Vizio's SmartCast app wants to make better recommendations

An update to the mobile app for Vizio TVs brings new Featured and Discover sections to expand your viewing horizons.

Dan Ackerman Editorial Director / Computers and Gaming
Dan Ackerman leads CNET's coverage of computers and gaming hardware. A New York native and former radio DJ, he's also a regular TV talking head and the author of "The Tetris Effect" (Hachette/PublicAffairs), a non-fiction gaming and business history book that has earned rave reviews from the New York Times, Fortune, LA Review of Books, and many other publications. "Upends the standard Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs/Mark Zuckerberg technology-creation myth... the story shines." -- The New York Times
Expertise I've been testing and reviewing computer and gaming hardware for over 20 years, covering every console launch since the Dreamcast and every MacBook...ever. Credentials
  • Author of the award-winning, NY Times-reviewed nonfiction book The Tetris Effect; Longtime consumer technology expert for CBS Mornings
Dan Ackerman
2 min read

Most of the big television news from CES 2017 was about LG's paper-thin OLED sets and Samsung's new push for quantum dots QLED TVs. Just days after the show doors closed, budget TV king Vizio has a new product update, but not for its line of high-value televisions. Instead, Vizio on Tuesday said it's updating the SmartCast app that controls many of them.

SmartCast is an Android and iOS app that works with Vizio TVs from the popular E, M and P series. It takes the place of a traditional remote control. Previously, CNET television review guru David Katzmaier said:

"The SmartCast app can control every function of the TV, from power-on to input switching to advanced picture adjustments, audio controls, setting timers and everything else. You'll pair your phone to the TV using it in the initial setup process, and use it to connect the TV to Wi-Fi and receive software updates. The app also offers TV and movie discovery features, but they're not very advanced."

It's that last point this new update addresses. New recommendations are coming to the featured content section of the app. If you are looking to expand your viewing horizons even more, curated content suggestions are coming to the Discover section of the SmartCast app.

Another new feature is the updated Cast Apps section, which will automatically launch apps such as Netflix on your phone or tablet for casting to the Vizio TV. If you don't have proper app installed, it will now point you towards where to download it from your device's app store.

These new features are coming to the SmartCast app soon. More details on the platform are available on Vizio's website.

Does the Mac still matter? Apple execs tell why the MacBook Pro was over four years in the making, and why we should care. Read about it here.

Tech Enabled: CNET chronicles tech's role in providing new kinds of accessibility. Check it out here.