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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Vizio is giving its TV software program a much-needed overhaul

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As we speak, Vizio is asserting a totally overhauled homescreen expertise for its TVs that may ultimately make its approach to fashions relationship again so far as 2016. The brand new interface appears to be like sleeker and extra fashionable than the corporate’s present SmartCast OS. And Vizio went the direct route with branding: the brand new software program is simply known as Residence Display screen.

Take one take a look at the revamped consumer expertise and it’s instantly clear the place Vizio drew inspiration from: this principally appears to be like like its personal streaming service. All of the telltale indicators are there. A column of navigation icons on the far left? Verify. There’s the same old hero slot on the prime with immersive art work, customized typefaces / logos, and autoplaying video.

It’s a lot simpler to inform at a look which companies your content material suggestions are coming from since there are actually small badges included with the quilt artwork. Vizio says it is going to additionally floor Rotten Tomatoes scores and Frequent Sense Media parental steerage within the element pages for reveals and films.

Residence Display screen comes with its personal common watchlist that may combination content material throughout numerous leisure apps. However that comes with the same old exception of Netflix, which all the time refuses to take part in this stuff. All the things appears extra cohesive and intuitive than SmartCast OS. The latter all the time struck me as a bit cobbled collectively ever since Vizio pivoted away from its formidable cast-everything strategy (bear in mind these Android pill remotes?) and realized that folks need built-in apps with out leaping via hoops to get there.

Vizio’s revamped TV interface makes use of left-side navigation like many leisure apps.
Picture: Vizio

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Residence Display screen now feels extra akin to Google TV with its heavy prominence of suggestions and a customizable app row. (Your TV inputs additionally seem on this row.) However that left-side navigation is what actually makes me consider Netflix, Max, and each different main streaming app below the solar. It’s there you’ll discover sections for stay TV, free on-demand content material, and extra.

It ought to come as no shock that Vizio will likely be pushing its WatchFree Plus FAST service, however all the additional options that SmartCast provided — casting, AirPlay, and many others. — are nonetheless accounted for with Residence Display screen. The corporate has additionally polished up its search expertise with an easier-to-use digital keyboard and added new style / assortment pages with their very own carousels of suggestions. The “app catalog” now feels extra like a correct app retailer and has improved discoverability for locating these under-the-radar streaming apps.

The search expertise has been redesigned.
Picture: Vizio

It’s honest to have a look at this as only a new coat of paint, however I’d argue {that a} modernized UX is one thing Vizio desperately wanted because it continues competing towards TCL, Hisense, and now budget-priced units from Roku itself. The corporate nonetheless makes wonderful TV {hardware}, and Residence Display screen looks as if a step in the suitable route to make sure that Vizio can sustain relating to software program as properly. The redesigned Vizio Residence Display screen software program will start rolling out to “most” of the corporate’s good TVs from 2016 and later within the coming weeks.

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