Vizio is best-known for offering big screens at a low price, but the company's latest offerings straddle that thin line between small TVs and computer monitors. Vizio announced the 23-inch VM230XVT ($400) and 19-inch VM190XVT ($350) Wednesday, with both sets utilizing LED-backlighting technology usually seen on larger screen sizes.
The TVs have a slim profile, tapering down to less than an inch thick, although they fatten out to 1.65 inches at their thickest point. Sporting two HDMI inputs and a standard PC input, both models can technically be used as a PC display, although the VM230XVT's 1080p … Read more
We're willing to bet that when Vizio announced the VF551XVT back in January, plenty of savvy HDTV bargain hunters marked down "June" as the time they'd buy this 55-inch LED-based LCD. Then the company pushed its release back to September. Then it announced that the"Via" VF552XVT--basically the same as this model with one of the most compelling feature packages we've ever seen, including a Bluetooth remote and Wi-Fi connectivity to complement a robust suite of interactive services--would be shipping in November for the same price. Suddenly the much-anticipated VF551XVT seemed a … Read more
The Via line of HDTVs from Vizio, due this January, promises the most comprehensive suite of interactive features yet seen on any HDTV, including a Bluetooth remote control with a keyboard. The two largest models will also pack LED backlighting with local dimming, the holy grail of LCD picture quality. These highly desirable features, combined with Vizio's customarily aggressive pricing, propel the flagship Vizio TVs past their counterparts from major brands like Samsung, Panasonic, and Sony--at least on paper.
Designed foremost to compete against current Internet-enabled HDTVs, the three "Via" (Vizio Interactive Apps) models are available in 42-inch, 47-inch, and 55-inch varieties. Here's a quick rundown:
Key features of the Vizio Via 2XVT series:LED backlight with local dimming (47- and 55-inch models only) 240Hz processing Bluetooth remote with full QWERTY keyboard Integrated 802.11(n) Wi-Fi Support for Adobe Flash for the Digital Home Yahoo widgets engine 42-inch SV422XVT: $1,199 MSRP | 47-inch SV472XVT: $1,699 | 55-inch XV552XVT: $2,199 Available in January
As CNET noted earlier, the Bluetooth keyboard remote and built-in Wi-fi will be firsts among interactive TVs, which typically require cumbersome virtual keyboards for text entry and expensive extra dongles or third-party solutions for wireless connectivity. Since few people have an Ethernet cable next to their televisions, Wi-fi makes setup much more convenient, while the keyboard on the remote should make accessing and using the TV's "Apps" as easy as sending an e-mail on a BlackBerry.
Vizio promises to have more such applications on the Via platform than any other current maker, and the list is impressive indeed.… Read more
As Internet-connected TVs become more popular, set makers are looking for ways to stand out from each other. Vizio, which made its name by undercutting much larger names in electronics on LCD sets, is no longer just looking to attract buyers at Costco. It's now trying to compete directly on the number of bells and whistles with the likes of Samsung, Panasonic, and Sony.
Announced in late June, Vizio's Via HDTV has some things going for it that its competitors' sets do not: integrated 802.11(n) Wi-Fi--which means no separate dongle for connecting to the Web--2GB of flash memory, and a well thought-out remote control.
The remote design is almost a no-brainer in retrospect, and makes you wonder why it hasn't been done before. It looks like a standard model, but with this one, Vizio took into account what the user would be doing with it: interacting with Web applications like Twitter, Facebook, Yahoo Sports, and Flickr. The TV maker put a slideout QWERTY keyboard on the back of the Bluetooth remote, so users can type as they would on some smartphones, instead of keying in letters one at a time. And, it doesn't seem to add much to the price of the Via HDTV: the 42-inch version will begin at $999 when it starts selling in stores in November.
