Vizio sets the standard: $99 Google TV box with integrated OnLive gaming

Vizio sets the standard: $99 Google TV box with integrated OnLive gaming

Options for Google TV fans may not be abundant, but we have some good products out there. Most Google TV products come with what some may consider a hefty price tag, though. Google-powered TVs go for as much as $2100, with set top boxes costing about $200-$300. Aside from las year’s amazing (and final) deal from Logitech, we have not seen a good offer for those that want to experience Google TV without breaking the pocket. And Vizio is here to set things straight and offer just that.

Vizio kept this one very well hidden, as we didn’t know much about it. Even though they clearly expressed their plan to join the Google TV market, at CES. We are still left a bit in the dark side about specifications, but a few main details are now available.

The Vizio Co-Star will be available for a mere $99, and with support for OnLive gaming, it is about the best deal a Benjamin can get you. The box also features 1080 HD and 3D support, as well as DLNA, WiFi 802.11 N and a Bluetooth remote control. This remote is also dual-sided like Sony’s, but its design is much different (which may be great news for some of you).

Pre-sales go live in July, 2012, so get ready for some good Google TV action. With OnLive support and its amazing price, Vizio pretty much has me sold and I am biting the bait. Are you?

VIZIO Launches The VIZIO Co-Star™ With Google TV Giving Users The Power To Turn Any HDTV Into The Ultimate Smart TV

IRVINE, Calif., June 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — VIZIO, America’s #1 LCD HDTV Company*, announced today the launch of the highly anticipated VIZIO Co-Star™ Stream Player. Using the latest version of Google TV™, the VIZIO Co-Star makes it easy to transform any HDTV into the ultimate smart TV, merging live and streaming entertainment into one intuitive and easy experience. With VIZIO’s new stream player, users get instant access to thousands of apps, full-screen web browsing capabilities-via Google Chrome™ with Adobe® Flash® Player and HTML 5 support-and the best in streaming entertainment.

Unique to the stream player market, the VIZIO Co-Star offers the distinct advantage of connecting to a cable or satellite box. This allows viewers to enjoy live TV along with the web, apps, OnLive cloud gaming, and other streaming entertainment without interrupting what they’re already watching. This integrated experience along with the universal touchpad remote with keyboard eliminates the need to switch TV inputs or remotes to access alternative content and provides viewers with a truly smart TV experience.

“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.”

The added benefit of Google TV’s powerful search feature lets viewers easily browse websites, hunt for streaming movies or locate their favorite TV shows; and with picture-in-picture technology, it can all be done while simultaneously watching live TV action.

In addition to favorite apps such as Netflix®, Amazon Instant Video, M-GO, YouTube® and iHeartRadio, the VIZIO Co-Star is the first stream player to offer video games on demand through the OnLive® Game Service. OnLive allows users to demo, watch and play hundreds of top-tier video games directly from ‘the cloud’ via their VIZIO Co-Star, eliminating the need for users to own an independent game console. With easy access to thousands of apps through Google Play, Co-Star offers the most comprehensive stream player available today.

Complementing the overall experience, the VIZIO Co-Star includes a universal Bluetooth® remote with an innovative touchpad that lets you touch, tap, scroll and drag. A full QWERTY keyboard helps users search for their favorite entertainment. Plus, its universal feature makes it easy to control home entertainment devices with one remote.

The VIZIO Co-Star incorporates a number of power user features intended to satisfy the variety of user demands, starting with support for 1080p Full HD and 3D entertainment. Built-in 802.11n Wi-Fi provides easy wireless Internet access without unsightly wires. Integrated USB port connects to hard drives, keyboards and other peripherals. The VIZIO Co-Star even enables viewers to enjoy photos, music, and movies from any DLNA-enabled phone, tablet, or computer on the TV screen.

The VIZIO Co-Star exceeds expectations by combining a definitive user experience with a powerful smart TV platform, resulting in an all-in-one solution that brings the ultimate smart TV experience to any HDTV.

The VIZIO CO-Star will be available for pre-orders in July 2012 only on for $99.99, with an introductory free shipping offer, while supplies last.

*IHS iSuppli Corporation Research Q2 2012 Market Tracker Report of Q1 2012.
**High-speed/broadband Internet service and access equipment are required and not provided by VIZIO. Additional fees and/or subscriptions may be required for certain content and services. VIZIO makes no warranties, representations, or assurances of any kind as to the content, availability, or functionality of third party content or services.

[Via: Phandroid]


VIZIO Co-Star Google TV Version 3 update preview [VIDEO]

VIZIO Co-Star Google TV Version 3 update preview [VIDEO]

We finally got the Google TV version 3 update on our VIZIO Co-Star! It has been rolling out since last week and we know many of you are still checking every day (or every few hours… or minutes), so we wanted to give you a quick look at what you will be getting.

