Irvine-based Vizio, the country’s largest HDTV brand based on sales, has announced the launch of its new stream player, Vizio Co-Star, which allows users to turn any HDTV into a smart TV. By connecting the pocket-sized device to a TV or cable box, the Co-Star can access streaming content, apps and a full-screen Web browser.
The stream player uses the latest version of Google TV and is supported by Google Chrome, Adobe Flash Player and HTML 5. Unlike some streaming devices on the market, the Co-Star offers the ability to connect to a cable or satellite box. The advantage is being able to stream entertainment without interrupting running programs. The Vizio Co-Star’s design also includes a universal touchpad remote with a keyboard to eliminate the need to switch TV inputs.
“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.”
With Google TV as an added feature, viewers can utilize the picture-in-picture technology to browse the Web or find movies to stream while watching live TV simultaneously. The unit features apps like Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, M-GO, YouTube and iHeartRadio, among others, but the addition of Vizio’s partnership with OnLive lets Co-Star users stream video games as well, without the need for a game console.
Pre-orders for the Vizio Co-Star will be available beginning this month, only on Vizio.com. The player will retail for $99.99.
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