Why it matters to you
Vizio’s SmartCast TV update lets you access your favorite streaming apps using the included remote, rather than requiring you to cast from a mobile phone or tablet.
On Wednesday, Vizio SmartCast TV hit select models in the Vizio’s 2017 TV lineup, an interface update that now allows viewers to access their favorite streaming services straight from their remote control. Previously, users had to cast content to their Vizio TVs from an included tablet or their smartphone via the Vizio SmartCast Mobile app, a mobile control interface that our reviewers felt was clunky when we were testing the 2016 Vizio M-Series.
The return to a more classic remote-driven TV lineup for 2017 came with the news that Vizio was planning on launching this built-in Smart TV interface as an update, and buyers are likely very excited that it is finally here. That said, new Vizio SmartCast models still feature built-in Chromecast functionality (accessed via the Vizio Smartcast Mobile app), so those fond of casting content to their TV still have that option.
“The introduction of Vizio SmartCast TV is all about giving consumers additional options when it comes to accessing their favorite content,” Vizio’s Chief Technology Officer Matt McRae said in a press release. “We focused on developing a best-in-class smart platform for all users; from traditional TV fans who enjoy a dedicated remote control, to digital natives and second screen users who love using their mobile devices to search and control their viewing experience. 2017 is all about expanding SmartCast to give users multiple ways to stream the entertainment they love, the way they want it.”
One cool element of the new SmartCast TV interface is that it pairs up with the SmartCast Mobile app, meaning that viewers can pick a show from their remote control in the living room, and play and pause the show on their mobile device or tablet from any room in the house. SmartCast TV also lets users of multiple streaming apps search for content across multiple apps at once, making it easy to find that film or TV series you have been looking for, regardless of what service is hosting it.
The automatic internet update is currently rolling out to eligible 2017 Vizio SmartCast P-Series and M-Series models, but it will hit other models — including the 2017 Smartcast E-Series — later this summer. It is worth noting that some owners will need a new SmartCast remote, which features a new button for quick access to the SmartCast TV interface. The good news is that owners of eligible TVs can get that remote for free or for a nominal fee, via a special page on Vizio’s website.
If you are looking for more information about whether your Vizio TV will get the new functionality, more information can be found on Vizio’s SmartCast TV website.