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T-Mobile’s TVision live TV streaming service starts at $10 a month, with a catch

Cord-cutters will soon have yet another option when it comes to ditching their cable or satellite subscriptions: T-Mobile is launching TVision, a live TV streaming service that starts at just $10 per month, with special bundles for live news, sports, entertainment, and premium channels. It launches November 1, but unlike competitors such as YouTube TV, Sling TV, or Hulu + Live TV, you must be a qualifying T-Mobile subscriber to sign up for TVision.

T-Mobile TVision

If you are a T-Mobile customer (or you become one), the company claims you can save up to half of your regular cable bill. “A TV package on the average cable bill costs $156 — and that’s before add-on fees,” according to the TVision website. Your actual savings will depend a lot on which TVision package you choose, but there’s no doubt that you can spend as little as $10 per month if your needs are minimal.

All T-Mobile customers on one of the company’s post-paid mobile plans are eligible to sign up for TVision. Like other live streaming services, there’s no cancellation fee and no contract for TVision.

Device support

You can download the TVision app for Android and iOS mobile devices and the following streaming devices:

These smart TV platforms will also get access to the app:

  • Android TV-based models from Hisense, Sony, Philips, Sharp, Westinghouse, Epson, and TCL.
  • Fire TV Edition models from Toshiba and Insignia.

The big omissions here are Roku devices and Roku TVs, and game consoles like the PlayStation 3, 4 and 5, and Microsoft’s Xbox series of consoles. Smart TVs from LG and Samsung (which use proprietary operating systems) and web browsers are also not among the supported choices at launch.

T-Mobile TVision Hub and Remote

T-Mobile has also created an Android TV-based streaming device of its own called TVision Hub. It’s very similar to both the Chromecast with Google TV and the TiVo Stream 4K and has an identical price of $50.

On November 1, the Hub will be available for purchase on the TVision website, or at retailers. T-Mobile hasn’t published any specifications for the Hub, but based on its price and similarities to the devices mentioned above, it’s a good bet it will support 4K, HDR (possibly with Dolby Vision), and Dolby Atmos, making it an excellent alternative to Roku and Fire TV devices.

Channels and packages

Here’s what T-Mobile is offering:

  • TVision Live ($40 per month, 34 channels)
    • Live news, sports, entertainment, and family channels including:
      NBC, ABC, Fox, (but not CBS)
      ESPN, ESPN 2, FS1, FS2, NBCSN, HLN
      CNN, CNBC, MSNBC, Fox News, Fox Business, ABC News Live
      Bravo, Cozi TV, E!, FX, FXX, NatGeo, Oxygen, Syfy, TBS, TNT, truTV, USA
      Cartoon Network, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD, Freeform
  • TVision Live+ ($50 per month, 57 channels)
    • All of the Live channels plus:
      NBC Sports, ACC Network, Big Ten Network, ESPN College Extra, ESPNews, ESPNU, Golf Channel, NFL Network, Olympic Channel, ESPN SEC
      FXM, NatGeo Wild, TCM
  • TVision Live Zone ($60 per month, 66 channels)
    • All of the Live/Live+ channels plus:
      Longhorn Network, Mav TV, NFL RedZone, Outside TV
      CNBC World
      Boomerang, Universal Kids

All TVision Live plans come with access to a video-on-demand library with over 10,000 shows and movies, plus 100 hours of DVR storage.

  • TVision Vibe ($10 per month, 34 channels)
    • Comedy, lifestyle, kids, and drama content including:
      AMC, Animal Planet, BBC America, BET, BET Her, CMT, Comedy Central, Discovery Channel, DIY Network, Food Network, Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Drama, Hallmark Movies and Mysteries, HGTV, IFC, Investigation Discovery, MotorTrend, MTV, MTV Classic, MTV2, OWN, Paramount Network, SundanceTV, TLC, Travel Channel, TV Land, VH1, WE tv, BBC World News, Nick Jr., Nickelodeon East, Nickelodeon West, Nicktoons, TeenNick

TVision Vibe doesn’t get on-demand access or DVR recording, but the DVR feature can be added for $5 per month.

  • TVision Channels (starting at $6 per month)
    • Premium subscription add-ons including:
      Starz, Showtime, and Epix

These are good bundles, but strangely, even though there are many ViacomCBS channels on deck like Paramount Network, BET, MTV, and Comedy Central, CBS itself is absent from the mix. “If customers want to stream CBS,” a T-Mobile spokesperson told Digital Trends, “they can for just $5.99 with CBS AllAccess, and we felt no need to try and replicate that.”

Viewing experience

Each TVision account can create up to 10 profiles to remember bookmarks in content.

You can watch the TVision Live bundles on up to three screens at once, while the TVision Vibe package only supports two simultaneous sessions. However, in all cases, simultaneous device use must happen within the same home as the first device that starts streaming. In other words, you won’t be able to watch at home while a child watches on the same account at someone else’s home.

You can stream TVision on the go using mobile data, but there’s no downloading of content for offline viewing, even with on-demand titles.

Parental controls (via a PIN) can be set to prevent access to mature content.

How does TVision compare?

If you subscribed to all of the available channels (TVision Live Zone plus TVision Vibe) you’d be paying $70 per month for 100 channels. That’s $5 more per month than YouTube TV, which has 85-plus channels, including CBS.

Though CBS is absent from TVision, sports fans actually get more for their money. To get NFL RedZone and Mav TV on YouTube TV, you need to subscribe to the $11 per month Sports Plus extra. On the other hand, YouTube TV includes an unlimited DVR.

TVision Vibe at just $10 per month is bound to be the most compelling for cord-cutters who miss traditional cable TV channels. It’s $20 less expensive than Sling TV‘s Sling Blue or Orange packages but doesn’t offer as broad a selection of content.

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Simon Cohen
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