Google Cast is a really powerful tool that can quickly make any TV (or monitor or speaker) connected to devices nearby. Your phone, acting as a remote, can send content to these devices wirelessly. It’s an elegant solution and one that has become pretty popular in both their own Chromecast and third party devices.
Although the TV market is covered with Chromecast and Android TV, Google appears to keep pushing integration of their protocol. New models of Vizio TVs will support Google Cast right out of the box, without any extra hardware. Additionally, Vizio will not have any other type of smart functionality. They aren’t going as far as integrating Android TV, just acting like a Chromecast.
This may be a change in Google’s partnerships. OEMs may choose to forgo all of Android TV and instead just provide Google Cast. It’s easier to integrate as there’s no need for custom remotes or voice search capability. In some markets this means cheaper TVs and better sales. In the US, where smart TVs are a big selling point, this benefit may not be as successful. It’s not hard to imagine other TV manufacturers lining up to integrate cast only into their TVs.
Vizio’s remote control may also be a tablet rather than a traditional remote. The tablet, preloaded with media apps ready for casting, would help users adjust to the new viewing model. Variety’s report doesn’t contain a lot of definitive knowledge regarding this partnership, but more information will likely continue to surface down the line.