I'm Ty Pendlebury and this is a look at the VIZIO M551d TV.
If there's one thing that might have prevented people from buying a VIZIO TV in the past it's that they looked cheap with massive old fashioned designs, but with the new M-Series VIZIO has finally delivered a TV that looks a lot more expensive that it really is.
This has a really thin bezel and the company logo is very subtle.
It looks like a tab in a browser.
There are several other PC-like touches as well from the
monitor-like stand to the notifications area and setup Windows, but this is a TV and while it does have an extensive app selection and wireless connectivity, it's designed to let you watch stuff.
So to that end you get an edge-lit panel with local dimming for better blacks and a passive 3D system.
If you're choosing between this and the slightly cheaper E-Series you'll find that the M is capable of a more natural-looking picture.
Its local dimming system is less aggressive than the E-Series, and so shadow detail is deeper and more
realistic even though absolute black levels aren't as good.
Color is also better on the M551 if a little too saturated, but it's still better than the undersaturated tones of the E-Series.
For the money it's tough to recommend another LCD TV which offers a similar picture with only Sony coming close at almost twice the price.
As such the M551 is an excellent option if you want a 55-inch LCD screen with good image quality for around a thousand dollars.
This has been Ty Pendlebury for CNET.com.