SmartCast is Vizio's term of choice for validating the implementation of Chromecast and Apple Airplay on their TVs. All newer models feature SmartCast, but what about the older ones?
Vizio, back in 2002, had the most humble of beginnings, with hopes of making feature-rich TVs without compromising the price or quality. Cut forward to the present, Vizio seems to stick tight to its promise.
Vizio implemented SmartCast first on the V-series lineup back in 2016. And since then, Vizio started implementing SmartCast on more and more models.
Vizio TVs manufactured since 2018 have inbuilt SmartCast. Prior to 2018, some select models featured SmartCast, and the rest came with VIA and VIA+ implementations. Vizio did promise an upgrade to SmartCast for all TVs dating back to as far as 2016.
With that said, here is a comprehensive guide to getting you started on SmartCast and how to ensure that your Vizio TVs support it.
SmartCast on Vizio TV: How to Check
Vizio's award-winning Smart TV platform, SmartCast, has taken over its entire fleet of TVs, endowing them with hundreds of channels and apps, all for free.
But SmartCast hasn't been around for a long time. In fact, a full-fledged SmartCast implementation started creeping into the Vizio ecosystem only a couple of years back.
Before that, Vizio users had to contend with VIA and VIA+ platforms, which may not have all the bells and whistles of SmartCast, but a Smart TV experience nonetheless.
Now, coming to the verification part, you can verify whether your Vizio TV supports SmartCast in a number of different ways.
The most obvious one would be to check your Vizio TV's user manual. If you don't have the manual handy, you could always check the system interface for more information.
Follow these steps to do so:
1. From the Home tab, select Extras.
2. Open About.
Here, you can find the SmartCast info.
You could also verify whether your Vizio TV is SmartCast enabled by:
- Presence of the V button on your Vizio TV remote control.
- Checking for an Ethernet port on the back of the TV. (More likely to be found on newer models)
- Cross-check the model number of your TV on the Vizio website.
- Access to the SmartCast interface.
With that said, here is a more concise account of the timeline SmartCast started becoming a benchmark on Vizio TVs:
|2018 to present||✓ (All Models)||-||-|
|2017||✓ (Select Smart TVs)||✓ (Select Tuner-less TVs)||-|
|2016||✓ (introduced on P-series lineup)||✓ (On Smart and Tuner-less TVs)||✓ (Select Models)|
|2015 and earlier||-||✓||✓|
And so, if you own a Vizio TV made after 2018, your TV does support SmartCast, no doubt about that!
But what's all this buzz worth if you don't know what you get with SmartCast? Let's look into this next, shall we?
VIA and VIA+ were Vizio's stepping stones into the Smart TV world. But as a newbie with little to no experience venturing into an unknown realm, Vizio did manage to do a banger of a job with VIA.
Unlike SmartCast, with VIA and VIA+, Vizio did allow its users to download apps and channels on their TV.
Sadly, this quality-rich feature was short-lived. And since then, Vizio has indeed come a long way with SmartCast.
What is SmartCast on Vizio TVs?
As the name suggests, SmartCast basically allows users to cast or share content from their mobile/PC devices to the Vizio TV via Chromecast or Apple Airplay.
With SmartCast, you can seamlessly share content (video and other media) or cast your device's screen to your Vizio TV with ease.
All you have to do is to download the Vizio SmartCast app on your smart device and register the TV as a viable host for casting. We'll look into casting and sharing in a later part of the article.
But, following suit to Vizio's reputation, there's more to SmartCast than mere screencasts and content sharing.
Vizio TVs certified as SmartCast TVs are putative Smart TVs that come with all the Smart features found on a modern-day Smart device.
You get a very intuitive and eye-candy SmartCast interface with pre-built apps and channels. And to make things even easier, a movie and TV catalog for the discerning viewer.
With each successive generation, Vizio has improved its feature list by introducing newer and more user-friendly features and setting options.
And as with Vizio's tradition of making radical moves, Vizio has paired up with Pluto TV to bring tons of content stretching over hundreds and thousands of hours for free.
But how will you avail of all these services on your Vizio TV? Well, through the Internet, of course!
To power all the Smart features baked into the TV, Vizio has enabled internet access to its TVs through either WiFi or Ethernet.
All you have to do is to connect the Vizio TV to a viable WiFi network or a stable Ethernet connection.
And to open up the world of SmartCast on your Vizio TV, press the V button on your Remote, and voila!
Now that you've entered the SmartCast tab, what to do next? Let's check it out, shall we?
How to Use SmartCast on Vizio TV
As mentioned earlier, SmartCast hosts numerous features and casting services form just the tip of the iceberg.
Before getting into the cast aspect of SmartCast, it's high time we check out some of the other unique features for you to explore on SmartCast.
Now, it all starts with the press of the V button on your remote. Once you press the V-button on your Vizio remote, you'll be greeted with the SmartCast interface.
Now comes the exciting part! Within this interface, you get to access quite a few features. Let's look at them now:
★ Movie and TV Catalog: You may be familiar with a TV guide on your regular old satellite and cable TVs.
The Catalog feature on Vizio SmartCast Televisions serves the same function: Inform you of the various shows and movies and their timings!
Open either of the Catalogs (Movie or TV) from the upper toolbar of the SmartCast interface to know what's playing now.
Once you find a show or a movie you would like to watch, select the show/movie title and the TV shall take you to the streaming services straight away.
