Vizio is on a roll this year. Its latest M-series televisions look excellent and offer some incredible value. (And if we know Vizio, the deals will really heat up come this holiday season.) Now Vizio is introducing a new version of its Co-Star streaming media player, which comes in at $80.
What differentiates the new Co-Star LT from the previously-released Co-Star is that it doesn’t rely on the Google TV platform and comes with a scaled-down remote control. Like the Co-Star, the Co-Star LT offers an HDMI input and output, which lets users pass their cable or satellite signal through the streaming set-top box so that live TV can be viewed while browsing content available through video-on-demand (VOD) apps like Netflix, Hulu, Vudu and Amazon Instant. The Co-Star LT’s app interface is said to be similar to that of Vizio’s M-Series Smart TV’s, offering a full-screen browsing experience loaded with app choices.
The Co-Star LT is capable of 1080p resolution and can handle 3D streams from VOD services that offer it. A USB port allows users to stream media from external devices without having to switch inputs on their television. The system comes with a simplified remote control, but users can also control the box with their mobile devices, which in turn can simultaneously act as a second screen.
To the best of our knowledge, this is the first set-top box to offer live TV pass-through that doesn’t rely on the Google TV interface (the Xbox One isn’t out yet). That makes it a competitive option to both Roku and Apple TV devices.
The Co-Star LT is available now at Vizio’s website, and it is expected to be available at Amazon, BestBuy.com, Target.com, Walmart, and Walmart.com later this month.