SmartCast Gets Smarter With Amazon Alexa
VIZIO just released a free software update (version 3.0) for all SmartCast TVs dating back to 2016, along with all current 2019 models. With it comes tighter integration with Alexa via voice commands. Now users can voice search for movies or shows by title, genre, or cast member. However, this feature still requires Bluetooth pairing with a separate Amazon Echo device, because there’s no microphone in the TV. Previous Alexa capabilities on VIZIO TVs only allowed basic voice commands such as power on/off, volume up/down, input changes, or play/pause programs.
Finding a favorite show is easier than ever; after following the onscreen setup flow and enabling VIZIO’s Alexa skill, users can simply say “Alexa, find the show This is Us” to catch up before the NBC season premiere. SmartCast then displays pricing and video formats across multiple apps, helping users find the right content at the right price. Additionally, users can use their voice to launch apps such as Prime Video or Hulu without their remote to immediately start watching. If a viewer is not sure exactly what to watch but has a specific genre in mind, they can ask for categories such as action or horror films for a more intuitive and hands-free browsing experience.
Alexa users are not the only customers who will see improved voice functionality; more SmartCast TV models will soon be compatible with the Google Assistant. Using the Google Assistant, users can launch apps, switch inputs, power on and off their TV, or play, pause, and rewind the content they are viewing. Voice commands can also be used to change picture modes and toggle closed captioning display for a truly customizable entertainment experience on VIZIO SmartCast TVs.
VIZIO’s 2019 4K HDR smart TV collection adds compatibility with Apple’s Siri, HomeKit and AirPlay 2. They can be found at national retailers including Amazon, Best Buy, Costco, Sam’s Club, Target and Walmart from $239.99 for the all-new 40-inch V-Series to $2,399.99 for the flagship 75-inch P-Series Quantum X.