Sure it has a few flaws, but nothing fatal that prevents the local dimming, LED-backlit Vizio VF551XVT from exhibiting outstanding LCD picture quality for the buck.
For the price, however, this Vizio still delivers impressive picture quality to big-screen shoppers who can't wait for its successor or don't care about interactive doo-dads (and no, there's no way to upgrade a 551 to get Via functionality). Its black levels are among the deepest we've tested this year, and while the fluctuating backlight may give videophiles pause, it's not a deal-breaker. The VF551XVT also succeeds on most other performance fronts, although we can't say the same about its styling. Like all big-screen LCDs the Vizio's main competition comes from similar-size plasmas that cost even less, but if you have your heart set on LCD, the Vizio VF551XVT is currently the over-50-inch bargain of the year.