In case you missed it, it looks like Verizon might be trying its hand again at TV streaming.
A new device with the model number VZJS8V recently made its way through the FCC. This device appears to be a TV-related box and while the details are quite limited, the big headline is that the device is branded in the FCC paperwork as “Stream TV.”
As is often the case with FCC listings, the details are scarce to say the least. The label is usually one of the bigger telling points as it can often reveal elements such as the shape, design and so on. On this occasion, it is not that much help although the label does point to HDMI and Dolby Atmos support included, while elsewhere in the paperwork references are made to Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and the included remote controller – all of which further adds to its assumed TV-related status.
What might be of related interest is the FCC filing is listed under Wistron NeWeb Corp. That in itself, is not that interesting as many filings are made by this company, but the interesting bit is that this is not the only Verizon-relating filing to be made by Wistron NeWeb in the same month.
Along with the VZJS8V Wistron, NeWeb also recently filed for model number LVSKODU. Like the VZJS8V, it is the label that once again reveals this device is a Verizon branded device.
Again, this listing is also fairly limited on details but the paperwork does make it clear antennas are a big play with this second device, and this includes references to beamforming and 5G.
What actually might be the most revealing aspect is at one point during the filing the LVSKODU is referred to as a “mobile device” under its classification.
Of course, there’s nothing to say these two devices are related beyond the fact they are both branded as Verizon although their timing on passing through the FCC is interesting. Even if one device is not directly related to the other, it could be the case this Stream TV is part of a much wider Verizon product launch. Alternatively, it could actually be part of the same Stream TV product.
Wistron NeWeb is a major player in the antenna and communications world and this includes bringing connected products to market for cars and smartwatches, as well as smart home devices. Although the LVSKODU is classified as a “mobile device” in the paperwork, it is also categorized as a "transportable transmitter." It could be the case the LVSKODU is part of the underlying tech powering the Stream TV set-top box which may in turn mean Verizon is looking to offer some additional features with this device that you might not get elsewhere, such as the ability to control where a stream is sent.
If nothing else, it seems likely Verizon will market this product as a 5G-ready streaming box and this ties in nicely with Verizon's 5G ambitions in general. The only question will be if the advanced antenna tech is included in the box, will it solely be used to improve the reliability of the incoming signal to the box or also used to improve the 'streaming of TV' on other devices in the home in a similar way to what's on offer when a router utilizes beamforming.
Verizon has been putting a lot of effort into 5G recently and although only the LVSKODU specifically makes reference to 5G, Stream TV is almost certainly going to be designed to play nice, and most likely directly aimed at Verizon’s 5G customers.
While Verizon has toyed with the idea of streaming services before, it appeared to be a toying that was put on the backburner some time ago with the company opting to employ the help of YouTube TV and Apple TV to satisfy its customers TV needs. Maybe that backburning was just an attempt to delay the product until it, and the market as a whole became more ready for 5G.