Vizio TVs are among the first choices when people are looking for a new TV to buy. Vizio produces affordable TVs that incorporate features that other TVs in the same price range do not have. Vizio TVs use the Smartcast platform with pre-installed apps giving users access to different streaming services.
However, not all apps can be found on Smartcast, and one such app is the ESPN plus app. Sports lovers wondering how they can get the app on their Vizio TVs should keep reading to find out.
VIZIO SmartCast TVs have a wide variety of preinstalled apps. You cannot add new apps or delete existing ones.
ESPN is not one of the supported apps on VIZIO SmartCast TVs. There’s no native support for the ESPN app and you can’t install it onto your TV.
To watch the ESPN app content on your VIZIO TV, you will have to install it onto your phone, tablet, or laptop and then mirror, cast, or use a hardwired connection to connect your device to the VIZIO TV.
Android users can use Chromecast to cast/mirror their phone screens to their VIZIO TVs. Or, they can use a USB-C to HDMI adapter compatible with their phone.
Apple users (iPhones/iPads) can use AirPlay/AirPlay2 to cast/mirror their screens to their VIZIO TVs. If they want a wired connection, they can also use one of Apple’s digital AV adapters.
You can play ESPN+ on your laptop and connect the laptop to your VIZIO TV using an HDMI cable.
The last option is buying an external streaming device that allows you to download and install the ESPN app (Fire TV Stick 4K/4K Max, Roku, Apple TV 4K, etc.).
Is ESPN+ Available on Vizio TVs?
Vizio TVs use the Smartcast platform, which contains over two hundred streaming apps and channels. The apps are pre-installed, and all users have to do is select an app of their choice, log in if necessary, and they can enjoy their favorite shows.
Unfortunately, the ESPN app is not one of the apps available on the Smartcast platform. And if you are wondering if you can download the app, that is also impossible. This is because Smartcast does not allow loading additional apps onto the TV, and only Vizio can add apps to Smartcast.
On the bright side, you can still watch sports on ESPN on a Vizio TV if you make a few adjustments, as we shall see in later sections.
How Can I Watch ESPN Plus on a Vizio Smart TV?
Since ESPN is unavailable on Vizio TVs, you need a phone, laptop, or streaming device to stream sports on ESPN Plus. Below are instructions for using external devices to access ESPN+ on a Vizio TV.
Vizio TVs have Airplay, a feature used to connect to Apple devices. Airplay can be used to create a peer to peer connections on Apple devices or to share video and audio content with other Airplay-compatible devices.
Airplay is usually on by default on Vizio TVs, and you can confirm it is enabled by following the steps below:
- Press the Smartcast Home button or the V button to open the Smartcast home screen.
- Check whether you can see the Airplay icon next to the cast icon on the top right of the screen. If you see the Airplay icon, it is enabled; if not, you can continue to the steps below to enable Airplay.
- Use the left/right navigation keys to highlight Extras and press OK.
- Scroll down to Apple Airplay and press OK.
- Highlight the ON option and press OK.
Enabling AirPlay on a VIZIO TV
After enabling Airplay on the Vizio TV, ensure you have the ESPN app installed on your iPhone. Also, ensure that your iPhone and TV are on the same Wi-Fi network provided by the same router or access point.
Then open the app and log in or sign in to your ESPN account. Once signed in, click the Settings icon on the app and select ESPN+ subscriptions > Subscribe > Restore > Setup account, enter the appropriate credentials, then select a sport or program you wish to watch.
Finally, mirror your iPhone screen to the TV by opening the control center on the phone and then selecting screen mirroring.
A list of available devices will appear on the phone, select your Vizio TV and enter the code on the TV screen if prompted, and you should see a copy of your phone screen on the TV.
Using AirPlay2 on a VIZIO Smart TV
Use Chromecast Built-In
If you have an Android phone, you can still access ESPN+ on the TV by mirroring your phone screen to the TV. All you have to do is ensure the phone and Vizio TV are on the same Wi-Fi network.
