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Vizio enters 240Hz fray for less

The 2009 edition of Vizio's XVT series includes a pair of LCDs with a 240Hz refresh rate and dejudder processing at highly competitive prices.

The SV1XVT series offers twice as many Hz as last year. Vizio

Vizio is known for breaking price barriers, so it should come as no surprise that the company's 240Hz LCD TVs should be among the least expensive of their breed. We say "should" because at CES most other manufacturers don't announce pricing on their new models, but Vizio does.

The two models represent the 42- and 47-inch sizes in the company's step-up XVT series, models SV421XVT ($1,099 list) and SV471XVT ($1,399 list) respectively. Both will be available in the summer of 2009, and replace the current SV470XVT and SV420XVT at the same price points.

Like LG, Vizio uses a "scanning backlight" technology to achieve its 240Hz processing, unlike the MEMC technology used by Sony and Samsung, for example. The MEMC system inserts three interpolated frames for every true frame in a 60Hz source, while the scanning backlight system turns the backlight on and off very rapidly. We doubt the difference will be visible to most viewers, but we'll reserve judgment until we have a chance to test both systems in the lab.

Vizio says it has improved the dejudder processing on these models compared with the SV470XVT we reviewed last year. The company is also touting the XVT sets' antiglare screens and improved viewing angles, along with a variable backlight system that is said to cut power consumption by 15 percent. Both 240Hz XVT sets include four HDMI inputs.

The sets also include a USB input that can play back MPEG-2, H.264 and WMV9 video, along with JPEG photos and MP3 music files, and the company throws in a USB thumb drive with some preloaded 1080p video.

Vizio SV1XVT models

  • Vizio SV471XVT ($1,399 list)
  • Vizio SV421XVT ($1,099 list)