Even though we knew it was coming thanks to Apple’s previously released list of all TVs that would be getting AirPlay 2 this year, it’s still gratifying to see that Vizio announced the rollout of both AirPlay 2 and Apple HomeKit to a huge number of its SmartCast TV models — some as old as 2016.
The new Apple-powered features are being rolled into Vizio’s SmartCast 3.0, an over-the-air update beginning July 31 and will continue to out over the next few months until all compatible TVs are up-to-date. “SmartCast 3.0 is full of added value for Vizio customers,” Bill Baxter, Vizio’s chief technology officer, said in a statement. “With both AirPlay 2 and HomeKit support, users can now share movies, TV shows, music and more from their favorite apps, including the Apple TV app, directly to SmartCast TVs, and enable TV controls through the Home app and Siri.” Vizio’s announcement comes on the heels of LG’s announcement earlier in July that it was the first TV manufacturer to add HomeKit.
Unlike LG, which is only rolling out AirPlay 2 and HomeKit to some of its most recent 2019 models, Vizio’s support for these technologies is wide-ranging, covering the following models and years:
- P-Series Quantum X (2019)
- P-Series Quantum (2019 and 2018)
- P-Series (2018, 2017 and 2016)
- M-Series Quantum (2019)
- M-Series (2018, 2017 and 2016)
- E-Series (2018, 2017 and 2016 UHD models)
- V-Series (2019)
- D-Series (2018)
The addition of AirPlay 2 to Vizio TVs gives Apple users a slew of new options for casting music, movies and TV shows to their TVs without needing to buy an Apple TV set-top box. Similarly, Apple’s TV app, which will include access to the company’s forthcoming Apple TV+ streaming service, will be available with no additional hardware. HomeKit makes Vizio’s TVs part of Apple’s home automation ecosystem, by connecting these devices to a bevy of other gadgets like thermostats, lights, and sensors, all choreographed and automated through Siri and the Apple Home app on iOS.
We’ve got to give big props to Vizio for this announcement. While we don’t know exactly why the company’s SmartCast technology has proven so flexible, with the ability to update TV models that go as far back as 2016, we know that none of the other TV manufacturers that have pledged support for Apple’s technologies are promising such a wide-ranging update of their smart TV lineups.