VIZIO TVs are vastly popular, mainly because they are affordable. The manufacturer has upgraded the TVs to conform to modern standards. One such upgrade is the shift from using VIZIO Internet Apps Plus (VIA+) to using SmartCast as the inbuild TV platform.
SmartCast allows VIZIO TV to stream content from vendors like YouTube, Amazon, Hulu, and Netflix. Despite the upgrades, the SmartCast feature malfunctions sometimes, and it can be frustrating when trying to watch your favorite shows.
Read on as we embark on what might cause Vizio SmartCast to stop working and what you can do to fix it.
Why Is VIZIO Smartcast Not Working?
There are various reasons why VIZIO SmartCast is not working, ranging from a bad internet connection to a SmartCast outage.
Most users notice the problem a few weeks or days after updating to the latest firmware. Sometimes the problem can result from a software bug that can be solved by performing a system reboot or factory reset.
You will notice that SmartCast is not working when the screen is black when you turn on the TV. You might also see a “SmartCast not working” notification on the screen or an error code each time you turn on the TV.
Interestingly, streaming services like Hulu and Netflix will work even if SmartCast is down. You simply press the dedicated keys on the remote, and they will work, provided an internet connection is available.
SmartCast Not Working – Basic Troubleshooting Steps (VIZIO Support)
Try the solutions below to resume regular watching.
1. Check Your Internet
The first thing you should do is ensure you have a working internet connection. SmartCast relies on the internet to stream content; therefore, if the internet is down, there will be a SmartCast not available message on your screen.
The appropriate procedure to connect your TV to a wireless connection is to navigate Menu>Network and then select the wireless network you want to enter the password. Once done, select Connect, and you are done.
The Hidden Networks option under Network will help if your wireless connection is a hidden network. Alternatively, you can use an ethernet connection by using the Ethernet port at the back of the TV.
How to Connect VIZIO Smart TV to Wi-Fi
You can use the network test feature on VIZIO TVs or external websites to analyze the internet connection.
Follow these steps to test the network on your VIZIO TV
- Power on the TV and press the Menu key on the remote.
- Then navigate Network>Test Connection.
- The TV will display information regarding your connection, i.e., connection type, name, and download speeds.
Through testing the connection, you will ascertain whether the TV is connected and if the connection is reliable. If there is a problem with your connection, use another network. Or shift to using Ethernet or Wi-Fi, depending on the initial connection.
Troubleshooting VIZIO TV’s Internet Connection
2. Change the Input Source
Some users have reported that SmartCast loads after they change the input source on their TVs. You can also try this before testing other extreme solutions, like performing a system reset.
Follow the procedure below to change inputs:
- Press the Input key on the remote to display the input menu.
- Use the arrow keys to select an alternative input source that is not SmartCast.
- Press the OK key to select the alternative input source.
- Wait for 30 seconds before reverting to SmartCast.
If SmartCast is still not working, you will have to refresh it, as illustrated in the next section.
3. Change the OS Language
By changing the platform language of a VIZIO TV, you also refresh SmartCast. This might help since SmartCast could malfunction because of a mild software glitch.
To change the Menu language, follow these steps:
- Press the Menu key on the remote
- Then go to System and select Menu Language
- Change languages by pressing the left and right navigation keys on the remote.
- Wait for a few seconds as SmartCast refreshes in the background
- Next, use the right and left keys to return to the initial language.
- Exit the Menu interface and check if SmartCast is working.
Image Credit – VIZIO YouTube Channel
4. Restart the TV
A restart usually goes a long way when electronic devices have issues. We can compare a restart to taking a nap to ease the fatigue because of working too long.
A restart will also allow the TV to boot up afresh and sort out any misconfigurations that might have happened.
Restarting the TV is also known as performing a power cycle or rebooting. When power cycling, you can cut power to the TV completely, thus manually turning it off and then on again.
A soft power cycle, on the other hand, entails using the TV’s inbuilt restart feature that allows it to turn on and off by itself. All you have to do is initiate the procedure.
Follow the procedure below to perform a soft power cycle on your VIZIO TV.
