Jul 30 AT 10:47 AM Taylor Wimberly 33 Comments

VIZIO struggles to keep up with demand for $99 Google TV box


America’s #1 LCD HDTV company can’t keep their new Co-Star Google TV box in stock. VIZIO began the $99 pre-order for the device last week and then reported it sold out of the first batch within 12 hours. Pre-orders were briefly back online two additional times, but they are currently unavailable.

We expect the demand is high, but VIZIO could be limiting the supply to create some online buzz. History shows that consumers are willing to throw down $99 for a Google TV box. Last year Logitech reduced the price of their Revue Google TV box to $99 and it quickly sold out after hundreds of you purchased it.

VIZIO has several active online campaigns to promote the Co-Star pre-order and it is currently plastered on the front page of their website, so I doubt they are constraining the supply on purpose. However, we still don’t know how many units VIZIO has sold in the pre-order.

Details are still scarce on the in-store availability of the Co-Star. VIZIO’s products are found at Costco Wholesale, Sam’s Club, Walmart, Target, BJ’s Wholesale, and other stores nationwide, but the company has not revealed their retail plans. Some pre-orders are expected to begin shipping in August, so more details should be coming soon.

We reached out to VIZIO to see if they could provide additional details on the pre-order or retail launch, but they have yet to respond.

If you missed out on the pre-order and you are still interested in purchasing a Co-Star, your best bet is to follow VIZIO’s Google+ page for updates. For those that did get in on the pre-order, please let us know when your order ships.

Via: Google+

Source: VIZIO

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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  • http://clarklab.net Clark Wimberly

    Tried to order a couple times now. The first, I found it sold out. The second and third, I was stopped by SQL errors on the order page. I filed a ticket and they said I could call my order in over the phone, which I’ve yet to do. Grrrr.

    • Mark

      Is your nickname little Bobby Tables by any chance?

  • http://www.jaxidian.org/update/ jaxidian

    I’m not exactly surprised. This is a pretty nice-sounding product at a great price! LOVE what Vizio has been doing lately in the computing end of their business!!

    • fletchtb

      Yeah, the Co-Star is a real value at $99 from a trusted brand with experience in the industry.

      Google TV at a great price which is similar in price to a ROKU box (or other competitors) with tons more functionality.

      If I didn’t already have a Smart TV, I would definitely be picking one of these up!

      • http://www.focuszonedevelopment.com Homncruse

        I have a “smart TV” and a “smart blu-ray player” (both a few generations old by now, so not so smart), a TiVo HD (which hasn’t seen *any* updates since the announcement and proceeding launch of the Premiere), and I just ordered a cheap Roku box from Woot a few days ago to see what all the hype is about. At some point, it probably would have been cheaper for me to build an HTPC instead of cobbling together components, but oh well – playing with new toys is fun!

        I really wish I could get some hands-on experience with Google TV before taking the plunge though. In an ideal world, Google would have retail stores where we could try before we buy.

        • cb2000a

          Roku boxes are sold at Walmart now too. I have used one for almost two years now (had the old one with all the outputs). 370+ channels and adding more all the time. Fantastic little box.

    • VS

      If I decide to get a 2nd TV in the house, I’ll heavily consider this or a Roku for media options.

  • Jaydude

    I’ll get my order in as soon as I can. I always liked the google tv idea, but with the logitech mess and sony’s crazy prices, I never got around to make a choice. Now I can

  • Mark

    I am still on the fence for these devices. I cut the cable a few years ago and am still quite happy but my Media Center PC does everything that these devices seem to do and then much more. So hard to justify a switch to an inferior product. If they would make a higher end device that has a tuner and DVR capabilities and I might be sold. Till then I’ll wait and look at the reviews and see if there is something that makes me want to switch.

  • RealDealNeil

    Once XBMC works on Google TV, then a $99 Google TV is a great investment. XBMC fills in any shortcomings of Google TV and the Google TV browser is great for browsing and playing flash videos still left out there.

    Of course, XBMC needs the NDK which Google TV will hopefully get in a future update.

  • nivekkev

    So, what’s better, the set top box or having it built into the TV? Still not sure which route to go just yet…

    • Mix

      A friend of mine has a “smart TV” from Samsung and it’s a great looking TV and was on sale for around $1,500 (cdn) and it is less than 1 year old. With that said, the smart features of the TV are laggy and sporadic. It took almost 5 minutes to bring up a YouTube video and If you typed to fast the TV or the remote would freeze up and would need to be restarted.

      Another friend of mine has a LG smart TV and it has yet to freeze up but doing anything on it is a huge commitment because of the time it takes to do simple Google searches or YouTube videos.

      I don’t know how far they have come in roughly a years time but if the new TV’s are like these “older ones”, I would nab the VIZIO in a heart beat.

      • nivekkev

        Thanx for the info, I have an idea of what problems to look for…

    • Johnathan Prochaska

      I have a VIZIO smart TV. It’s very similar to this product and it does receive (some sort of) upgrades. I’m not sure what is the underlying software underneath. It is snappy and the apps and remote are pretty much the exact same as this. That being said, I like the proposed plan by Samsung where you can update the TV with a plug in every year if you choose instead of having the apps/SW built into the TV from the start. This one was a steal though and I needed a TV.