Then you can download the ESPN app from the Google Play Store to access the ESPN+ service.
Once you have the app, launch it and login or sign up; then, once in, select the Settings icon on the top right and navigate to ESPN+ subscriptions > Subscribe > Restore > Setup account and enter the necessary credentials.
Next is to open the ESPN+ tab, select anything you want to watch, and tap the cast icon on the screen. A list of available devices will appear, and you can select your Vizio TV to continue watching the TV.
Casting an Android Phone’s Screen to a VIZIO TV Using Chromecast
Use an Adapter
Another option is to purchase an adapter compatible with your phone’s charging port and use the adapter to connect the TV and the phone.
This method is more suitable for people who do not have Wi-Fi as it is required to mirror your screen using Airplay or Chromecast.
Once you get the appropriate adapter, connect it to your phone, then connect an HDMI cable to the adapter and one of the TV’s HDMI inputs, preferably HDMI 1.
Then ensure the TV is on the HDMI input you have connected the phone to, and you should see your phone screen on the TV. You can now open the ESPN app on the phone, go to the ESPN+ tab, and continue enjoying your sports shows.
If you have an iPhone, you should purchase a Lightning Digital AV Adapter and a USB-C to HDMI for Android users.
|Adapters for iPhones
Lightning to Digital AV
USB-C Digital AV
|Adapters for Android Phones (USB-C to HDMI)
Uni USB-C to HDMI
Belkin USB-C to HDMI
Watch ESPN+ Online
Alternatively, you can access ESPN+ on the ESPN website, and even though Vizio TVs do not have browsers, you can use a laptop or desktop connected to the TV via HDMI.
Then ensure the TV is on the HDMI input connected to the laptop so that you can see your laptop/desktop screen on the TV.
Once you are on the website, click on the profile icon on the top right of the screen, select login to enter your credentials, and click Log in.
Next, rest the mouse pointer on the ESPN+ option and wait for a hidden menu to be revealed once you see the menu click Watch now to access all ESPN+ content.
Purchase a Supported Streaming Device
You could also purchase a streaming device that supports ESPN to use its firmware as your TV’s firmware instead of Smartcast.
ESPN is supported on the following streaming devices;
- Select Roku devices
- Apple TV (Generation 3 & 4)
|Streaming Devices with ESPN/ESPN+ Support
Fire TV Stick 4K Max
Roku Ultra 4K
Once you have any of the above streaming devices, you can search for the ESPN app and download it from the device’s app store. Ensure to contact the manufacturer’s website or consult the user manual for the correct setup procedure.
The ESPN app is not natively available on Vizio TVs, and to access ESPN+, you would have to mirror your phone or laptop’s screen to the TV. You can mirror the screen using features like Airplay and Chromecast built-in or adapters to connect your phone to the TV and enjoy ESPN+ from the phone through the TV. Hopefully, Vizio will soon decide to include ESPN on Smartcast or at least allow users to download apps they really need.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: How do I install ESPN Plus on my Vizio Smart TV?
Answer: Unfortunately, there is no way to install ESPN or any app on a Vizio TV. That is because Vizio TVs use the Smartcast platform, which does not allow users to download or delete apps.
To use ESPN+ on a Vizio TV, you would have to download the ESPN app on an iPhone or Android device and mirror your screen to the TV.
Question: How do I add apps to my Vizio Smart TV that are not listed?
Answer: Smartcast has a variety of pre-installed apps that you can choose from. However, if the app you are looking for is unavailable on Smartcast, there is no way to add it. You only have options to download the app on the phone, then mirror your screen to the TV, or purchase a streaming device that supports said app.
Question: Where is the Google Play store on Vizio TV?
Answer: Vizio TVs do not have a Google Play store or any app store. You cannot download new apps to the Smartcast platform.