This update upgrades the device to build number V4.6.0 (from U3.5.0) and brings in quite a few improvements. First, we have the new Quick Guide and Voice Search. Of course, we can’t really use Voice Search just yet because the VIZIO Co-Star doesn’t have a microphone. Google is expected to update the smartphone Google TV remote apps to enable this feature at some point, but whe don’t know when yet.

Quick Guide makes it very convenient to look for shows and movies, then quickly switch between them. Not having to access the full page version of the app makes it much more intuitive. One no longer needs to interrupt whatever is playing to look what else is available for watching. It really makes a huge difference in the experience.

Three apps are also included in the update, of which only one will most of you care about. Yes, I am talking about Amazon Instant Video. Not just the crappy web-based shortcut we used to have either. This is a native Google TV application… and it makes watching Amazon videos like a hundred times better (no joke). The other apps are M-GO and VUDU, in case you want to check them out, as well.

I am really enjoying the update so far. Quick Guide is making my experience much more enjoyable and seamless. At the same time, I am now considering finally signing up for Amazon Prime. The Amazon Instant Video app is very well made and hasn’t given me a single problem. It really seems like night and day compared to the prior Amazon Instant Video web app.

If you haven’t yet, you should be getting your update soon, so check out the video and let us know what you are looking forward to the most! For those who already got it – does it live up to your expectations? Have you found any problems yet?


VIZIO Co-Star in stock – get it while you can!

VIZIO Co-Star in stock – get it while you can!

It has been over 3 months since the VIZIO Co-Star first went up for pre-order. Since then, the affordable Google TV box has been struggling to stay in stock. The $100 price tag is simply too enticing for any tech enthusiast to pass up. The device continued to be out of stock until a couple of days ago, but after giving the official site a quick look this morning we discovered it is now available for purchase again!

The VIZIO Co-Star brings everything Google TV has to offer in a small and affordable package. This includes access to all Google TV apps and content, as well as OnLive cloud gaming compatibility (which the Sony box lacks). We have to say it has been the best deal we have seen since the Logitech Revue’s price drop to $100, and this happens to be a much more capable unit.

It comes with a dual-core processor that will keeps things speedy. There is also the $100 Hisense Pulse, but the VIZIO Co-Star is a much better option in terms of build quality, specs and updates. If you have been waiting to get your hands on one of these, your best bet would be to go to VIZIO’s official site and put your name on one of them right now! We already have, so stay tuned for more coverage if you haven’t made up your mind yet!

[Source: VIZIO]


VIZIO Co-Star first impressions

VIZIO Co-Star first impressions

VIZIO definitely hit the jackpot with the Co-Star Google TV box. The smart tv unit offers everything Google has to offer for only $100; a price that has given the device a boost since its initial launch, back in August. The Co-Star has been going in and out of stock ever since, but it recently became available again and we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to finally get our hands on one.

Despite its initial shipping delays and issues, we got our unit three days after ordering it. After using it for a couple days, we can say the device is definitely worth the $100, but it comes with some sacrifices too. The device itself is small, good-looking and well-built. It is not so much the unit we should focus on, though, it is the Google TV experience.

What you physically interact with more is the remote, which I must say is a bit of a lackluster. It is quite bulky, which seems extraneous – seeing how portable the Co-Star is. Once you get past that, it may seem like there is much more to it than slightly bad aesthetics. Though it works as it should, the QWERTY keyboard on the back (which works via bluetooth) can be laggy. I find myself constantly having to correct words because the keyboard misses letters I type. The buttons are also rubber and one must press pretty hard for it to recognize input. Luckily, one can simply use a wireless keyboard/mouse via the USB port on the back.

The Interface is just like any other Google TV out there, with access to all apps and Google TV features. The set-up is easy and straight-forward, so you won’t have much trouble with the initial wizard. Performance is a bit sluggish, though, but not horrible compared to competing products (the low price definitely makes up for it). Apps work as they should and movies stream great, even in HD, so that’s definitely a plus.

There are some hardware limitations, as well. For example, the unit doesn’t have audio output. One is forced to either transfer audio via HDMI or using the audio outputs on your cable box, Bluray player or whatever else you may use. The Co-Star also only receives video/audio through hdmi, which some cable boxes still lack. The HDMI input and output are accompanies by a power connection, a wire ethernet port and a USB port.

If you can get past some of these issues, I would say the Co-Star is a great device for someone wanting to try Google TV. Even those with Logitech Revues and other older Google TVs would benefit from it, especially at $100. These are just a few initial thoughts, but stick around for the full review if you are still on the fence about purchasing this one. And if you have any questions, ask me in the comments!


