There are no shortage of options when it comes to streaming content on your living room’s TV. Case in point is Google’s Chromecast, a Roku box, or Apple’s Apple TV. And entering the fray today to compete with the aforementioned devices is Vizio’s Co-Star LT.
The Co-Star LT is a lighter, cheaper version of the first Co-Star. It costs $79.99 ($20 cheaper than the first co-star). Instead of offering a complete Google TV experience, it allows you to stream video from a wide variety of sources and control the box using the included simplified remote or a compatible smart device. So suffice to say, it’s a water downed version of the first Vizio Co-Star.
But that isn’t to say Vizio has skimped on the specs. There is built-in WiFi, in and out HDMI ports, full HD support, 3D support, and a USB 2.0 port for playing back content from a flash drive.
And here is the competition…
A small box that connects to your TV, and in addition to playing back video (and audio) content from a variety of sources (including HBO Go), it can stream audio and video wirelessly from an iOS device (only) via Apple’s Airplay. Apple might announce a new version of the Apple TV next week at their October 22nd event.
There are a few levels of Roku box to choose from, which range in price from $49.99 to $99.99. They offer a wide swath of “channels”, and unlike the Apple TV you can use an Android or iOS device to control the box. You can now also stream content direct to the box from your handset or tablet much like Apple’s TV. Lastly, Roku also sells a small thumbsized stick that plugs into your HDMI port of your TV and offers many if not all of the same features.
The Chromecast (read our Chromecast review here) is the cheapest ($35) of options available today, but its feature set is also rather skimp. Unlike, the aforementioned product, you’ll need a computer or smart device to stream/control content. And streaming partners are rather limited, though they include Netflix and Youtube, so finding something to watch isn’t a problem.
There are a wide number of Smart TVs today, and provided they’re connected to your home’s internet, many of them can stream content from HBO Go, Netflix, and many of the popular services. Just be warned that they’re often beleaguered with sluggish performance and cumbersome UIs.