Walmart Onn Streaming Devices For Travel

Walmart Onn Streaming Devices For Travel

June 2, 2021 Travel Tech Blog Travel WiFi Blog 0

Walmart recently launched a “house brand” streaming stick to compete with the likes of Amazon’s Fire TV and Roku devices. The relatively quiet launch spread quickly throughout the internet. The move brings a new player to the already crowded, but increasingly polarized field of streaming devices and sticks.

There is a lot to like about what we see in Walmart’s Onn streaming devices. It comes in two variations, a $30 4K streaming box and a $25 HD streaming stick. The devices are powered by Google TV (formerly known as Android TV). They come with a remote control and a full user interface with apps you can install. They also support Google’s Chromecast, so you can cast your streams directly from your phone. You’ll also be able to cast your phone’s screen or your laptop to them, which makes them very versatile.

What’s In the Box

Both versions of the device come with a device (streaming box for the 4K version, streaming stick for the HD only version), remote and a power cable. Both devices are powered by Google TV’s interface. They both feature Google Assistant as well.

Walmart Onn With Google TV Interface

Since the Walmart Onn device’s will use Google TV’s interface the device is truly independent. You can control the device with the remote and you won’t need to pull out your phone. Also, the device actually installs the apps from the Google Play store.

Also, unlike most new device launches the Google Play store is already filled with the most popular streaming apps on the market. With the exception of Apple TV plus nearly every major service is available.

Walmart Onn For Travel

The Walmart Onn looks like it will make for a solid travel streaming stick or device. It’s Google TV interface supports captive portals, which is a key requirement for any streaming device you want to take with you on the road. While browsing through the captive portals with the remote can be a bit cumbersome, we did not have any trouble seeing the portal displayed or entering information.

What Is A Captive Portal?

If you are unfamiliar with captive portals, they are the popups you get that prompt you to login or provide additional information prior to using the Hotel, AirBnb or other locations WiFi. Captive portals are rarely used at most AirBnb’s. However, at most hotels they are common place. Very few hotels allow you to use their WiFi without accepting terms and conditions, entering a room name, an additional password screen or other consideration.

Where The Walmart Onn Streaming Devices Fit Market Wise

Market wise the Walmart device fills a need. While Roku and Amazon often discount their devices in the $30-40 range, both companies have largely abandoned this space with a dedicated offering. All of the latest generation Roku’s and Fire TV sticks start at $40 or higher. Much of the price increase can be attributed to the additional hardware now that they support 4K across their lineups.

The challenge for travelers looking for a value play is that 4K TVs will highly common in homes, are still rarely found on the road. Even the newest hotels are still primarily installing HD TVs. In addition, notorious limited and unreliable hotel WiFi rarely has the available bandwidth to maintain a full 4K stream.

What this means is the regularly priced at $25 HD only Onn streaming stick is perfectly positioned as a travel streaming stick. Cheap enough to buy and leave in your luggage so you always have it available.

Walmart Onn and a Travel Router

We’d still highly recommend using a travel router when traveling with this new Walmart Onn with Google TV device. There are two primary reasons:

  1. While the device and streaming stick do support captive portals, it can still be painful to navigate most portals with a remote, rather than a mouse or mobile device.
  2. If you bring more than 1-2 devices when traveling the effort needed to connect each device to the captive portal can still be a burden.
  3. If you’d like to take advantage of the casting features of the Walmart Onn you’ll still need a travel router to avoid the security restrictions that prevent casting.

This is in addition to a number of other benefits you’ll see from the best travel routers such as optimized and improved travel WiFi experiencehigher security without needing a separate app and simpler overall experience connecting without needing a lot of technical know-how.

Common Problems and Solutions

Finding Power For Your Amazon Fire TV Stick In A Hotel – Many hotel rooms don’t make it easy to find power sources for your streaming stick. Here are a few tips and tricks that may help you.

Changing Input On Hotel TVs – many hotel TVs don’t make it easy or obvious how to change the input on the TV. This guide will provide a few tips and tricks.

Resolving Issues With The Captive Portal – while this device works with many captive portals, you may still encounter a situation where you cannot scroll, browse or enter information into a hotels captive portal. Here are a few tips and tricks to bypass the captive portal.