Rumors Claim that Facebook is Planning the Release of a TV Device

By Bill Toulas / September 14, 2019

Variety reports that Facebook is planning to launch a TV streaming device before Christmas, and the news outlet invokes multiple sources on the matter. However, we are reproducing this with relative reservedness, as there are no official announcements or statements that confirm or deny the reports. If this is true, Facebook will go directly against Roku TV, Apple TV, Fire TV, and everyone who wants or already has a piece of the most central device of your living room. This would be almost impossible to do for a company smaller and less financial powerful than Facebook. Mature markets that are already crowded by established players are not easy to enter just like that.

Based on what Variety has managed to source, the new device will feature a camera and far-field microphones, so it is almost certain that it is going to support the Facebook Portal platform. Remember, Portal is a platform and series of devices that enables video chatting via Facebook Messenger. Furthermore, the device will reportedly sport an integrated speaker, because apparently, Facebook thinks that most TVs feature cheap speakers that distort audio and undermine the overall experience. All of the above will be housed in a single device, sitting on the top of your TV.

According to more details that have reportedly leaked, the new device will be running a customized version of Google’s Android, exactly as previous Portal devices do. Facebook has apparently made this decision on the basis of compatibility and support, both for their own Oculus Go and Oculus Quest VR, as well as for other content providers. So, the hopes are high that this new device will bring augmented reality (AR) onto the TV screens of the users, which will make a huge difference against the competition.

Finally, there are details about the focal point of the new device, and that is going to be the content and not the Portal platform. Variety has previously reported that Facebook approached Netflix and Disney in July, discussing an agreement to put their contents onto this new TV device. Whether any media companies agreed with Facebook or not remains completely unknown at this time, but these negotiations indicate that the social media giant is after content services here. Whatever the truth is, we will get to know about this Facebook device soon, so stay tuned.

Would you hook up Facebook’s new device on your TV, or do you just not trust them? Let us know in the comments below, or join the discussion on our social media channels, on Facebook and Twitter.

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