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Jan 02 2013

Avatar of Scott Weissman

Vizio Co-Star: A step in the right direction for low vision users.

Vizio Co-Star

Vizio Co-Star

The Vizio Co-Star is a streaming media player and entertainment hub for TV. Basically the Co-Star is a tiny box that has a version of the Android operating system that allows a user to stream videos from Netflix, Hulu Plus, or Amazon Video. Other features of the player allow for download of Android Play apps and also an internet browser to go online. For our purposes the  interesting feature of the Co- Star is that there are accessibility features built in to include text-to-speech options that allow navigation with the remote control and have on-screen text spoken to the user.

While using text-to-speech on the Co-Star the main menus are easily navigated with standard up, down, right, left, ok and back buttons. During these operations on-screen text is spoken back to the user providing information. A drawback to the player is that once an app is selected the text-to-speech feedback is no longer given for the majority of apps, leaving the user to navigate on their own.

Overall the addition of text-to-speech in a main stream device is a nice feature and is a step in the right direction to become fully accessible. The future looks bright for those with vision loss to use a mainstream device like this, but the Co-Star falls short of providing a true means to use the device to its full potential.

Have you used this device or any like it? Let us know your experience, it may be just the thing for other followers.

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