Today’s Tech News and Reviews
For some reason, T-Mobile felt that the normal Google Chromecast was boring. That it could use a facelift by branding it with the T-Mobile brand and giving it a new name. With that, the T-Mobile TVision HUB was born. A device that the company doesn’t appear to have really put much effort into advertising, as this one kind of snuck under the radar.
It really is just a modified Google Chromecast dongle though. It’s the same shape and size as the original Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra pucks too. However, they did bring the Ethernet port directly to it, allowing you to go wired for a more stable connection. A useful feature when it comes to gaining a more stable connection to your network if you don’t have a flagship router with strong Wi-Fi.
There is also a USB-C port for accessories in addition to the usual micro-USB port (that is used for power) So it does have a few changes, both of which can be useful. But then again, were they necessary, and is it worth $50?
In our opinion, not really. Google’s Chromecast has already moved on to a new design and the new base model has obtained the benefits of the Ultra and then some (causing the Ultra to be unofficially discontinued). It also retails for $50, although it is on sale right now for only $39. So it features a newer design and a better price point than T-Mobile’s TVision unit.
So in the end, it was just another opportunity to release something random carrying the T-Mobile branding. Also so that the TVision brand lives on somehow since the TVision streaming service got the cut quite quickly, as not enough subscribers bothered with it.
The only benefit it has over the current Chromecast is the extra USB port for accessories. The new Chromecast doesn’t need it though as it supports Bluetooth connectivity for such (they both do). Google also dropped the micro-USB port and replaced it with a USB-C port for power.
As for the Ethernet port, many have been talking about how this is a new improvement. However, the original puck-style Chromecast already supported Ethernet. Only it does so through the USB plug, passing both power and Ethernet down the same micro-USB cable (the new one probably does the same through the USB-C port, although we haven’t tested this yet). This helps keep Ethernet low to the plug without having to run it up to the TV where the Chromecast (if you already have the plug running down and away from the TV for power). You just need a wall adapter that has Ethernet built in, unless your Chromecast comes with one
You can also run Ethernet to the Amazon Fire TV Sticks as well through the same process. We even ran a story covering how this could be done (comparing it to how Chromecast does it).
If we had to pick between any of the devices, we would default to the Fire TV 4K Stick, with Google’s own Chromecast as a second-place option. We love T-Mobile as a company, but we just can’t justify any reasons to jump on the TVision Hub.
Tracy comes with a background in computer science and engineering. She has a vast knowledge of consumer electronics, an avid RC/drone hobbyist and has been benchmarking both electronics and applications since 16 years of age. She has authored 3 personal blogs since 1999 and written for ProAudio magazine. The best way to win her heart, is a box of german truffles.
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