T-Mobile has officially launched TVision, a new live TV service that the company promises to shock the cable industry in the same way T-Mobile’s aggressive plans and the “Uncarrier” move. has helped drive the mobile industry forward.
As it did with mobile, T-Mobile is outperforming the relatively cheap price of the service (although it remains to be seen whether T-Mobile can really maintain the $ 10 and $ 40 prices. yelling that long or not). But when you actually use TVision apps, the experience is as basic as it gets.
I spent a few days trying out TVision on both the iPad and the T-Mobile branded Android TV dongle, the TVision Hub. The two apps are virtually identical, dividing the main navigation into the Home, Guide, Program, DVR, and Search menus. And the app works the same, no matter what package or plan you have. The only difference is how many channels you will watch and how much content is required.
Home, as the name suggests, is the main screen you̵7;ll see on upload, with multiple scroll carousels highlighting featured content (like a major sports game), along with specific rows for news live, sports, and on-demand content recommendations.
The tutorial menu is the most useful part of the application. It’s a traditional channel guide like you’d see on any cable box, letting you know what’s available on all the channels you subscribe to, and what’s next. You can also click for more information or schedule a recording.
Navigate around very quickly, like actually flipping between channels or fast forwarding and rewinding recorded content. It works fine, but don’t expect to see any fancy bells and whistles.
The TVision app itself is quite simple, which seems to be at least partly due to the service’s novelty. It’s easy to point out the things TVision is missing: there’s no web app so you can’t actually watch live TV on your computer, and Chromecast or AirPlay isn’t supported at launch – though apps The built-in smart TV makes that less likely. (There is no Roku app, however.) Other basic features, like filtering or hiding channels you don’t want to see in the guide all the time, are also not available on the mobile apps.
You get basic parental controls, but they’re wide-ranging – lock any movie or TV show on a specific rating after the PIN – and don’t allow for more granular controls or limit the time using the device.
However, TVision’s cloud-based DVR does a good job; it records the actual live broadcast of a TV show or movie instead of switching to an on-demand version, even though you are limited to 100 hours of content per user. TVision supports up to 10 profiles, but those 100 hours are pooled for all users, and you can only have up to three concurrent streams (only two if you only subscribe to a $ 10 Vibe plan per month). Nor are there many options for recording, such as new episodes of a TV show, something services like TiVo have allowed for years.
Finally, it also has a variety of on-demand content sourced from the various channels TVision offers. The line-up isn’t particularly great, but if you happen to come across something you’d like to see, it’s an option. Some on-demand content has advertisements, while other shows and movies do not; It mainly depends on what you want to see.
That’s the last part of TVision: its recommended features or the lack of them. Where services like Netflix will work to throw specific shows and movies at you they think you’ll like, TVision’s content management capabilities are slim to none. (Nowhere is this better than the Programs and Movies tab, which only shows a list of TV shows and movies without a real distinction between on-demand or upcoming live content.)
It’s still early days for TVision (which has literally been around for a long time) and presumably, T-Mobile will continue to build it as time goes by. Currently, if you are looking for an alternative to cable, T-Mobile’s service will do just that. But don’t expect more than that.
TVision is available to all T-Mobile postpaid customers. Sprint users will have access by the end of November, with the service set to become more widely available to all users by 2021.