Vizio had come up with a clever and cheap smart TV setup. They integrated Chromecast into the hardware and included a tablet to act as a “remote”. Users were able to find all kinds of content and then beam it immediately to the TV.
With Vizio’s latest TV lineup, they still have casting, but with a more general set of apps. These will be web-based applications that are streaming from a cloud-based server. This will allow for the apps to be updated on the fly, over time, and not require any new proprietary operating systems.
The streaming apps are akin to Android’s Instant Apps. There have been a few apps launching at the start: Crackle, Hulu, Xumo, iHeart Radio, Vudu, and perhaps a handful of others.
The TVs themselves support 4K resolution and HDR. Additionally, they support a new display technology called XLED which promises higher contrast and deeper blacks.
The new smart TV technology should be available by the summer.
While this may seem to be a small loss for Cast-only TVs, it’s not clear what the plans will be for Philips, another company that had Cast-only TVs.