Casting is a great way to get content from a wide range of devices to your television without having to rely on a suite of apps that may not always work correctly and don’t always get updated when they should. With its growing popularity, casting technology is becoming increasingly common across a wide range of devices, and an almost ubiquitous presence in new models of television.
When trying to establish why your SmartCast isn’t working, there is one important factor to establish, and that is whether the SmartCast was working and stopped, or it was never working in the first place. If it was working and suddenly stopped, it is highly likely that something as simple as a power cycling of your router could fix the problem. If this is the first time you have set your SmartCast TV up and you cannot get it working, you will have to look at all eventualities to find the culprit.
For many, however, the most cost-effective method to get casting capabilities to your television is to add a Google Chromecast-an inexpensive dongle that plugs directly into your TV’s HDMI slot and takes care of the casting for you. It is a good solution, and given that Google’s casting technology is one of the leaders in this space, it makes sense that the Chromecast would be one of the more reliable options.
What is “Casting”?
If all of this talk of casting is leaving you a little confused, don’t worry; here’s a crash course in what casting is in this context. Casting is the process of sending video from one device to an external display, allowing you to essentially use that device as a remote control for your display since you can play, stop, skip, and all the other controls you might want when watching video content.
The smart thing about Google’s casting technology-and as a result, Vizio’s SmartCast technology-is that when you cast video, the video is not being streamed from your device to your TV, but directly from the Internet. In effect, you are using your device purely as a controller. This allows you to add a range of video sources to your television, such as Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime, etc., without ever installing a single app on your TV or buying an external streaming device like an Apple TV or Amazon Firestick, but without losing the smooth, high-speed experience that streaming directly grants you. If you want to connect your laptop to your Vizio TV wirelessly, use these tips.
Reasons SmartCast Doesn’t Work on Your Vizio
Vizio has made an effort to combine the reliable Chromecast technology with the convenience of built-in casting capability with their SmartCast televisions, and the results are every bit as pleasing as you might expect. But technology is technology, and things don’t always work the way they should. So what should you do when your SmartCast functionality isn’t working the way it should?
There are several reasons why SmartCast might have stopped working on your Vizio TV, so let’s tackle them one at a time, starting with the most obvious.
It may sound obvious, but you might be surprised at how many people don’t think to check their Internet connection when they encounter problems like this. The content you are trying to watch is being sourced by your device and delivered to your TV directly, so if there are problems with your Internet connection, your SmartCast functionality will not work correctly.
There can be confusion around this point, specifically over the fact that you can have your SmartCast TV not working properly while you are still able to reach Netflix or YouTube or whatever streaming service you are attempting to cast from your phone. Remember, your phone has a data connection with your cell provider, and will likely switch to that if your home network drops out. That means your phone could still be accessing the Internet while your TV cannot. And, on a related note…
TV on a Different Network
In order to cast to your TV, the device you are casting from and your TV must be on the same local network. If your TV is connected to your home WiFi, but your phone is using data-or you are attempting to cast from a computer that is on a different home network to your TV-it won’t work.
App Does Not Support Casting
The nature of casting, as we described above, means that the content you are attempting to cast needs to come from a service or app that supports casting. Of course, casting has become incredibly popular, and there is a huge number of apps and services that support it, but if you can’t figure out why your SmartCast TV isn’t working, it might worth making sure it is supported.
Your router is responsible for bringing an Internet connection into your home and distributing it among all of the different devices. Like many things in the world of technology, it can sometimes get a little befuddled and not behave the way it should.
Ways to Fix SmartCast TV Not Available/Working Problem
Of course, knowing what might be causing your problem is little solace if you can’t fix it. Don’t worry; we’re not going to leave you high and dry. Here are some things you can try to get your SmartCast TV behaving the way it should.
Make Sure Your Internet Connection is Working
We mentioned it above, but it deserves a second mention because this really is the most common cause of this kind of problem. If your Internet is down, you will need to remedy that first. This may mean contacting your Internet service provider and having them sort things out, but it also may be as simple as…
Turning it Off and On Again
It’s something of a cliche, we know, but it’s a cliche for a reason. Turning technology on and off works surprisingly often, and this goes for just about anything with a computer inside of it. The first place to start would be your router since that is most often the culprit. If rebooting that doesn’t do the trick, try the same with your TV, and finally, the device you are casting from.
First, try to reboot:
- Your router
- Your TV
- Your casting device
It that did not work, try doing the following:
- Power off your TV
- Unplug your TV from the socket.
- Hold the power button of the TV for about 20 seconds with the TV still unplugged.
- Plug the TV back in.
- Repeat step 3.
- Power on your TV.
- See if the problem persists, this way should help.
Try to Power Cycle
If turning your TV, router, and casting device on and off did not work for some reason, let’s try to power cycle. If the problem with your SmartCast is some sort of a software hiccup, that should do the trick. Power cycling will help to erase all the temporary configurations and then reconfigure them once you turn the device back on.
- Press the menu button and select System on your TV remote control.
- Select Reset and Admin.
- Select the Soft Power Cycle.
- While doing that, power off your router.
- Turn the power on and check if the TV is working fine.
Try to Factory Reset your TV
This method can also help with some possible glitches that your TV might have, thus help with the SmartCast issues. All Vizio TV’s vary, but here are the most general guidelines:
- Press the Menu button and then System on your remote.
- Open Reset and Admin
- Select Reset TV to Factory Settings
- Wait for the TV to reset itself.
Try Another Network
If possible, try connecting your TV and casting device to another network to rule out anything to do with that side of things.
- Connect your TV to another network/mobile phone’s hotspot.
- Now see if there is any difference in your TV functionality.
Frequently Asked Questions
Things are much easier to digest in bitesize chunks, so here are some of the most commonly asked questions about the SmartCast TV not available problem.
How do I Get SmartCast on my Vizio TV?
Firstly, you need to have a Vizio TV that has SmartCast functionality. Assuming you do, you simply select SmartCast from your television’s input options, and then the rest of the work is done from your casting device.
How do I reset my Vizio SmartCast?
Not every Vizio SmartCast TV is the same, but you can often reset your TV by holding the input and volume down buttons for 10-15 seconds, which should bring a banner telling you to hold the input button to reset. Alternatively, you can simply disconnect your TV from its mains power supply, leave it for a minute or two, and plug it back in.
How do I get my TV off of SmartCast?
To get your TV off of SmartCast, bring up your input options and select one of your other inputs, such as one of the HDMI ports available.
Is my Vizio a SmartCast TV?
Assuming you don’t have access to any of the packaging or documentation that came with the TV, the easiest way to tell if you have a SmartCast TV is by checking your input options to see if SmartCast is there.
Why is my Vizio SmartCast not connecting WiFi?
Not connecting to WiFi can happen for a number of different reasons. The most obvious one being incorrect WiFi details. Double-check the password you have entered to make sure it is correct. Another problem could be the router itself, in which case you might want to try cycling the power on it (turning it off and on again). Finally, you could try resetting the TV itself.
It is also possible that it could be connected to your WiFi but that the WiFi is not getting an Internet connection, in which case you may need to contact your internet service provider.
Vizio’s SmartCast technology adds a layer of convenience to getting content onto your TV that makes it an enviable feature for owners of TVs that don’t have it. It can be frustrating when it doesn’t work the way it should, but there are usually solvable problems behind it.
Taking a slow, methodical approach to checking all of the things mentioned in this article will result in the problem being resolved the majority of the time.
Remember that the technology behind SmartCast relies entirely on an Internet-connection, and it is often connectivity that is the root cause of any issues. Always check that your Internet-connected and your local connection is working properly before assuming there is something wrong with your TV.