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Vizio M3D0SR series (photos)

The Vizio M3D550SR is a solid edge-lit LED TV with excellent black levels, although its passive 3D and Smart Dimming pose some issues.

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Ty_Pendlebury.jpg
Ty Pendlebury
Ty Pendlebury is a journalism graduate of RMIT Melbourne, and has worked at CNET since 2006. He lives in New York City where he writes about streaming and home audio.
Ty Pendlebury
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1 of 12 Sarah Tew/CNET

Overview

At the start of the decade, 3D is still caught in the starting blocks when it comes to home use, relegating the importance of 3D capability on Vizio's M3D550SR to "Featurette" rather than "Feature Presentation."

Meanwhile the Vizio's 2D picture quality is very good for the price overall compared with other edge-lit LED TVs, highlighted by deep black levels and well-rendered shadows. We did experience problems with the overactive Smart Dimming system and the TV's video processing, but they don't spoil our positive impressions. Vizio's VIA apps are plentiful, the QWERTY keyboard takes more than a few (beneficial) cues from smartphones, and while the TV's look is nothing special, its features are among the best available. In fact, with Vizio's failure so far to release any of the higher-end models it teased at CES in January, this is the company's flagship TV for 2011. The M3D550SR isn't our favorite edge-lit LED of the year, but it still makes a strong showing against stiff competition.

Read the full review of the Vizio M3D550SR television.
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Design

The Vizio stands out because of its aluminum pedestal and opaque bezel.
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Profile

The LED edge-lit system affords the Vizio a slim profile that makes the TV suitable for wall-mounting.
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Profile

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Connectivity

Four HDMI and two USB ports are now standard. The onboard wireless should please Netflix fans.
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Smart TV

The Smart TV interface scrolls across the bottom of the screen.
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Remote

The Vizio features a QWERTY remote with Bluetooth connectivity.
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Remote, continued

The remote folds up like a slider smartphone.
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Bezel and screen

The 55-inch model has a piano-black bezel and a matte screen coating, while the 46-inch model has a "rose-black" bezel and a glossy coating.
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10 of 12 Sarah Tew/CNET

3D glasses

Affordable glasses are among the main reasons to buy a passive 3D TV.
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11 of 12 Sarah Tew/CNET

Settings

A two-point calibration system limits the TV's ability to reproduce accurate colors.
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Picture quality

For an edge-lit LED-based LCD TV, the Vizio performed very well overall. It showed relatively deep blacks and accurate color, and was admirably capable of distinguishing shadow detail--an important aspect of any TV's performance as it gives a picture depth. On the downside we did notice some blooming and uniformity issues along with improper handling of 1080p/24 content.

Read the full review of the Vizio M3D550SR television.

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