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Vizio 2XVT series overview

If you were one of the billions of people who watched the Super Bowl, you may have seen an ad for a certain TV company called Vizio, promoting a TV that connects to the Internet to offer Facebook, Rhapsody, Netflix and a host of other dot-com-style names. That TV is the 2XVT series, first announced more than a year ago, and to judge from our experience with those Internet services--conveniently called Apps--Vizio spent all that time getting the experience of getting the Web onto a TV right. Response times were quick, the Apps interface is well-designed and surprisingly easy to use, and integration and content selection surpasses that of any other Internet-enabled TV, regardless of manufacturer. The industry's only included remote with a slide-out keyboard and/or Bluetooth, as well as built-in Wi-Fi, don't hurt. The 2XVT's picture quality somehow falls short of the company's best effort last year, but it's still among the better-performing LCD TVs available. Best of all, as usual for Vizio, is the prodigious bang for the buck.

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Remote with QWERTY keyboard

Vizio's remote is the first we've seen that makes using interactive TV applications easier. Its secret weapon, found on no other TV remote we know of, is full slide-out keyboard with dedicated keys for letters, numbers and symbols, just like on a smartphone. Best of all, it's included with the TV for free, not as an expensive option like some other Internet-friendly remotes.

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Remote control

We found the thicker, heavier clicker reassuring in the hand. Its standard keys are easy to navigate and thoughtfully laid-out, although we'd appreciate more differentiation by feel.

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Corner detail (55-inch)

A big, nonremovable silver speaker bar contributes to the 55-inch Vizio's bulky, dated look.

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Overview (47-inch)

We prefer the styling of the 47-inch model, but just barely.

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Corner detail (47-inch)

The 47-inch version lacks the speaker bar, which is an improvement in our book.

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Stand detail (47-inch)

On the other hand, the 47-incher's silver plate won't win any design awards.

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Side view (55-inch)

The 5-inch depth of the 55-incher, matched by that of the 47 (not shown), isn't especially slim by today's standards, but in our book it's still plenty "flat."

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Back panel inputs (55-inch)

Four back panel HDMI inputs assure plenty of digital connectivity. The back of the 47-inch model, has three back-panel HDMI, but connectivity between the two is otherwise identical.

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Side-panel inputs (both sizes)

Those three USB ports are currently inactive, but we suspect Vizio will turn them on to enable media streaming soon.

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Vizio Apps taskbar

Vizio's Apps platform groups all installed applications (along with a picture settings tab) into a taskbar along the bottom of the screen.

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Netflix app with taskbar overlay

Unlike other Internet-enabled TVs, the Vizio lets you run an app while using a streaming service.

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Rhapsody app

Rhapsody, which includes most major features of the subscription audio service, turns the 2XVT into a big-screen jukebox.

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Facebook app

Facebook can show your wall, photos, profile info, friends, and news feed. You can also update your status from within the app.

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Ebay app

The eBay app lets you follow auctions, search for items and more.

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Picture settings menu

The design of Vizio's menu system is well-integrated and looks just like another app.

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Advanced picture menu

A few advanced controls are available, but we'd also like to see gamma presets and especially the ability to adjust dejudder beyond the three presets.

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Vizio 2XVT picture quality

We expected the 2XVT series to equal the picture quality of the company's VF551XVT, but that wasn't the case. We couldn't compare them directly, but based on our observations, previous measurements and comparisons to other models, the newer TV falls short of its predecessor's picture quality in a couple of key areas. Its black levels, while plenty deep and better than most other LCDs, were still lighter than those of comparable local dimming displays; its color accuracy was a larger issue and its video processing with 1080p/24 sources took a turn for the worse. That said, the Vizio 2XVT still produces deep blacks, minimizes blooming and works like a champ in brighter rooms thanks to its matte screen. For the money, it's easily one of the best-performing LCDs available.

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