VIZIO Co-Star Stream Player With Google TV – VAP430
The Ultimate Upgrade for any HDTV
What’s ALL the fuss?
The VIZIO Co-Star packs serious media streaming capabilities in a small sleek 4 inch square design. This sweet little device can literally take care of all your media streaming needs by connecting you to all of the major streaming service providers. In addition to streaming all kinds of media, from music to movies and TV, the Co-Star also provides access to OnLive, a service for streaming quality games on your HDTV without a dedicated console. All of these services are provided via Google TV’s superior service. Yes, I said superior, more on this later.
In addition to being packed into a quality looking 4 x 4 inch package, the Co-Star comes with a very useful remote unlike other streaming devices like the Roku with its rather basic Remote. The VISIO Co-Star’s remote is a full service combination of a full QWERTY keyboard on one side on one side with the typical directional buttons, number pad, and even a touch pad mouse on the other. The keyboard is an extremely useful feature because it allows you to type easily while interacting with your HDTV whether it be on a web browser, YouTube, and the rest of the services. Anyone who’s had to manually scroll across the screen to enter information, especially a lot of it, knows just how frustrating this can be! The mouse / keyboard / remote combination is a huge asset to the ease of interaction with your HDTV!
The Co-Star works differently than the majority of non-GoogleTV media streamers out there. What makes Google TV device so alluring from a hardware standpoint is the fact that Google TV sits between your cable / satellite receiver and HDTV. What this means is that you can pull up apps while still watching your show via a menu that overlays your TV screen. Google TV systems even have their own built in PIP (Picture in Picture feature allowing you to check out statistics on your favorite athlete without missing the any of the game or IMDB info on an actor. It’s kind of like an instant upgrade for those with HDTV’s that don’t have PIP features!
Streaming, Browsing, Gaming, and more
I’ve never been quite sure Google TV got such a bad rap initially, I think it is a great platform! But we all know how the media is, they are typically so biased towards anything new unless from something they know. Anyways, when you take into consideration how GoogleTV sits on top of your Cable / Satellite feed, and the ease in which it is to use, and then combine that with Google TVs service, you will see why I still think this is the best streaming platform. You have access to the standard Netflix, VUDU, Amazon, and other streaming services. You also can access any web page using Chrome and other browsers in the same way you would surf on your PC / Mac. Google has been improving its own apps as well, and you will find many have been redesigned for viewing on a large HDTV screen. In fact, if you have an Android phone, you will immediately recognize the ecosystem that Google has built and your settings, playlists, etc. will follow you to your TV. The newly updated Google Play Music and Movies & TV apps, are phenomenal making having Android integrated so cleanly with your HDTV the way to go!
The Co-Start takes the Google TV / Android environment a step further with its menu system. Not only can you personalize the main menu, having favorite apps immediately accessible with the push of a button, but you can also have favorite channels come up with a slick horizontally scrolling menu showing the current shows on those channels allowing you to view the synopsis on the spot and then simply choosing your channel.
If you are looking to break into the media streaming world, or break away from the rather closed in Apple ecosystem, you can’t go wrong with the VISIO Co-Star!