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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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).
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