Customer Reviews: VIZIO E502AR 50-inch 1080p LCD Smart HDTV
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on November 28, 2012
I was looking for a 55-inch but was stopped by the Vizio's price. Given that it had my minimum requirement of wi-fi and three HDMI outlets and that I had previous excellent experience with Vizio (apart from the annoying Ambient Light Sensor feature), it was not much of a gamble.

This is not a super slim model but the bezel around the screen is small and unobtrusive. The picture is bright, clear and detailed -- once you have turned off the entirely useless and annoying (to me) Ambient Light Sensor, which brightens and darkens the screen at random and for no apparent reason. The sound from the Vizio is almost as good as the sound from my Panasonic sound bar and certainly better than the sound from my 37-inch Toshiba and 42-inch Vizio (both of which were more expensive than this 50-inch Vizio).

The Vizio is very easy to set up. It is, quite literally, plug and play. And within a very few minutes of filling in on-screen answers, the wi-fi was working and Netflix was playing. The remote is small, as are the keys (for my somewhat large fingers). But everything is clearly labeled, which makes it is easy to use. The learning process for the remote is short. I only had to refer to the 'Quick Start' guide once.

The 55-inch LCD televisions I was considering buying were all three to four hundred dollars more than the Vizio. They were slimmer -- but not $300-400 worth. I came across the Vizio almost by accident, bought it on impulse, and am very glad that I did.

One last good point. Unlike the 42-inch Vizio, the bright backlit Vizio name on the front of the 50-inch can be turned off. On the 42-inch I covered it with a small, almost unnoticeable piece of black duct tape.

I paid $649.99 (before tax) at Costco. The list price (before tax and shipping) at is $679.99
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on December 23, 2012
The Vizio E502AR 50 inch 120hz LCD Smart TV is FANTASTIC. The picture is CRYSTAL clear, even during fast paced action like sports or action movies thanks to the 120hz. It is like watching television through a piece of glass and the actors are on the other side. The PRICE can not be beat. When I made the purchase (November 2012) the TV was $669 and ended up costing $709 delivered....for a 50 inch 120hz television that is a steal. But this television also includes Vizio apps. Netflix streams flawlessly to the television, plus many other web sites...I'm not sure if Youtube steams through a Vizio app, but if it does, it would just be icing on the cake [updated January 2013...Vizio updated the apps and it streams Youtube!]. Color is awesome and can can be adjusted if need be.

If you are looking for a flat panel and this one is in your price range, then look no further, you won't be disappointed.

Just something else to consider. I was very price conscious as this was a gift for the in-laws. I choose the straight LCD television over the LED LCD. In my humble opinion the only real advantage that the LED has is the screen is very very thin...BUT WHO CARES? a traditionally lit LCD will mount on a wall just the same as an LED LCD. Plus with an LED you would want to buy a full array which costs a lot more...cheaper edge lit LED's never evenly light up the screen which is very noticeable during dark scenes. Going with the traditionally lit LCD, I still get the superior picture without needing to shell out for it.
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on December 8, 2012
It's not a bad set, sets up easy, screens relatively bright, price point is attractive, but its not exactly what it's cracked up to be. Here's the downside.

This is a review of the VIZIO E502AR 50-inch 1080p 120Hz LED Smart HDTV as it's listed. There's a lot of glare and reflection on the screen and the Vizio logo on the bezel is way too glaringly bright and large. Earlier I mistakenly said it was an LED TV which is what the Amazon Compared to the 42" Sony Bravia we retired to the bedroom, this pictures on this set bloom way to much and the colors are over driven. Unfortunately the control software does seem to have gained any functionaliy greater than our way old 26" Vizio Razer, retired to our daughter's room. Very disappointed in the level of control.

Now then there's the question of Vizio's missleading product information on their web site. Every Vizio Smart TV with Vizio Internet Apps (VIA) is marketed with a remote that has a full keyboard on the back. This was one of the key reasons I bought this TV, but it doesn't come with that remote. The remote has no keys on the back. I've had to call Vizio twice, first when I plugged it in and when the prompts came up there was no way to enter my WiFi security password and without the keypad I was stuck. Turns out you press the logo on the supplied remote and you get a very cumbersome on screen keyboard.