Time Warner Cable offers incentives to keep content offline

Time Warner Cable offering “incentives” to keep content offline


Entertainment is a competitive business and many times companies have to play dirty to stay on top. Such is the case with Time Warner Cable, who is said to be offering incentives to media producers in order to keep content offline. This can be a tricky situation, though, as incentives can also sometimes be classified as threats.

Sources tell Bloomberg that Time Warner Cable may offer higher payments to content providers willing to stay away from online video streaming. These anonymous tipsters also suggest that sometimes these “incentives” may come as threats to drop programming all together.

Right now we may be focusing on TWC, but this is a business strategy that is very common in the industry. Exclusives are here to stay, even if they may hurt competition and new digital experiences. Google TV benefits from both cable TV and online streaming, but I know many of you would prefer cutting the chord (some of you already have).

Cutting the chord will be very hard if these deals and exclusive contracts continue to be around. This happens to be rather depressing in an industry that is moving towards the internet more and more everyday. Technology is evolving but some businesses refuse to do the same. We guess those profits just have to keep coming, right?

[via Bloomberg]


  • Michael Denney

    Lovely. Nice to see this within the first month of TWC taking over our already-monopolized local ISP, ‘Insight’, here in Kentucky. This, along with their timing that precluded them from offering the minimal XBox 360 Live compatibility Insight offered for MLB apps. What a bunch of jerks.

  • Mike

    How will TW interfer with my purchase of a Jailbroke ATV 2? Will i be able to stream media from the ATV and not have TW cancel my internet?

Sony’s next Google TV is a Chromecast on steroids!

Sony’s next Google TV is a Chromecast on steroids!


If a rumored device is coming, it’s bound to pass by the FCC. All mythological gadgets get uncovered there and today we have quite an exciting one! Sony is bringing us the NSZ-GU1 – a dongle that looks and works much like the Chromecast, but features the power of a full Google TV.

As we can see in the image above, this device is much larger than Google’s streaming dongle. It also features a rather interesting design. Seems like the Google TV box and HDMI dongle were simply stuck together. It is meant to live behind your TV, though, so you will be able to save some space. At least much more than with the hefty ASUS Cube.

As usual with Google TV devices, this little guy features an HDMI-in port for live TV passthrough, as well as an IR blaster and a USB port. Specs include the usual Marvell DE3108 processor, 1 GB of RAM and 8 GB of internal storage. Also, it seems like the video output is limited to 720p.


We can’t expect much more from such a small device, but maybe we will be graced with an affordable price point. It’s said to be similar to the Chromecast, but with Google TV’s OS. Maybe it is more like a cut down version of a full Google TV?

We will have to wait and see. Be sure that we will keep our eyes open for more details on this one. And of course, you will be the first to know.


About The Author
Edgar Cervantes is a Contributing Editor for and has posted 171 articles. .

Sony NSZ-GS7 Google TV box receives its GTV V3 update!

Sony NSZ-GS7 Google TV box receives its GTV V3 update!


If you haven’t yet, it is about time you turn on your Sony NSZ-GS7 Google TV and check for updates. We knew the GTV V3 update was coming soon after the voice-enabled remote became available yesterday, and Sony Google TV users have a great reason to celebrate today. Reports of the update hitting Sony Google TV devices are spreading all across the internet.

The update comes with all of Google TV version 3′s features and improvements. Aside from getting a series of bug fixes and performance improvements, Sony NSZ-GS7 users can now enjoy Voice Search (with the new remote), PrimeTime Quick Guide and Amazon Instant Video.

As it usually goes with these updates, Sony doesn’t have an official statement yet. So please hit the comments and let us know if you have gotten your update yet! Is there something else to look forward to?


  • David Vega

    Not on my end yet.

  • Elshupacabra

    Is there any hope for the NSX to get the voice update?

  • Chris Garcia

    Still not for me. Sony did announce this update back on 2/22. 3 weeks later and most of us do not have it still.

    • Chris Garcia

      Got the update this morning !

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  • Chris Garcia

    There is nothing new with HBOGo. Still the same dumb web app and not a native Google TV app.

  • M. Puente

    Just got mine this morning. Nothing too different. Excuse my ignorance but didn’t I already have Amazon Instant Video? Does anyone one know of any other changes?

  • Luis Sanjuan

    What about the NSX-46GT1!?? Where is the Google TV version 3 update?

  • David Vega

    Came home and got the update. Now i wait for the remote to come my way.

