Google may be about to take a new approach to smart TVs. According to Variety, Google is working with Vizio to build Chromecast-like streaming into its new TVs. There would be no on-screen apps or interface — instead, you'd just be able to send streaming video and music, among other content, from a smartphone or computer over to your TV with the tap of a button. It's essentially the equivalent of building a Chromecast into a TV.
The TVs might come with a tablet instead of a remote
The Google Cast enabled TVs could arrive as soon as this spring, according to the report. While the TVs themselves may eschew a traditional smart TV interface, Variety reports that Google and Vizio may be planning to add smart features somewhere else: the remote. Rather than using a traditional remote, Vizio may choose to bundle TVs with a tablet that includes apps that can be used for streaming. However, whether it ultimately decides to use a tablet instead of a remote seems to still be up in the air. According to the report, Google is working with at least one other manufacturer on building Casting features into its TV sets, too.
Though it may sound somewhat odd to hear that Google is promoting a very basic platform like Casting over something far more capable like Android TV, it's easy to see why it might want to. Google has repeatedly had terrible luck with TV software, Android TV included. The Chromecast, on the other hand, has been a surprise hit thanks to some combination of its cheap price ($35) and ease of use. Choosing to build Casting into a TV, rather than a full smart TV operating system, might allow for cheaper smart TVs with features that consumers actually want to use.