Vizio VOJ370F review: Vizio VOJ370F

Performance
The VOJ370F benefited from accurate color that's among the best of any small-screened LCD we've tested, and although its black levels could have been deeper, overall we had no major complaints about its picture quality.

Prior to our standard calibration the VOJ370F exhibited relatively good grayscale performance in its Normal color temperature preset, although all of the picture presets, including Movie, were too bright for our darkened home theater. We reduced the backlight to near-zero to reach our target of 40ftl, and were pleased to note that color accuracy didn't suffer as a result. In fact, post-calibration the Vizio exhibited one of the most accurate grayscales we've seen from any LCD of any size. We would have liked to see a few gamma choices, however, since post-calibration the set's gamma scored a mediocre 1.9 versus a target of 2.2. For our complete picture settings, check out this blog post.

For our comparison, we lined the Vizio up next to a few competing, smaller LCDs, including the 37-inch Panasonic TC-37LZ85, the Hitachi UT37X902, as well as the 32-inch Sony KDL-32M4000. For reference (not to represent comparable models) we enlisted the Samsung LN52A650 LCD and the Pioneer PRO-111FD plasma. To perform the majority of image quality tests, our film of choice this time was Bangkok Dangerous on Blu-ray played via the Sony PlayStation 3.

Black level: Among the similar-size LCDs in our comparison, the Vizio VOJ370F delivered the lightest shade of black, but not by a very wide margin at all. In fact, the difference would be impossible to detect outside of a side-by-side comparison. Near-black areas like the shadowy recesses of the room where Cage sets up his sniper blind still appeared acceptably dark. Details in shadows, such as the edges of Cage's scope and gun, seemed a bit less-natural and too bright compared with our reference display and to the other LCDs, although again the difference wasn't drastic.

Color accuracy: The Vizio outperformed to other displays in terms of color accuracy. Its linear grayscale matched that of the reference very well, and the effect showed up in skin tones like the faces of the dignitaries in the convertible and the people in the crowd as Cage contemplates assassination. White areas also looked nearly perfect, from the sunlit sides of the buildings to the clouds in the sky. Primary colors, such as the green plants in his yard, also looked close to the reference, if a bit less lush because of the LCD's lighter black levels.

One area that could be improved was the VOJ370F's tendency to dip into bluish green in near-black and black areas, but overall the Vizio reproduced colors better than just about any small-screen LCD we've seen.

Video processing: The VOJ370F successfully resolved every line of a 1,920x1,080-pixel test pattern, correctly deinterlaced video as well as film-based sources, and scored between 300 and 400 lines on our motion resolution tests. As usual, none of these resolution characteristics was distinguishable in program material; the 1,366x768 resolution Sony, for example, looked just as sharp as the 1080p displays in our comparison.

Uniformity: The Vizo's screen evinced no major bright or dark spots. In flat fields of color created by test patterns we could discern slight brightness variations in some areas of the screen, but they were invisible in normal program material. In our darkened room, black and near-black areas on the Vizio washed out more quickly than the other displays, and blur discoloration set in relatively quickly.

Bright lighting: We saw the usual stellar performance expected from a matte LCD screen under high ambient conditions with afternoon sun coming in through the windows. The screen attenuated reflections as well as the other matte LCDs in the lineup and better than the glass-screen plasma or the shiny-screened Samsung, although the latter maintained black levels better in bright lighting.

Standard-definition: Standard-definition picture quality was solid on the Vizio. The set resolved every line of the DVD format while details in the stone bridge and grass looked sharp enough, although not as well as the Hitachi. We did appreciate its capability to remove jaggies from spinning diagonal lines and the stripes of a waving American flag. The noise reduction circuit was hit-or-miss, cleaning up some shots of skies and sunsets well but leaving many with more snowy motes than the other displays in our comparison. The Vizio's film mode processing kicked in quickly and effectively to remove moire from the grandstands behind the race car.

PC: As we'd expect from a 1080p LCD, the Vizio VOJ370F resolved every detail of a 1,920x1,080-pixel source via both VGA and HDMI, with no overscan or edge enhancement.

TEST RESULT SCORE
Before color temp (20/80) 6516/6413 Good
After color temp 6496/6462 Good
Before grayscale variation 68 Good
After grayscale variation 54 Good
Color of red (x/y) 0.64/0.334 Good
Color of green 0.287/0.606 Good
Color of blue 0.151/0.064 Good
Overscan 0.0% Good
Defeatable edge enhancement Yes Good
480i 2:3 pull-down, 24 fps Pass Good
1080i video resolution Pass Good
1080i film resolution Pass Good

Vizio VOJ370F Picture settings
Default Calibrated Power Save
Picture on (watts) 145.84 76.64 N/A
Picture on (watts/sq. inch) 0.25 0.14 N/A
Standby (watts) 0 0 N/A
Cost per year $45.14 $23.72 N/A
Score (considering size) Good
Score (overall) Good
*Cost per year based on 2007 average U.S. residential electricity cost of 10.6 cents per kw/hr at 8 hours on/16 hours off per day.

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