It's even more cumbersome as it seems the remote is at best intermittant unless I am standing less than 5 feet in front of the set.

So today I triedd to program our Comcast Remote to manage the sets sound, etc. but none of the codes Vizio publishes seem to work and those at Comcast don't either. Too frustrated right now to solve that.

So my frustration with the remote issue is just growing, so I made my second call to Vizio's cutomer support in South Dakota to ask about the provided remote, maybe for some reason the substituted remotes and I wanted to request the one they promoted when I was reviewing the product features. The reponse I recieved was that if I had really researched the product by downloading their manual from the support site before the purchase I would have seen it had a differerent remote.


So here's my advice, if your interested in this TV consider it only because of the low price point for a smart TV, don't buy it for the keyboarded remote, don't buy it because it has Amazon Video (haven't gotten that to work yet although Netflix does) and don't buy it if you ever watch it with a lamp on.

If your considering any Vizio better download and read the manual first so you can tell where the might be misleading you in the product marketing. Every model of VIA TV shows the dual remote is you can't tell when they're not being entirely honest.

Me, I'm writing their corporate offices with a formal complaint.
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on March 30, 2013
I bought this because, at the time, it was among the cheaper 50" televisions. It was only a bit more than the 60 Hz 50" Vizio, so I decided to go for this and give 120 Hz a try. The idea of the applications also appealed to me, although my plan was basically just to hook the TV up to a Roku anyways. I should mention that since buying the TV and writing this review, about two weeks, the price of the TV has increased around $75.

This is my first experience with a 120 Hz TV, and I really like it... most of the time. It's fantastic for live action shows and CGI (e.g. Pixar movies), and makes those programs appear so much smoother and realistic that it sometimes feels like I'm looking through a window, not a TV screen. The 120 Hz feature is more detrimental in traditional animation, though, and makes all the hand-drawn stuff feel jerky. It takes a few clicks on the remote to turn the feature on or off (Menu, press down to Settings, OK, press down a few times to get to "Game Mode", press left once to toggle it, press Exit), which isn't the end of the world, but a dedicated button on the remote would have been nice.

All that said, while I enjoy the 120 Hz feature, it's not going to be for everyone. It's often derisively called Soap Opera mode, and it's immediately apparent why. For better or worse, most people are going to associate the smoother frame rate with the cheaper cameras that characterize soap operas and other low-budget television.

The "apps" are a complete load of crap. Slow, difficult to use, and they don't work well. Thankfully, as I mentioned, I didn't buy this TV for them, and am perfectly happy ignoring the feature entirely. I've got it hooked up to a Roku, which combined with the free and excellent Plex Media Server (Google it) provides all my TV entertainment needs.

The Good:

Excellent picture.
Good price.

The Bad:
Annoying setup process requiring registration with Vizio.
Every button on the remote clicks.
Several branded buttons on the remote, e.g. "Amazon", "Netflix", which are ugly and, given the poor performance of the apps they invoke, useless.
The factory backlight settings are quite funky, and the screen randomly darkens and brightens. Had to muck with advanced display settings to turn off this 'feature'.
The included stand is wobbly. Not sure if this is just a problem with 50" TVs in general, but I wouldn't trust the TV on a stand if you have kids or pets. I've got mine mounted on the wall.
The apps are completely useless.

Bottom line:

Buy this if the price appeals and you want a bare bones 50" 120 Hz TV. Don't get it if you're looking for a smart TV.
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on December 8, 2012
*I'll start with a quick note; one that should be noted - As stated in a previous review of this television, the remote issue is very confusing. Especially when you first start up your tv in hopes of a quick set-up. The quick start guide wasn't very helpful. Should have come with the keyboard remote

The TV for the price was hard to pass up. Was in the market for a new television and had to jump on it.

The delivery was on-time and the service Amazon used was courteous. Very easy to work with. A good note to start off my journey for this mystical new land known as a 50in television.

Initial set-up was straight forward; up to the part where I would point again to my quick note*. It was very confusing when there was no keyboard within the remote provided. After reading the other review upon my confusion helped me out. Hitting OK opened up the on-screen keyboard. Fairly easy to navigate from there.

