Walmart appears poised to debut a $30, Android TV-powered 4K/HDR streaming device that will undercut incumbents Roku and Amazon.
Last week, a gadget eerily similar to Google’s ADT-3—a device the tech giant hands out to Android TV software developers—briefly surfaced on Walmart.com (where it was spotted by 9to5Google.) The device, which carried Walmart’s Onn brand, was listed as “out of stock,” and it’s no longer listed on Walmart’s landing page.
But priced at $29.88, the brief appearance of the Onn Android TV UHD Streaming Device was notable, in that it undercut the latest Roku entry-level 4K streaming gadget, a budget-priced iteration of which is specifically packaged for Walmart shelves.
The just-introduced Roku Express 4K, a Walmart exclusive, ditches the voice remote found in the widely available Roku Express 4K+ and has a discounted MSRP of $35.99. That’s $5 cheaper than the $39.99 Express 4K+, but $5 more than the new Onn-branded 4K/HDR gadget.
Walmart, which has broad-reaching competitive issues with Amazon, sells Amazon’s Fire TV Stick 4K for $57.60.
Google’s 4K/HDR-capable Chromecast with Google TV is available via Walmart for $50.
Two months ago, it surfaced via FCC documents that Walmart is also looking to undercut the major connected TV device incumbents for sub-$20 HD-only streaming sticks and dongles, with the pending introduction of an Onn-branded HDMI stick, also based on Google’s Android TV OS.
Last year, Walmart committed end caps and other valuable in-store promotional resources to another Android TV-powered streaming gadget, the TiVo Stream 4K. But last week, TiVo’s parent company, Xperi, said it was shifting its streaming tech strategy, pivoting away from Android TV gadgets and into smart TV OS, following Google’s decision to get into the OTT device business itself with the new Google TV OS.
And late last year, Walmart began selling another 4K device based on Google’s ADT-3, this one under the brand name Dynalink. Initially, Walmart promotionally priced the 4K/HDR-capable OTT device, which is based on Android 10, with a quad-core processor, 2GB of DDR3 memory and a single HDMI port, at $29.95, $20 off the regular MSRP of $49.95. Walmart is currently selling the Dynalink Android TV Box at that regular $50 list price.
Walmart was a major force amid the height of the DVD and Blu-ray business during aughts. In fact, it was the top mover of discs and disc players in the U.S at that time.
It makes sense that it will want to establish itself in the streaming gadget business, and not just because its archival, Amazon, already has.
Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!
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