Vizio announced this week that it has made a major addition to its SmartCast TV interface - it is adding the Apple TV app. This means that users will have access to the Apple TV ecosystem, which includes Apple TV+, Apple TV channels, and the sort of rentals that are available through Apple TV.
In addition, certain eligible Vizio SmartCast customers will be able to get three free months of the Apple TV+ streaming service. This is available for Vizio customers with SmartCast TVs from 2016 and later, and who are new Apple TV+ subscribers. The offer is good through October 16.
Apple AirPlay 2 and HomeKit capabilities were already available on many Vizio TVs.
"With the Apple TV app coming to Vizio SmartCast TVs, customers can enjoy an even broader range of exciting entertainment, including the popular and award-winning Apple TV+ service," Mike O'Donnell, Chief Revenue Officer, said in the announcement.
"Knowing the important role the TV has in the home, Vizio continues to expand the entertainment available for consumers to discover. Vizio SmartCast is also the perfect destination for content providers as the platform where millions of customers can access all of their favorite apps, channels and programming from their TV.”
Apple was rumored for many years to be developing an actual TV of its own, with Steve Jobs reportedly coming up with an idea for how to get it to work in the last years of his life. But that supposed project never came to pass, with Apple instead developing separate products called Apple TV - a streaming device — and Apple TV+ - a streaming service for which Apple is producing its own movie and TV show content.
Apple TV+ debuted last November, around the same time as Disney+, and the service has included such original shows as “The Morning Show,” “Dickinson,” “Defending Jacob,” “Ted Lasso,” and “Central Park,” and the documentaries “Boys State” and “Beastie Boys Story.” Apple has also reached deals with major creators like Martin Scorsese, and has also begun to acquire movies that had been set, pre-pandemic, for theatrical release, such as the Tom Hanks World War II movie “Greyhound,” which debuted on the service in the summer.
Bloomberg News recently reported that a new version of the Apple TV box is on the way.
Vizio uses technology in its TVs that are similar to that of QLED, although Vizio isn’t part of the QLED Alliance, and instead uses the branding term “Quantum” rather than QLED.
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.