Partners Vizio and Google today unveiled the Vizio VAP430 Stream Player, a device they say can “turn any HDTV into an enhanced Vizio Internet Apps Plus (V.I.A. Plus) smart TV that incorporates the latest Google TV.”
With the VAP430 connected to a HDTV over an HDMI cable, users can access content and services from their favorite apps and Websites using the included Bluetooth premium universal remote control with integrated touchpad. In addition to movies, TV shows and music on demand, the VAP430 lets users search the Web for even more entertainment options using the Flash-capable Chrome browser.
Users can also can download apps from the Android Market or access personal media like videos, photos and music that are stored on devices connected to the same home network as the stream player. Images are displayed on a connected TV set, and sound plays through the TV or a connected audio system.
Here’s how it works: Installing the VAP430 and connecting it to the Internet reportedly is a quick operation because of the built-in setup experience and 802.11n Wi-Fi connection. The VAP430 also has a HDMI pass-through that lets the user connect a cable or satellite box to the stream player and then pass the signal over to the TV. The smart TV interface overlays the live TV signal, allowing multi-taskers to search for the next thing to watch without completely stepping away from what they’re currently watching.
Bluetooth capability also allows smartphones to be connected to the TV wirelessly. With the USB input, connecting any USB drive directly to the VAP430 takes only a plug in.
"We’re excited about what Google TV brings to our new VAP430 Stream Player," says Matthew McRae, Vizio’s CTO. "This isn’t just an ordinary streaming box that accesses a few predetermined video services. It’s a true entertainment portal that opens up everything the Web has to offer as well as all the content consumers already have stored on computers and hard drives.”
In related news, Comcast’s blog today notes the rollout of the MSO’s AnyPlay device that reportedly enables live TV on a variety of Internet-enabled displays in the home.
“With AnyPlay, you can watch the channels that are included in your linear channel subscription through the Xfinity TV app on the iPad, and very soon the Motorola Xoom tablet,” it writes. “This means that while someone else watches a program in the living room, for example, you can watch another show on your iPad from the backyard deck, kitchen or other places around the home.
According to Comcast, the AnyPlay device works the same as any other set-top box in the home but, instead of delivering the incoming channel lineup to a TV, AnyPlay delivers the lineup to the Wi-Fi router on the home network.
Right now, only Xfinity HD Triple Play customers in some areas of Denver and Nashville are getting AnyPlay at no additional charge. Other markets are in the works.