Like most TV makers, Vizio offers a wide variety of features at different price points. The E0VL series reviewed here lacks the Internet and LED backlight options of the company's flagship XVT3 series, but its spec sheet and price tag hold the real appeal--it's one of the least expensive TVs on the market with 120Hz processing. On the other hand the Vizio's downsides, namely lighter black levels and less-impressive performance when viewed from off-angle, give us some pause when comparing it with other non-LED-based 120Hz LCDs. But if you want this feature set and don't mind a couple of sacrifices, the Vizio E0VL makes a strong value-driven argument.
Series information: We performed a hands-on evaluation of the 47-inch Vizio E470VL, but this review also applies to two other screen sizes in the series: the 42-inch E420VL and the 55-inch E550VL. All three sizes have identical specs and, according to the manufacturer, should provide very similar picture quality. There are also two smaller sizes in Vizio's E0VL series, the 32-inch E320VL and the 37-inch E370VL, to which this review does not apply.
|Models in series (details)|
|Vizio E420VL||42 inches|
|Vizio E470VL (reviewed)||47 inches|
|Vizio E550VL||55 inches|
|Panel depth||3.66 inches||Bezel width||1.8 inches|
|Single-plane face||No||Swivel stand||No|
The one distinction offered by the pedestrian-looking, black-on-black frame of the E0VL is the beveled bezel, which is glossy toward the screen and matte away from it such that it resembles a stylized picture frame. The bottom is perforated and wider than the top and sides, and the illumination behind the Vizio logo (orange when the TV's off, white when on) cannot be dimmed or turned off. Nor can the stand swivel. In all, the design of the E0VL blends in well enough to most decors, but is not up to the standards of LG, Samsung, or Sony.
|Remote control and menus|
|Remote size (LxW)||7.75 x 2 inches||Remote screen||N/A|
|Total keys||47||Backlit keys||0|
|Other IR devices controlled||3||RF control of TV||No|
|Shortcut menu||No||On-screen explanations||Yes|
From an ergonomic standpoint Vizio's clicker is middling at best. We liked the well-differentiated button groupings, but the main keys around the diamond-shaped cursor are too easy to confuse, the little-used "media" button too prominent, and the lack of a dedicated key to switch aspect ratio is annoying. We did appreciate the three direct-input-type keys (HDMI, AV, and TV), however. In addition to standard control-over-HDMI, the remote on the 47- and 55-inch members of the series (but not the 42-incher) can command up to three other devices via infrared.
The E0VL's menus have the same look as those of Vizio's step-up models, like the XVT3 series, and get the job done well. We especially liked the unusually detailed explanations for various adjustments and the prominent Help section, but we'd also like a shortcut menu to make certain functions, such as picture mode or dejudder control, easier to access.
|Key TV features|
|Display technology||LCD||LED backlight||N/A|
|3D compatible||No||3D glasses included||N/A|
|Screen finish||Matte||Refresh rate(s)||120Hz|
|Dejudder (smooth) processing||Yes||1080p/24 compatible||Yes|
|Internet connection||No||Wireless HDMI/AV connection||No|
|Other: Can play photos from attached USB thumb drives|
The E0VL's main step-up feature is a 120Hz refresh rate, which enables both smooth dejudder processing and 1080p/24 playback (see Performance for details). The lone other notable extra is JPEG photo file playback via attached USB thumb (but not hard) drives. Some competing models offer video and music playback via USB, whereas others like the Samsung LNC630 also include DLNA network streaming.
|Adjustable picture modes||9||Independent memories per input||No|
|Dejudder presets||3||Fine dejudder control||No|
|Aspect ratio modes -- HD||4||Aspect ratio modes -- SD||4|
|Color temperature presets||4||Fine color temperature control||2 points|
|Gamma presets||0||Color management system||No|
Vizio's offering in this department is standard at this price level, aside from the extra picture modes, many named after sports. The baseball mode won't necessarily make baseball look better, but it is nice to have the extra adjustable slot if you're a serious picture tweaker. On the flipside none of the modes are independent per input, and a few other makers, namely LG and Samsung, offer more-extensive arrays of advanced controls.
|Power saver mode||No||Ambient light sensor||Yes|
|Picture-in-picture||Yes||On-screen user manual||No|
|Other: Help section includes Guided Setup|
Vizio lacks that trendy "Eco" subsection in its menu, although power consumption is quite efficient without it (see below) and the company did add an ambient light sensor. Picture-in-picture is becoming rarer these days, so that's nice to see. Onscreen help is relatively minor, aside from the setup guide, and the paper manual and accompanying Quick Start Guide are, as usual for Vizio, clear and well written.