Google Home now plays nice with Vizio, allowing users to control Vizio TVs, displays, speakers and any SmartCast devices through voice commands.
In the race for a smart and connected home, the Amazon Echo powered by Alexa is leading the charge, serving as a personal assistant and a reliable smart home controller. Google Home might take after the Amazon Echo, but it's just getting started and it's not on par just yet.
Nevertheless, Google has gradually increased the tricks Google Home can do, adding more "conversation actions" and expanding its compatibility with third-party devices. The new integration with Vizio takes things to the next level, extending Google Home functionality to Vizio device owners.
Google Home Vizio Integration
According to Vizio, the basic functionality is similar to that of a regular TV or speaker paired with a Chromecast streamer, but users can now turn on their TV simply by using their voice.
Vizio SmartCast devices come with Chromecast built in and the new integration allows Google Home users to issue voice commands to handle their entertainment, such as adjust the volume, control music on supported devices, or ask the smart device to play content on the TV.
For instance, to play a song on a Vizio SmartCast sound bar or speaker, users can simply say "Ok Google" followed by their request for a song from Spotify, Pandora, Google Play Music and more.
At the same time, as long as the "Quick Start Power Mode" is enabled on the Vizio SmartCast device, users can have Google Home play a movie even if the display is off. Once the voice command is issued, Google Home will power on the display and start loading the content from apps such as Netflix and others.
Users can still issue voice commands to power the TV on or off, but this extra functionality allows them to bypass the remote control altogether and rely just on Google Home. It's easier to just tell Google Home to play Netflix's "The OA," for instance, and have it immediately turn on the TV and start playing the content.
Improved Entertainment Experience
"Controlling VIZIO SmartCast devices from Google Home is a significant milestone for consumers and their ability to manage their entertainment experience," says Vizio CTO Matt McRae. "Using a simple voice command to stream a movie from Netflix to a VIZIO display or stream music from Spotify to a group of VIZIO speakers is an eye-opening experience and shows off the power of VIZIO SmartCast."
Simply put, while Google Home fails to keep up with Amazon Echo in some aspects, it's more suitable for entertainment thanks to the Chromecast integration. The new Vizio integration is an added bonus.
Users who own a Chromecast but don't have a Vizio SmartCast device, meanwhile, can power on their TV using Chromecast.
Google Home is bound to get more functionality and integrate with more devices in the future, and it already seems to be on the right track. Voice commands make it easier to control a smart home and with increasingly more connected devices, devices such as Google Home and Amazon Alexa are becoming increasingly useful.