New streaming player set to hit market

It’s the most complete streaming player I’ve found as well as one of the least expensive.

The latest tech gadget that I’m excited about is the Co-Star from Vizio. It turns an HDTV into a smart TV with a one-time cost of $99, below many other streaming players on the market today.

What makes this device different is that it not only has a web browser, but it gives you the full web experience by supporting Flash and HTML 5.  This is the only streaming player I’ve seen that supports Flash, and we all know there are hundreds of thousands of web pages that use that technology.

But in addition to the browser, the Co-Star has the features of Google TV. Vizio claims this means you get access to thousands of apps in the Google Play Store along with the already installed Netflix, Amazon and YouTube.

Vizio has partnered up with OnLive, a gaming site that lets you play with no discs or downloads.  Personally I’m not a gamer, but for those that are, this is one of the most promoted aspects of Co-Star.

The remote is two-sided. One side has your normal volume, channel, input, etc. controls plus a trackpad. The other side has a QWERTY keyboard for entering text.

Vizio also has apps that turn smart phones and tablets into remotes.

Now for some of the tech details. The only output is HDMI, so if you don’t have an HDMI connection to your TV you’ll need to get some type of converter cable. I’ve got and HDMI to DVI cable that I’m hoping will do the trick.  This is the one drawback I’ve found. There is also an HDMI input. The theory is that you run a connection from your cable/satellite box to the Co-Star and then from the Co-Star to your television. This allows you to continue to watch your favorite shows while interacting on the Internet, all on one screen. Maybe you’re watching “The Office” while in a “The Office” chat room.

This player supports 1080p Full HD as well as 3D. You’ll still need a 3D television to watch 3D video.

You can connect to the device with built-in wi-fi and LAN, Bluetooth, USB and DNLA-enabled phones, tablets and computers.

The Co-Star is taking preorders, but be aware that Vizio keeps running out of the product.  There is an estimated shipping date of August 14 and will hit stores soon after that.

So not only is this the most complete streaming player I’ve found, but it’s one of the least expensive. Google TV was not ready for prime time when it debuted. But with players like this and an upgrade to the Google TV system, it may now be ready to compete with other systems like Apple TV. Only time will tell.

When I get mine I’ll let you know how well it actually works.

Warren Mills is the webmaster for WTHR-TV. He has been building and working on web sites since the mid-1990s.

Another Record for Indy

We reached 91 degrees today in Indianapolis, making this our 26th day of the month with a high of 90 or hotter.
That beats the old record of 25 days in July of 1901. More heat records are likely as highs in the 90s should continue for another week at least.

Through Saturday, our average temp this month was 84.4 degrees. We still have a couple days to go, but it’s looking like we’ll beat July 1936 as the warmest month on record. That monthly average temp was 82.8 degrees.

We reached another milestone today as well, unfortunately. Our rainfall deficit for the year has now hit 10 inches! (I rounded up from 9.97″) With so many people wondering what it will take to climb out of the drought, we would need around 1″ of rain weekly for several months. But climatologically, we’re actually going into a drier period when the average rainfall per week is more like 1/2″ to 3/4″. Our best hope of breaking the drought is hoping for something in the tropics to spin up in the Gulf and spread a swath of moisture into the Midwest. Right now, that is not looking likely.

What is likely is more 90+ heat in your WTHR-TV 7-day. Also, based on the latest computer models, it’s looking LESS likely for rain Monday and Tuesday. I’ve trimmed back from 30% chances (scattered showers/storms) to 20% (isolated showers/storms). Our best bet for rain now appears to be Friday and Saturday (fingers crossed).

Finally, our WTHR-TV Hoosier Pic at 6 from Taylor Spear who shot this awesome panorama from the Brickyard 400 race! Share your pic here: or here:

Take Care,
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Brickyard 400 Forecast

A fabulous day is ahead for Central Indiana!

A fabulous day is ahead for Central Indiana!

Highs will reach about 90 degrees with partly cloudy skies.  We’ll see a light breeze out of the south up to 5 to 10 mph.  If you’re heading to the Brickyard, or just spending time outside, don’t forget the sunscreen!

While we’ll see a dry day, we need rain, and tonight, there’s a chance of scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms as temps drop to the upper 60s.

Monday and Tuesday we remain in the low 90s with a 30% chance for scattered showers and storms.  Less than .25″ of rain is expected, outside of storms.

The 90s stick with us this week as we’re dry Wednesday and Thursday, with rain chances returning Friday through the weekend.

So far we’ve hit 90 degrees or warmer 25 times during the month of July, that ties the record set back in 1901, we look to beat that today if we hit 90.

Your Brickyard 400 Sunday Forecast

Hope you enjoyed your Saturday! It was only the 3rd day this month with highs cooler than 90! Don’t get used to the change…we should reach 90 for a high Sunday afternoon as another warming trend gets underway.

Your Hour-By-Hour Brickyard 400 forecast starts nice and comfy with a temp of 66 at 8am, but we warm up to 84 by the start of the race and reach a high of 90 by late afternoon. That 90-degree reading is significant. It will mean we’ve hit 90+ 26 times this month, which will break the July record of 25 set in 1901.

The next 7 days will likely feature more temps in the 90s, with the hottest day on Thursday. As for rain chances, we could get some isolated showers overnight Sunday into Monday morning with scattered showers possible both Monday and Tuesday. Rain amounts the next five days could range from around 1/10″ to 1/4″, so we’ll still need much more to continue whittling away at our Extreme Drought conditions.

Our Hoosier Pic at 6 today was from the IMS where viewer Beth Gootee tweeted her pic of the pagoda and praised the great weather for the Nationwide race!

