VIZIO has announced the rollout of WatchFree, a new streaming service designed ‘with cord-cutters in mind.’ The feature is now available on VIZIO SmartCast TVs and WatchFree, in partnership with Pluto TV, will provide free and direct streaming access to more than 100 live and linear channels. WatchFree is essentially the same as traditional cable TV without the need for boxes, antennas, cords and, of course, the cost.
The WatchFree service will allow VIZIO SmartCast TV users to watch live channels, and because of the association with streaming service Pluto TV, viewers will also have access to news, sports, movies, TV shows, viral videos, concerts and more, without monthly subscription costs.
“With the TV landscape continuously evolving, we’re excited to offer consumers a comprehensive entertainment solution packed with free and unlimited content offerings.” said Bill Baxter, Chief Technology Officer, VIZIO. “Powered by Pluto TV, WatchFree is a next-generation streaming service with an easy-to-navigate, cable-like interface that delivers creative and thoughtful content selections.”
WatchFree is accessible via a dedicated input, according to VIZIO, so SmartCast TV users will only need to press the Input button and select “WatchFree” to gain access to the free and unlimited service.
“Powering VIZIO’s WatchFree service is a pivotal next step in our goal to deliver free, premium entertainment to as many consumers as possible,” states Tom Ryan, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, Pluto TV. “From hit TV shows to blockbuster movies, news, sports, lifestyle and more, WatchFree is a gamechanger for cord-cutting enthusiasts.”
Pluto TV channels that will be available through WatchFree include Pluto TV Movies, Action Movies, Black Cinema, News 24/7, NBC News/MSNBC, Fox Sports, Frontdoor, Cats 24/7, Crime Network, MST3K and The Surf Channel. In addition to the regular channel lineup, Pluto TV will soon launch two new pop-up channels also available on WatchFree, featuring Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares and Unsolved Mysteries.
Built-in TV tuners on all 2018 VIZIO SmartCast TVs will allow cord-cutters to access free local broadcast TV by using an over-the-air antenna. Additionally, with Google Chromecast built-in, users can browse Chromecast-enabled apps, such as DIRECTV NOW, YouTube TV, Netflix, Prime Video, Vudu, iHeartRadio, Crackle, and XUMO2 on SmartCast Home. SmartCast Home incorporates free, curated content recommendations that are accessible via an included remote. If users know what they want to watch, but need help finding it, the universal search feature enables searching across multiple apps at once.