 400 hours of recordings), integration with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, and access to streaming services and social media.
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