Vizio TV is available in the market in two variants – the older model with VIA and VIA+ interface and the newer model that uses Smartcast. Although they run on different interfaces, both of them do not allow downloading of any other third-party apps.
So, if you want to use apps other than the built-in one, you need to seek other options like screen mirroring or take help from the streaming device.
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How to Download Apps on Vizio TV?
There is no way you can download and use apps except those that are available in Smart cast. Many websites on the Internet claim that you can use an Android APK application on your Vizio TV. But, at the time of writing this article, there are no methods as such.
You also cannot use Android applications by flashing Android OS to Vizio TV either. This is because there is no option to manually manage the Digital Rights Management (DRM) for installing streaming applications into Vizio TV.
However, you can use other streaming devices like Roku and Fire Stick with your Vizio TV and download your preferred apps.
Using Streaming Devices
Roku or Fire Stick have their own operating system and allow downloading a range of applications that are not available in Smartcast. You can connect these devices to the HDMI port on your Vizio TV and start streaming.
However, if you have an older model of Vizio TV, there may not be an HDMI port. In such cases, you can either use an HDMI to USB or an HDMI to RCA converter and connect those streaming devices. Let’s take a reference of the Roku streaming stick and see how to set it up with your Vizio TV.
- Plug in Roku stick to your Vizio TV.
- Change the input source of your TV to whichever mode you are using to connect Roku. It can be either HDMI, USB, or RCA (A/V).
- You will now see Let’s get started screen. Pick a language.
- On the next screen, connect your Roku to a Wi-Fi network.
- Then follow the on-screen instructions to create a new Roku account.
- After completing the account creation, you can see the list of apps built-in onto Roku and start using them.
- If you want to add other applications, please consult this detailed guide on how to download apps on Roku TV.
But you need to invest a few bucks to use these streaming devices. Therefore you can also opt to use the basic ideology of Smartcast, i.e, casting screen to your TV with the help of smartphones.
Since Vizio TVs have built-in Chromecast functionality, you can also use it to cast the apps from your smartphones. You don’t need to purchase an external Google Chromecast device to cast to your Vizio TV. However, the app on your smartphone must support the casting feature. Else, you need to cast the entire screen to TV.
- Connect your phone and TV to the same Wi-Fi network.
- Launch the application on your phone that you wish to cast from.
- Then tap the Cast icon. It will start searching for devices.
- Choose the name that corresponds to Vizio TV.
- A code will be shown on the TV for pairing.
- Enter the code on your smartphone.
- You are now ready to cast applications from your mobile device.
Vizio TVs are also Airplay and Airplay-2 compatible. So, if you own iOS devices, you can also easily use Airplay to cast the iOS apps on Vizio TV and use them. But, you should activate the Airplay feature on your TV beforehand.
- Press the Home or V button on your remote to launch Smartcast.
- From the home screen of Smartcast, move right and choose Extras.
- Move down to Apple Airplay and select it.
- Select ON.
- Now you will see a Cast icon on the home screen indicating that the Airplay feature has been activated.
- Now go to your iPhone or iPad.
- Unlock the device and swipe down on the home screen from the top right corner. It will open Control Center. If you have an iPhone below iPhone X, drag up from the bottom center to open Control Center.
- Tap Screen Mirroring. It will now start searching for available devices to Airplay.
- Select Vizio TV in the screen mirroring popup.
- Enter passcode shown on the TV into your iPhone.
- Confirm pairing by pressing OK. It will now start the screen mirroring process.