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Vizio's New TVs Sport Google Cast, HDR and Android Tablets (engadget.com) 56

An anonymous reader writes from an Engadget article: Vizio's latest P-Series 4K HDTVs are more than just an annual upgrade -- they also completely redefine how you'll be accessing media. The TVs, which range from 50- to 75-inches, are still technically 'smart,' but they don't have any apps of their own. Instead, you'll have to stream content with built-in Google Cast -- a first for any TV set. You can shoot media to the sets using the Vizio SmartCast app, either from the included Android tablet remote, or any other iOS or Android device. SmartCast also serves as the central hub for discovering media, and it controls all of your TV settings. The 6-inch Android tablet that comes with every P-Series set isn't very exciting on its own: It's got a 1080p screen and a V8 octa-core processor. But it's significantly more interesting than the traditional remotes most TVs ship with. As for that SmartCast app, it's surprisingly well designed. You can search for TV shows and movies, and it'll point you right to it on the appropriate streaming service.
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Vizio's New TVs Sport Google Cast, HDR and Android Tablets

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  • by QuietLagoon ( 813062 ) on Tuesday March 22, 2016 @10:28AM (#51752925)

    ...But it's significantly more interesting than the traditional remotes most TVs ship with. ...

    I currently get a couple of months from the batteries in my remote.

    .
    Will I need to keep the remote for my new Vizio TV tethered to a charger?

    • Don't worry - the new Vizio fills the room with a soothing radiation which wirelessly charges the remote and anything else with a round conductive shape. It's kind of fun to watch my coffee cup with the metallic ring arc playfully as I browse YouTube with my giant remote. Just make sure you remove your wedding ring.

      • by Adriax ( 746043 ) on Tuesday March 22, 2016 @10:56AM (#51753239)

        You mean the tingly sensation and first degree burn marks on my ring finger aren't from the spark coming back into my marriage?

      • Don't worry - the new Vizio fills the room with a soothing radiation which wirelessly charges the remote and anything else with a round conductive shape. It's kind of fun to watch my coffee cup with the metallic ring arc playfully as I browse YouTube with my giant remote. Just make sure you remove your wedding ring.

        Also any piercings in sensitive areas...
        Unless you're into that slow cooked junk feeling...

    • by iamacat ( 583406 )

      "You can shoot media to the sets using the Vizio SmartCast app, either from the included Android tablet remote, or any other iOS or Android device"

      Most people have a charged phone around with them these days.

      • I have a Roku and it has an app for the phone. Despite my entire family having phones and tablets, we almost always use the remote instead of the app. If we were forced to use the app we probably would, but there's no preference for it as far as I can tell.

    • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

      I currently get a couple of months from the batteries in my remote.

      That's terrible battery life for a remote!

      Even the "smart" remotes like my Harmony get around 6 months per 4 AAA batteries, while other remotes can go for at least a year, if not two or practically never (I've had some still with the original factory batteries - a wonder they didn't leak, and then the remote with new batteries works from the other side of the house bouncing the IR off the walls).

      In fact, it's usually why lots of jokes are wr

  • I'd rather not futz around keeping my remote charged on a daily basis then need to look at it instead of using it by feel.
  • In terms of a TV I want good picture quality, good sound, and a lot of port options to plug in the smart devices as I see fit.
    We had 1080P for over a decade now. and while the 4k are out, still most do not broadcast for it. Over the decade that I had a 1080p tv. I went from VHS/DVD to BlueRay, to Streaming on the Wii to the Wii U (I am not a big gamer) with Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime... And still I will go back to the Older tech to the newer... I don't want a smart TV as I will probably will need to u

    • I'm in the market for a HDTV (replacing an older SD set - it still works but we're using savings from cutting cable to upgrade). I'm not looking at 4K TVs at all right now since they are more money for very little 4K content. For the same reason, we're not looking at 3DTVs. As far as SmartTVs go, I'd rather plug in a Roku than have built-in SmartTV apps. It's a lot easier to replace an older, Roku box if it becomes unsupported than it is to replace the TV if the manufacturer stops supporting SmartTV fea

      • I'd recommend a refurbished E-series Vizio. You could get new, but if you were happy with an SD for so long, the minor improvements probably aren't worth the spend. You could probably get ~ 40" for under $300 and still have a decent picture. Up from there, if you want an improved picture/color quality, I'd go for either an older P-series Vizio or a Samsung. I shy away from particular model numbers, because so many stores have their own vanity model numbers anyway.

