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New Android TV stick bearing Walmart’s Onn brand surfaces

(Images courtesy FCC/Graphic by The Desk)

Documents filed with federal regulators on Monday offered a sneak peek at a new Android TV device that is being designed by Walmart’s in-house electronics brand Onn.

The new Android TV device takes a familiar stick form similar to that of the TiVo Stream 4K, Air TV Mini, Mi TV Stick and Google with Chromecast TV. It is limited to high-definition resolution, meaning it won’t offer much punch for those using an ultra-high definition (4K) TV set, but it does include an HDMI extender, USB extender and Google Assistant-powered voice remote with shortcut buttons to Netflix, YouTube, HBO Max and Disney Plus.

Photos of the device and other documentation, including a rough draft user’s manual, were submitted to the Federal Communications Commission to secure a certification of compliance that is needed in order to sell the hardware in the United States. Walmart has not formally announced the Android TV stick, and while it’s submission to the FCC makes it more likely than not that the retailer will eventually offer it, there’s no guarantee it will see the light of day.

But if it does, it would mark a shift in strategy for Onn, which for years has offered smart TV sets and other hardware with Roku’s operating system built-in. The revelation also comes as Walmart and Comcast are said to have held discussions over integrating the cable company’s X1 platform into some Onn smart TV devices, which could still happen.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).