There’s always a lot of lively conversation around the so-called streaming wars and the new content each is offering, but there’s also a much less discussed but still lively battle going on between companies providing the technology to allow you to watch those streaming services. The most famous of those devices are Roku, Amazon Firestick and Apple TV, but if Walmart has its way, another major competitor will soon join that list. Walmart officially debuted its Onn Android TV UHD Device, and the price will likely look very attractive to some consumers.
According to NextTV, Walmart is actually offering two different devices at different price points. The first is the aforementioned Onn Android TV UHD Device. It’s selling for $29.98, which is lower than most of the competitors The second is the Onn FHD Streaming Stick, which is $24.88. Both will offer Android TV and the Google Play store, which allow for access to most of the major streaming services. You can also use the remote to access voice control.
Exactly what’s going to happen next is unclear at this point. Walmart has the scale and the muscle to really try to compete if it wants to. The retailer posted $560B in annual revenue, and there is so much foot traffic through its stores, it could use end caps and other promotional techniques to really put its devices in front of consumers. Every push, however, comes at the expense of another; so, it’s unclear whether Walmart is looking to generate some revenue here as a low cost streaming device provider or if it’s looking to grab a significant percentage of market share.
In theory, more streaming devices is a good thing for consumers, but there is still widespread confusion among many buyers about the differences between devices or even how to access different services on each. Not all of the options offer access to all of the streaming services, and each has various bells and whistles that set it apart. Where they differ isn’t always well advertised either. That’s probably to be expected considering how much upheaval has happened in the TV and streaming space over the past ten years. You would have to hope it all gets figured out eventually, but considering cable has been around for decades and some providers don’t offer random channels, it’s not a guarantee it’ll all get figured out.
Both of Walmart’s new devices are technically for sale on its website right now, but the FHD Streaming Stick is out of stock. It’ll take some time for consumers to try out the products and report back. Like with everything else in the entertainment industry, expect people to be very open with their opinions, whether they be good, bad or somewhere in between.