IRVINE, Calif.—As TV manufacturers look to differentiate their products with better streaming experiences, Vizio is adding new apps to its SmartCast TVs and upgrading the viewing experience with improved search, custom content channels and other features.
As part of the new effort, BET+, which offers thousands of hours of hit movies, TV shows, stage plays and other content from Black creators, will be launching on the Vizio SmartCast TV on August 4th. In addition, Discovery has announced that its subscription streaming service discovery+ will land on Vizio SmartCast in September.
The announcements about the new apps came as Vizo unveiled an updated experience for its owned-and-operated free streaming video service, WatchFree+, with new content and features.
The reimagined WatchFree+ streaming service provides audiences with greater control to search and discover free programming and access to curated channels for millions of consumers, Vizio reported.
“WatchFree+ provides audiences with access to the channels and programming you expect with cable, but in a free streaming environment that makes it easy to personalize and customize the entertainment experience,” said Katherine Pond, vice president of business development at Vizio. “With the growth and evolution of WatchFree+, we now offer hundreds of free channels where we manage and control the programming for consumers and the ad inventory for marketers — providing better experiences for all.”
The updated offering includes a new program guide, improved user experience and more entertainment with custom curated channels.
WatchFree+ also includes new navigation features that allow for advanced search and discovery of the latest and best free entertainment.
The program guide supports voice navigation for new SmartCast TVs that come with the latest Vizio Voice remote. Additionally, audiences can use voice navigation through the free SmartCast Mobile app for iOS and Android.
The improved experiences leverage Vizio’s Inscape viewing data to inform programming preferences with context. The viewing data was also central part of the redesign of VIZIO’s full-screen program guide and curated channels.
The latest WatchFree+ programming is now available on all Vizio SmartCast TVs, the company said.
George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.
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