During CES 2019, VIZIO announced the latest version of its smart TV platform, SmartCast 3.0. Thanks to added support for Apple AirPlay2 and HomeKit, SmartCast 3.0 will allow users to take videos, music, and photos directly from their iPhone, iPad, or other Apple devices and play them directly on a VIZIO TV.
Initially, the support for AirPlay2 and HomeKit will come in the form of registered beta for members across the U.S and Canada during Q1 2019, with free cloud-based updates expected to launch the service fully by Q2 2019.
“At our core, VIZIO is committed to delivering value. SmartCast 3.0 is one of the ways we're doing just that. By adding support for Apple AirPlay 2 and HomeKit, users can play content from their iPhone, iPad and Mac directly to SmartCast TVs, and enable TV controls through the Home app and Siri,” says Bill Baxter, chief technology officer, VIZIO.
“SmartCast 3.0 also supports Google Assistant and provides access to thousands of Google Chromecast-enabled apps. Additional support for Alexa rounds out our voice control offerings, allowing VIZIO SmartCast to seamlessly fit into any household with Siri, Google Assistant or Alexa. We're excited to be the first in the marketplace to support such a wide range of ways for consumers to sit back and enjoy the entertainment they love.”
VIZIO TVs Expand Google Assistant, Alexa Functions
By using AirPlay, customers will be able to stream 4K and Dolby Vision HDR movies and TV shows from iTunes and other video apps. Users can also mirror content such as web pages and presentations to their VIZIO SmartCast TVs.
AirPlay 2 also features multi-room audio capabilities so users can listen to Apple Music, music from their iTunes library, and third-party music services on their VIZIO SmartCast TV, HomePod, Apple's wireless home music speaker, or other AirPlay 2-compatible speakers at the same time, all in sync.
Meanwhile, HomeKit allows customers to securely control their smart home products using the Home app or by asking Siri on an Apple device. SmartCast TVs can also be added to the Home app to be included in scenes or automations.
Customers can also use an iPhone or iPad as a remote to turn a SmartCast TV on or off via the Home app, change volume and switch inputs, and ask Siri to play movies, TV shows, or music with AirPlay2.
However, Siri isn't the only voice-control option supported by SmartCast 3.0, as Google Assistant and Alexa functionalities are also included. Google Assistant will receive expanded actions like the ability to use simple voice commands to launch apps, select inputs, and play/pause/resume content.
Amazon Alexa users will similarly be able to control their TV, with expanded functionality expected later in 2019.
New apps will continue to be added to SmartCast Home, joining popular favorites like Netflix, Prime Video, and Hulu.
SmartCast 3.0 also includes VIZIO WatchFree, the company's free streaming service that provides access to live news, sports, movies, TV shows, viral videos, concerts and more. With the rollout of SmartCast 3.0, users will be able to enjoy new channels, including TV Spotlight, which features rotating box office favorites.