Vizio's 55-inch LCD a victim of its successor

The Vizio VF550XVT is among the least-expensive LCDs of its size on the market, but its desirability is undercut by the company's announcement of a superior model, for the same price, later this year.

Don't confuse Vizio's VF550XVT, reviewed here, with the LED-backlit VF551XVT, available in June. CNET

At CES this year, Vizio caused a stir by announcing the VF551XVT, a 55-inch HDTV with local dimming LED backlighting and 240Hz processing for the rock-bottom price of $1,999. The company's CES announcement makes the current VF550XVT a lot less desirable. One digit in a model number means a lot--the current model has neither of those features, although it still costs about $1,999 in stores.

The VF550XVT is among the least expensive 55-inch LCDs on the market, but it has a tough row to hoe at this point in its life span. First off, attentive readers will realize that if they just wait till June, when the company will ship the VF551XVT, they'll get a lot more TV (judging from the specification sheet) for roughly the same money. We expect Vizio to drop the price on this model at that point, or discontinue it completely. Second, the overall performance of the VF550XVT is nothing special. We liked its accurate color, but found its black level performance and dejudder processing disappointing compared with other LCD sets. That said, if you're on a budget, want a really big screen--say, if 52 inches is just too small--and have your heart set on LCD instead of plasma, the Vizio VF550XVT makes a tempting target.

Read the full review of the Vizio VF550XVT.