Some Walmart stores across the country have started selling TiVo’s Android-powered streaming television dongle, according to a tipster.
Earlier this week, a reader emailed The Desk with a tip that a Walmart store in New Jersey had started offering the TiVo-branded streaming device for sale at a retail price of $50.
After being announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, TiVo began selling the Android TV-powered dongle via its website in May at an introductory price point of $50. The company said the price would eventually increase to $80 after its limited-time sale, though TiVo continues to sell the dongle for $50.
A photo sent in to The Desk revealed Walmart is also selling the device for $50, suggesting TiVo has decided to make that price permanent.
Walmart is the first brick-and-mortar retailer to offer the TiVo device in stores. TiVo’s other retail partner, Best Buy, continues to offer the company’s line of digital video recorders (DVRs) for sale, but has yet to offer the TiVo Stream 4K to customers. The device is also not yet for sale on Walmart’s website, though it can be bought on the website of Walmart’s competitor Amazon.
The TiVo Stream 4K is a white-label Android TV dongle manufactured by Chinese electronics company SEI Robotics. The streaming gadget’s standout feature is the incorporation of a new TiVo streaming app that aggregates content and recommendations across various partner services, including Netflix, HBO Max, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video and Sling TV.
The app is accessible via a peanut-shaped remote control that is a smaller version of one that has shipped with TiVo DVRs for more than two decades.
Aside from those two features, the device is just another Android TV gadget in what is becoming a crowded market of cheap streaming television devices. The TiVo Stream 4K is natively integrated with Google’s Play Store, which gives users access to thousands of third-party applications, including YouTube, YouTube TV, Comcast’s Peacock and others.
The device also has Google’s Chromecast protocol built-in, making it a good — and cheap — upgrade from Google Chromecast dongles, especially for users who want a remote control.