  • Jeff Schallenberg

    Got the update here in Canada. AFAIK, this is NOT GTV V3, It`s Google TV version 3.2, REL07. The Vizio Co-Star, on the other hand is up to Google TV version 4.6!
    So, there is confusion, created by Google, it seems.

  • Zac Hart

    I’ve had the 3.2 since I bought it in January, so is that the update or am I still waiting on an update?

  • Darryl Pajot

    I received it yesterday and NOW the Google TV Remote app works great with VOICE interactions !!

  • rjb45

    I haven’t gone through all the apps but PIP which I always use has gotten more efficient by eliminating a click & pop up menu. Now when you hover the pointer over a PIP screen, you can do what you previously needed the pop up menu for.

  • Toula

    Google chrome asks for pin help

  • Jeff Mirabile

    Worst technology purchase I’ve made in years. Too expensive and no support from Sony. Tried resetting the device multiple times with no update and it still crashes. Doesn’t load Google Play page and other problems.

Send videos to your Google TV directly from Android YouTube app

Send videos to your Google TV directly from Android YouTube app

Google Play has pushed a very nifty update for YouTube today. Both the Google TV and Android YouTube apps are being improved with a feature that will make your video experience just a bit better. One can now send videos directly from the Android YouTube app to Google TV and play seamlessly watch them on the larger screen.

This has been possible in the past, but the experience lacked the integration that is now being offered. One way was by pressing the share button and sending it to the Google TV Remote app, which would require the second app, as well as some extra time and effort. The second way was to add YouTube TV manually, which works almost as well.

What makes this update better is that the TV and smartphone will be paired automatically if logged into the same WiFi network. Users will then be able to simply press a button located right above the video and the stream will automatically be sent to their Google TV. Pretty neat, right?!

I already got the Google TV YouTube update, but for some reason there is no update available for my smartphone and tablet yet. We assume it will be pushed out a little later, though, as Google just announced this update today. Hopefully we can all enjoy it soon! If for some reason you already got the update, let us know how it works.

[Source: Official Google Blog]


Social GTV for Google TV app review

Social GTV for Google TV app review

Technology continues to evolve, but it seems the way we watch TV is only now starting to really revolutionize. Yes, our TVs may be bigger, thinner, lighter and have much higher definitions, but ultimately it all works the same. You turn the TV on and switch through channels. With Google TV, the ability to really change the experience is there, and Social GTV is one of the first to really make watching TV a social experience.

With Twitter as its backbone, Social GTV allows you to see what the world is talking about without being interrupted from your favorite TV shows. You can filter tweets by keywords, hashtags or user names, meaning one can see tweets related to The Walking Dead (or any show… or even any topic) as the show is playing.

The tweets simply appear in your screen. You can select the placement and size of your tweets, see how often they appear, modify how long they appear and even change the font. My only issue is that this app leaves you a bit disconnected… even though it connects you to the world.


What exactly does this mean? Well, one can not log in or post any tweets. For that, you must use another device or app. We have been waiting for said feature to come to Social GTV, but we are still out of luck. Other than that, though, I have no other complaints.

The app works great and makes watching shows a much more entertaining experience. Whether you are laughing at the funny tweets about Maury or reading the best critics during the State of the Union Address, it will serve its purpose.

Google Play Store Link: Social GTV for Google TV


How to root ASUS CUBE with Google TV

How to root the ASUS CUBE with Google TV [VIDEO]


Google TV users don’t tend to root their devices as much as Android smartphone and tablet users do, but it can offer some extra functionality for the power users. Root users have been able to enable Hulu streaming on a Google TV, for example, a feature we have all been begging for for a long time. If you have done your research and want to root your brand new ASUS CUBE, the guys at GTV Hacker have developed a rather simple way to do it.

The developer team has put together an app called Cuberoot. It’s much like one of those one-click-root applications we have seen for a long time, but for your ASUS CUBE with Google TV. It was available from the Google Play Store but was taken down, which was to be expected. GTV Hacker is still offering the application on its site, though. You can download it by clicking here.

Here is what Cuberoot offers:

  • Root your Asus Cube.
  • Install SuperSu.
  • Modify the Flash Player to bypass website blocks on streaming media sites.
  • Disable automatic updates.
  • Collect anonymous statistical information about your device.
  • Allow you to patch this vulnerability, which prevents malicious applications from using this bug.

Please do your research before you go on with this procedure. Rooting your Google TV may void your warranty and/or harm your device if something goes wrong. If you decide to continue with this procedure, anything that may happen due to this action will be solely your responsibility.

With the disclaimer out of the way, go ahead and root away if you know what you are doing! I never root my Google TV devices, though I have rooted some of my Android phones. I jsut don’t happen to find enough need for it, what about you?

[GTV Hacker]