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VIZIO's VIA Plus, The Next Generation with VIZIO Mobile Phone and Tablet, What Happened?

Updated on January 31, 2018

VIZIO Internet Apps™ -- VIA Plus | The Next Generation VIZIO with Google TV

In January 2011, VIZIO revealed its next generation of HDTVs with built-in Internet application functionality. It is part of what VIZIO called its new "Connected Consumer Electronics Ecosytem," that will allow "unified on-demand content and application consumption across multiple consumer electronic devices including VIZIO HDTVs, Blu-ray players, SmartPhones, and Tablets."

VIZIO 2011 Prototypes -- VIZIO Internet Apps VIA Plus, VIZIO SmartPhone, VIZIO Tablet | image credit: VIZIO
VIZIO 2011 Prototypes -- VIZIO Internet Apps VIA Plus, VIZIO SmartPhone, VIZIO Tablet | image credit: VIZIO

VIZIO Internet Apps™ -- VIA Plus | The Next Generation VIZIO with Google TV

This was VIZIO's next step in its emergence as a first-class producer of high-quality state-of-the-art internet-connected HDTVs. This product ncluded the next generation of VIZIO Internet Apps called VIA Plus--incorporating "the Google TV platform, and (will) feature an intuitive user interface that allows users to access their favorite apps as well as search and browse the web ... "

According to Laynie Newsome, then VIZIO's co-founder and CSO, VIZIO was "constantly evaluating new opportunities to further enhance the value of our products, including those brought to us by Intel and Google."

VIZIO also revealed plans to produce a VIZIO SmartPhone and a VIZIO Tablet -- both with VIA Plus -- that would allow you to use the VIA Plus interface on all your internet-connected devices. You can begin your VIA experience on one device and seamlessly transition to another without interruption.

Prices and release dates for the SmartPhone, Tablet and VIA Plus HDTVs were not announced. So, as I wrote then, "proof of the pudding is in the eating" and market reaction was yet to be seen. If VIZIO's recent past experience is any indication, I thought we could expect the new generation VIZIO will be exciting and top-quality.

Check out CNET's review of the proposed new VIZIO Tablet below:

Google TV

Google TV aims to bring TV, apps, and the entire web together on one platform. You can search across every channel, every app, and the entire web. A number of favorite apps are included on Google TV, and presumably will be added to VIZIO's lineup of apps. According to Google, apps from Android will work on Google TV beginning sometime early in 2011.

Early glimpses of how VIZIO will integrate the Google TV platform into VIA Plus were presented in January at the Consumer Electronics Show.

VIZIO VIA Plus -- The next generation HDTV

Here's what we can expect from VIZIO's next generation of Class XVT HDTVs based on what we know so far:--

  • VIZIO VIA Plus ecosystem featuring VIZIO XVT3D476SP (47") and XVT3D556SP (55")
  • Google TV would be part of VIA Plus Internet Apps with full web-browsing capability
  • Bluetooth Remote would be a new premium Bluetooth QWERTY with a touchpad allowing easy viewer interaction with both web and TV. The slide-out touchpad would work like a touchpad on a laptop pc.
  • Wi-Fi: Dual-band 802.11n
  • Theater 3D would be included based on passive polarizing eye-glass technology that is easier on your eyes than active shutter technology.
  • VIZIO SmartPhone or Touchpad would be part of VIZIO's new connected consumer ecosystem and you could pick right up where you left off on your HDTV, You could also use your smartphone as an alternate remote.
  • Refresh Rate of 480 Hz.
  • Full array LED backlighting with local dimming.
  • Left half of the screen for VIA Plus app icons, right half for streaming view. The top portion of the app display show your favorites categories, the bottom portion shows your choices. You can move your favorite apps into categories for easy navigation.

VIZIO VIA Plus with Google TV

What content would you be able to access with VIZIO VIA Plus with Google TV?

VIZIO has worked for several years nurturing partnerships with numerous online service and content providers to build a lineup of Internet Apps for many audiences including its recently announced app for OnLive, which offers premium games on demand. OnLive is the pioneer of instant-play cloud gaming.

VIZIO anticipated that Google TV would bring another set of apps, including popular Google properties like YouTube, Earth, and Chrome -- Google's web browser. So we could expect a rich lineup of apps from VIZIO VIA Plus with Google TV.

Some of the app category icons that were seen on prototype VIZIO VIA Plus HDTVs, SmartPhones and Tablet include favorites, e-mail, calendar, music, messaging, browser, settings, camera, clock, gallery, maps, sports, youtube, contacts, and games.

And because it would be driven by Android, developers would be producing new apps over time.

VIZIO Mobile Phones Made Available In China, Not U.S.


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