How to Add Apps to Your Vizio Smart TV

Can you add apps to your Vizio TV? Yep. And Smartcast is not your only option

What to Know

  • SmartCast: Download a Chromecast-enabled app from Google Play or Apple App Store to your phone. Tap the Cast logo to cast to TV.
  • VIA/VIA+: Click V on a Vizio remote, select app and press OK > Install App (VIA), or press and hold OK (VIA+). Select content and tap icon.

This article explains how to add apps to your Vizio smart TV featuring SmartCast. Additional information is provided for older Visio TVs that feature Vizio Internet Apps (VIA) and Vizio Internet Apps+ (VIA+).

How to Add Apps to a SmartCast TV

SmartCast TVs come with a selection of core apps preinstalled on the TV. You can select these directly, but you can also access an additional group of apps that you can cast to the display or TV.

However, if you want to add apps outside of the core list or the preselected mobile apps available for immediate casting, you must add them to your smartphone to cast them to the TV, just as you do when using a Chromecast device.

Any apps you add that are not on the Core Apps list and installed on your TV reside on your smartphone, and you have to cast them.

The app addition process is the same as you perform on a Chromecast device.

  1. Go to the Google Play Store or Apple App Store.

  2. Select an available Chromecast-enabled app for casting.

  3. Tap Install.

  4. Once installed, the app is now integrated into your smartphone's cast selection.

  5. To cast an app, open it and tap the Cast logo (same logo Chromecast uses) on the top of your smartphone screen.

    Cast Logo Example on App

After you initiate a cast and your content starts playing on the SmartCast TV or display, you can perform other tasks on your phone at the same time, without interrupting play, including finding other content to cast, making a phone call, turning the phone off, or even leaving the house with your phone.

The casted content will stop playing when the program ends or when you use your TV remote to perform another function on the TV.

How to Customize SmartCast Core Apps

Core apps are installed into the display or TV and can be accessed directly on the screen without casting.

Vizio Smartcast TV Core Apps
Bable Paramount+ CBS News Cocoro
ConTV Crackle Curiosity Stream DAZN
Dove Channel Fandango Now FilmRise FitFusion
FlixFling Haystack Hulu iHeart Radio
Love Destination NBC Netflix Newsy
Plex Pluto TV Prime Video (Amazon) Redbox
TasteIT Toon Goggles TV Games Vudu
Watch Free Xumo YouTube YouTubeTV

To make managing the core apps easier, you can use Vizio's Customize App Row feature. This enables you to change the order in which the core apps are displayed on your home screen so that you can group your favorites closer together.

Here's how to use Customize App Row:

  1. Using your remote control, select the Customize App Row icon.

    Vizio SmartCast TV – Customize App Row – Move Apps
  2. Select an app and move it using the provided left and right arrow cursors. When done select OK, then Done. If you decide that you don't want to move the app, you can select Cancel.

    Vizio SmartCast TV – Customize App Row – Moving App Example

Understanding VIA and VIA+

Many older Vizio TVs have the VIA or VIA+ smart TV platform.

VIA and VIA+ are set up similarly to most smart TVs. All of the apps reside in or can be added to the TV, allowing users to manage and add all their apps directly through the TV using the remote control. However, screen-mirroring and screencasting of a limited number of apps using compatible smartphones and tablets are also supported.

How to Add Apps on a VIA or VIA+ TV

As of December 2, 2019, Netflix longer works on some Vizio 2012-2014 model year smart TVs with Vizio Internet Apps or Apps Plus. Contact tech support for your TV model for more details. It might be time to purchase a new Vizio TV that can work with VIA or VIA+, so you don't miss out on more channels or streaming services.

With VIA and VIA+, a selection of apps is already preinstalled, such Netflix, Hulu, Vudu, YouTube, Pandora, and iHeart Radio, but you can add many more apps from the Vizio App Store. On some models, you can also add the Google Play: Movies and TV app.

Here's how to add more apps on smart TVs with Via and VIA+:

  1. Click the V button your Vizio TV remote control to get to the apps home menu.

  2. Click on one of the options on the top the screen that takes you to the App Store options (Featured, Latest, All Apps, or Categories).

  3. Next, highlight the app(s) you want to add that is not already on your list.

  4. For TVs that have VIA, press OK and scroll to Install App. After the app installs it is be added to your viewing selection.

  5. For TVs that have VIA+, press and hold OK until the app has been added to the My Apps list.

    Installed apps display a colored star in the top-right hand corner of the app icon.

  6. To select and play content from an installed app, click on its associated icon using the TV's remote control.

Delete a Streaming Service From Your My Apps List

  1. Highlight the icon for the specific app you want to delete. A submenu appears that includes a delete option.

  2. Click OK next to the delete option to remove the app.

If you choose to reinstall the deleted app at a later time, it is still available through the app store using the previous add app procedure.

About the Different Vizio Systems

The process of adding and managing apps on Vizio TVs and Home Theater Displays varies depending on your system. Those systems are SmartCast, VIA, and VIA+.

Vizio systems breakdown by model year:

  • 2018 and later: All Vizio smart TVs feature SmartCast.
  • 2016 and 2017: Tunerless Home Theater Displays feature SmartCast.
  • 2016 and 2017: Vizio smart TVs feature either SmartCast or VIA+.
  • 2015 and older: Vizio smart TVs feature VIA or VIA+.

Check the user guide for your specific model for system identification. Your TV or home theater display needs to be connected to your home network and the internet to use any of Vizio's app platforms.

A Word About How SmartCast Works

The foundation of SmartCast is the Google Chromecast platform in which internet app content can be displayed on a TV by casting it from a compatible smartphone or tablet. This means that instead of plugging a Chromecast dongle into the TV, the TV has Chromecast built-in.

In addition to streaming content, the SmartCast smartphone/tablet app goes beyond casting by providing control for all TV functions, including input selection, picture calibration, and sound settings. Also, when you initiate a cast, the TV will automatically switch from the current source input (such as TV channel or any of the HDMI inputs) to the casting source.

When selecting a TV or movie title, SmartCast allows you to see what apps it is available on instead of checking each app to find it. SmartCast also provides recommendations based on your viewing history.

  • Can I download a Vizio TV app on my smartphone?

    Yes. The Vizio SmartCast Mobile app is available for iPhone and Android. The app is compatible with Vizio SmartCast TVs but not with older Vizio VIA and VIA+ TVs. You can download the Vizio SmartCast app for iPhone from the App Store or get the Android app from Google Play.

  • Can I watch Disney+ on my Vizio smart TV?

    Yes. To download and watch Disney+, you must have a Vizio SmartCast TV with built-in apps. (As long as the TV is online, it will display all available apps, including Disney+.) Press V on the remote, select the Disney+ app and log in to watch.

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