Aug 31 AT 3:39 PM Taylor Wimberly 9 Comments

Hisense and Samsung tune in to Google TV


Google TV has struggled to gain adoption in consumer’s living rooms, but it’s one of my favorite Android powered platforms and I believe it still has huge potential left. VIZIO recently started selling the $99 Co-Star and this week Hisense and Samsung both announced they would offer Google TV products later this year.

The Hisense Pulse is a small Google TV box, very similar to the Co-Star in design. It features the same connectivity options, including HDMI input and output, USB, Ethernet and built-in Wi-Fi, and is expected to debut in mid-November for “under $99.” I can’t really see any advantages that the Pulse offers over the Co-Star, but we have yet to review either device.

Update your TV every year with the Smart Evolution Kit.

Next we had Samsung announce their Smart TV with Google TV at IFA 2012. Normally I wouldn’t recommend a TV with Google TV already baked in, but Samsung’s offering includes their Smart Evolution Kit. This allows you upgrade your Smart Evolution enabled TV without having to replace the whole set. Just purchase a new Evolution Kit each year and it will include a faster processor and the latest technology.

If you have been on the fence about purchasing a Google TV device, what is holding you back?

Source: Google TV Blog

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

    Most Tweeted This Week

  • diverbelow

    What is holding me back, is I cut the cable almost a year ago, so I do not have a cable STB and will a GoogleTV STB will work by itself?

    Thanks in advance.

    • Taylor Wimberly

      Yes, you don’t need a cable box to use Google TV. It works with lots of streaming services including Netflix, Amazon VOD, Plex, etc. Also includes Chrome browser and Google Play store where you can download a growing number of apps.

  • spazby

    I know Google tv is probably easier but I have my desktop hooked up to my tv, so no need for Google tv for now

  • NamelessTed

    I definitely want to get the Vizio Co-Star at this point. I got a Roku 2 for my dad earlier this year and have used it and it works great. Right now the Co-Star is way ahead of the Roku and I don’t know when a Roku 3 will even be announced, let alone be released.

    Also, that Hisense box looks like a really really bad rip off of the Vizio Co-Star. It has a similar tapered square box and a remote with a touch pad and a Netflix button and stuff. It just looks like it is way lower quality. The remote is actually one of the major things I love about the Co-Star. Especially the full qwerty on back AND the d-pad and a,b,x,y buttons.

    • NamelessTed

      Also, I really don’t like this idea of the “evolution kit” on the Samsung. Yes, it is nice to be able to upgrade it to keep up with certain features and speed. But, how much is that going to cost? These boxes already only cost about $100, and you can hook them up to any TV so they are much more versatile. The only way the evolution kit would make sense to me is if Samsung charged $50 or less for the upgrades but I don’t think that is very probable.

  • vforvortex

    We know how samsung can be slow with updates. Anyone know how hisense is on their updates? Do either products have developer support for update?

  • carter johnson

    I have the CoStar and the new Sony STB- both work much better than the 1st iterations of GoogleTV. Adding PLEX to them greatly enhances their functionality. and for a 1st time buyer I would highly recommend the CoStar over a Roku or AppleTV. GoogleTV has much more capability over either of those STBs despite the lack of a dedicated HuluPlus app.Amazon needs to make a better app on GTV but you can access most everything on the CoStar that you can on Roku or AppleTV. (including airplay like functionality for most smartphones.



  • Daniel Smedegaard Buus

    “If you have been on the fence about purchasing a Google TV device, what is holding you back?”

    Google, as always. I’ve wanted to buy pretty much every picece of hardware Google put out, but being a Dane, I have to settle for hearing about everyone else getting the dough.

    The f’ed up thing is I can buy every piece of Apple crap and join the religious crap days after it was unveiled in the US.

    We need Google to not just be not evil, but also not be just American.

    Thank you.