A T-Mobile Android TV device (or rather, its remote) has passed through the FCC.It would include quick access to Netflix and YouTube on top of Google Assistant.
T-Mobile appears to be the next big US carrier to turn to Android TV for a set-top box, in this case for its TVision streaming service.
The 9to5Google team reports that T-Mobile has passed a remote control for the media device through the FCC. While the filing doesn’t show the device itself, what’s present says a lot about the provider’s plans.
The prominent Google Assistant button and a manual reference to an “Android home” button are clear giveaways to the presence of Android TV. It’s also evident that T-Mobile will treat the device as a general media hub with prominent Netflix and YouTube shortcut keys. The hardware may be focused on TVision, but it clearly won’t be exclusive.
Even the manufacturer of the remote, SEI Robotics, is well-known for making Android TV devices like the AirTV Mini and TiVo Stream 4K.
It’s not surprising that T-Mobile would be readying its own Android TV hardware.
The filing doesn’t provide any clues as to when T-Mobile’s streaming device might reach customers, although the product is close enough that the company is comfortable showing features.
It’s not surprising that T-Mobile would be readying its own Android TV hardware. As with other American telecoms’ devices, a dedicated device guarantees customers easy access to a given service no matter what equipment they have in their living rooms. They don’t have to download an app to get started.
It also provides an incentive to stay with the service. If you can watch live TV and all your favorite streaming services through one box, you may be less inclined to leave TVision for a competing service that either requires a new gadget or won’t be quite as harmonious. It’s just a question of whether or not T-Mobile’s Android TV hardware will be compelling.
Next: Android TV brands really need to address the Netflix button