Vizio unveils $99 Google TV-powered CO-Star set-top box

Vizio unveils $99 Google TV-powered CO-Star set-top box

Summary: Vizio announces a low-cost Google TV-powered set-top box that also doubles as a games console. Just add an HDMI-ready TV.

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Vizio, a company known for manufacturing cheap HDTVs, has expanded into a new market with a Google TV-powered set-top box that also gives owners access to the OnLive streaming games service.

The CO-Star is pretty much what you'd expect of a set-top box. It offers 802.11n WiFi that supports 1080p full-HD video streaming, 100Mbps Ethernet, twin HDMI ports (input and output), a USB port for storage expansion or to connect peripherals, 3D support, and support for DLNA streaming media servers

There's also a slick looking Bluetooth remote control featuring an integrated touchpad on the front and a full QWERTY keyboard on the rear. Android-powered smartphones and tablets can also be transformed into remote control devices by installing the Google TV Remote app.

The CO-Star also comes equipped with the Google Chrome browser and offers full support for Adobe Flash.

As well as offering access to the OnLive service that allows users to demo, watch and play hundreds of top-tier video games directly from the cloud with no PC or games console required, the CO-Star supports a whole host of content streaming services, including NetFlix, Amazon Instant Video, iHeartRadio, and, of course, YouTube.

All you need to add is an HDMI-ready TV.

At $99 the CO-Star is not only designed to compete against the Apple TV set-top box but also OnLive's own MicroConsole TV adaptor. The CO-Star also comfortably undercuts Sony's next-generation NSZ-GS7 and NGZ-GP9 Google TV boxes, priced at $199 and $299 respectively.

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

Vizio CO-Star 'Google TV-powered' set-top box (Gallery)


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Vizio CO-Star 'Google TV-powered' set-top box

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Image source: Vizio.

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Topics: Mobility, Google, Hardware

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13 comments
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  • You know

    outside of the rental terms, I really like the Apple TV... I was wondering though, when somebody would be smart enough to do this!
    slickjim
    • Apple TV is not the only player in the game

      ... and because of Google TV, this product will be mediocre (see Logitech's post after abysmal sales and large % of returns).

      If you have an XBox 360 (not sure about gen1), you already have what you want. If not (like me), you can get a Western Digital TV Live HD Plus and get MUCH MORE than what anything with Google TV will give you.
      wackoae
  • Wake me when it adds live tv and dvr like Windows Media Center

    or plays halo like Xbox. Microsofts tv products still completely crush googles and apples. There's really no comparison.
    Johnny Vegas
  • That is not a "set-top" box .... it is a digital media player

    A set-top box would play cable-TV. What you are showing is nothing more than a digital media player .... and there are much better cheaper options in the market. Apple TV is not a set-top box either (and Apple never claimed it was).

    The only think that differentiates this device from the better ones is the remote control. But having the failure called Google TV (ask Logitech why) will make it undesirable to most intelligent people.

    If you want a DMP, get a Western Digital TV Live HD Plus or just use an XBox 360.

    BTW, I don't suggest a PS3 because it has issues with most media formats (ignoring the Cinavia watermark DRM issue) and it works better if you stream (in that case I suggest PS3 Media Server ... a free / open source product that is better than most commercial products ... and works with MOST other media players, including XBox and WDTV+).
    wackoae
  • seems like it could be pretty decent

    any idea the hardware specs on this? if the specs are good it could be quite a good option
    Jimster480
  • Google TV is much more than a media player

    In reply to some of those above, Google TV is much more than a "media player." Have you actually tried it? Yes, the Logitech Revue has some warts and flaws, but it also allows full web browsing and android apps. For $99, show me another box that does all that as well.
    tahoejoe43
  • I'd buy just for remote...

    $99? Dinovo mini costs about $150.
    vgrig
  • I'll stick with my Xbox 360!

    If you have an XBOX you're already set for the future of TV. MS has been striking up deals to bring excellent TV content and did I mention it does, Video, kick butt games, movies, skydrive, music and so much more! I find the best approach in life is to live it without influence by Google. Sure buy this gadget and the next thing you know the people of Google invade your house, sleep with your wife and drink your beer. Privacy is at the bottom of Googles list.
    Rob.sharp
    • The PS3 does all that the Xbox does +

      it has a built in blue-ray player and you don't have to pay a monthly fee like you do with x-box live. X-Box games are good, but then so are the PS3's. For my money, PS3 is the better choice
      eabyrd1506
      • ...

        But the xbox has better games, blu ray is pretty much dead has been since the get go and the xbox is cheaper with better looks
        Fletchguy
  • I still do not get these devices.

    What is the point of one of these devices???I mean dont most people now have either a laptop, pc, or game console on their tvs so this would make no sense then right since it does very litte? On my main tv i have a quad core laptop with hdmi out setup with wii in the cabinet under the tv so full access to all of the net and gaming which only cost me $200. Is this just if you do not own a tv from the last decade or a game console or laptop or home pc???
    Fletchguy
    • Are you a typical user?

      Most people aren't going to have a desktop hooked to their HDTV (like I do), or want to string a HDMI cable from their notebook to their HDTV every time they want to view something on the big screen. Instead, they'll pay for a device like this so they can just grab the remote and go.

      As to using a game console, those are relatively power hungry compared to this type device, and more expensive (even the 4GB XBOX 360 is $50 more, and that doesn't take into account the XBOX Live subscription required to access most services like Netflix).

      Although I have a computer hooked to my HDTV, I still have a Roku, because for the services it supports, it is far more convenient.
      lonniemcclure
  • google TV

    my google phone beats every other phone in my office, google tv will have the same result.
    hungergame