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Vizio Replaces SmartCast with New Smart TV Home Screen

Vizio’s new TV Home Screen provides easier navigation, enhanced features, and fixes a number of issues that plagued SmartCast.

VIZIO Home Screen 2023

Vizio is rolling out a completely redesigned on-screen TV interface, labeled Home Screen. The new design is intended to enhance the TV viewing experience with easier ways to discover and stream entertainment. With the implementation of the new Home Screen, Vizio is dropping the name SmartCast. However, Vizio TVs still support the casting features provided by SmartCast.

How Vizio Arrived at this Point

When Vizio first unveiled SmartCast in 2016, it was based on the Chromecast platform, where all streaming features had to be done by casting content from a compatible smartphone or tablet. 

As the years progressed, Vizio retained the SmartCast name and features but also started introducing built-in apps directly accessible on the TV, which made things more convenient. However, the overall user interface still had some issues regarding ease of use and the ability to add and delete apps wasn’t always possible or intuitive.

Here are some key updates by year.

VIZIO Home Screen App Catalog

As recently as January 2023, Vizio added new remote control and mobile app features that supported user convenience, but as a result of continuing consumer complaints and feedback regarding its user interface, Vizio has introduced a new onscreen user interface that not only provides solutions for problems that SmartCast wasn’t able to accommodate, but a completely new format as well.

Home Screen Core Features

The changeover to the new Home Screen format focuses on three core features.

Intuitive Design: The new home screen incorporates revamped menus, settings, and navigation features that support easier content browsing. A redesigned virtual keyboard and genre page displays improve content search. 

Vizio TV Home Screen Search Page
Vizio TV Home Screen Content Details Page

Seamless Content Discovery: Find shows and movies directly on the Home Screen via built-in recommendations, Common Sense Media parental guidance, and Rotten Tomatoes scores.

Customization: The TV viewer can personalize the App Row favorites. You can also place movies and shows from different apps in one place with the My Watchlist feature.

Vizio TV Home Screen Collection

From Kaitlyn Collins, VP of Product Marketing at VIZIO: “The VIZIO Home Screen is the next step in our evolution to bring our consumers the best entertainment experience. Our goal is to make it easy for our consumers to experience our latest innovations as soon as they are available, even on older VIZIO Smart TVs…The rollout and availability of the new VIZIO Home Screen is another manifestation of the idea that, even after consumers purchase a TV from us, we’ll continue to offer value, support, and innovation to their viewing experience.

Vizio TV Home Screen Kids and Family Genre

Tip: The new Vizio Home Screen UI is expected to be provided as a firmware update for most 2016 and newer Vizio SmartCast TVs in the coming weeks and months of 2023. Contact Vizio Customer Service for any additional clarification

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Our Take: Vizio really needed to replace SmartCast with something that had a more streamlined appearance and better functionality; it will be interesting to see how it received by TV viewers when it is compared to other Smart TV platforms such as Roku OS (several brands), Fire TV OS (Amazon/Toshiba), Tizen OS (Samsung), WebOS (Primarily LG), and Google TV (Sony, and select Hisense and TCL models). 

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Frank Krygowski

    October 16, 2023 at 6:45 pm

    The 2023 updates made our Vizio D32f-F1 borderline unusable. We use it mostly for OTA TV, with some streaming of PBS and YouTube via Roku. Power on now takes minutes. Changing a station takes ~15 seconds. Several stations are now laterally squashed, and the buttons or menu choices can’t restore them. Pressing “OK for full guide” generally does nothing, other than placing the current view in a tiny corner of the screen. In response, Vizio tech support said “Well, you _did_ agree to accept updates!” … as if I had a choice! This is my last Vizio product. I can’t believe this made it past the beta testers!

  2. Rainy

    October 18, 2023 at 4:54 am

    Well this TV viewer has received this update with confusion, frustration and finally anger. They made OTA watching so painful it’s actually better to disconnect the tv from the internet, reset to factory settings and use a Roku or other streaming box. That’s the only way to get the OTA functionality back to a usable state. This update is horrible. Half the time the screen says “Channel unavailable” when you first turn it on so you have to turn it off and try again until it decides to work. Then while watching a show the message “Channel unavailable” will pop up in the middle of the screen – even though the show is playing – and won’t go away. No amount of troubleshooting is going to make this hot mess any better. No more Vizio tv’s in this house.

  3. DaveyJ

    February 6, 2024 at 11:47 pm

    Wanted to add to the comments on this about OTA channels. Almost unusable after the update and incredibly frustrating. Everything is slow, guide rarely works, and powering on takes forever now. I have purchased Vizio TVs for years because they were decent quality for a reasonable price but never again. Starting with my primary home TV I will be replacing all of them with another brand. What a horrible update.

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