Remoteless\Tunerless Television

This is an interesting article regarding the coming Vizio P-Series television - remoteless and tunerless.

Without an ATSC tuner, this television would depend upon a device such as a Tablo. All the “smart TV apps” are on an Android tablet that comes with the TV, not on the TV.

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Read about this earlier today. It’s an interesting move, and a good one for them I believe. Many people (myself included) never use the internal tuner on their TVs, and with ATSC 3.0 in the near-distant future, this makes some sense to me to just not include one.
I personally use my TiVo OTA for what very little live TV tuning I watch, and a great many people will simply hook up their cable box.
I always thought a smart TV was a dumb idea…because it just cant be updated that quickly and likely won’t be updated for as long as the TV will probably be in service - so the apps become stale or newer services never make it to the platform. Separating the apps from the TV, but still keeping it branded is smart…and what a great remote the included tablet will make.

This concept is a great mashup of TV and tablet. Tablo had the right progressive idea of going MP4 through ethernet\wifi distribution rather than the archaic direct HDMI hookup (and MPEG2). Divorce display device from video supplier.

Here’s a concept: do quick channel hopping (and preview) on the tablet (not TV) and when the user settles on a program, focus TV to the chosen channel. Make the channel switching and program viewing asynchronous to each other - a further subdivision of labor…given that the remote now becomes an intelligent device in its own right (for the Tablo II).

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I’m not sure I exactly understand the concept, but it sounds like a TV with built-in chromecast-like abilities. If that is the case, I don’t know if I am really sold. I have never liked the experience of casting. I prefer to use a set-top box with a wired Ethernet connection, as performance is much better - especially in rooms with a weaker wifi signal. If the tablet is actually serving up the content and it is connected via wifi and the TV receiving the content is receiving through wifi - that doesn’t sound so hot to me. I wonder how it performs in the real world.

The Vizio P-Series television has Google Cast built in - not through the tablet. There is a wired Ethernet port on the TV.

Performance apart, the conceptual architecture is one that reviewers such as CNET have stated will have manufacturers such as LG and Samsung scrambling in 2016 given its flexibility. As the Verge article above says, it is a game changer. In such an environment, an external tuner (such as a Tablo) with an app fits in quite well. Especially a future ATSC 3.0 based Tablo.

Putting the control logic in a tablet should provide powerful capabilities in the future. Imagine the interaction possibilities available through the tablet… One could have a multi-tuner Tablo providing a channel hopping stream to the tablet (unbuffered of course LOL) and a fixed stream to the TV…

Good to know that there is a wired option. My only experience with Google Cast is via Chromecast and I was not too impressed with that.

I think you’ve confused me even more than Vonda_Z. In your first post you said all the apps reside on the tablet, but then in your latest you said the TV doesn’t receive the stream through the tablet.

I’ve read a few reviews and I am still not clear on how that communication works. If the TV is not ‘smart’ and doesn’t have any apps built in, how is the stream not coming from the tablet?

The tablet has the apps. This is my understanding of how it works:

  • Netflix app is on the tablet.
  • You hit the cast button and now netflix is showing up on the Chromecast as ready to cast. The chromecast doesn’t have an app installed.
  • Once you select which video to play the streaming is between Netflix’s servers and the Chromecast directly. Nothing goes through the tablet, except the control information. If you turn off your tablet, the video will continue to play.
  • This is obviously different for screen mirroring or casting a tab from a laptop/desktop computer.

As an aside, this wouldn’t work for Tablo as my performance with Tablo and Chromecast has been pretty bad. I much prefer the Android TV functionality.

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Some questions @faganm24

Never having used any type of casting (Roku user here with Tablo), will it make any difference in performance if the casting is done within the TV as opposed to from an external device attached to the TV?

How is casting done? How does casting differ from what a Roku does? I’ve tried to find some articles on how casting is technically done but haven’t found any. Whenever I google “television casting” I get Jennifer Anniston and IMDB.

If the casting function gets a superior CPU within the TV (as opposed to what the Chromecast device currently has), would that bump up the casting performance?

