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Smart Features Return to Vizio TV Sets

Vizio refreshed its P-series and M-series 4K HDTVs on Tuesday and announced a new version of its SmartCast software that returns smart TV features previously moved to its app to the big screen, though smartphone control is still an option.

The new Smart Cast interface is a departure from Vizio's previous plan to remove on-screen menus and button-based remotes, funnelling all HDTV controls through the Vizio SmartCast app for Android and iOS. That app is still available, but smart control features are back on the TV for the new P- and M-series sets as well as the 2016 models, which will get over-the-air updates this summer.

The base model of the 2017 P-Series lineup is a 55-inch 4K XLED display that retails for $1,299. There's also a 65-inch display for $1,999, and a top-of-the line 75-inch model that goes for $3,499. In addition to 4K resolution, each set can display high dynamic range (HDR) content, thanks to Dolby Vision and HDR10 support. Other picture-enhancing features include 128 individual dimming zones to achieve deeper black levels, as well as a 240Hz refresh rate to minimize stuttering in action scenes.

Vizio soundbar

There are also six new M-Series TVs, ranging from a $799 50-inch set to a $2,999 75-inch version, each of which include the SmartCast interface, 4K resolution, and HDR support. The main picture quality differences compared to the P-series are a lower refresh rate (120Hz), and fewer dimming zones for black level control (32).

In addition to Vizio's own SmartCast software, whose on-screen interface can be navigated with the traditional remote, the P-series and M-series also come with Google Chromecast built in. That means you can beam content from Chromecast-supported mobile apps like Netflix with no additional steps—the TV will even turn on automatically when you start casting.


Vizio also unveiled new home audio products on Monday, including a $199 multi-room SmartCast-compatible wireless speaker. It features Wi-Fi audio streaming and Chromecast support, as well as the ability to stream music from the SmartCast mobile apps and the Google Assistant via Google Home.

Rounding out the audio updates are new soundbars, available as standalone speakers or in a package with a subwoofer and satellites. Like the multi-room wireless speaker, the sound bars also use Wi-Fi streaming and support SmartCast, Chromecast, and the Google Assistant.

In other smart TV news, the YouTube Kids app is now available on LG, Samsung, and Sony smart TVs in the 26 countries where Google's kid-focused service has launched. Look for it on 2015 to 2017 LG webOS TVs via the LG content store, 2013 to 2017 Samsung Smart TVs and Blu-ray Players with the Samsung App Store, and 2016-2017 Sony TVs that get a firmware update, except those running Android TV, which will be available soon.

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