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Vizio updates its SmartCast TV software with voice commands and better search

It’s no secret that many of today’s smart TVs aren’t really all that intelligent. Slow and unintuitive navigation and clunky user interfaces still plague this space, and consumers sometimes opt for some sort of set-top box, even when their TV has streaming apps built in. Fortunately, Vizio’s smart TVs don’t fall into that category, thanks in no small part to its user-friendly SmartCast interface — which just got a major upgrade.

The update, which is live on all SmartCast-enabled TVs, adds new voice-command capability, new free TV channels, a redesigned electronic program guide. and expanded navigation features for easier search and discovery. Vizio also claims that SmartCast will perform faster and more seamlessly after the update.

Vizio SmartCast 2021 with voice commands

To help you navigate this updated UI, most new models of SmartCast televisions will come with Vizio’s new Bluetooth-enabled Voice Remote, with push-to-talk functionality that the company has dubbed “Vizio Voice.” The voice search system uses “natural language intelligence” and is designed to allow users to quickly and efficiently search and discover content on SmartCast without having to type.

The voice remote will also allow you to adjust TV settings, launch apps and channels, and build upon existing results without re-starting your entire search. That last point sounds particularly intriguing as sometimes you just want to refine your parameters rather than start anew. The company also claims to have improved its content curation so that results are catered to each viewer’s interests.

If you own an older SmartCast TV that doesn’t support the new Vizio Voice remote, don’t worry — you won’t be left out in the cold. The free SmartCast mobile app for iOS and Android has also been updated with Vizi0 Voice, so you can use a phone or tablet to search and discover content without having to type.

Lastly, SmartCast has expanded its roster of streaming services to include Fox Now, Paramount+, and The CW. Vizio also says that it has added new free TV channels and will continue to expand its ad-supported lineup.

All of SmartCast’s new features are now available on all Vizio 2021-22 televisions.

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