Electronics retailer Best Buy will start selling a new line of smart TV sets manufactured by Chinese firm TCL that runs on the Xumo operating system.
The new Xumo-powered TV sets will be manufactured under the Pioneer brand name, which TCL licenses for some of its smart TV sets that are sold in North America.
The Pioneer-brand Xumo TVs will be sold in four sizes ranging from 43-inches to 65-inches, with all TV sets supporting ultra-high definition (UHD/4K) video resolution and the Dolby Vision and HDR 10 standards.
Like other Xumo TVs in its class, the TCL-made Pioneer sets will also include access to popular streaming apps that are built for the Xumo operating system, including Netflix, Prime Video, YouTube, Hulu, Disney Plus, Paramount Plus, Starz, YouTube TV, Sling TV and Comcast’s own Peacock. Unlike other operating systems, which require apps to be downloaded from a store, Xumo TVs come with apps pre-installed on the device — so users just need to open an app, log in and start streaming.
“We’re focused on removing the complexity that’s come with the rise of streaming, enabling consumers to get back to enjoying their TV experience,” Stephanie Cassi, the senior vice president of sales and marketing at Xumo, said in a statement on Thursday.
The manufacturing partnership between Xumo and TCL builds on an existing agreement that involves tapping into Xumo’s technology platform to power a new version of TCL’s free, ad-supported streaming service. The refreshed app, called TCL TV Plus, started rolling out to TCL-branded TV sets running Android TV in late August.
The retail agreement between TCL and Xumo will see Pioneer-made TV sets sold exclusively at Best Buy stores and on the Best Buy website, with the first models expected to land on shelves and online in November. Neither company has confirmed if TCL will make Xumo-powered TVs under its own brand name and whether those models could be sold at other retailers like Amazon, Walmart or Costco.
In addition to TCL, Chinese electronics maker Hisense and South Carolina-based TV manufacturer Element are also offering Xumo-powered TV sets at Best Buy and other retail locations. Customer reviews from verified purchasers have praised Xumo TVs for their easy-to-use interface, which borrows from Comcast’s proprietary X1 operating system.
“The picture is clear, the [user interface] has so much to offer but doesn’t feel overwhelming, and I can always find my way back,” one shopper wrote in a review posted to the website of Meijer, a chain retailer that operates primarily in the Midwest.
Another reviewer who purchased their Xumo TV at Best Buy said they appreciated the fact that the devices come with popular streaming apps pre-installed.
“The picture quality looks great, and I really like how it already comes with all my favorite streaming apps pre-downloaded and mixed together,” the reviewer wrote. “Helps me find something to watch in a few clicks.”