Remember Walmart’s very own HDMI streaming stick, which I spotted in the FCC’s online database two months ago? Turns out Walmart already started selling it for just $24.95, and is now getting ready to make it more widely available.
Walmart’s Vudu video streaming service just added a dedicated section for the Vudu Spark, as the streaming stick is called, to its website that includes lots of details about the device. Vudu’s website states that the is “available only at Walmart.com and select Walmart locations.” I wasn’t able to find it on Walmart’s website just yet, but I would expect it to make an appearance shortly. A Walmart spokesperson told me that the company actually started selling it “in about 2400 Walmart stores” last month already.
Here are a few more details about the Spark, straight from Vudu.com: It’s a HDMI streaming stick that is controlled with a dedicated remote control and powered via USB. It looks like Walmart is only putting a USB cable but no power adapter in the box, so Spark owners will either have to use their TV’s USB port to power the device, or supply their own adapter. Connectivity is provided via 802.11 b/g/n 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi, and it supports video resolutions of up to 1080p, and 7.1 surround sound.
As I predicted back in November, Vudu Spark is very much a one-trick pony. The user manual reveals that it only comes with Vudu’s app preloaded, and there is no mention of any way to load any additional apps. In fact, Vudu’s app launches automatically as soon as the device successfully connects to a Wifi network.
I’m honestly not sure how big of a market there is for a single-purpose streaming stick, but Walmart is pricing it pretty aggressively. Not only does it cost $10 less than Chromecast, the company is also offering new and existing customers up to $25 in Vudu credits for activating the stick.
This post was updated throughout at 3:36pm with additional information about availability and pricing.