Those with a Vizio smart TV might have decided to skip on purchasing and using an additional streaming player, due to the availability of the SmartCast platform. Although this can mean options are a little more limited when it comes to streaming live TV over the internet, Vizio’s SmartCast platform does already support some of the most popular live TV streaming services in the United States.
One of the benefits of picking up a Vizio smart TV is that it does come with a robust built-in streaming solution. While many other TVs brands rely on third-party solutions like Android TV and Fire TV, Vizio doesn’t. This allows the company to further tailor the experience to its customers through additions like WatchFree+, an exclusive free streaming service that unlocks more than 250 live channels and over 5,000 on-demand videos.
Another benefit of the SmartCast platform is that it doesn’t actually require any apps to be downloaded. Instead, all of the available applications are already available on the smart TV and displayed in the app row of SmartCast Home. Users can simply press the V or Home key on their remote to access all of the available apps. Of course, this does also mean that the variety of available apps are more limited than on some other platforms.
Vizio SmartCast Live TV apps
For those specifically interested in watching live TV, there are some notable admissions from the Vizio SmartCast app lineup. Specifically, DirecTV Stream, Philo and Frndly TV are not currently available. Instead, SmartCast users will need to consider signing up to fuboTV, Hulu Live TV, Sling TV, or YouTube TV.
fuboTV on Vizio TVs
fuboTV is available on Vizio SmartCast TVs. So long as the Vizio TV fuboTV is a 2016 or newer model, homes shouldn’t find any issue with accessing the app and signing up for a live TV subscription. Speaking of which, fuboTV offers three main plans to choose from, and these mainly differ in terms of the number of channels and the price. For those wanting the cheapest option possible, fuboTV’s Pro plan costs $69.99 per month.
Hulu Live TV on Vizio TVs
Hulu Live TV is available on Vizio SmartCast TVs. Similar to fuboTV, as long as the smart TV is a 2016 or newer model, then homes shouldn’t have any issues with watching live TV through Hulu. A standard Hulu Live TV subscription costs $69.99 per month and unlocks access to more than 75 live TV channels. Adding further value, a Hulu Live TV subscription also includes access to Disney Plus, ESPN Plus, and the entire basic Hulu on-demand library, at no additional cost.
Sling TV on Vizio TVs
If fuboTV and Hulu Live TV are too expensive, Sling TV is available on Vizio SmartCast TVs. Similar to the other live TV options, the main Sling TV requirement is that the TV is a 2016 or newer SmartCast TV model. Unlike the other two services which charge a minimum of $69.99 per month, Sling TV’s plans start at just $40 per month. Consumers can choose between the Sling Orange and Sling Blue plans, or combine them through the Sling Orange & Blue plan to unlock access to all of the base channels for $55 per month.
YouTube TV on Vizio TVs
YouTube TV is currently the most popular live TV streaming service in the United States and it is also available on Vizio SmartCast TVs. A standard subscription costs $64.99 per month and unlocks access to more than 100 live TV channels. YouTube TV has proven particularly popular due to its additional features, many of which can be accessed within the Vizio SmartCast TV app.
Other live TV options
While the services above are all great ways to add a number of live TV channels to a Vizio SmartCast TV, they are all also fairly expensive options. For those that just want access to some of their local live TV stations, Paramount Plus and Peacock might be able to help. Each of these subscription services cost $10 and unlocks access to a local live TV channel. With a Paramount Plus subscription, subscribers get access to their local CBS station. With a Peacock subscription, subscribers get access to their local NBC affiliate at no additional cost.
For reference, SmartCast homes can still consider one of the unsupported services, it is just they will then need to use another device to bridge the gap. For example, with plans starting at just $6.99 per month, Frndly TV is an affordable live TV streaming service with access to more than 40 channels. Frndly TV also comes with Chromecast support which makes it possible to cast the mobile app to a Vizio Smart TV.
Consumers will likely find most live TV streaming services, and apps in general, offer Chromecast and/or AirPlay support, widening the choices of live TV services they can pick from.
Live TV services on Vizio TVs: summary
Although the SmartCast platform is somewhat limited in the number of live TV streaming services that are currently supported, Vizio smart TV users still do have plenty of great options available. With fuboTV, Hulu Live TV, Sling TV, and YouTube TV all supported, Vizio TVs users can pick the one that best suits their channel and budget needs. For those that only want access to their local CBS or NBC station, a standalone Paramount Plus or Peacock subscription might remove the need to sign up to a live TV plan.
For those already signed up to a live TV service that’s not currently available on Vizio TVs, then it still might be possible to watch on the smart TV by taking advantage of AirPlay or Chromecast support and streaming from a mobile device or home computer. If all else fails, connecting a streaming player to the Vizio SmartCast TV is always an option.