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New Vizio product combines three services

July 03, 2012|By SHEILA CLARK | Contributing columnist

What do you get when you combine Google TV, the OnLive streaming game service and a set-top box that streams Internet content? According to Vizio, it is its new product, the Vizio Co-Star. The Vizio Co-Star is a tiny set-top box that is small enough to fit in one hand. The player “merges live TV, Web, and apps into one interface,” according to their Web site. 

Among the features of the Vizio Co-Star include connections for HD cable/satellite receiver, built-in Wi-fi, Bluetooth, USB and it also supports DLNA devices via the PlayPoint app. The player also features an HDMI port for up to 1080p full HD, it supports 3D, picture-in-picture and it is capable of playing MP3, AAC and WMA audio files. 

In addition, the player includes a full-screen Google Chrome Web browser with Adobe Flash Player and HTML 5 compatibility and Google TV. The Vizio Co-Star provides access to thousands of apps via Google Play (formerly known as the Google Android Market). 

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One of the coolest parts of the Vizio Co-Star is its remote control. This player doesn’t come with just some everyday, Joe Shmoe remote, it comes with a double-sided, universal remote with Bluetooth, a full keyboard and a touchpad.

Pre-orders for the Vizio Co-Star, which is currently price at $99.99, will begin this month exclusively on the company’s Web site at www.vizio.com/costar/overview.

Net buzzz

 Google has announced that the Samsung Series 3 and Series 5 Chromebooks will be available for purchase at Best Buy in the near future. The Chromebooks run on Chrome OS, which is a Linux-based operating system.Learn more about Chromebooks at www.google.com/intl/en/chrome/devices/chromebooks.html and www.bestbuy.com/site/Computers-Promotions/Google-Chrome/pcmcat241800050013.c?id=pcmcat241800050013.

Free stuff

Some lucky Kroger shoppers have been receiving an offer from Kroger and i-wireless for a free purple LG Optimus S Android smartphone. Shoppers can check their eligibility for this offer by going to https://www.iwirelesshome.com/purpleoptimus and entering the first 11 numbers of their Kroger Shopper’s or Rewards Card or their 10-digit Alternative ID, without spaces.

Cool iOS apps/Roku corner

These two sections are combined this week because the iOS app and the Roku channel that I’m about to present work hand in hand. The iOS app is called Bleess and it is an app “that enables you to ‘bleess’ any video found on the Web using your iPhone, and then watch it on your connected TV immediately.” The app works on Roku players as well as Boxee and also with XBMC. 

Unfortunately, the app isn’t free, it costs $2.99, but it is a small price considering the benefits of its use. It is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad devices running iOS 5.0 or newer.

Learn more about the Bleess app at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bleess/id526835522?mt=8.

Now on to the Roku side of this combo. On the Roku, Bleess is a private channel, meaning it isn’t listed in the Roku Channel Store. However, the channel can be added by logging into your Roku account and clicking on the Add Private Channel link, then type in BLEESS, or go to https://owner.roku.com/add/BLEESS.

Setup and running Bleess is easy. First, launch the Bleess channel on the Roku and the Bleess app on the iOS device. On the iOS device, click on the Settings button at the bottom of the app. 

Next, enter the IP address of your Roku box and select the target. Finally, play the video on your iOS device. Activate the Bleess button in order to view the video on your TV.

Email me at sheila@amnews.com; fax me at (859) 236-9566; or write me snail mail at The Advocate-Messenger, P.O. Box 149, Danville, KY 40423-0149. 

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