What you need to know
- T-Mobile has unveiled its new live television streaming service, called "TVision."
- TVision Live TV costs $40/month for 30+ channels, including sports and local networks.
- Also announced is the TVision Hub — an Android TV streaming device that'll set you back $50.
The streaming market is one that's always changing, with 2020 alone seeing a lot of activity in the space. Peacock and HBO Max launched, YouTube TV increased its price (again), and Quibi peaced out after just six months. Now, T-Mobile is inserting itself in the streaming wars with the launch of TVision (opens in new tab).
While TVision is the overarching name for what T-Mobile's offering, it consists of a few different parts. The first of which is TVision Live TV, which is the core plan that's meant to compete with the likes of YouTube TV and Hulu with Live TV. It costs $40/month and gives you over 30 channels — including the likes of ESPN, Cartoon Network, Disney, CNN, and local networks. You also get access to three simultaneous streams and 100 hours of cloud DVR.
There are then two upgrades from the core TVision Live TV plan, the first being TVision Live TV+. You'll spend $50/month and gain access to 10 other channels, such as TCM, NFL Network, and Nat Geo Wild. If you want to go all out, TVision Live Zone goes up to $60/month and adds 10 more channels on top of everything else (the most noteworthy being NFL Red Zone).
But wait, we're not done yet. T-Mobile is also looking to target budget-minded shoppers with its $10/month TVision Vibe service. This includes 30 channels, including some big names like AMC, Animal Planet, Discovery, Food Network, HGTV, Nickelodeon, TLC, and others. You don't get access to any sports channels, and Vibe only supports two simultaneous streams with no cloud DVR functionality.
And, through TVision Channels, you can subscribe to Starz ($9/month), Showtime ($11/month), and EPIX ($6/month).
That's a lot to keep track of, so here's a quick recap of everything:
- TVision Live TV — $40/month for 30+ news, lifestyle, and sports channels. Also includes three simultaneous streams and 100 hours of cloud DVR.
- TVision Live TV+ — $50/month for everything included in the regular Live TV plan plus 10 extra channels.
- TVision Live Zone — $60/month for everything included in Live TV and Live TV+ in addition to 10 more channels.
- TVision Vibe — $10/month for 30 news and lifestyle channels, along with two simultaneous streams. You don't get cloud DVR, sports channels, or local networks.
- TVision Channels — Subscribe to Starz, Showtime, and/or EPIX and have them integrated within the TVision app.
The TVision service officially launches on November 1 for T-Mobile wireless customers, and any plans you sign up for will be added to your regular T-Mobile bill. TVision will then expand to legacy Sprint customers later in November, for pre-paid T-Mobile customers in 2021, and "eventually" will be available for everyone regardless if they're a T-Mobile customer or not.
If you sign up for Live TV+ or Live Zone by December 31, you'll get 12 months of Apple TV+ for free. You'll also get the option to purchase a new Apple TV 4K for just $99 (normally $179).
As for where you can watch TVision, it'll be available on Android, iOS, Android TV/Google TV, Apple TV, and Amazon Fire TV. If you don't currently have access to any of those smart TV platforms, you can buy the new TVision Hub streaming device for $50. It looks like a pretty basic Android TV streamer, offering built-in Google Assistant and customized buttons specifically for TVision.
T-Mobile's various plans and naming schemes are easy to poke fun at, but TVision does look like a legitimately compelling service. With YouTube TV now costing $65/month, the idea of having an option to get news, lifestyle, and sports channels for just $40/month is really compelling. As someone that doesn't give two touchdowns about sports, the TVision VIbe plan for just $10/month really has my attention.
T-Mobile's entering a crowded playing field with TVision, but if it can maintain those low prices unlike some of its competitors, we could be looking at one of the better options for live TV access.
If you are going to offer plans in the $60 range, you have to compete with YouTube TV, and because of that you had better offer unlimited DVR at that point, otherwise why? Plus YouTube TV's integration with my home (TV's, google smart displays etc) is key to getting me to switch.
Without SNY or other regional sports channels this is a non-starter. There's little reason to watch live TV without sports. Also, I don't want another dongle/remote combo. I already have Roku and Google TV.
No CBS and no Roku
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