26
Jun
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If you've been wanting to check out Google TV but just couldn't justify shelling out a couple hundred (or more) dollars for the sake of seeing what it's all about, Vizio's new Co-Star Stream Player could be the answer you've been waiting for.

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Announced just today, the Co-Star is a $99 Google TV that connects to your current set-top box via HDMI pass-through. It offers the full-on Google TV experience, including an HTML 5 Chrome browser, 1080p and 3D support, a host of apps, and a two-sided universal touchpad remote. What's more, the Co-Star also features baked-in support for OnLive streaming.

On paper, the Co-Star sounds like quite the impressive little gadget, especially for the low price of $99. We won't be able to find out how impressive just yet, though; Vizio won't begin taking pre-orders until next month. In the meantime, you can sign up at Vizio's site to be notified of when that actually happens.

IRVINE, Calif., June 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- VIZIO, America's #1 LCD HDTV Company*, announced today the launch of the highly anticipated VIZIO Co-Star™ Stream Player. Using the latest version of Google TV™, the VIZIO Co-Star makes it easy to transform any HDTV into the ultimate smart TV, merging live and streaming entertainment into one intuitive and easy experience. With VIZIO's new stream player, users get instant access to thousands of apps, full-screen web browsing capabilities—via Google Chrome™ with Adobe® Flash® Player and HTML 5 support—and the best in streaming entertainment.

Unique to the stream player market, the VIZIO Co-Star offers the distinct advantage of connecting to a cable or satellite box. This allows viewers to enjoy live TV along with the web, apps, OnLive cloud gaming, and other streaming entertainment without interrupting what they're already watching. This integrated experience along with the universal touchpad remote with keyboard eliminates the need to switch TV inputs or remotes to access alternative content and provides viewers with a truly smart TV experience.

"Our focus to deliver the best consumer experience continues with today's announcement of the Co-Star, which delivers a superior smart TV interface that anyone can add to their existing HDTV," said Matt McRae, VIZIO's Chief Technology Officer. "We combined the powerful features of Google TV™ with an intuitive and easy to use interface, giving users the power to enjoy an entire world of entertainment."

The added benefit of Google TV's powerful search feature lets viewers easily browse websites, hunt for streaming movies or locate their favorite TV shows; and with picture-in-picture technology, it can all be done while simultaneously watching live TV action.

In addition to favorite apps such as Netflix®, Amazon Instant Video, M-GO, YouTube® and iHeartRadio, the VIZIO Co-Star is the first stream player to offer video games on demand through the OnLive® Game Service.  OnLive allows users to demo, watch and play hundreds of top-tier video games directly from 'the cloud' via their VIZIO Co-Star, eliminating the need for users to own an independent game console. With easy access to thousands of apps through Google Play, Co-Star offers the most comprehensive stream player available today.

Complementing the overall experience, the VIZIO Co-Star includes a universal Bluetooth® remote with an innovative touchpad that lets you touch, tap, scroll and drag. A full QWERTY keyboard helps users search for their favorite entertainment.  Plus, its universal feature makes it easy to control home entertainment devices with one remote.

The VIZIO Co-Star incorporates a number of power user features intended to satisfy the variety of user demands, starting with support for 1080p Full HD and 3D entertainment. Built-in 802.11n Wi-Fi provides easy wireless Internet access without unsightly wires. Integrated USB port connects to hard drives, keyboards and other peripherals. The VIZIO Co-Star even enables viewers to enjoy photos, music, and movies from any DLNA-enabled phone, tablet, or computer on the TV screen.

The VIZIO Co-Star exceeds expectations by combining a definitive user experience with a powerful smart TV platform, resulting in an all-in-one solution that brings the ultimate smart TV experience to any HDTV. 

The VIZIO CO-Star will be available for pre-orders in July 2012 only on VIZIO.com for $99.99, with an introductory free shipping offer, while supplies last.

*IHS iSuppli Corporation Research Q2 2012 Market Tracker Report of Q1 2012.

**High-speed/broadband Internet service and access equipment are required and not provided by VIZIO.  Additional fees and/or subscriptions may be required for certain content and services.  VIZIO makes no warranties, representations, or assurances of any kind as to the content, availability, or functionality of third party content or services.

Source: PR Newswire (http://s.tt/1fV2C)

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • Raphaël Briand

    This is great, I mean to get a Google TV box in the future and though I might not get this one, hopefully this means development.

  • Amadeus

    What does the qwerty keyboard look like?

  • jjrudey

    What processor does it have?

  • raindog469

    Pssst! Hey, Sony. This is how to price your product if you want to have any kind of shot at competing with not only Apple TV, but all the little Chinese Android HDMI sticks selling for $50-100 now.

    Eh, what's the use, Sony's not listening and they'll just blame Google when they fail anyway, like Logitech did. Looking good, Vizio! If your product actually works, it's probably going to end up in our living room.

  • http://twitter.com/namd88 Nam Dang

    Now I feel a little regretful buying a WD TV Live :(

  • http://twitter.com/chris_penner Chris Penner

    What am I missing with GoogleTV?  It seems completely unremarkable to me.  Does it even stream over a LAN?

    Now, if they'd allow a coax input so I could bypass my crappy cable box instead of requiring one for the HDMI input...

  • Ron Amadeo

    So the core of Google TV is good, the UI just sucks. Now a prominent manufacturer is taking it, skinning it, and sticking it on their hardware. 

    Sounds familiar.

  • 666

    Have been waiting for this badass since ints announcemenet at the beginning of this year :)

    Will it ship to Europe (Germany, too)?

    • http://twitter.com/LV2355 Laurentiu

      I hope so. 

  • 666

    Have been waiting for this badass since ints announcemenet at the beginning of this year :)

    Will it ship to Europe (Germany, too)?

  • http://www.anivision.org/ Christopher Bailey (Xcom923)

    I wanna know if there is an IR out if it does....SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!!

  • http://www.anivision.org/ Christopher Bailey (Xcom923)

    I wanna know if there is an IR out if it does....SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!!

  • PhineasJW

    Maybe I missed this feature on other GTV implementations, but I believe this is the first one to use an HDMI pass-through so no input switching is required.  Pretty brilliant.  

    Go Vizio!  Love the stuff they've been doing lately.

    Would be awesome if it came with Tegra 3.  

    • Jason Wright

      The Logitech Revue did this...in fact I thought that all Google TV devices did this. It also allowed you to watch live TV in a small window on top of your browser.

  • Ram

    I own a sony google TV and its great except that the flash plug in in Chrome Borwser crashes more often than i would expect. I wonder why they removed the ability to play disks as the sony had a bluray player. I just hate to have one more device for playing disks though it is seldom used

  • paleh0rse

    HD audio bitstreaming support, yes or no?

  • http://wave-france.blogspot.com Supercopter

    Unfortunately, I've yet to see a Vizio product distributed in Europe... :-(

  • HotInEER

    I can't wait for this.

  • http://twitter.com/gfinockio G. Finockio

    Would this be a decent replacement for a generation-one WDTV?

  • AL

    This Vizio Co-Star looks pretty cool but it seems like it will be lacking features. Google TV is cool and all, but how does it match up to a Roku XS? I think not ;)

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