- Press the Menu key on the remote
- Navigate Admin & Privacy (or Reset & Admin) > Reboot TV
- Wait for the TV to restart and check if SmartCast is working normally.
How to Soft Power Cycle a VIZIO Smart TV
Alternatively, you can perform a “hard power cycle” by:
- Press the power button on the TV (most panels have it on the bottom right corner under the remote sensor). You can also use the power button on the remote.
- Next, unplug the TV from the power source.
- Then, press the power button on the TV for at least thirty seconds
- Reconnect the cable to the outlet and power on the TV as you normally would
While restarting the TV, restart the router/modem to ensure a new connection between the TV and router on startup.
5. Reset the TV
If all the suggestions fail, the last resort is to factory reset the TV. A factory reset will erase all settings and passwords and restore the TV system to how it was upon purchase.
This is a drastic measure, but it has proven efficient multiple times; therefore, it is worth trying.
You can reset the TV in different ways, but we will focus on the easiest and fastest.
To reset the TV:
- Launch the Menu by pressing the Menu on the remote.
- Go to Admin & Privacy > Reset to Factory Settings.
- Use your system PIN to confirm the operation. The default access code is 0000 if you have never updated it.
- The message will appear on your screen asking you whether you want to reset all settings to factory defaults or not.
- Use the selector buttons to navigate Reset > OK and wait for the TV to reset and restart.
For some SmartCast VIZIO TVs, you may have to follow a slightly different procedure: Menu > System > Reset & Admin > Reset to Factory Settings when resetting.
How to Factory Reset a VIZIO TV
6. Check for a System Update
System updates fix bugs and improve the performance of devices. SmartCast might have problems functioning because of a bug that a system update can fix.
You can check for a system update by navigating Menu > Admin & Privacy > Check for Updates. If there is an available update, you can download it; if there isn’t one, then the TV is on the latest OS.
Ensure the TV has an internet connection when checking for an update.
How to Update Firmware on a VIZIO TV
7. Check for a SmartCast Outage
Although rare, SmartCast could be having a downtime. Since the platform is web-based, there might be challenges from VIZIO’s end that you, as an end-user, have no control over.
Such a scenario has occurred before and can reoccur.
Image credit – VIZIO Twitter Account
You can check if there is an outage by visiting VIZIO’s social media pages, where they share varying information regarding VIZIO products.
If there is an outage, all you can do is wait for VIZIO to fix the issue.
Some VIZIO users have solved the issue by changing the power mode on their TVs. You can also try this by navigating Menu > System > Power mode and changing it from Eco to Quickstart.
Note that doing this will increase the TV’s power consumption.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: How do I access Smartcast on my Vizio TV?
Answer: SmartCast is a VIZIO operating platform; therefore, the TV is on the SmartCast input whenever you power on the TV.
However, there are exceptions. For instance, when you have connected a device to the HDMI ports and enabled CEC settings on the TV. The TV will power on and default to the input source displaying content in such cases.
Another exception is if you have set the TV to default to a particular input source when turned on. Follow the steps below to know if this is the case or to update settings, so the TV opens SmartCast on startup.
- Press the Menu button
- Navigate System>Input at Power On
- Choose SmartCast as the preferred input
You can change the SmartCast input by pressing the Home/V button on the remote, depending on the model of your VIZIO TV.
You can also press the Input key, scroll to SmartCast, and then press OK.
Question: Why Is My VIZIO SmartCast Not Connecting to Wi-Fi?
Answer: VIZIO TVs refusing to connect to Wi-Fi is a common problem many users face.
There are a few reasons why this might happen, including:
- There could be an obstruction between the router and the TV. Or the router could be too far from the TV. If this is the case, move the TV and router closer to each other.
- Another cause could be using the wrong network or a software bug on the TV system. If it is a bug, try a factory reset, and ensure you connect to a known network.
VIZIO TVs have a bad reputation, especially concerning their firmware. Most users have reported similar software-related problems. Using a different streaming device seems to be a preferable working solution.
If the problems persist, contact VIZIO customer support, but chances are, they will suggest things already discussed in this article. Therefore, notify them of all the solutions you have tried to avoid wasting time.