Hot on the heels of the announcement of Sony’s NSZ-GS7 set-top box, Vizio has unveiled its own Google TV-based device that merges live TV with streaming entertainment in the form of the Vizio Co-Star Stream Player. Connecting the device to a HDTV will turn it into a smart TV capable of surfing the Web full screen using Google Chrome with support for HTML 5 and Flash content, accessing Google Play apps, streaming online video content, and – in a media streamer first – playing games via the OnLive cloud gaming platform.
The Co-Star boasts support for 1080p Full HD as well as 3D content and sports built-in 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, an Ethernet port, and a USB port for connecting an external HDD, keyboard or other peripherals. There’s also DNLA support for streaming photo, music and video content from a DLNA-enabled smartphone, tablet or computer. In addition to its HDMI output port, there’s an HDMI input for connection to a cable or satellite box so users can access content via the device while watching live TV without switching TV inputs.
The unit comes bundled with a Bluetooth remote that features a touch sensitive trackpad nestled amongst the standard remote buttons, as well as dedicated buttons for Netflix, Amazon Instant Video and M-Go. Flipping the remote over reveals a physical QWERTY keyboard with directional pad and gaming buttons for use with on demand video games through the OnLive Game Service. Being a universal device, the remote can also be used to control other home entertainment devices.
Measuring 4.2-inches (10.6 cm) wide and 4.2-inches long, Vizio is selling the Co-Star for US$99.99 with pre-orders being taken from next month. It’s worth pointing out that this is the same price of the OnLive Game System, which does, however, include a controller more suited to gaming.