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Walmart readies launch of Onn-branded Android TV device

The Onn Android TV streaming device. (Photo courtesy, Graphic by The Desk)

Walmart is getting ready to launch its own Android TV streaming device under the house brand Onn, according to a product listing widely spotted by tech publications this week.

The device, which currently has the bland item name “Android TV UHD Streaming Device,” popped up on Walmart’s website at some point within the past week.

The web listing offers a significant amount of insight into the Onn Android TV streaming device: It will support ultra high-definition (4K) video streams, Dolby audio and dual-band Wi-Fi, and will be powered by a micro-USB cable with an adapter included in the box.

Photos of the device showed that it is likely supposed to be hidden out of sight: Unlike other streaming set-top boxes, which sport all necessary input and output ports on the back, the Onn streamer is hooked into power on the front of the puck, with a single HDMI port located on the back.

An accompanied remote photographed with the device revealed a single front-facing microphone, a dedicated Google assistant button and four streaming service preset buttons, with YouTube, Disney Plus, HBO Max and Netflix represented.

The remote also appeared to show buttons to control a TV set’s power and volume, along with what seems like traditional channel up and down buttons. The streaming box isn’t expected to support traditional over-the-air antennas or cable hookups, so the placement of the channel up and down buttons is something of a mystery — they could be used to change channels on a TV’s built-in tuner, or they could help users navigate streaming cable TV replacements like YouTube TV and Hulu with Live TV. Time will tell on that one.

As of Tuesday, Walmart listed the Onn Android TV streamer with a retail price of just under $30, making it cheaper than other Android TV streaming devices on the market, including the TiVo Stream 4K (currently $39 on Amazon’s website) and Google’s own Chromecast with Google TV (currently $50).

Since the device hasn’t officially launched, specific details about the Onn Android TV streamer — including its features and price — might change over time. Aside from the website listing, Walmart has not formally revealed the Onn Android TV streamer or offered any details about what it might do or cost. Assuming it can hold its weight against more-expensive Android TV streamers, the Onn-branded gadget could be one to watch.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is an award-winning journalist with more than 10 years of experience covering the business of television and radio broadcasting, streaming services and the overall media industry. In addition to his work as publisher of The Desk, Matthew contributes regularly to StreamTV Insider and KnowTechie, and has worked for several well-known news organizations, including Thomson Reuters, McNaughton Newspapers, Grasswire, Comstock's magazine, KTXL-TV and KGO-TV. Matthew is a member of IRE, a trade organization for investigative reporters and editors, and is based in Northern California.

Email: [email protected] | Signal: 530-507-8380