Google TV is still confused, confusing, and not a very helpful thing to buy into your life. So far, the TV gadgets using it have been mediocre. Vizio's stab at Google TV, the Co-Star, is the best box yet—but will anyone care?
What Is It?
A Google TV box that'll stream video, add "smart" searching across live and on-demand content, and add apps and Chrome to your telly.
Who's it For?
People who need search options that can show you what you want to watch faster than a cable box guide, and people who think their TV should do a lot more than mere TV.
The box is just a little black box. Noting special. You could do without the silver ornamentation—these boxes should be invisible. But at least it's small. The remote is a touchpad-and-button crusted brick that's comfortable to hold, but difficult to manage. Too many buttons. Just too many buttons.
Unlike Sony's crummy NS7 Google TV, the Co-Star is easy to set up, both physically and with software settings. Once you're set up—with the Co-Star working as a central brain between your TV, cable box, AV receiver, and whatever other home theater parts you've got—you'll do everything from the Vizio remote. Power, volume, channels, searching—it's all done from the buttony brick.