Editor’s Note: T-Mobile is shutting down TVision on April 29, 2021. Learn more here.
If you want to cut the cable TV cord and switch to streaming, TVision by T-Mobile is a new option to consider.
The catch? TVision is only for T-Mobile wireless subscribers, at least for now.
TVision by T-Mobile Review: What You Need to Know
T-Mobile gave me early access to TVision and the new TVision HUB streaming device to test out for 10 days. In this article, I’ll share my personal review of the service to help you decide if it’s right for you.
Here’s everything you need to know about TVision before you sign up!
Table of Contents:
1. Plans and Pricing
T-Mobile has been offering a cable TV alternative called TVision Home in select cities since 2019, but these new plans are different. They’re cheaper, don’t require a set-top box and are available nationwide.
The new TVision app is home to three different streaming services: TVision Live, TVision Vibe and TVision Channels.
There are three TVision Live plans. These bundles cost between $40 and $60 per month (before taxes) and include sports, cable news and local stations in many areas. There are no contracts or long-term commitments.
- Live TV: $40/month
- Live TV+: $50/month
- Live Zone: $60/month
For $10 a month, TVision Vibe features 30+ entertainment networks that aren’t included in the Live TV plans.
In addition to the Live and Vibe plans, T-Mobile is bringing premium networks into the TVision app. You can subscribe to Epix, Starz and Showtime for between $5.99 and $10.99 a month each.
Unlike many of its streaming competitors, TVision is not offering a free trial to new subscribers. Get started here.
ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENT: TVision is available to T-Mobile postpaid wireless customers at launch. In 2021, T-Mobile will offer these streaming TV plans to everyone. Check T-Mobile’s website for updates.
The three TVision Live plans (Live TV, Live TV+ and Live Zone) primarily feature live sports, cable news and local stations. Meanwhile, TVision Vibe is a separate service with entertainment networks.
Some subscribers may want to add Vibe to their Live plan for a more well-rounded list of channels.
For the Live plans, you’ll get additional sports networks with the $50 and $60 plans. Live TV+ includes ACC Network, Big Ten Network, NFL Network and a few others. Meanwhile, Live Zone features NFL RedZone.
If you’re looking for CBS, you won’t find it with TVision. Here are free and cheap ways to watch CBS without cable.
Meanwhile, TVision Vibe offers entertainment and lifestyle favorites such as AMC, Food Network, Hallmark Channel, HGTV, OWN, TLC and dozens more. It reminds me of Philo.
Take a look at the channel lineups for TVision below:
|Live TV: $40/month||Live TV+: $50/month||Live Zone: $60/month||Vibe: $10/month|
|ABC News Live||ABC News Live||ABC News Live|
|ACC Network (ACCN)||ACC Network (ACCN)|
|American Heroes Channel||American Heroes Channel|
|BBC World News|
|Big Ten Network (BTN)||Big Ten Network (BTN)|
|Cartoon Network||Cartoon Network||Cartoon Network|
|Cooking Channel||Cooking Channel|
|Cozi TV||Cozi TV||Cozi TV|
|Destination America||Destination America|
|Discovery Family||Discovery Family|
|Discovery Life||Discovery Life|
|Disney Channel||Disney Channel||Disney Channel|
|Disney Jr.||Disney Jr.||Disney Jr.|
|Disney XD||Disney XD||Disney XD|
|ESPN College Extra||ESPN College Extra|
|Fox Business Network||Fox Business Network||Fox Business Network|
|Fox News Channel||Fox News Channel||Fox News Channel|
|Fox Sports 1 (FS1)||Fox Sports 1 (FS1)||Fox Sports 1 (FS1)|
|Fox Sports 2 (FS2)||Fox Sports 2 (FS2)||Fox Sports 2 (FS2)|
|Golf Channel||Golf Channel|
|Great American Country||Great American Country|
|Hallmark Movies & Mysteries|
|Investigation Discovery (ID)|
|National Geographic||National Geographic||National Geographic|
|Nat Geo Mundo|
|Nat Geo Wild||Nat Geo Wild|
|NBA TV||NBA TV|
|NBC News Now||NBC News Now||NBC News Now|
|NFL Network||NFL Network|
|Olympic Channel||Olympic Channel|
|SEC Network||SEC Network|
|Science Channel||Science Channel|
|Turner Classic Movies (TCM)||Turner Classic Movies (TCM)|
|*Check local availability|
Are four TVision plans really necessary? That was my first reaction. But then I thought about some of the feedback from Clark.com readers after YouTube TV’s multiple price hikes.
