Facebook is planning to launch a new TV box-like product soon this fall and integrate third-party streaming services or its own streaming service. According to documents obtained by The Information and two people familiar with the matter, Facebook’s new device is code-named “Catalina” and is scheduled to be released this fall.
According to the report, Catalina will use Portal’s video calling technology, which is a Facebook-based smart speaker with a screen. Like the set-top boxes like Apple TV, this device will be equipped with physical remote control and will also integrate video streaming services.
Currently, Facebook is negotiating with Netflix, Disney, Hulu, HBO, and Amazon, hoping to bring video streaming services from these companies to new devices. According to The Information, it is unclear what progress Facebook has made with these media companies but the negotiations are on.
In addition, the new device, like other TV set-top boxes, including Apple TV, will be equipped with physical remote control and integrated streaming video services.
According to the report, following Netflix and Disney, Facebook also contacted Hulu, HBO, and Amazon to discuss the integration of its video streaming service into this new device. In fact, there have been media reports on Facebook’s plans to develop a TV-connected device but did not mention other information such as the release date. At present, it is not clear how the negotiations between Facebook and the above media companies are progressing.
In October last year, Facebook launched the smart speaker “Portal”. The Portal is divided into two types, the US$199 and the US$349. It adds a screen, a wide-angle camera, video, and video calls based on traditional smart speakers.
Portal can play music through Spotify and Pandora or play videos from Facebook Watch. It seems that Facebook is now integrating more third-party streaming video services for new devices.
According to previous reports, following the launch of the smart speaker portal with a screen, Facebook plans to launch a camera device for the TV. The camera is placed on top of the TV to add video calls to the TV and display the Facebook Watch tab, allowing users to watch all the movies and TV shows that appear on the Facebook platform.
The news comes soon after Facebook announced its first-ever cryptocurrency ‘Libra’ and its wallet app Calibra. Analysts are predicting that the social network giant is not planning to expand itself to several other sectors including cryptocurrency and now streaming business with Facebook TV or ‘Catilina’.