Vizio Co-Star Pre-Orders Open: $100 for the Next-Gen Google TVby Ganesh T S on July 24, 2012 8:00 AM EST
- Posted in
- Home Theater
- Google TV
The Vizio Co-Star VAP430 made a big splash when it was unveiled to the public during the 2012 CES. With the buzz around the VAP430 having been maintained right through the first half of the year, the time has now come to officially open the pre-orders. The unit will initially be available for order through Vizio's own online store starting today. The cost of the unit is $99.99 with free ground shipping while supplies last. As of press time, it appeared that the units would ship out starting on August 14th. Each order was restricted to a maximum of 2 units.
The low price point (almost a third of what the original Google TV Logitech Revue's price) may well serve to popularize Google TV this time around. 3D capability is an addition, but we believe that fad has run its course. However, the addition of OnLive gaming services is definitely a hard-to-ignore positive selling point. The size of the Bluetooth remote (with a mini keyboard on the back and touchpad capabilities) is also amenable to the modern-day living room, unlike what we had last time around with the Revue. Being an officially sanctioned Google TV device, Google Play Store access is available. Google TV's official guidelines call for continuing to inter-operate closely with the consumers' existing STB / DVR infrastructure. With a HDMI input port capable of overlay operations, the Vizio Co-Star fulfills the requirements. The full specifications of the VAP430 are available here for your perusal.
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bigboxes - Tuesday, July 24, 2012 - linkVideo Playback: H.264, MP4, MKV
Huh? H.264 is a codec, while MP4 and MKV are containers. It would be nice if they'd include a few other containers, such as AVI for compatibility. You should be able to flash/upgrade the codecs as well. It's a nice form factor and the price is right. Looking forward to a full review.
masterful18 - Tuesday, July 24, 2012 - linkWell if it has access to the play store, should be fairly simply to download an app such as MX player and get most codec support.
Exodite - Tuesday, July 24, 2012 - linkThe vast majority of media players in the Google Play Store are poo though, as they only provide software playback for most devices.
And that's pretty atrocious given the lack of grunt in mobile devices.
That said I'd wager AVI merely being an omission, as I should hope any codec and container that's the default for DLNA streaming would be supported out-of-the-box.
Matroska support is the big one though, that's the one that's usually sub-par.
hechacker1 - Wednesday, July 25, 2012 - linkI know that while they only supported HW acceleration on some hardware, you figure with the new ICS release everything would be accelerated by now. Is there not a simple video API that always does the right thing regarding acceleration?
sprockkets - Tuesday, July 31, 2012 - linkI don't know what the fuss is about. At least here, my HTC Sensation can play everything, with the built in player, h/w wise. Yes, even mkv and vorbis stuff.
Some stuff isn't accelerated more due to the chipset, not so much android or the program.
danjw - Tuesday, July 24, 2012 - linkI still have lots of questions about this. I am hoping you guys are planing a full review soonish. Like what quality of Netflix and Amazon Instant Video does it support and are Amazon Prime videos available for free?
ganeshts - Tuesday, July 24, 2012 - linkYes, a review is definitely on the cards.
Sivar - Tuesday, July 24, 2012 - linkPlease include in the unit review how well it does playing high profile h.264 video with some samples of really complex, highly compressed, high quality video.
Encoders can use tricks such as CABAC, motion estimation across 32 or more frames, etc. to reduce file size while maintaining high quality. There are also tricks to reduce decoder CPU usage which either make the file larger or make it look worse at the same size.
Many embedded players "support high profile h.264", but fail to play complex videos without dropping frames.
I can provide stress test samples.
ganeshts - Tuesday, July 24, 2012 - linkDefinitely!
I believe we have one of the best test suites for media streamer evaluation. We will summarize our findings in a manner similar to what was presented here:
Sivar - Wednesday, July 25, 2012 - linkI'd forgotten about that roundup..
Wow. That is a thorough test suite. You guys really know what you are doing!