An overview of the Vizio P-Series 2016 HDR 4K TVs and the SmartCast Smart App
Stephan Jukic – March 29, 2016
Vizio has recently unveiled its new 2016 HDR editions of the previously popular and quite highly rated P-Series 4K TVs, which were groundbreaking upon their initial late-2014 release for offering full-array LED backlighting at impressively affordable prices. The new models take things quite a bit further have offer up plenty of new technologies. One of these is what Vizio calls SmartCast.
The company launched SmartCast in an announcement on the 22nd of March and with this new development, kickstarted the beginning of what could arguably be called a new era in smart TV home entertainment technology.
Instead of the currently popular TV-centered smart TV OS platforms of most 4K UHD television models, SmartCast works principally as a portable app and is thus in a way spread out across a whole range of display devices, sound bars and even speakers among other devices.
SmartCast is being debuted in the new HDR 4K P-Series TVs along with their Ultra HD HDR Home Theater Display technologies but we can likely expect the new app technology of SmartCast to spread beyond the P-Series and into other Vizio models and we could possibly even see the core concept of the SmartCast app to spread into other brands and their display devices.
In a nutshell, how SmartCast operates is by coming preinstalled on a 6-inch Android Tablet Remote that comes with the P-Series TVs. From there, just about any other mobile device can also be used as an on-the-fly remote control for a P-Series TV. Instead of enabling app surfing on the TV, the SmartCast app lets users search out new content first by genre across a whole range of smart TV apps right from inside the tablet or mobile device it’s installed on. With this, users can the select the app that has the streaming content they like for viewing on the Vizio TV itself. In other words, smart functionality, or at least a hefty part of the process for navigating it, comes in the palm of your hand instead of on the TV screen itself.
According to Matt MacRea, chief tech officer at Vizio, “The VIZIO SmartCast app, pre-installed on the P-Series Tablet Remote, finally brings home entertainment into the mobile era with advanced navigation, search and control of content sources. We’re excited to debut the P-Series collection, which not only sets a new benchmark with picture quality technologies like High Dynamic Range and Ultra Color Spectrum, but is also the world’s first display to fully integrate the Google Cast protocol.”
Furthermore, every Vizio SmartCast device also comes with Google Cast technology built into it, thus allowing users to access thousands of mobile apps as they prefer and from there access the content selections of these apps with the tap of a touch-button from any Cast-enabled device on their home WiFi network. Furthermore, by casting through WiFi, users can also use their tablet for other purposes while the P-Series TV in the home continues casting whatever you’ve set Google Cast to stream to it.
As for the P-Series 4K HDR TVs themselves. These new 2016 models offer up ultra HD resolution, full array LED backlighting and high dynamic range technology from Dolby, with Dolby Vision content support allowing for a definite improvement from the display quality of 2014’s P-Series models. The brightness of the new P-Series TVs is impressively high and color, contrast and imaging in general have all been considerably enhanced. Furthermore, Vizio promises a minimum of 126 local dimming zones in the P-Series TVs, with more for the larger models. On the other hand, the 2016 P-series TVs will not at least for now be recieving the UHD Alliance’s “UHD Premium” certification, due to disagreements on specs between Vizio and the UHDA, though Vizio claims that many of their display specs standards are superior to those promoted by the UHD Alliance.
HDR content from at least the new Samsung UBD-K8500 4K Blue-ray player won’t yet be visible in HDR on the P-Series models but this will change a bit further down the road after an HDR10 update is given to the TVs.
It’s worth noting, as the prices below show, that the 2016 Vizio P-Series models are some of the cheapest name brand HDR 4K TVs on sale today. This alone is worth paying attention to.
As for the sizes and prices of the P-Series models, the following is what interested buyers can look forward to:
Model Size Price Dimming zones Refresh rate
P50-C1 50 inches $999 126 60Hz
P55-C1 55 inches $1,299 126 120Hz
P65-C1 65 inches $1,999 128 120Hz
P75-C1 75 inches $3,799 128 120Hz
Story by 4k.com