        Regardless, the biggest influence on pic

      • by EvilSS ( 557649 )

        I'd rather plug in a Roku than have built-in SmartTV apps. It's a lot easier to replace an older, Roku box if it becomes unsupported than it is to replace the TV if the manufacturer stops supporting SmartTV features.

        That's one of the nice things about this new Visio, they are dropping their own proprietary "app store" for a slightly more open google standard. The are essentially baking a version of Chromecast into the TV. I really wish everyone would get together and come up with a standard for casting apps but this is better than everyone trying to do their own apps. The streaming providers are much less likely to drop support for the entire Google ecosystem vs some one off smart TV.

        Also, you do know you are allo

        • I'm planning on using my Roku with whatever TV I get. I meant that I don't care about SmartTV features. If two TVs are essentially the same but one has SmartTV features and the other doesn't, I'd probably go with the non-Smart one. However, if a TV looked nice but had SmartTV features, I'd likely get it and just not set up the SmartTV - instead using my Roku to add "SmartTV" capabilities.

        • I really wish everyone would get together and come up with a standard for casting apps

          Someone did, but as usual the big names don't want to use someone else's standard when they can sell you their proprietary junk.

          http://www.howtogeek.com/20079... [howtogeek.com]

      • http://www.woot.com/plus/tvs-u... [woot.com]

        Woot is currently (today only likely) selling 40"+ TVs for low prices. They even have smart TVs. If you aren't looking for 4k or 3D, you don't need to really buy anything expensive. I would suggest with any flat panel TV though that you get some kind of surround sound, or even a speaker bar, as due to the size constraints, the speakers inside modern TVs are awful.

    • I'm in the same boat as you are. I have a DVR (TiVo) and don't need or want the TV itself to be anything more than a monitor for that.
  • I put Cyanogenmod on my ancient Barnes & Noble Nook Color and have been using it as a remote for a few years now. I never liked having the app built into the TV since it would always end up neglected. I have numerous devices with the Netflix client prior to them rolling out profiles. None of them got updated so no profiles for those devices.
  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Tuesday March 22, 2016 @10:38AM (#51753033) Journal
    Do they still send fingerprints of everything you display on them to the vendor [arstechnica.com] for some sort of undesirable purpose, with an implementation lousy enough to be a network hazard?
    • I disabled all networking on my Vizio and reverted it to a dumb TV. The last thing I want is my own appliances spying on me. The decision was made easier by Vizio's utter lack of ability to keep its apps updated, so the Amazon Instant Video app on ours didn't work for over a year because it was coded against old APIs.

      I'd never willingly use a Vizio smart TV again. As a dumb display they're great, but I'd much prefer attaching my own set top box. I love our Apple TV, but a Roku or standalone Chromecast would

  • Is there really any actual, noticeable difference in picture quality between 1080x and 2160x? Or is this just another solution in search of a problem?
    • by Higaran ( 835598 )
      There is and there isn't, it all depends on the source, if your watching cable tv, then not really, if your on a blue ray, or even netflix, then the 4k looks better. I had a 50 in Phillips 1080 tv for many years and it was fine, but when I finally upgraded to a 4k, I do notice a difference, especially when i switch to a channel that is broadcasting on like 720 or something, the lower rez looks like crap.
    • Sure there is. Especially in a movie theater where you have a 30 foot wide screen. You have to sit fairly close or have a 60"+ TV for it to really matter at home.

      However, if 3D content libraries start to expand, I'd love to get a passive 3D 4K TV because I hate active shutter glasses and I hate the 50% cut in resolution you get on 1080p passive 3D TVs. I own three 3D Blu-Rays and a player, but still haven't bought the TV yet because I haven't seen anything I liked. They dropped out of the market pretty

      • ~9+' projector screens will LOVE 4k.

      • I've worked with 3D TVs. It's cheesy as hell. Even the 3D in movie theatres is rather cheesy by my standards; everything is still perceived as flat. It's not as bad in movie theatres but it's really bad on a so-called '3D TV'. I would never pay for that. I also don't ever see where I'd want an entire wall taken up by a TV, or having a projector, or anything like that. I have a 39" 1080p TV now, and it's plenty big enough for me. So I guess for me there's no point in a 4K TV. I also watch OTA, don't really h
        • There is a lot of bad or gimmicky 3D content. When it's used as a subtle addition of depth, it can really have a positive impact. But if 3D in a movie theater seems flat to you, you might just not have working stereoscopic vision? If anything, I think a lot of the gimmicky stuff is over-exaggerated.

