Jul 24 AT 4:02 PM Taylor Wimberly 34 Comments

VIZIO’s $99 Google TV box now available for pre-order


Today VIZIO announced that their $99 Google TV box, the Co-Star, is now available for pre-order. Customers who pre-order can take advantage of free shipping for a limited time and the first units are expected to be available around August 14th.

The Co-Star measures only 4.2 x 4.2 x 1.6 inches and weighs in at 0.66 lbs. Physical ports include HDMI in, HDMI out, 10/100 Mbps Ethernet, and a single USB 2.0 port. The device also supports WiFi 802.11 n/g/b, Bluetooth, and comes with a universal touchpad remote with keyboard.

VIZIO Co-Star and remote.

Google TV first debuted back in 2010, but the launch devices were priced too high and sales were abysmal. Few developers supported the platform because the install base was so small. Logitech lost so much money that they discontinued their Google TV products and their CEO stepped down.

I was one of the few who pre-ordered the Logitech Revue for $299, and I still have it hooked up to my TV. It still doesn’t have too many apps, but I use it every day for the improved channel guide and video streaming from Netflix and Amazon.

The device wasn’t worth the $299 asking price, but I enjoy the experience and I’d recommend a new Google TV box to a friend at the lower $99 price point.

We have yet to test out the VIZIO Co-Star, but I went ahead and pre-ordered one for the site to see how it compares to the Logitech Revue. The main difference in hardware is that the first-generation of Google TV’s used an Intel processor and the second-generation of devices have now adopted ARM-based processors.

Ports include HDMI in, HDMI out, USB 2.0, and Ethernet.

VIZIO doesn’t say exactly what processor is inside the Co-Star, but we believe it is an Armada 1500, which includes a dual-core 1.2 GHz CPU core (similar performance to ARM Cortex-A9) and a Vivante GC1000 GPU core. The Logitech Revue would lag pretty bad when using the Chrome browser, so hopefully performance has been improved.

One experience I’m excited to try out is the cloud-gaming service OnLive, which allows users to demo, watch and play hundreds of top-tier video games directly from the “cloud.” The wireless controller is sold separately for $49.99, but that’s not a bad price for turning your Google TV box into a game console. The controller also works with many Android smartphones and tablets, so your game time doesn’t have to be tied to the TV.

The Co-Star touchpad remote with keyboard.

Check out the promo video below and head over to VIZIO’s product site for a detailed list of features. Let us know if you plan to pick one up, and come back next month for the full review.

Via: VIZIO Blog

Source: VIZIO Store

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • thaghost

    Bye Bye Roku!!

  • Keyon

    I’m really debating on getting this vs ouya. This is really want I want to put on my dlp tv just having a google tv like device that I can just search quickly for information if I don’t have my phone or tablet around. If only they would update google tv to have airplay like features

    • http://www.focuszonedevelopment.com Homncruse

      This is a real product. Ouya still has the very real possibility of being vaporware.

  • Paul

    It sounds like the basic remote comes with it.if you want the feature remote with the keyboard it would be extra.

    • http://pallensplace.blogspot.com/2012/03/asus-eee-pad-memo-370t.html Pallen

      I think there is a second extra game remote you can buy for games.

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      The two-sided touchpad remote comes with the Co-Star. The OnLive gamepad is sold separately.

  • uknowme

    Sounds like it has promise. I’m waiting for a quality review. I’m stuck with my Logitech revue that’s not compatible with my Comcast box.

    • LukeT32

      Mine wasn’t compatible with my Mediacom box until recently when they updated the software/firmware on the cable box and now allows audio to pass thru the Revue.

    • Justin

      Just go get a new box from your comcast office. Mine works fine.

  • CTown

    “The main difference in hardware is that the first-generation of Google TV’s used an Intel processor and the second-generation of devices have now adopted ARM-based processors.”

    Which probably meant that one couldn’t sideload many high-end games when it came to the Revue, right? Did anyone with an Intel-based GTV box ever try?

    • LukeT32

      The Revue couldn’t handle running Gingerbread or Honeycomb… let alone game on it. It struggles with using the market and launching apps etc. Let alone gaming..

  • kazahani

    I like that it includes HDMI passthrough for a Blu-Ray or cable box. My TV irritatingly only has 2 HDMI ports…

  • fletchtb

    Very tempting! Way to go Vizio!

  • aranea

    What I wonder is how well it is integrated with other Android devices. I haven’t used any google tv and it’s tempting if I can connect through my phone or tablet when they are on the same network and change what’s playing etc. Also wish they had direct sound output port too (not necessarily with its own amplifier like Q).

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      There is an official Google TV remote that allows you to control the box with your phone or tablet. You can also easily use the share intent to send content from YouTube or your mobile browser to the Google TV.

      • aranea

        Thank you!

  • http://www.focuszonedevelopment.com Homncruse

    Now if only Google remembered Google TV existed…

  • thaghost


  • Alex Buonsante

    if i can download my slingbox app to this it will be a great buy.

  • KennyL

    Very interesting. I just hope that google doesn’t abandon googleTV now that the Nexus Q is out.

  • Flirt

    No HBOgo? I’m going to stick to my ROKU box til they get more then Netflix

    • Adam

      No HuluHD either. It’s the one thing keeping it from being a cotender for me.

  • MoSDeeb

    Looks promising, I may have to add yet another device under my tv.

  • Matt

    Balls, its out of stock or they stopped taking preorders.. maybe best buy has em. hopefully. i want one.

  • Alan Preece

    I would just at this device if it could play video files over a network. I cant see anything on their website about it though.

  • jonathan

    Will this be able to stream divx, mkv, and other media files I have on my NAS? If so – I’m in….. Sick of my Boxee freezing…..

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      It will surely work with H.264, MP4, and MKV files. Other file types should be supported. You can stream remote files from your NAS with Plex for Google TV. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.plexapp.gtv

    • Adam

      Don’t see why not. My dad does so from his Sony box.

  • Greg

    Does anyone know if there is any concrete info out there about how this works with cable set-top boxes? It’s a touted feature, but I can’t find anything specifically about it.

    I have FiOS and I’m really curious what the benefit will be of having this between my TV and the set-top box.

  • amgala

    I think I will wait on this until devs get their hands on it and look into possibly unlocking and rooting it. I have a Revue now but software updates are few and far between from Logitech. If the Co-Star is unlockable then even if Vizio pulls a Logitech and doesn’t update the device, the dev community will more than pick up the slack.

  • Lee Brendan Nightingale

    Does anyone know if this is being released in the uk?

  • jamboy5590

    nice time to trash my old shitty Logitech GTV and upgrade.

  • Bryan

    This looks awesome. I want one so bad! I want to see some user reviews of the product before I make my purchase, but I still got quite excited by the video. I guess this must in competition with the apple tv device. If anyone has one please comment on how it works.