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The device is free for Verizon customers but there’s a big catch
2019-11-13 21:15:28 UTC
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Launching a new streaming device in 2019 requires ticking a few boxes if you want consumers to purchase it. Top of the list is support for all the major streaming services, a feature Verizon seems to have overlooked for its new Stream TV device.
As 9To5Google reports, Verizon just launched its Verizon Stream TV. The little black box is free if you are a Verizon 5G Home subscriber, but if you want more than one, each additional box costs $69.99. In return, Verizon is offering 4K streaming and access to the Google Assistant.
There’s a question mark over why you would spend $70 on this device when other 4K streaming hardware can be picked up for far less. A good example is the Roku Premiere, which costs $40. But the real kicker for anyone hooking up the Stream TV is a complete lack of support for Netflix.
It’s unclear why the Stream TV doesn’t allow access to Netflix. It’s actually an Android TV device with built-in Chromecast, access to “appropriate apps from the Google Play Store,” and Yahoo apps come pre-loaded. You can access YouTube TV (Verizon includes a free month), MLB TV, HBO, STARZ, and Disney+. So while you won’t be left without plenty of content to watch, the lack of Netflix is sure to put a lot of consumers off using the Stream TV, even if they do get one for free.
As the Stream TV can access the Play Store, it seems likely you could simply download the Netflix app for Android and gain access that way. However, Verizon may not allow access to the app and the Stream TV probably isn’t certified by Netflix as a supported device. It may be possible to work around such limitations, but we really shouldn’t have to. Hopefully Verizon realizes Netflix support is important and adds it in the near future.
This article originally published at PCMag here