Vizio interactive HDTVs delayed until January

The company's well-featured line of "Via"-branded interactive HDTVs will be pushed back a couple of months.

Shoppers anticipating the release of the Vizio VF552XVT will have to wait until after the holidays. CNET

Remember when we crowed about Vizio's upcoming lineup of "Via"-branded TVs, citing a prodigious feature set that includes local dimming LED backlighting, interactive add-ons galore, Wi-Fi connectivity, and a QWERTY-equipped Bluetooth remote (pictured), all for an appropriately Vizio price?

Since then we've received lots of e-mails asking when the Via models would be available, and we dutifully repeated the same question to Vizio's reps. Now it's been answered: the company is officially pushing the Via models back until January 2010.

Vizio Bluetooth remote

Assuming Vizio can deliver even a passable interactive experience, we expect our eventual review of the "Via" 55-inch VF552XVT to brim with accolades despite the delay. That anticipation is based primarily on our recent review of the excellent VF551XVT (itself a past victim of a too-aggressive Vizio release date announcement). It's basically the same TV, minus the interactive doo-dads, and miraculously its lifespan prior to being replaced by its Web-ready brother has been effectively doubled by the new anticipated release date.

Of course, much like at the contemporaneous NFL playoffs, anything can happen at CES 2010. Vizio's lead in the features standings will face stiff challenge from other HDTV makers' CES announcements, which are sure to be chock-a-block with keywords (Netflix, YouTube, Facebook, Rhapsody) and may even include a QWERTY Bluetooth remote or two. Let the anticipation begin again.

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