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Walmart is readying its own Android TV streaming stick

Walmart Onn. 2K Streaming Stick

Walmart has been slowly dipping its toes into the streaming devices game, thanks to its Onn. brand’s partnership with Roku. Now, however, it looks like the massive retailer wants another option for its store shelves: A recently spotted Federal Communications Commission (FCC) certification lists specifications and photos for an Onn. 2K Streaming Stick, powered by Android TV.

The photos reveal what is a very standard-looking streaming stick — black, around four inches long, with an HDMI plug at one end and a MicroUSB port at the other end. The thick, rounded body bears the Walmart-owned Onn. branding. The included USB cable, power adapter, and HDMI extension cable are all exactly what you’d find with a Roku, Mi, or Amazon Fire TV streaming stick.

Walmart Onn. 2K Streaming Stick

The one element that is decidedly different is the white remote control, which bears a strong resemblance to the unit that ships with the $50 Google Chromecast with Google TV. It has a wealth of buttons and functions including power on/off, volume, mute, channel up/down, Google Assistant, input selection, and quick access for Netflix, HBO Max, YouTube, and Disney+. It also has a bookmark button, which is the first time we’ve seen such a button on an Android TV remote.

We’re a bit baffled by the name of the device. In the world of TV video, there are really only three common standards for high-resolution — HD (720p), Full HD (1080p), and 4K (UHD) — with 8K being the fourth, less common standard. Technically speaking, “2K” resolution is something you only see on projectors, and even then it’s fairly rare. The 2K Streaming Stick’s internal chipset — an Amlogic S805Y — is officially only capable of supporting up to 1080p at 60Hz, with HDR10 and HLG compatibility. These are pretty decent specs for a budget streaming device (in fact it’s the same capability as the Amazon Fire TV Stick and Fire TV Stick Lite), but we wouldn’t call it “2K.”

We could be seeing the dawn of a new naming standard — albeit one that is not especially accurate. CNET claims that 2K is picking up steam as the new name for Full HD devices, much like 4K became preferred to UHD. We’re not fans of this naming convention, but as more companies choose to use it for its marketing power (2K sounds closer to 4K than “Full HD”), there’s probably not much we can do about it.

The 2K Streaming Stick will have Full HD and it will have HDR, but at the moment, it doesn’t look like it will support Dolby Atmos. The FCC documentation includes a PDF of the user manual, and while it lists Dolby Audio, it doesn’t mention Atmos.

It’s unclear when Walmart will release the Onn. 2K Streaming Stick, but we’re guessing that when it debuts, it will be very competitively priced — possibly undercutting the already incredibly cheap $30 Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite.

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