          See the movie Hugo in 3D for an example of where it actually improves the movie. And I've seen this both in theaters and on TV (at a relatively close distance).

          • ..you might just not have working stereoscopic vision?

            Or maybe it's better than for most people, or I just have higher standards, and not some profound defect?

            Really, the 3D in movie theatres is cute, but it's not worth paying extra to see. I'd much rather go see a quality movie that doesn't need a gimmick to make it work.

        • by stdarg ( 456557 )

          I know exactly what you're talking about. The 3D effect in movies is terrible... which makes sense because it's not actually 3D, it's just a trick. In a real 3D movie, each person in the audience would have a different perspective and it would change as you move around.

          Most of them seem to have a pretty obvious background plane, then an action plane, then very occasionally some motion out of the action plane towards the audience. That's about it.

      • by EvilSS ( 557649 )

        Sure there is. Especially in a movie theater where you have a 30 foot wide screen. You have to sit fairly close or have a 60"+ TV for it to really matter at home.

        However, if 3D content libraries start to expand, I'd love to get a passive 3D 4K TV because I hate active shutter glasses and I hate the 50% cut in resolution you get on 1080p passive 3D TVs. I own three 3D Blu-Rays and a player, but still haven't bought the TV yet because I haven't seen anything I liked. They dropped out of the market pretty quickly. Passive 3D uses alternate lines for the left or right eye, so you would still get 1080 lines on 4K.

        Then you should probably run out and get a 4K 3D LG TV while you can. They are dropping support for 3D in new sets (along with Samsung, RIP 3D at home) but LG does have a line of 4K TVs with passive 3D at the moment. I have one of their 1080p sets and it's OK. Still kind of a gimmick but fun once in a while and i don't get that "my eyes are being pinched" feeling that active shutter glasses give me.

        The downside is I don't know if they have one with 4K 3D and HDR. HDR is a much better feature than 3D IMH

        • I still have no idea how HDR is different than the "Deep Color" (16 bits per channel) spec that came with HDMI 1.3. I don't know if it ever saw any adoption or implementation. And HDR sounds like it would require the same thing - but press releases are a lot thinner on details.

          • by EvilSS ( 557649 )
            Bandwidth mostly, due to being 4K vs 1080p. Well that and the fact that it's actually being supported and you can get UHD Blurays with HDR transfers now. Like I said, given the choice between 4K 3D and 4K HDR, I'd have to go with HDR. But in a while, after they get the kinks worked out. Right now it's actually causing problems for people.
            • True, but it's getting harder to distinguish which TV's have a good panel in them. Sure, you can tick a box for UHD, but if the picture quality doesn't improve from it it doesn't matter (like having an 8-bit or 12-bit panel anyway).

    • I often hear about the suggestion that if you TV is a certain size you should sit so many feet away. The bigger the screen the farther away you can sit. Those are good suggestions, but only suggestions. I one the other hand like my screens much closer. Where most people place their coffee table is where my 42" TV sat until I got a projector. I could tell the difference between HD and 4K.
    • by EvilSS ( 557649 )

      Is there really any actual, noticeable difference in picture quality between 1080x and 2160x? Or is this just another solution in search of a problem?

      Depends on the source. High bitrate 4K videos look amazing. Netflix 4K looks good but nothing to write home about. Adding in HDR makes the difference much more noticeable however. Anyway, as the panel producers move over to 4K the price is dropping rapidly, so 4K TV are hitting prices comparable to what 1080p sets of the same size/feature set were selling for not long ago. Even if the content isn't there yet, there soon won't be any reason to not go with one as they are essentially going to displace 1080p

  • NO TV TUNER (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jupiterssj4 ( 801031 ) on Tuesday March 22, 2016 @10:57AM (#51753243)
    They seem great however they lack a TV tuner, so it kills it for people that want to use an antenna to watch local OTA HD content.
    • What is OTA HD content?

      Quite frankly there are many parts of the world where OTA content is either poor, non-existent, not HD, or cable bundles are so incredibly cheap that they are almost gifted to you (I pay 4€ per month for 70 channels many of which are in HD, none of the OTA stuff is HD ... or good).

      Every product may not be suitable for every single market in the world. But there are plenty of people who just couldn't care less about a TV having a tuner.

  • by wardrich86 ( 4092007 ) on Tuesday March 22, 2016 @11:01AM (#51753289)
    So basically it's just a huge monitor with a built-in Chromecast, and a built-in Vizio-equivalent of a Chromecast?

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