This is a followup post on the Vizio Co-Star. One of the hardest problems I was having was trying to play the media that was on my local network. First I tried to figure out PlayPoint which comes as a default app on the Vizio Costar with no luck. I then installed Plex since I have a Plex server installed on my Mac. It worked sometimes. For example I would start to play a movie and it would play fine. However if I left the Plex app and then went back in and tried to play the same movie, sometimes it would play, other times I would get an error message. It also wasn’t see all the contents that was on the server. For me working occasionally is more frustrating than not working at all. After trying different settings without success, I started to look for another option. I then tried the GTVBox app, which is $2.99 in the Google Play Store. It didn’t recognize any of the media that I had and so it didn’t work at all. Still searching for something that would work, I started going through apps in the Google Play store that were recommended for Google TV and I found one called aVia. aVia is free of charge and according to it’s description it can play most video types. Since it was free of charge I decided to give it a try, to my surprise it worked.
To get it to work I had to first install a DLNA server on my Macbook. I chose TVMOBili which allows me to stream up to 10GB free. Anything above that will cost a small fee monthly. Once you download the DLNA server of your choice you will need to set it up by adding the folders that contain the media that you want view on your Google TV. If I remember correctly it added the media folders that were on the Macbook automatically, I had to add the folders that were on the external USB drive manually. In my case I ended up deleting the media folders that were added from the Macbook, since I don’t have any media on them
Once you are finished installing the DLNA server, you are ready to set up aVia. The first thing you will need to do is go into My Sources and check the boxes next to the folders which correspond to the DLNa servers that you are using.
In my case it is listed as TVMOBiLi.nameofmacbook-MacBook.local. If you click the OK button on your remote at this point it will give you the option of choosing which types of media you want aVia to play. By default it is set up to see Music, Video and Images. If you hit the back button twice it will bring you to the front page which says My Media. To play a media file click on the media type, for example Videos, then Folders, then My Content, then Videos again and then choose either Movies or TV Shows. The folders are then listed alphabetically by title of the video. Pick the folder that the video you want to play is under and then click the video and it should start to play. Originally I thought it could only play mp4 file, however that was not true. I had originally set up the TVMOBiLi DLNA server incorrectly and it just wasn’t seeing the other files. Since I fixed that problem it has played everything I have thrown at it.
There are a couple of things that I am still trying to figure out, like how to restart a video from where you left off, instead of from the beginning. However so far, aVia has been the best way to play local media on the Vizio Co-Star.