You can also set reminders to notify you of a show/movie of interest.
★ Universal Search: Situated adjacent to Catalog is the Universal search feature.
Click on the magnifying glass icon and enter the name of a channel or app of your liking and the TV shall show you the available options.
Use this feature to access the hundreds of apps and channels Vizio has provided within the SmartCast interface.
★ Free apps and channels: Vizio has endowed its SmartCast TVs with an assortment of free channels and apps that users can avail of right out of the box.
Log in to your app of choice and enjoy hours and hours of content, all for free.
And if you want to access popular streaming or video playback services like HULU+, Youtube Premium, Disney Plus, etc., you get that too.
This is a great alternative to the traditional tuner-defined channels on Vizio TV.
Vizio also provides timely updates for all its TVs to keep them updated and safe from software issues.
Software Updates afford you the resources to fend off problems like Vizio TV not turning off.
Usually, Vizio TVs update themselves automatically when a software update is made available to them. All you need to ensure is a stable internet connection.
But if you want to manually check and update the system, then follow these steps to do so:
- Open the Menu tab on your TV.
- Navigate to and open the System menu.
- Scroll and select Check for Updates.
- Perform the update and restart the TV.
How to Add Apps to a Vizio SmartCast TV
Now that you have a firm grasp of what SmartCast is and can do on your Vizio Smart TV, let's talk about how to manage apps/channels on your SmartCast TV.
Unlike most other Smart TV platforms, SmartCast doesn't provide you the provision to add additional apps to your TV.
Although, Vizio has endowed the SmartCast platform with over 100 free apps, and the list keeps on growing.
Netflix, Disney+, HULU, DAZN, etc. are some of the top-tier streaming services available on SmartCast.
If you want to use an app other than the ones available with SmartCast, make use of the inbuilt Chromecast or Airplay features to cast an app of your choice from a mobile device to the TV.
However, this may not be the case with the older VIA and VIA+ platforms.
With Vizio TVs rocking a VIA/VIA+ Smart TV platform, you have the provision to add apps from the Vizio app store.
Here's how to add apps on VIA/VIA+ platforms:
1. Press the V button on your Vizio TV remote control to open the VIA/VIA+ home screen.
2. On the VIA+ platform, select your preferred app category to bring up a list of associated apps (select All Apps to view them all).
On VIA, select Connected TV Store and then All Apps to open the list of available apps.
3. Once you have found an app you want to install, on VIA+, press and hold the OK button until the app is added to your library (My Apps).
On VIA, Press and OK button and select Install App to complete the addition.
And that's pretty much it with adding apps on your Vizio TV. Let's now look at how to cast via your mobile device to your Vizio TV:
How to Cast to Vizio TV
Titled eponymously for its foundational feature, SmartCast started and still thrives as a screen/content-sharing feature on Vizio Smart TVs.
Vizio has implemented both Chromecast and Apple Airplay capabilities on their Smart TVs. Newer television models even feature the improved Apple Airplay 2 cast and screen-sharing feature.
Here's how to share the screen or cast content to your Vizio TV from your Smart device:
Before starting with the pairing process, make sure to connect both your Vizio TV and Smart device to the same WiFi network.
Vizio TVs only support the 2.4 GHz WiFi band.
1. Install the Vizio SmartCast app from the respective app stores.
2. Open the app and proceed with the on-screen prompts to set up an account.
3. You'll now be asked to register your Vizio device from a list of SmartCast-capable devices.
4. Choose your Vizio SmartCast TV.
5. The TV will now display a 4-digit pairing code. Enter the code onto the app.
Now, you can share your screen or cast content onto your Vizio TV by selecting the cast icon from the appropriate apps via Chromecast or Airplay.
Apart from casting your host device screen onto the Vizio TV, the Vizio SmartCast app also grants you command over certain other features of the TV.
For starters, you can use the SmartCast app onboard remote as a substitute for the actual Vizio TV remote.
And there you have it, a comprehensive guide on everything you need to know about SmartCast and how to know whether your television supports it.
Regardless of whether your Vizio TV supports SmartCast or not, every TV manufactured from 2015 onwards has, to some extent, Smart features enabled on them.
And the flawless support for Chromecast and Airplay further enriches the whole Smart TV experience. Coupled with premium features like Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos, you're sure to be entertained!
Do keep in mind that like every smart feature, SmartCast does have recurring bugs that need to be fixed, such as the Vizio TVs automatically changing its input to SmartCast.
If you have any further questions or doubts about the matter, contact the Vizio support for further assistance.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How do I update my Vizio TV?
To update your Vizio TV, follow these steps:
1. Open the Menu tab on your TV and select the System option.
2. Click on the Check for Updates option.
Perform the update and restart your Vizio TV.
Why is my Vizio TV saying SmartCast is not available?
If you come across the SmartCast not available error message, better check the internet connectivity on your Vizio TV. SmartCast demands uninterrupted network access to work. You could also perform a power cycle test to refresh your TV. Unplug the TV from power and leave it idle for a few seconds. Plug back in the cables and power On the TV. Check for the issue now.
How do I set up SmartCast on my VIZIO TV without a remote?
You can set up your Vizio SmartCast TV without the help of the Vizio remote by making use of the SmartCast app on your mobile. Download the app on your smart device and follow the onscreen setting prompts to complete the setup.