I recently completed my review of the amazing VIZIO E-Series 65″ Class 4K HDR Smart TV. (Read my review.) I love the television and, now that VIZIO has rolled out their new WatchFree service there’s even more to love. It takes streaming to a new level and, best of all, it’s a free update.
The announcement was quite simple. As the release notes, “VIZIO 2018 SmartCast OS Expands to Offer Free and Unlimited TV via All-New WatchFree Service. [This] latest Cloud-Based Update Adds More Than 100 Free Channels to VIZIO SmartCast TVs.” That may sound like something rather small, but when you step back and consider what VIZIO has done here, you quickly realize that it is much more involved than might otherwise appear.
WatchFree is an all-new streaming service that, in partnership with Pluto TV, provides direct access to more than one hundred channels. All this happens without the need for streaming boxes, antennas, cords or cables and, perhaps best of all; it is completely free.
As the company notes, WatchFree “brings the home entertainment experience one step further by allowing cord-cutters for streaming over 100 live and internet channels absolutely free without a subscription or fee – from news, sports, movies, TV shows, and more, viewers can enjoy a wide selection of channels. WatchFree has the same feel as traditional cable TV but without the hassle of boxes, antennas and most importantly, the cost.“
I spent some time with the new service and was impressed with the range of entertainment it offers. There are news channels, movies, concerts and more. Among them are Pluto TV Movies, Action Movies, Black Cinema, News 24/7, NBC News/MSNBC, Fox Sports, Frontdoor, Cats 24/7, Crime Network, MST3K and The Surf Channel. And, did I happen to mention that it is free?
My 65” VIZIO E-Series automatically updated to add the new service and, once it did, the option to select WatchFree simply appeared in the list of various inputs available on the television.
As states Tom Ryan, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Pluto TV notes,
Powering VIZIO’s WatchFree service is a pivotal next step in our goal to deliver free, premium entertainment to as many consumers as possible. From hit TV shows to blockbuster movies, news, sports, lifestyle and more, WatchFree is a gamechanger for cord-cutting enthusiasts.
This new service, combined with VIZIO reintroducing built-in TV tuners in their 2018 VIZIO SmartCast TVs (the two other VIZIO SmartCast displays in my home don’t have a TV tuner) and their Google Chromecase built into the sets makes these televisions a perfect fit for individuals looking to get rid of traditional cable or satellite service. Even for a household like mine that isn’t ready to cut the cord, having more options is also a good thing.
Also, the remote that came with my 2018 VIZIO Smartcast TV includes special buttons to launch YouTube, Netflix, Prime Video and more. All of which adds to the excellent user-experience VIZIO already offered.
Here’s a quick promo video that helps explain what the new WatchFree service is all about.
I love my VIZIO televisions. They look great, are priced nicely and, as the WatchFree update shows, the company is constantly working to make their products even more compelling to consumers. Check out the entire VIZIO lineup here.