VIZIO has today announced support for new Alexa voice features on its SmartCast TVs – including those TVs dating back to 2016 – and which are available now. Former Alexa features on VIZIO TVs allowed functionality for on/off switching, changing inputs, play and pause etc., but the new updates support voice-activated movie and TV title searches by title, genre and cast, all from an Echo device.
You will need to follow an onscreen setup and then be able to offer commands such as “Alexa, find the show This is Us” to catch up before a season premiere. SmartCast will, in turn, show pricing and video formats available across various apps. Prime Video, Hulu and other apps can be launched by voice without needing a remote. Categories can also be pulled up if you’re not sure what to watch.
“At VIZIO, we are always looking for ways to enhance the entertainment experience and bring more value to our customers. We are thrilled to offer improved SmartCast features not only to new customers, but for current VIZIO SmartCast TV users as well,” said Bill Baxter, Chief Technology Officer, VIZIO. “The timing couldn’t be better with the excitement around fall TV premieres because the new Alexa features give viewers more ways to easily find the content they love.”
VIZIO says that SmartCast TV models will soon also be compatible with Google Assistant for launching apps, switching inputs etc. Voice commands can be used to change picture modes and toggle closed captioning displays for customizable entertainment.
The 2019 4K smart TVs can be found at Amazon, Best Buy, Costco, Sam’s Club, Target and Walmart, and voice-compatible models range from $239.99 for the 40-inch V-Series to $2,399.99 for the 75-inch P-Series Quantum X. You can read more on the VIZIO/Alexa webpage here.