People have said they want to stream live sports and cable news, but they can live without entertainment networks.
By separating the TVision Live (sports and news) and TVision Vibe (entertainment) plans, T-Mobile is giving you more control over the networks in your lineup and your monthly bill.
3. Cloud DVR
Cloud DVR is an important feature for many streamers. With the three TVision Live plans, 100 hours of cloud DVR storage is included and recordings can be kept for up to nine months.
With the Vibe bundle, DVR is not included. You can pay $5 a month extra to receive 100 hours of cloud DVR storage.
TVision’s cloud DVR gives you the freedom to fast forward and rewind through your recordings. You can choose whether to record new episodes, new episodes and reruns, or only a single episode.
If you fill up your DVR, the first recording will be deleted automatically.
4. Compatible Devices
TVision is not compatible with Roku players at launch, but it does support Android TV, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Google TV devices to stream content to a TV set.
If you don’t already have a device, T-Mobile has introduced the TVision HUB for a one-time cost of $50.
TVision HUB is powered by Android and optimized for the TVision service. The device plugs into your TV and includes a remote with quick buttons to access the home screen, live guide and DVR.
It also works with plenty of other apps. There are buttons for Netflix and YouTube right on the remote.
TVision HUB features Google Assistant search capability. I used this often to switch channels with TVision. You just push the Google Assistant button on the remote, say the channel you want and it plays within a few seconds.
To help you find content by the channel number, the TVision HUB remote also has a numeric keypad.
And even when you’re away from a TV, you can access the service on the go. To stream using a mobile device or tablet, download the TVision app for iOS or Android from your app store.
5. Multiple Streams
TVision Live plans (Live TV, Live TV+ and Live Zone) allow you to stream on up to three devices at the same time, while TVision Vibe has a maximum of two simultaneous streams.
In addition to multiple streams, you can set up multiple profiles for the whole family. Up to 10 profiles are allowed.
If I had just one word to describe the navigation for TVision, it would be “simple.”
The TVision home screen has a carousel of featured content. Below the icons for the services you’re subscribed to, you’ll find content organized in various ways. They include:
- On Now
- Popular Shows & Movies
- Your Recordings
- Continue Watching
At launch, the home screen lacks personalization features that Netflix and Hulu are known for. T-Mobile tells me that creating a more personalized experience for users is a work in progress.
TVision’s live guide will be familiar to anyone who has had a cable or satellite TV service.
The left side of the TV guide displays channels and channel numbers. Then, you’ll see what’s on now and what’s coming up next.
If you click left on your remote, you can filter channels by sports, news, movies and kids. But there’s no further personalization.
Shows & Movies Tabs
If you’re just browsing for something to watch, you can click on the Shows and Movies tabs. From there, you’ll see a list of shows and movies that are available for streaming with TVision.
For some titles, you’ll have the choice to play the on-demand version or record a future broadcast.
The Shows and Movies tabs are more visually appealing than the TV guide, but the sections would benefit from more organization and personalization. It seems like just a massive list.
Without recommendations, I struggled to quickly find something to watch and went back to the TV guide.
7. TVision Pros and Cons
T-Mobile’s new streaming bundles are competitively priced. Other streaming services offer more networks at the same price point, but TVision’s plans include fewer of what I call “filler channels.”
If TVision has everything you want for $50 to $60 a month, you may be able to save money with the service.
Here’s a recap of TVision’s pros and cons:
|Affordable plans from $10 to $60 per month||No CBS offered|
|100 hours of cloud DVR with TVision Live plans||Roku not supported|
|Simple navigation||Eligibility requirement|
Overall, TVision offers a solid streaming experience for new and existing cord-cutters.
If you’re not a current T-Mobile postpaid wireless customer, I don’t recommend switching just to get the TV deal. But if you’re already eligible, these plans may be worth a shot.
Before you sign up for TVision, compare your options in Team Clark’s guide to the best live TV streaming services!
This article was originally written by Michael Timmermann and published on November 1, 2020.