Add Walmart to the list of companies that’s trying to sell you a Chromecast-like HDMI streaming stick: The retail giant’s Vudu streaming service is getting ready to unveil a HDMI stick dubbed Vudu Spark that is meant to — surprise — give users access to Vudu. The stick popped up in the FCC database this week, which tends to be a good sign that a release is imminent.
A Vudu spokesperson confirmed plans to release the device, sending me the following statement via email:
At VUDU, we’re always looking at new ways for our customers to experience the movies and TV shows in their VUDU library. We’re developing a streaming stick and will share more information in the coming months, so stay tuned.
The filing, which was done on behalf of the device’s South Korean manufacturer Inktel Corporation, comes with a bunch of unredacted details, including photos of the device as well as a user manual that describes the pretty straightforward functionality of the Spark streaming stick: Upon starting it for the very first time, users have to set up their Wi-Fi network. After that, it automatically launches into the Vudu app.
There is no mention of any other apps or features, so it looks like the Vudu Spark is very much a one-trick pony. The device does come with a remote control to navigate through the on-screen menus of the Vudu app, which uses Zigbee RF as opposed to Wi-Fi Direct, so you shouldn’t expect Miracast or any similar type of mirroring functionality either.
[company]Walmart[/company] filed for a trademark for Vudu Spark last month, but the Spark streaming stick isn’t listed on Walmart’s or Vudu’s website just yet. My guess is that Walmart will try to sell this device as cheap as possible to compete with Chromecast and Roku’s streaming stick on price if it can’t do so on features alone.
This post was updated at 1:10pm with a statement from Walmart / Vudu.