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Xiaomi Preps New Mi Box Android TV Streamer for U.S. Market

Chinese consumer electronics maker Xiaomi is giving competing with Roku another shot: The company is preparing to release a new version of its Mi Box streaming device in the U.S., if a new FCC filing is any indication. The streamer, which goes by the model number MDZ-22-AB, appears to be once again based on Google’s Android TV platform. Xiaomi didn’t respond to a request for comment.

The device will ship with a slightly redesigned Bluetooth remote control, which features a shortcut button for Netflix as well as something the remote control manual describes as a “shortcut key for live TV,” perhaps linking to linear internet TV streaming services. The remote also has an integrated microphone and a microphone button for access to the Google Assistant.

Xiaomi introduced a Chinese version of its Mi Box earlier this year. That device isn’t based on Google’s Android TV platform, but instead makes use of the company’s own PatchWall interface. Photos included in the FCC filing suggest that the hardware and form factor of the Chinese Mi Box and the new, still-unannounced U.S. model are likely going to be the same.

Xiaomi Mi Box FCC filing
CREDIT: Courtesy of Xiaomi

This isn’t the first time Xiaomi is looking to sell TV streaming hardware to U.S. consumers. The company first struck a partnership with Google to release an Android TV-powered Mi Box in 2016. This marked the first time for Xiaomi to sell a device designed specifically for U.S.consumers. However, the 2016 version of the Mi Box failed to effectively compete with devices made by Roku and Amazon, and is not for sale via Xiaomi’s website anymore.

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