Vizio Offers Beta Signup for AirPlay 2 SmartCast TV Software

At CES this year, Vizio announced that their SmartCast TVs would be receiving support for AirPlay 2 and HomeKit in a free over-the-air update later this year. This would allow iOS and Mac users to stream music and video to SmartCast-enabled Vizio TVs, as well as allow users to control the TV from their Home app on iOS or via Siri voice commands.


Vizio promised that beta testers would be allowed access to the software in the first quarter of 2019. Vizio has now posted a blog post (via Engadget) describing the upcoming features as well as a link to sign up for beta access (scroll to bottom).
If you have a SmartCast-enabled VIZIO TV and an updated iOS device, you could be selected to participate in the beta. Provide your email, and we’ll get back to you soon with more details on how to get started.
Vizio has said that specific models as far back as 2016 will be getting the update.


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Vizio Says 2016 4K SmartCast TVs Will Support AirPlay 2 and HomeKit

AirPlay 2 and HomeKit functionality will be available on all of Vizio's 2016 4K UHD SmartCast Displays, the company recently confirmed on Twitter.

Vizio's Twitter account for support questions supplied the information in response to a question from a MacRumors reader.


Apple recently shared a list of all AirPlay 2-enabled television sets on its HomeKit website, but only 2017, 2018, and 2019 Vizio models are listed.

From Apple's list:
- Vizio P-Series Quantum (2019 and 2018)
- Vizio P-Series (2019, 2018 and 2017)
- Vizio M-Series (2019, 2018 and 2017)
- Vizio E-Series (2019, 2018 and 2017)
- Vizio D-series (2019, 2018 and 2017)

2017 SmartCast models feature the same hardware as earlier 2016 models, which means the integration will work with 2016 TV sets as well.


Vizio is one of the only companies implementing AirPlay 2 support on older television sets. Sony, Samsung, and LG are also enabling HomeKit support, but only on 2018 and 2019 models.

Samsung, for example, will support HomeKit on its 4 to 8 series TVs from 2018 and 2019, while LG and Sony are limiting the feature to new 2019 models.


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Apple Shares List of AirPlay 2-Enabled Smart TVs From Samsung, LG, Sony, and Vizio

A few days ago, Apple announced that AirPlay 2–enabled smart TVs are coming soon from leading manufacturers, and we've since seen a series of announcements from Samsung, LG, Sony, and Vizio at CES 2019.


Apple has now shared a list of AirPlay 2–enabled TVs announced to date:
  • LG OLED (2019)
  • LG NanoCell SM9X series (2019)
  • LG NanoCell SM8X series (2019)
  • LG UHD UM7X series (2019)
  • Samsung QLED Series (2019 and 2018)
  • Samsung 8 Series (2019 and 2018)
  • Samsung 7 Series (2019 and 2018)
  • Samsung 6 Series (2019 and 2018)
  • Samsung 5 Series (2019 and 2018)
  • Samsung 4 Series (2019 and 2018)
  • Sony Z9G Series (2019)
  • Sony A9G Series (2019)
  • Sony X950G Series (2019)
  • Sony X850G Series (2019 85", 75", 65" and 55" models)
  • Vizio P-Series Quantum (2019 and 2018)
  • Vizio P-Series (2019, 2018 and 2017)
  • Vizio M-Series (2019, 2018 and 2017)
  • Vizio E-Series (2019, 2018 and 2017)
  • Vizio D-series (2019, 2018 and 2017)
We've yet to see any AirPlay 2 announcements from smaller brands such as TCL, Hisense, Panasonic, or Toshiba.

AirPlay 2 support will allow users to stream video, audio, photos, and more directly from an iPhone, iPad, or Mac to supported smart TVs. HomeKit support is also coming to many of these TVs, enabling users to control volume, playback, and more using Siri or the Home app on an iPhone, iPad, or Mac.

Samsung announced that its latest smart TVs are also getting an exclusive iTunes TV and movie app for accessing the storefront.

Apple is widely expected to launch a Netflix-esque streaming video service later this year, and AirPlay 2 support on leading smart TVs would make it easier for users to stream Apple's original content on the big screen without an Apple TV. Rumors suggest Apple could introduce the service within the first half of 2019.


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Select Vizio Smart TVs to Gain Support for AirPlay 2 and HomeKit Later This Year

Vizio today announced that its recent smart TVs will gain support for Apple's wireless streaming protocol AirPlay 2 and smart home platform HomeKit via a free SmartCast 3.0 over-the-air software update later this year.


AirPlay 2 support will allow users to stream videos, music, photos, and more directly from an iPhone, iPad, and Mac to SmartCast-enabled Vizio TVs, complete with lock screen controls. HomeKit support will enable users to easily control the TV using the Home app on iPhone, iPad, and Mac or Siri voice commands.

Vizio says the SmartCast 3.0 update with AirPlay 2 and HomeKit can be tested by registered beta members in the United States and Canada in the first quarter of 2019. The software will be publicly released in the second quarter of 2019 and will also be preinstalled on Vizio's entire 2019 lineup of smart TVs.

The upcoming SmartCast 3.0 update will also add expanded Google Assistant actions for eligible SmartCast TVs. Google Assistant users, for example, will have the ability to use simple voice commands to launch apps, select inputs as well as pause, resume, stop, fast-forward, rewind content, and more.

Amazon Alexa users can also control their TV, and coming later this year, launch apps without lifting a finger, according to Vizio.

Apple recently updated its website with information about how AirPlay 2 and HomeKit will be implemented on smart TVs from "leading TV manufacturers," including Samsung, which is also introducing an iTunes movies and TV shows app that does not appear will be available on Vizio smart TVs at this time.


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