Vizio is also looking to differentiate itself with developers who will create more applications for the TV. Yahoo developed its TV widget engine last year, which brings a range of preselected applications like Twitter, eBay, Flickr, Yahoo Sports, Showtime, and many others right onto the TV screen. Samsung, Sony, Panasonic, and Vizio each offer it. But Vizio says it wants to appeal to application developers, so it integrated Adobe Flash directly into its Via HDTV.… Read more
Back at CES 2009, Vizio announced the VBR100--a $200 Blu-ray player, complete with Profile 2.0 compatibility, 7.1 analog outputs and an April release date. Well, the April release date didn't happen, but the rest of the details are still accurate and Vizio is now planning on releasing the VBR100 as a Wal-Mart exclusive, coming in July at an even lower price of $188.
Much has changed in the Blu-ray market since January, with ultrabudget $100 players showing up and most name-brand players featuring streaming Internet content from Netflix, YouTube and Amazon Video On-Demand. The VBR100 is … Read more
First announced at CES, the list of Web widgets packed into forthcoming Vizio high-definition TVs is growing.
On Tuesday, Vizio announced that some of the most popular services on the Web will be directly accessible from the TV screen, including eBay, Facebook, Twitter, and Rallypoint Sports. Showtime, Web video channel Revision3, Internet radio site Radiotime, and video-on-demand service Vudu, will also be accessible on the Via Connected HDTV feature, which is powered by the Yahoo TV Widgets engine.
That adds to an already impressive lineup of Internet content from Amazon Video on Demand, Blockbuster On Demand, Flickr, Netflix, Pandora, and … Read more
Following the demise of Circuit City, Wal-Mart's been making a big push into the electronics market, and one of its PR folks let us in on a couple of upcoming "deals" on certain LCD TVs. The sale runs from June 14-20, or while supplies last.Vizio VO420E 1080p 42-inch LCD ($697) Sony Bravia KDL-52S5100 1080p 52-inch LCD ($1,788) Sanyo DP37649 720p 37-inch LCD ($398)
According to information from a lineup sheet first posted on engadgetHD, and confirmed by a Vizio spokesman, the company's highly anticipated VF551XVT, previously scheduled for release this month, will be delayed until September.
The 55-inch HDTV is also going to be $200 more expensive. That new price is likely to provide differentiation between the VF551XVT (now $2,199, up from $1,999) and the current VF550XVT (still $1,999), which we reviewed earlier this year and will remain in the company's lineup.
When it finally arrives, we expect the VF551XVT to handily outperform its less-expensive 55-inch brother. That'… Read more
Every year it seems there's a new catchy spec in the HDTV realm everybody likes to talk about. A few years back it was 1080p resolution. Then we heard about 120Hz, which is supposed to reduce motion blur in fast-moving images on LCD TVs. Well, this year, the latest and greatest spec is 240Hz, which is supposed to do what 120Hz does, but better.
Not too long ago, our video guru David Katzmaier gave his initial impressions on 240Hz in a post titled "Is 240Hz worth waiting for?" When he wrote that piece, he'd just seen his first 240Hz TV in action and wasn't sold on the new technology. Now that he's reviewed four 240Hz HDTVs and has a fifth review (the LG 47LH55) in the works, he's still not sold, but he admits the verdict isn't totally clear-cut.
Part of the problem is that there's a difference between what your eye sees in everyday material you watch and objective testing done with test patterns. As Katzmaier notes in his post, "Standard LCD and plasma TVs refresh the screen 60 times per second, or 60Hz, which is plenty fast enough to eliminate flicker and create the illusion of motion from a series of still images. In fact, most sources sent to your display arrive at the nominal rate of 30 frames per second, and each frame is repeated once by the television to achieve 60 total fps."
For most people, including me and Mr. Katzmaier, it's very difficult to see the impact that "faster" LCD sets have on picture quality. We spent some time in our AV lab watching various source material from 120Hz TVs and 240Hz models and it's really hard to detect any difference (it's hard to detect any difference between 120Hz and 60Hz models, too). To be clear, I'm referring here to motion-blur reduction because of faster refresh rates, not to dejudder processing, which smooths out motion and makes film-based material shot at 24fps look more video-like. When dejudder is engaged, you can easily spot its impact on the picture. (It's also worth mentioning that the dejudder processing on the 240Hz TVs we tested so far wasn't any better--or worse--than than the dejudder on 120Hz TVs). … Read more