  • MoSDeeb

    Is the keyboard back-lit on the remote? That’s one of my issues with the Sony Google TV remote. the original at least.

    • Johnathan Prochaska

      I have the TV with this remote and it is not back-lit. Pretty sure this one wouldn’t be either as it seems to have the exact same components, size and shape.

  • shadhussain

    i’m tempted to jump in, hoping it’ll meet the following entertainment demands on an older HD TV, which I’m not willing to update:

    - Stream media files from local storage or server (currently, a WDTV device does the job);
    - Stream Netflix (currently, an old Wii is hooked up for the sole purpose);
    - Watch live streamed videos of sporting events (currently, i need a laptop/tablet connection);
    - Web surf Chrome with Flash (a limited use now because it’s a to setup and control a laptop/tablet connection);
    - Stream Google Music and YouTube during parties (currently, my HDMI connected tablet does the job)

    i feel this *might* replace all those extra device connections i have right now. And $100 is acceptable.

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      The Co-Star should be able to do everything listed above with no problems. The only area you might run into problems with could be streaming live sports. Some TV networks have blocked access to their flash websites on previous Google TV devices.

      • shadhussain

        is there no way to tell the broswer to access the desktop version (i.e., make it look like u’re not using google tv)? the hacker brains at xda must’ve (must) come up with a solution!

        now all i have to do is figure out a way to get it across the border into canada.

        • Domi

          you could alter your user agent settings

  • alexanderharri3

    The price point is right…and the remote is not a large keyboard….and assuming it works as it’s supposed to – they’ve got a winner on their hands. Needs Flash support (for now) in order to make the browser useful to watch web-in-flash videos on it.

  • 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.

  • NamelessTed

    I am extremely interested in this device but I am waiting for the product to actually come out and read some reviews on it. I have used a Roku after getting one for my dad and that thing is amazing for the $100.

    Outside of all the features that the Co-Star will have over a current Roku, I am most excited for that controller. That thing looks fucking amazing.

  • Zak

    Can this play local content? I have a WDTV Streaming player and it plays anything I throw at it. The online content is decent. I would rather a Google TV device with local file support (all codecs).

  • Chad

    Laugh at all of you that own piece of shit vizios. Shittiest tv around you all do know that vizio is a low brand model and their customer service sucks right?

    • Greg

      There are much, much shittier manufacturers out there. Your comment reeks of childish ignorance.

    • Bo

      Low brand model?
      What exactly is a ‘low brand model’?
      They are a US company who’s built an empire in a little over 10 years. While their customer service may be a little lacking, in this day and age whos isn’t? Their products are solid, and that’s what counts. My ‘lower brand model’ 1200 dollar backlit LCD at the time was touting TWICE the speed of other comparable tvs by brands like Panasonic and Sony.

      I agree with another commenter. Your post sounds childish in nature and lacking in substance. Kinda sounds like you’re just repeating stuff you heard your daddy say. I’m sure to you, ANY car made outside of the united states is poor quality eh?

  • vforvortex

    I am hoping there is a clearer picture of the future of google nexus devices. i dont want to end up having 4 different manufacturers for my google tv, 10 inch tablet, 7 inch tablet and phone.

  • Wizz

    The pre-ordered Vizio Co-Star are beginning to hit the streets, hands on reviews are being posted here http://www.googletvforum.org/forum/vizio-co-star/5908-vizio-co-star-reviews-your-hands-experience.html !!!!!!!

  • mada

    Just got my pre-order in yesterday Monday the 20th of August. This thing is sick. The device after a few quick setup prompts is ready to use. Setup take about 10 minutes. You do need a ethernet connect or a good WIFI signal for it to let you through the setup. I was immediatly asked if I wanted to install and OTA update. It does not specify the enhancements though. The HDMI pass through is superb and no lag in sound or video quality. The menu for all the features is quick and fairly subtle. Once you are in the full play store it is abit slower. The apps are very well suited for the TV. Netflix looks good, but the quality looks like it has been adapted for a larger resolution but meant for a small screen. I did find over time as the movie had some time to buffer that the quality improved. Speed of loading media from my DLNA sources is fairly fast and high quality. The Onlive support is a great added bonus and the spectator feature looks really cool. The device however gets a bit hot which I expected for such a small package. My hopes are they have planed for this in their long term expectations. Over all the best bang for the buck. I did not feel like going out and buying another TV when the one I have works great. If you are in the market for a Roku like device buy this instead worth it.

    • Wizz

      Thanks Mada for your review, my experience is like yours, the Vizio Co-Star is a winner, works like a charm … Now where are all these negative reviews coming from about the Vizio Co-Star, I don’t know …

      Test the Vizio Co-Star out for yourself, don’t believe eveything you read ….. Works like a charm for me, yes ….

  • Bo

    If you really want one of these, like RIGHT NOW, then don’t wait for Vizio. Go to ebay, do a search for ‘google tv’ and you should see at least a couple dozen different google tv boxes. They’ve been making them overseas for a while now. Finally, a product Chinese manufacturers can make without infringing on someone’s IP! Gotta love android!