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Do you ever feel like you aren’t getting what you should be out of various services you subscribe to? Perfect examples for me – Netflix and Amazon Prime. Lily and Bob use the Netflix streaming ALL of the time – on their iPad or iPod Touch usually. I never get a chance to watch anything Netflix because it’s not hooked up to our tv and that’s where I watch my shows and movies.
Amazon Prime is a service that I love when it comes to the free 2-day shipping and the Kindle Lending Library. But Prime also entitles members to access their online streaming content – over 150,000 tv shows and movies – many of which are free. But again, I’m not big on watching tv on my computer (uh, because I’m always posting deals from it!). If it’s not on a television screen, I’m probably not watching.
Enter a brand new piece of technology – the Co-Star Stream Player by Vizio. When I first learned about this streaming device, I had high hopes but remained a little skeptical. In order to use this player, you need to have Wi-Fi available in your home as well as an HDTV.
Right out of the box, you get the Co-Star unit itself as well as a remote control and instruction manual.
The Co-Star boasts many features that make this the “ultimate entertainment upgrade” for any high-definition television.
- Make any HDTV the Ultimate Smart TV**
- Combines TV and streaming entertainment
- Universal touchpad remote with keyboard
- Google TV – TV, Web, Games, Apps
- Web browser with Flash Player and HTML 5
- Search across live TV, the web, and apps
- Built-in Wifi for easy internet access
- Supports Full HD 1080p and 3D
We had to add an HDMI cable to connect the unit to our receiver. After plugging the Co-Star in and powering it up, the entertainment was pretty much instantaneous. It was ready to go right out of the box – nothing to install or set up.
I couldn’t decide what I wanted to check out first!
The remote control itself is AMAZING. Not only does it have quick launch buttons for favorite apps (Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, etc) but the front also features a TOUCHSCREEN mouse for easy navigation!
The front of the remote is cool enough – and then you turn it over. There you will find a full keyboard. This will come in handy when you decide to pull up a web page on your tv screen and want to type.
In the few weeks since the Co-Star has arrived at my house, I think I have watched more streaming tv than I have in the entire past year. It is so easy to use and the picture quality is really good.
Besides the usual Netflix movies and shows…
I have watched free movies and shows on Amazon Instant Video, which are part of my Amazon Prime membership that I never even used before!
One of my favorite finds was discovering the show “Hey Dude” which was a childhood FAVORITE for my sister and I. I haven’t seen this show in oh, 20-some years. It was such a blast to watch those old episodes!
I love that we can pull up a web browser or even YouTube on the Co-Star. That will come in handy when we’re entertaining over various holidays. My family always seems to pull up random funny videos on their phones – it will be great to watch them on the bigger screen.
With so many different apps, I feel like I have only cracked the surface with the Co-Star. I think the thing that has impressed me the most so far is just how EASY it is to use. It’s simple to set up and even easier to navigate. I didn’t feel like there was any real learning curve. If you know how to use a regular TV remote, you’ll be able to pick this one up and start using it immediately.
We had a spare ethernet cable laying around and just for fun I plugged the Co-Star directly into the internet router. WOW!! The picture quality was even better, everything seemed to load even quicker. So while it’s definitely not necessary, that’s something you can try too.
I had a feeling that I would like the Co-Star Stream Player by Vizio – but I didn’t know that I’d like it THIS much. I see many hours of happy viewing in my future – and I am looking forward to getting so much more out of my Amazon and Netflix subscriptions!