VIZIO Co-Star is a Google TV box I can get behind!

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Bill Loguidice
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VIZIO Co-Star is a Google TV box I can get behind. HDMI pass-through and built-in OnLive functionality for $100? Sold.

http://www.vizio.com/costar/overview

I just hope that the OnLive functionality is full, as in allowing for the same controller connectivity options as the OnLive Console, but otherwise that's a tremendous deal for the price and makes a fine companion to existing media-based consoles.

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Bill Loguidice
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With a patch just now, my

With a patch just now, my Co-Star Google TV box now passes through 5.1 surround from my cable box. Super timely fix. On top of that, my two universal OnLive controllers came, so I'm all set. I'll give this plenty of quality time after my vacation...

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Bill Loguidice
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My Raspberry Pi bundle came

I'm not too thrilled about the oversized red case considered the amazingly small size of the Pi itself:

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Bill Loguidice
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According to a comment from

According to a comment from VIZIO SD regarding my Co-Star issue, "It's a specific audio codec that causing this to happen, we are working on an update that should be released soon to resolve this problem." So that's certainly potentially good news on the audio front with the box. I can certainly learn to deal with some of the other issues that are Google TV-peculiarities, as that will surely improve over time.

Someone else asked me what I thought of the box so far. My response: "The interface is reasonable. This is my first exposure to Google TV, so I have no basis of comparison other than other set top boxes. It seems to perform better than what I've seen from Roku boxes. Video quality is not particularly sharp in the apps I've tested (Netflix and OnLive in particular). It's definitely a step down from what I see on the Xbox 360 and PS3, despite using the same network connection. Some of the apps are weird, like the Amazon "app", which really just runs Amazon video through the Website. ?"

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clok1966
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been reading all i can in the

been reading all i can in the AV forums and seems they think viso just didnt put the controls in so you can select settings which is cuasing the issue, seems it is stuck on the pass through (that what you using?). its suposed to work just fine and one guy said Viso was working on a update that will fix it. The hardcore AV guys seem to think its OK.. which leads me to belive hardware wise its worth it.. software seems to be needing some work.. good news is thats always doable if the company wants too.

Bill Loguidice
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Google TV...

I'm not particularly impressed by my Vizio Co-Star Google TV box yet. I'm also frustrated I have to resolve an issue where it won't pass 5.1 surround properly to my receiver. It will only do 2.0 for both it and my cable box, which it's just supposed to pass through unaltered.

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clok1966
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Well i guess my speculation

Well i guess my speculation is the open source part.. it should be able to do anything as long as somebody wants to program it.. The Costar is a dual core 1.5 Ghz Marvell ARM CPU (Ouya is "supposed" to use a Nvida chip that is about half again as powerful.. with rumors of Tegra 3 which will be 4X as powerfull) it -costar- runs a modified version of honeycomb (so basically ANYTHING it can do the Ouya can... ports and actual hardware withstanding) while the vizo box will do what it does and doubtfully anything else (or it may just do a ton more if it catches on). I do agree with the HDMI thing.. i think a tv with 6 would still be to few. So since they are both Android boxes.... they should be able to do the same things. In theory. But you have one.. the other is vapor and may well be forever.

I see they are sold out, alot of reviews like it but seem miffed about the custom UI instead of the standard Google stuff... lot of comparisons to Verizon on phones and when they locked up alot of features....

hard to resist at $99 i must admit.

Bill Loguidice
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So far... it's OK. I will

So far... it's OK. I will need to live with it a few more days. I'm still trying to work my way around Google TV, which I'm new to. The controller/remote is interesting, though I don't like that the keyboard is not backlit. OnLive needs one of the universal controllers, so I can't use one of the two OnLive Console controllers I have. I have two of those on order. The Co-Star updated once and seemed to have crashed once. After a power cycle, it seems to work again. That is apparently something common to Google TV boxes. Definitely interesting, but I'll have to wait to see if I'll love it or just like it. The low price does help my opinion of it, certainly.

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Bill Loguidice
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It's a neat package, but they

It's a neat package, but they don't give you an HDMI cable, which seems rather silly to me. Anyway, I'm going to hook this up a bit later to my cable box for the pass-through. Luckily I had a spare HDMI cable.

Vizio Co-Star 1 of 2

Vizio Co-Star 2 of 2

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Bill Loguidice
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Co-Star versus Ouya - Round 1 is clearly in the Co-Star's favor
clok1966 wrote:

that was quick, you often see these prodcuts take forever to ship.. be looking forward to hear what you think.. though I am suprised this one interests you when the Oyuo doesnt, and is suposed to do all this does an more (speculation). I will admit without the sexy remote.. and that is a draw even to me. This one is also real and you will soon have it.. the other.. who knows what and if it will ever be released.

Again, post some intial thought when you get a chance to play with a bit, very interested.

I actually disagree about the capabilities of Co-Star versus the Ouya. The Co-Star is a standardized Google TV box - which uses all those services - and includes OnLive support. It also has HDMI pass-through, which was a key selling point for me. I don't need one of these boxes taking up another HDMI input, plus, this has the advantage of overlaying over my cable box's content, so I can genuinely use it transparently while watching television.

None of those things (except for the OnLive) the Ouya does, on top of the fact (as you say) that the Ouya will be out early NEXT YEAR at best and will need to build up its own, non-Google TV eco-system. All that will take time, so we're talking - optimistically - mid-year 2013 before this thing starts to reach its potential. If it starts to come together then, I will certainly consider one. Of course I will. In the mean-time, I have a $99 box that meets my present criteria now. That's the difference.

By the way, besides throwing money at this (Ubi): http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/607691307/ubi-the-ubiquitous-compute... I also put money down for this (Raspberry Pi), which should arrive next week: http://www.mcmelectronics.com/product/83-14275 . So yeah, it's actually kind of bizarre that I was able to resist the Ouya, but there you have it...

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clok1966
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that was quick, you often see

that was quick, you often see these prodcuts take forever to ship.. be looking forward to hear what you think.. though I am suprised this one interests you when the Oyuo doesnt, and is suposed to do all this does an more (speculation). I will admit without the sexy remote.. and that is a draw even to me. This one is also real and you will soon have it.. the other.. who knows what and if it will ever be released.

Again, post some intial thought when you get a chance to play with a bit, very interested.

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