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CNET First Look
The $100 Vizio Co-Star is the smallest Google TV box on the marketThe Vizio Co-Star is an affordable entry to the Google TV experience, but the software remains underwhelming and hampered by restrictions.
Hey I'm Matthew Moskovciak at CNET and today we're gonna take a look at the Vizio costar. This is a Google TV powered set top box and is currently selling for just 100 dollars. Now this is the smallest Google TV box -- looking more like an overstuffed roku box rather than the larger Logitech revue. Or no buttons on the actual back and around back you're gonna find the ports the movement HDMI output and input in that it -- used to connect a cable box or satellite. Box two Echostar. There's also a USB port on the back and an ethernet Jack plus the -- has built in Wi-Fi as well. -- the real interesting hardware as the remote. It's tough to make a remote for Google TV because need to pack a lot of functionality into it so Vizio went for a doubles that -- design. On the front you've got the large touchpad which is pretty responsive. And standard TV remote buttons. -- on the back as a full keyboard even with game pad controls on the side. It's a huge remote overall it's really pretty -- And I can make it tough to read all those keys in this manner analyzed with standard playback buttons on the front like play and -- aren't conveniently place. It's definitely not the panorama that you can hand to anyone and expect them again -- The -- is unique in that -- the first box I've seen to use a custom skin on the Google TV space. Instead of Google's interface when you press the -- button on the remote a sidebar pops out with a list of apps and settings that you can access. Now it is different than Google TV standard design but it's not necessarily better as the icons are small especially on a big screen TV. And there's a lot of clutter when you're just trying to find an -- As -- see their apps for Netflix school music and pandora. The Google TV is still missing a lot of apps and other devices have like Hulu plus HBO go and LB dot TV. Not even Google's own TV and movies video -- and -- -- And even though you see an Amazon instant app on both the remote and the user interface that just takes you to Amazon.com in the Chrome browser. -- you can play videos by navigating the web site but that's a real. The coast are also supports on live's cloud based video -- service. And it worked -- online's wireless controller but that's -- -- the killer feature given the company's recent trials. -- as I mention the costar lets you browse the web on your TV using the built in Chrome browser which is capable of playing back flash video. But a lot of the major content providers still continue to block Google TV from streaming video content. And that includes NBC fox CBS ABC Comedy Central and -- So lot of what makes Google TV sound great still doesn't work. So altogether even though the Vizio -- hardware isn't bad for a hundred bucks the Google TV software still has many limitations and it's tough to use. If you really wanna try -- Google TV is the cheap way to do it but most people are better off with an Apple TV or roku box. I'm Matthew Moskovciak and this is as you.