Vizio Adds 9 Google Cast Soundbars
Vizio introduced this week nine soundbars which take a page from some of the 2016 “entertainment display” lines by adding support for Google Cast audio streaming from connected mobile devices.
Vizio’s new soundbars incorporate Wi-Fi connectivity but don’t require embedded audio-streaming apps in the hardware to connect to popular music streaming services or stored songs on mobile devices and notebooks. Users control the apps and streaming playback on their Google Cast enabled mobile devices to begin streaming music directly from the cloud to the soundbar or TV.
In the recent model lines, certain Vizio smart TVs and displays have been used to data mine viewers’ playback and use habits for collection and sale to advertisers, content producers and others. Similarly, Google systems can mine consumer listening or video streaming habits, and don’t give the user ability to opt out of that data collection and still continue to use the Google-enabled device features.
Vizio, Philips, Polaroid and other TV makers this year have moved to the use of the Google Cast system to provide smart TV streaming and other services, without the need to invest in proprietary smart TV operating systems, which often require apps for services to be specially written for the platform, which can be expensive and limiting to the number of possible app selections. Google Cast gives manufacturers the ability to reduce cost and expand streaming selection.
More than 1,300 Google Cast-enabled audio, video or gaming apps can be controlled from a user’s smartphone, tablet, Chromebook, or Mac or Windows laptop and streamed to the soundbar or Google Cast TV/display.
Read more on Vizio’s Google Cast soundbars after the jump:
In soundbars Google Cast also enables multiroom listening capability, including giving users the ability to play back a song in multiple rooms at a time, or listen to different apps simultaneously on devices in different rooms in the house.
Vizio soundbars are controlled with a free Android or iOS Smart Cast app, which enables searching, browsing and discovering content across multiple apps in addition to controlling playback, pausing and volume. Each of the new soundbars also ship with an LCD display remote to control basic functions.
Other features in all models include Bluetooth wireless device linking. Four models support 5.1 surround with included wireless surround speakers, and four models offer a 3-inch-tall subwoofer.
The new soundbar models include the following:
The 38-inch 3.0-channel SB3830-D0 ($179)
The 38-inch 2.1-channel SB3821-D6 ($219)
The 38-inch 3.1-channel SB3831-D0 ($269)
The 38-inch 5.1-channel SB3851-D0 ($299)
The 40-inch 3.1-channel with subwoofer SB4031-D5 ($379)
The 40-inch 5.1-channel with subwoofer SB4051-D5 ($429)
The 45-inch 3.1-channel with subwoofer SB4531-D5 ($449)
44-inch 5.1-channel SB4451-C0 ($499)
45-inch slim 5.1-channel with subwoofer SB4551-D5 ($499)
By Greg Tarr
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