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T-Mobile enters television market in eight cities with pricey TVision Home, promising ‘BS-free TV’

T-Mobile has today announced its TV plans with the arrival of TVision Home. The new service is the carrier’s attempt to take on traditional cable providers and will be launching in eight cities next week. T-Mobile is touting TVision Home as “BS-free” with “no hidden fees, no bill creep or exploding offers, no annual service contracts and no crappy customer service.” However, the service comes with a high price that may not be too different from average cable bills.

T-Mobile announced TVision Home is built upon Layer3 TV which it acquired back at the end of 2017. The service will first launch in eight cities on April 14 with more cities coming “later this year.”

TVision Home is launching in Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Washington DC metro areas, as well as Longmont CO, with other markets coming later this year. The Un-carrier is also launching Satellite Freedom and will pay off early contract termination fees for Dish and DirecTV customers, up to $500 via prepaid card, when they switch to TVision Home. T-Mobile also announced that Netflix and other streaming apps will be available on TVision Home, and the Un-carrier shared plans for TVision to run on popular third-party TV platforms in the future.

Here are the highlights of the new TV option:

  • TV That Learns You: Traditional TV is completely impersonal, but TVision Home changes all that with an AI-driven personalized UI that gets smarter the more you watch. And it remembers more than what you watch…it remembers when you watch it, and where you watch it, serving up your favorite shows based on the hour and location.
  • Personalized Experience for the Whole Family: TVision Home boasts a personalized experience for everyone in the house, with an individual DVR, home screen and profile for every user, so you record only the shows you want – multiple programs at once! You get a massive 1 terabyte of storage – that’s 400+ hours of DVR in HD.
  • Smart Home Connected with On-screen Social Media: TVision Home is connected to your digital life and your devices. View a slideshow of your Facebook videos and picture, check your Twitter profiles, use your voice to control TVision Home with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, and monitor your front door with access to your security cameras, all right from your TV.
  • Streaming & Cable Together: TVision Home launches with apps for Pandora, iHeartRadio, XUMO, CuriosityStream, Toon Goggles and HSN. And with an open platform, more apps are coming soon, including Netflix, YouTube, YouTube Kids and more! And, T-Mobile will soon release a companion app for iOS and Android, allowing you to stream all your TV to your smartphone anywhere in the house.

While TVision features Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant control, Siri and HomeKit aren’t included, at least for now.

As for its BS-free claim, here’s what T-Mobile says it will do different than the big cable companies:

BS-Free TV
Because TVision Home is from T-Mobile, there are no hidden fees, no bill creep or exploding offers, no annual service contracts and no crappy customer service. BS-Free TV means:

  • Dedicated Customer Care. TVision Home customers get a TVision-dedicated customer care team from the company that ranks #1 in wireless customer service satisfaction year after year.
  • No Hidden Fees. Big Cable loves fees like Broadcast Fees, HD fees, Activation fees and Early Termination Fees. And, all those fees add to as much as 40% of a cable customers’ bills – that’s up to $737 a year in hidden fees1! Not with TVision Home. Our straightforward pricing doesn’t have pages of extra fees, so you’ll never experience bill shock again. 
  • No Bill Creep or Exploding Pricing. Traditional cable and satellite TV locks consumers into a two-year contract with one rate, and then – surprise! – after the first year, they get “thanked” for their loyalty with a bill that’s up to 144% higher2. DirecTV Xtra is advertised at $55/month, but in year 2 of the contract, it’ll cost you $124/month – and that doesn’t even include the $8.49/month regional sports fee or all the other fees. With TVision Home, your price stays the same, unless you change it. Period. 
  • One consistent price for a full channel lineup.  TVision Home launches at $90/month (including a $9.99/month discount for T-Mobile customers … but available to everyone for a limited time) which includes 150+ channels, local broadcast, regional sports and more. Plus $10/month per connected TV, including your whole-home DVR for a limited time. Any premium TV packages – like HBO, Showtime and others – or on-demand rentals and purchases are extra. Compare that to the average cable bill of $107.30/month. 

Even though pricing may be consistent, it seems like it could add up quickly. With a $90/month base price, $10/month per TV, and add-ons like HBO, TVision Home pricing could easily come in above the average $107 cable bill that T-Mobile notes. Also with this pricing, T-Mobile won’t be competing with other streaming services like Hulu’s Live TV, YouTube TV, and DirecTV Now.

In addition to the initial eight city city rollout next week, TVision Home will be on display at T-Mobile stores. Check out the promo video below for a closer look.

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Avatar for Michael Potuck Michael Potuck

Michael is an editor for 9to5Mac. Since joining in 2016 he has written more than 3,000 articles including breaking news, reviews, and detailed comparisons and tutorials.