Our Hoosier Pic after the Olympics is courtesy of Melissa Walton who shot this pic of a heart-shaped cloud. Share your pics here: or here:

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

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Cooler Weekend Setting Up

Sunshine and cooler temps will settle into Central Indiana this weekend.

Sunshine and cooler temps will settle into Central Indiana this weekend.

Highs will reach the mid to upper 80s today with partly cloudy skies.

Tonight, temps drop to the mid 60s, it will be comfortable and mostly clear.

Sunday, highs pop close to 90 degrees with partly cloudy skies.  Rain tries to push into the state late in the afternoon, but should fall apart before it gets here.  A spotty shower may be possible Sunday night.  So far Indianapolis has had 39 days of 90+ heat, and we’ll add more in the next 7 days.

Our next best chance for rain arrives Monday and Tuesday with a chance for scattered showers and storms.

Indianapolis is running 9.79″ below normal for rainfall.  We need 9-10″ of rain to end the drought.

Next week highs top out in the low 90s.

Hot with Isolated Severe Storms Possible This Afternoon

The Storm Prediction Center expanded the portions of Indiana under a slight risk of severe storms in its midday update. High winds are the greatest threat, but hail and isolated tornadoes can’t be ruled out. Isolated storms are possible, so keep an eye to the sky and be ready for quick changes in the weather if one of the storms develops near you. For more information:

After today’s isolated storms and highs in the mid 90s, we’ll cool down and stay dry for the Nationwide race tomorrow and Brickyard 400 Sunday.

We stay in the 90s through much of your WTHR-TV 7-Day, which will likely ensure we’ll set the record for most 90+ days in July. We tied that mark today with our 25th 90+ day of the month. Our best chance of rain (aside from today) comes on Tuesday.

Finally, our Hoosier Pic at noon courtesy of Jonathan Dehner. He snapped this shot of the stormy skies over The Pyramids yesterday. Share your pic! Right here:  or here:

Have a great weekend!
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Isolated Storm Chances… Cooler Weekend Ahead

Highs will reach the low 90s today with a chance for isolated storms. Some storms may be strong to severe.

Highs will reach the low 90s today with a chance for isolated storms.  Some storms may be strong to severe.  A mix of sun and clouds will be around if you’re not lucky enough to pick up rain. 

 Thursday was the 39th time this year the temp has reached 90 degrees or warmer, today should be number 40.

Tonight, temps drop to the mid 60s with partly cloudy skies.

The weekend looks great!   If you’re heading to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, or Colts Camp, plan on sunshine and comfortable highs in the upper 80s.

Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday next week, there’s a chance for scattered showers and storms as temps hang around 90 degrees.

Severe Weather Possible Today

Strong to severe storms will likely develop for Central Indiana today.

Strong to severe storms will likely develop for Central Indiana today.

There’s a chance of storms this morning, but we will more than likely see severe storms this afternoon and evening.  All of Central Indiana is under a slight risk for severe storms with damaging wind and hail the top concern.  Storms will also produce frequent lightning and heavy rainfall.  On the map below, yellow means a slight risk and red means a moderate risk where the severe weather threat is greater.

Highs will reach the mid 90s today, but feel more like 100+ because of the humidity.  Outside of thunderstorms, winds will gust up to 30 mph out of the west.

Tonight, scattered showers and storms will be tapering off with temps in the 70s.

Friday, we “cool” off to the low 90s with the chance for an isolated shower or storm.

Saturday and Sunday will be dry with temps in the upper 80s.

Another chance for rain moves in Monday.

Century Mark Coming Wednesday… Severe Storms Thursday

Today will be the 9th time this year Indianapolis has topped out at 100 degrees or warmer.

Today will be the 9th time this year Indianapolis has topped out at 100 degrees or warmer.

Highs will top out around 102 today, but feel up to 110 degrees.  A Heat Advisory is in effect until 8pm.  Today’s record is 105 from 1934.  There’s a chance for an isolated shower or storm.

Tonight, temps only drop to the upper 70s.  It will be a warm and humid night.

Thursday, highs will reach the upper 90s, with scattered showers and storms developing, especially for the afternoon and evening.  Some storms may be strong to severe, all of Central Indiana is under a slight risk for severe storms.

Friday, scattered storms will remain with temps in the low 90s.

The weekend looks much cooler with highs in the upper 80s.

More rain could be coming our way early next week with scattered showers and thunderstorms moving into the forecast starting Monday.

Only Isolated Storms Possible This Afternoon, Heat Advisory Tomorrow

This morning’s rain dropped a few sprinkles across the Indy Metro, but to the north, it was a widespread path of 1-2″ rain along with severe storms. Several viewers posted their pics/video on our Facebook page. Check them out here:

Here’s a look at the track of storm reports/damage during the morning from Chicagoland to Kokomo to Muncie to Richmond. For a detailed listing:,LOT,ILN,IWX/201207240600/201207241600/0100

Today, the extra clouds from this morning’s storms to the north will likely hold temps down in the 90s (80s to the north) There’s still a low-end chance for more isolated storms. Tomorrow, it’s a different story. With only isolated storm chances (mainly north) tomorrow, the heat will be ON! A HEAT ADVISORY goes into effect for most of Central Indiana with temps in the triple digits and heat indices over 105! Be careful!

Your WTHR-TV 7-Day features heat through Thursday, then late Thursday there’s a GOOD chance of widespread rain and severe storms are possible. By Friday, a leftover shower or storm can’t be ruled out, but temperatures will begin to cool. That paves the way for a nice-looking weekend for Race Fans! Saturday looks dry and pleasant with a high of 88 and Sunday looks mainly dry and just a bit warmer with a high around 90 for the Brickyard 400.

Finally, our Hoosier Pic at noon from Connie Brown of Knightstown…gotta love the Indiana Tumbleweed! Submit your pic here: or here:

Take Care,
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