SmartTV Stories July 24, 2012

Vizio Co-Star Google TV-streaming box now available for $99 pre-order [Video]

We told you last month that the Vizio Co-Star received a $99 price tag, but the set-top box is now officially available for pre-order starting today.

Those who are interested in the Google TV-streaming box can go to www.vizio.com/costar to pick it up. It is exclusively sold on Vizio’s website for $99.99 USD with introductory free-shipping while supplies last. The current estimated shipping date is pegged around August 14.

The Co-Star goes beyond the typical Google TV experience by providing a skinned user-interface with an HTML5 Chrome browser, Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, iHeartRadio, and OnLive built-in. The box even comes with a dual-sided Bluetooth remote that boasts a full QWERTY keyboard and a touchpad.

Vizio took to its blog today to make the announcement:

  • VIZIO Co-Star Available for Pre-order Today
  • We are happy to announce that the VIZIO Co-Star is available for pre-order today. Visit VIZIO.com to pre-order the Co-Star for $99.99 (US) and take advantage of the limited-time offer of free shipping.
  • The VIZIO Co-Star turns any HDTV into the ultimate smart TV. With 1080p and 3D support; Co-Star offers the distinct advantage of connecting to a cable or satellite box. This feature allows viewers to enjoy full screen web browsing with Adobe® Flash® Player and HTML 5, access to entertainment apps such as the OnLive® Game Service, Netflix®, YouTube® and more3 without switching inputs or remotes thanks to the universal touchpad remote with keyboard.
  • The VIZIO Co-Star is the first stream player to offer video games on demand. Through OnLive,® users can demo, watch and play hundreds of top-tier video games directly from the “cloud,” eliminating the need for an independent game console. In addition, the VIZIO Co-Star offers popular apps such as Amazon Instant Video, YouTube®, iHeartRadio and more – all available for download through the Google Play Store.

The Vizio Co-Star’s first commercial—which debuted yesterday—is atop.

The press release is below.

SmartTV Stories June 20, 2012

Note: This is a Samsung SPONSORED POST, opinions are our own.

Samsung’s ES8000 LED TV with Smart TV

Samsung is updating its television lineup with the Samsung ES8000 LED TV. It features a dual core processor, slim bezel, and U-shaped stand. The television goes up to 55-inches and displays a more intuitive user-interface with an emphasis on voice interaction, facial recognition, integrated camera controls for multi-video conferencing, and multitasking.

“Let’s say you are watching a movie on Netflix and want to check in on the hockey highlights, just toggle from Netflix to one of my favorite apps, NHL Game center, and come right back to the movie without having to quit the app and launch another app,” said Samsung America President of Consumer Electronics Division Tim Baxter at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year.

Samsung’s all-new 55-inch flat screen will début later this year with the Smart TV platform on board. The product’s pricing details and release date are currently not known, but the South Korea-based Company fully detailed its television and Web-based platform that allows users to find, control, and experience their set and media by way of Smart Interaction, Smart Content, and Smart Evolution.

expand full story

SmartTV Stories January 4, 2012

Set-top box maker Roku -one of Google TV and Apple TV’s biggest competitors- unveiled a new iteration of its award-winning Smart TV solution today. However, this time, they shrunk it down to the size of a USB stick that allows you to plug it right into your TVs MHL-enabled HDMI port. The device, called the Roku Streaming Stick, packs in built-in Wi-Fi, a processor, and memory, and includes all of the features currently available in their current set-top box.

According to Roku’s press release, the new cable-free, smaller form factor is ideal for delivering smart TV capabilities to consumers who typically do not replace their TVs often. That model differs from both Apple and Google, especially with Apple expected to launch an HDTV and Google pushing the GoogleTV platform built-in to TVs from vendors like Sony:

Today’s Smart TVs become outdated in just a couple of years because as software evolves the hardware needs to be upgraded to keep pace. While short hardware product cycles are expected with mobile devices such as smart phones, consumers generally keep their TVs for six to eight years. By moving the streaming platform to a stick that’s easily replaceable, consumers no longer have to worry about their large-screen Smart TV becoming obsolete before its time.

Official pricing has not been announced, but CEO Anthony Wood told All Things D the device would be available in the second half of 2012 for between $50 and $100. Roku also plans to have TV vendors bundle the Roku Streaming Stick with new TVs. expand full story

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