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Vizio VP422 review: Vizio VP422

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For comparison we set up the Vizio next to a pair of inexpensive LCDs, the 40-inch Westinghouse VK40F580D and the 42-inch Toshiba 42RV530U, as well as the Insignia NSPDP42, a cheap 42-inch plasma, and watched the a couple of Blu-ray movies using the Sony PlayStation 3.

Black level: Blacks on the Vizio were decent, although not in the same league as the newer Panasonic models, such as the TH-42PX80U, for example. Chapter 11 of Rescue Dawn, which begins with POWs sleeping outside with only a single lamp lighting the background, showed off the VP422's good inky deep blacks, and good shadow detail. Chapter 3 of Mr. Brooks also on Blu-ray is quite dark, and again the Vizio reproduced this scene very well. The depth of black easily outclassed the Insignia and beat the Toshiba as well, although the Westinghouse was a bit darker.

Color accuracy: This is somewhat of a mixed bag with the VP422, but in fairness to Vizio this is the norm rather than the exception with many plasma panels regardless of cost. In the Vizio's favor, the color decoding is on the mark, so images were well saturated. The primary color of red is a bit off, but not too bad, and blue is also quite close. However, green is way off the mark, which causes some color issues. In particular, even after correcting an extremely plus-red grayscale, skin tones were an odd ruddy orangish color compared with either the Westinghouse or the Toshiba.

Video processing: Deinterlacing of both 480i SD and 1080i HD material was good. It also passed both the Video and Film Resolution Loss tests on the Silicon Optix HQV Blu-ray test DVD. Another testament to its video processing was the utter lack of low-level noise in dark scenes. Dark material on both Blu-ray and HD Satellite was nice and quiet the way it should be.

Uniformity: White field uniformity was quite good as I would have expected given the fact that it is a plasma panel. Plasma has the potential for nearly perfect white field uniformity where as LCD has inherent problems with this area of performance because of the display technology and how it works.

Standard-definition: The VP422 performed a bit below average in these tests, although it passed almost every line of the DVD format and looked quite crisp on the detail pattern including the grass and the stone bridge. The jaggies tests, however, looked jagged indeed, revealing its inability to smooth out diagonal edges, such as the stripes on a waving American flag. The highest noise reduction setting did the best job of cleaning up low-level noise in mostly still shots of skies and sunsets, but it could have been done a lot better. When we looked at shots that included significant movement, however, all of the NR settings were more effective. The TV engaged 2:3 pull-down quickly and effectively.

PC: Via both HDMI and VGA the Vizio performed perfectly, delivering crisp text and every detail of a 1,024x768-pixel signal, according to DisplayMate. Of course, PC nuts will probably prefer a higher-resolution display.

How we test TVs

Before color temp (20/80) 4750/6225 Average
After color temp 6360/7150 Good
Before grayscale variation 873K Poor
After grayscale variation 437K Poor
Color of red (x/y) 0.658/0.33 Average
Color of green 0.257/0.668 Poor
Color of blue 0.146/0.056 Good
Overscan 3.0% Average
Defeatable edge enhancement Yes Good
480i 2:3 pull-down, 24 fps Pass Good
1080i video resolution Pass Good
1080i film resolution Pass Good
*Cost per year based on 2007 average U.S. residential electricity cost of 10.6 cents per kw/hr at 8 hours on/16 hours off per day.

Vizio VP422 Picture settings
Default Calibrated Power Save
Picture on (watts) 283.83 146.49 N/A
Picture on (watts/sq. inch) 0.38 0.19 N/A
Standby (watts) 0.85 0.85 N/A
Cost per year $88.38 $45.87 N/A
Score (considering size) Poor
Score (overall) Poor

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