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.
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