by Ben Munson | May 21, 2019 10:43am
SmartCast 3.0, which is arriving in the next weeks as a software update for new and existing Vizio SmartCast TVs and displays, is adding more content access but also building up its voice command support, while redesigning its user interface and home page.
“Through continuous cloud-based updates, we’re able to help users truly make the most of their entertainment experience by providing them with the latest features and content on an ongoing basis,” said Bill Baxter, chief technology officer at Vizio, in a statement.
SmartCast 3.0 is adding support for Apple’s AirPlay 2.0 and Homekit in the coming months, but in the meantime the company is updating its support for Siri, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice search functionality. Users with Alexa-enabled devices will soon get the ability to search content by titles and genres, and users with a Google Home or Google Assistant-enabled device will soon be able to use voice commands to launch apps, switch picture mode, select inputs as well as pause, resume, stop, fast-forward and rewind content.
SmartCast already supports a lot of popular streaming apps including Amazon Prime Video, Netflix and Hulu, but now it will support Hulu’s live streaming TV service.
SmartCast’s WatchFree streaming service is also getting some content. The service, which launched in 2018, is getting new channels including CNN, Paramount Movie Channel, a variety of MTV channels, Comedy Central Pluto TV, Comedy Central Stand Up, Spike Pluto TV, Spike Outdoors, BET Pluto TV and CMT Westerns.
Viacom, which acquired Pluto TV for $340 million earlier this year, announced that its launching free, ad-supported channel versions of BET, Comedy Central, MTV and Nickelodeon for Pluto TV. WatchFree was built using Pluto TV’s tech platform.