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Vizio's high-end XVT Pro series delivers LED, 3D, apps

The XVT Pro series from Vizio promises a compelling mix of features, including 3D compatibility, full-array LED backlighting, and a robust interactive suite.

The Vizio XVT Pro models of LED-based LCDs include a 72-inch model for $3,500. Vizio

Vizio captured our attention with its "Via" platform of interactive applications, and while it still hasn't shipped a Via-equipped TV--the VF552XVT should appear later this month, according to the company--Vizio has announced the imminent arrival of improved versions, which it calls the VT Pro series.

What's different? The three-model XVT Pro series delivers that trendy buzzword, 3D, and the company claims its 3D technology, which employs Sensio XpanD shutter glasses, surpasses that of other 3D purveyors. We'll be sure to test that claim when we can review one.

Vizio has also upped the number of zones on its local-dimming LED backlight, from 80 on the VF552XVT to 120 on the same-sized XVT Pro model, the 55-inch XVTPRO550SV. The larger, 72-inch model gets 480 zones, whereas the 47-incher gets 160 (that's not a misprint; per Vizio's press release it does have more zones than the larger 55-incher). More zones generally equals less blooming, although in our review of the VF551XVT (another 80-zone model) blooming was not a major problem.

The company incorporates the same extra-high refresh rate, 480Hz, that we saw announced by LG and Toshiba on their respective flagship HDTVs this year. Like those models, we expect the Vizio employs a scanning backlight in conjunction with conventional motion estimation and motion compensation technology. It sounds like a mouthful, but we don't expect much of an improvement in motion resolution over standard 240Hz models.

In addition to built-in Wi-Fi, which is also found on the VF552XVT, the XVT Pro series has another wireless trick up its sleeve. The TV has a built-in wireless receiver that can communicate with an optional base station via a 60GHz signal, designed to minimize interference with other wireless devices and preserve the full resolution of 1080p. The station has four HDMI inputs, and when you plug your gear in it can send the picture and sound to the TV without wires. A similar optional wireless system is available on LG's models, and we like the idea.

Notably, Vizio is the only TV maker to actually announce pricing on a 3D-compatible TV. It even went so far as to promise a release date. The company has a history of inaccuracy on both counts, but at least it's given prospective TV shoppers something to work with. And with the 72-inch model going for $3,500, it's given other manufacturers something to shoot for.

Vizio XVT Pro features:

  • full-array LED backlight with local dimming
  • 3D compatible
  • 480Hz refresh rate
  • Via interactive functionality with Amazon Video on Demand, Netflix, Rhapsody, Twitter, VUDU, Yahoo TV Widgets and more
  • Optional-in Wi-Fi connection
  • Optional wireless HDMI base station

Vizio XVT Pro models:

  • Vizio XVTPRO720SV: 72-inch, available August 2010, $3499 MSRP
  • Vizio XVTPRO550SV: 55-inch, available August 2010, $2499 MSRP
  • Vizio XVTPRO470SV: 47-inch, available August 2010, $1999 MSRP
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