Vizio Integrates Google Cast, Scraps Tuner

In late February, Variety reported on a new Vizio TV series that would feature built-in Chromecast functionality from Google (Google Extends Cast Protocol Outside Android). The sets would also use an Android tablet as a remote control. The article has now been proved correct, with the unveiling of Vizio’s SmartCast P-Series.

Matt McRae, Vizio’s CTO, told Mashable, “One of the biggest complaints we’ve hear from consumers and from reviewers is that smart TV platforms are proprietary —the apps that are there are typically older versions of the apps that don’t get updates as much. Or in many cases, the app never gets ported to the television because that app or service is focused on their iOS or Android versions. By integrating Cast, a user will always have the latest and greatest applications.”

UltraHD resolution and HDR technology is featured on each model. These are the P50-C1 (49.51″), P55-C1 (54.64″), P65-C1 (64.53″) and P75-C1 (74.54″). They also have 126 (50″/55″) or 128 active dimming zones.

Technically, these devices are not TVs, as they do not have a tuner built in. Vizio writes that live TV from cable and satellite boxes do not require a tuner – watching over-the-air content from an external antenna will require a tuner, which can be purchased separately. Vizio’s existing M- and E-Series sets are also tuner-free.

All sets use a VA panel aside from the P55-C1, which is IPS. Each supports Dolby Vision HDR and UltraHD upscaling. Each set has 178° viewing angles and a 240Hz effective refresh rate (barring P50-C1, which is 120Hz). They use a V8 octa-core processor.

HDMI 2.0 (x5) (upgrade to 2.0a ‘coming soon’), component, USB (x2) and RJ45 ports are featured. Two 10W speakers are built in.

The 6″ Android tablet supplied with the TVs has 1920 x 1080 resolution, 16GB of storage and an octa-core processor.

Vizio is selling its SmartCast TVs now, for $1,000 (P50-C1), $1,300 (P55-C1), $2,000 (P65-C1) and $3,800 (P75-C1).

Analyst Comment

Google has re-branded ChromeCast as Google Cast. (BR)

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