Vizio TVs have become a staple in many homes over the years. People love Vizio TVs because they have magnificent features and are affordable. The TVs have impeccable picture quality that guarantees the user an immersive viewing experience.
Vizio TVs use the Smartcast platform to house streaming apps like Netflix and Hulu. Although Smartcast is an essential feature for Vizio TV users, some would like to disable it for various reasons. Unfortunately, Vizio is not clear on how you can do this or even if it is possible. This article will answer most of your questions about Smartcast with specific interest on whether you can disable Smartcast and how to do it if you can.
It is impossible to disable SmartCast on your VIZIO smart TV. SmartCast is your TV’s operating system and there’s little you can do to avoid it.
You could try to prevent your VIZIO TV from opening SmartCast or bypass the SmartCast, but there’s no guarantee these methods will work in the long run.
You could try to avoid connecting your TV to Wi-Fi during the initial setup, but the chances are the first screen you’re going to see after you finish setting up your TV will be the SmartCast Home screen.
If you are annoyed by your TV switching to SmartCast whenever you turn on your TV, you should change your TV’s default input at power on.
If you’re not a fan of SmartCast, you could try using some other streaming device (like Roku or Chromecast). Connect it to HDMI1, set HDMI1 as your default input at power on, and enable HDMI CEC. That way, you won’t have to see the SmartCast Home Screen. The SmartCast will not be disabled, but it will be bypassed. Your TV will still switch to SmartCast if there’s no signal coming from your streaming device.
What Is Smartcast?
Smartcast is Vizio’s server-based operating system that comes with pre-installed apps like Hulu, YouTube, and Netflix. The platform also integrates features like Chromecast, Apple Airplay, and HomeKit, making connecting other devices to your TV easier.
Smartcast also supports voice assistants like Amazon’s Alexa, Siri, and Google’s voice assistant.
Vizio upgraded from VIA and VIA+ platforms that were less advanced to using Smartcast, a more complex and inclusive platform.
Unlike the previous platforms, Smartcast does not let users download or delete applications from their TV.
Why Would I Want to Disable Smartcast?
Smartcast has not been around for long, so it still has some weaknesses. Many users experience problems such as some apps on the platform not working or constantly crashing.
Also, Vizio TVs automatically switch to Smartcast when they stay idle with no signal on any other inputs available on the TV. This can be frustrating when devices connected to the other inputs like HDMI 1 and 2 take a long time to start up because you will have to keep stopping the TV from reverting to Smartcast.
Some people also prefer using Vizio TVs as displays for their gaming systems and do not need the services provided by Smartcast input.
Can I Disable Smartcast?
Unfortunately, you cannot disable Smartcast as it is the platform that runs the TV. Without Smartcast, the TV will not connect to the Internet, and you will not be able to stream content from the various streaming apps installed on the TV.
However, you can still avoid the Smartcast platform using a few tweaks, as described below.
What Options Do I Have?
Since it is impossible to disable Smartcast, options for avoiding it on Vizio TVs are quite limited. They include:
Not Setting Up Smartcast
You can reset the TV and not connect it to the Internet when setting it up. This will prevent Smartcast from receiving any updates or being usable on the TV.
You can reset the TV by pressing the Menu button, navigating to Admin & Privacy > Reset to Factory Settings, and entering the system PIN.
The TV will then show a notification asking you if you really want to reset it and clear all information; use the left/right navigation buttons to highlight Reset and press OK.
How to Factory Reset a VIZIO TV
Wait for the TV to reset and restart and this time, skip all options to connect the TV to an internet connection. That way, Smartcast will not be active, but the TV might still revert to the Smartcast Input if it stays on a different input without any video/audio signal.
The bright side is the TV will not download more updates that deteriorate the user experience.
Alternatively, you can disconnect the TV from Wi-Fi to prevent it from receiving further updates. To forget a Wi-Fi network, navigate to Menu > Network and select the Network you want to forget; highlight Forget and press OK.
Changing the Preferred Input when the TV Powers Up
You can also change how the TV behaves every time you turn it on. You can determine what Input will be on whenever the TV comes on. Follow the steps below to achieve this;
- Press the Menu button on the remote.
- Go to System > Input at Power On.
- Use the remote’s left/right navigation buttons to select HDMI 1, 2, or previous Input. If you set it to Automatic, the TV will always default to SmartCast.
With these settings, you can choose which Input the TV defaults when you switch it on. But if the TV stays on that Input without any video or audio signal, it will still go back to SmartCast.
Using a Streaming Device
Another option is to use a streaming device like a Roku Firestick or a Chromecast dongle. Using a streaming device will free you from the SmartCast services as you will use a different platform.
Getting a streaming device is the best option, especially if you still want to watch your favorite shows on a platform that is not consistently malfunctioning.
Roku Streaming Stick 4K
Chromecast with Google TV
Vizio sells advertising and user data alongside their other products like soundbars, and this data is collected from Vizio TV users. There is an option to stop the TV from collecting and selling your data, usually disabled by default.
Many believe that Vizio sets the TVs to default to Smartcast after a short period of inactivity so that they can broadcast advertisements and increase their AD revenue. Even though you cannot disable Smartcast, there are other ways to avoid the platform and Vizio’s adverts.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Why does my Vizio TV keep switching to SmartCast?
Answer: A 2021 System Update makes the TV default to the Smartcast input if there is no signal on the current input. Therefore, if the TV is on the HDMI 2 Input, but there is no signal from the external device to this input, the TV will notify you that it will revert to Smartcast in ten seconds. You then are presented with the option to cancel the transition before the ten seconds elapse.
Question: Is there a reset button on a Vizio SmartCast TV?
Answer: There is no dedicated reset button on Vizio TVs, but you can still manually reset the TV using the power button or the Input and volume down buttons.
If the TV has a separate Input and Power button and the Input button is situated on the back panel of the TV together with the volume buttons, you can reset it by following these instructions:
- Press and hold the Input and Volume down buttons simultaneously when the TV is on until a notification appears on the screen.
- The notification will direct you to press and hold the Input button on the TV for ten seconds.
- The TV will then indicate that memory is being cleared, i.e., the factory reset is in progress.
Newer models that use the same button as an Input button and power button can be reset by pressing and holding the Input/Power button for twenty seconds.
Question: Can I uninstall an App from Smartcast?
Answer: You cannot uninstall, install or update individual apps on the Smartcast platform. However, you can rearrange how the apps are listed. If an app is malfunctioning, you can troubleshoot that individual app or the TV, starting with a power cycle.