I wouldn’t buy a TV which depends upon casting that has poor performance. However the idea of a tablet as a “remote” and “second screen” has such great intriguing possibilities

BTW just in case somebody suspects that I’m shilling for Vizio - not a chance! I hate those SOBs. I bought a Vizio 7 years ago for $2,000 and last year it went belly up. One evening, my wife and I heard a large pop coming from the TV and it suddenly went dead. Discovered that Vizios had a capacitor problem that exploded internally.

We bought a new TV and I discovered a year later through YouTube that one can fix the Vizio with a $1.98 capacitor (and some soldering) oneself (and not spend $600 on a TV repair shop). The trick is to use an electrical probe to discover which capacitor is burnt out (there are 6), gently detach it and solder a new one in its place.

Must be a problem with capacitor makers in general. Samsung has had huge problems with this resulting in class action lawsuits and settlements and such. Our Samsung had this problem, but wasn’t covered under the lawsuit. However, we found out that we could easily buy the board and replace in the TV (I think it cost $30). We could have tried to replace the capacitor itself for just dollars as you did, but much easier to just swap out the entire board and avoid the soldering and diagnostics. Worked like a charm. We even bought a backup board in case this problem happens again.

On the other hand, we have a cheap Vizio in our bedroom and it has worked like clockwork for years. Not a single problem. Probably bought it before the batches of flawed capacitors flooded the market.

Wait, you are complaining that your TV died after 7 YEARS?! If the Vizio TV I just purchased lasted 7 years, I would be totally satisfied with my purchase and buy Vizio again. A lot happens in the technology space in 7 years…

Also, I would have wished Vizio followed other TV manufacturers and put Android TV on their new P-line. Then people who prefer a traditional TV UI can use that, and the people who prefer to “Cast” videos using their phone/tablet/computer can use that method as well - you get the best of both worlds with Android TV.

I’m no expert, but here is my 2 cents.

All things being equal, I don’t think there should be that much difference in terms of performance. User experience may be easier since it isn’t switching inputs all the time.

Do you mean the Roku box or Roku Stick? I’m not sure.

I found this exept from the following link (

I would think so. I think people have seen this within the jump from 1st to 2nd generation Chromecast.[quote=“UsrTblo, post:9, topic:6931”]
I wouldn’t buy a TV which depends upon casting that has poor performance. However the idea of a tablet as a “remote” and “second screen” has such great intriguing possibilities…
I also think it is interesting, Especially the wireless charging doc and ability to control volume on the TV from the tablet.
I really wish these box manufacturers would integrate IR into their remote and dedicated volume, power, and source buttons for the TV.

I had estimated a 15 year lifespan for a digital device. But darnit capacitors are not digital…

My Vizo P50 plasma lasted 10 years…and I was very happy with that. I never heard the standard Vizio “pop”, but on one turn-on cycle, the screen just stayed black and never came back.
Upside is I’m thoroughly enjoying its replacement - Vizio M70-C3 UHD!

Yes, capacitors and embedded batteries are the very weak-links to a lot of modern electronics, and the reason a lot of things you put away to save in your tech museum won’t turn on again when you take them back out some years from now.

I bought the same thing! The picture quality and size is absolutely amazing for the price. Never fails to impress me when I turn it on.

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Amazing and ironic…reflecting on tunerless\remoteless TVs I happened to wander into a minefield of Vizio-naries…:confused: POP!


I wonder if the tables will provide “universal remote” support for things like turning on my non-Vizio sound bar, the STB (Cable, Sat, CD Player) or if this is going to just mean in ADDITION to the array of remotes, we now get to have a tablet on the table also.

Frankly, I like my Logitech Harmony for being able to control the non-Tablo stuff.

I’ll be one of those old fogeys with an old-fashioned remote far too long…

Being an old fogey, you probably understand my irritation at the TV having lasted only 7 years after I had budgeted it to last 15 :wink: My father’s TV lasted 23 years! And he didn’t need no stinkin color… Walter Cronkite looked better in black and white.