After that hiccup, the picture quality is great and as of writing this: I'm pleased, aside from the remote issue. You'll be kicking yourself in the butt when setting it up if you haven't figured out the remote issue.
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on December 27, 2012
At first was pretty dissapointed watching a basketball game our first day out of the box. Turns out the picture is worse than our CRT when wathing regular definition channels. After my daughter said the players all look watery, I felt like the Dad should have felt in Christmas Story after he unveiled his lamp.

However, after switching to HD channels, the picture changed completely and we were very impressed with the large, clear picture. If you have never had an LCD or HD TV, I think you will like the picture.

The wireless is a nice bonus and smart TV functions were nice, but searching for You Tube Videos by hunting for letters one at a time on the screen is painful, to say the least. The keyboard remote would have helped greatly.

If you are picky:
1) this set does not have the blackest blacks
2) you may not be too excited to find out it's about 4.5 inches deep, not exactly a thin LED like TV.
3) When paired with the monopod mount, the front of the screen is about 9 inches from the wall, even when pushed as close as it will go.
4) While this is usual with most Flat Panel TVs, it does take a long time to change between some channels, especially when going to HD channels -- compared to our old CRT Toshiba, which was pretty much right away. You'll notice this most when turning it on and when first accessing the HD channel band.

All that said, it's about as much bang for the buck as you can find for 50-inch TV in sub-$700 price range and free delivery was hard to beat.

Despite what the ordering info said, the delivery guy said he did not do set up, but it was no big deal. Free delivery is a big deal when you consider the box for this beast may not fit inside a regular sedan, and who wants to hang a flat-panel TV halfway out of your trunk?

All in all a great TV, but if I did it over, I would pay another $100 or $200 for a 2" TV depth instead of 4.5".
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on April 29, 2016
We have had this tv for several years now, and it is still awesome. We have never had any problems with it and we use its smart functions nearly daily. This is our first Vizio but we will buy again from the brand. Happy campers here.
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on March 27, 2013
Picked up this unit at Costco after trying out a 55 inch Vizo. The bigger set was slimmer but I could not get the picture to look right at all. I was constantly changing settings and if I wasn't on an HD channel forget it, the picture was awful. Even on an HD channel the picture was a constant battle. So I took it back to Costco and picked up the 50 inch Vizo for $499. Even though it was an older E series (the 55 was an M series)the picture just blew me away. Even on regular cable channels I get a clear colorful and sharp picture. And on HD it's perfect. As has been said it is a bit bulkier than some of the newer models but it makes up for it in picture quality. I do wish it had a keyboard on the remote though. All the apps work great,even though sometimes they are a bit slow loading up. Over all I am a very happy camper with this unit. If you are looking for a less expensive smart flat screen with a great picture this Vizo is well worth looking at.
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on January 14, 2015
I can't say enough nice things about this TV. It's large and is sitting on the mantle above the fireplace.

The downside is that it is a smart tv. Be careful. There are huge privacy concerns with smart TV's./ Read your manual and ELUA's CAREFULLY.
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on May 7, 2013
When I started doing research for a new TV, Vizio kept coming up in all my searches. I have a 37 inch Vizio TV that has no issues in the 3 years I've owned it, so buying this TV was a no brainer.

It has a great picture with decent sound. It comes with the Ambient Light Sensor that should be turned off as sson as you plug it in. It is more annoying than helpful. The screen is a bit reflective, but not anything to what I read online. Seeing it on display didn't really help, as all the TV's seemed reflective with the stores bright lights. Once I had it home, the edge of the TV is very reflective, while the screen is somewhat but not to the point where it will distract you from what you're watching. The TV has plenty of play when it comes to adjusting the picture settings, with plenty of presets to choose from.

If you are intending to use this with a gaming console, be sure to turn on Game Mode. This is helpful if you are connecting a laptop to the TV as sound will be delayed if it is not on Game Mode. Even with Game Mode on, you still might notice lag. I found that if I turn off all the filters and features, the game will run much smoother and with better response to controller movements.

I kept reading about the keyboard feature and how inconvienent it is. It you have DirecTV, it is basically the same type of keyboard format. Not a big deal to use. The Smart features are nice but are sluggish when going through the menus. The built-in WiFi is very nice and connects to your home network very easily. The remote itself is small and works well from 10 feet away. I read reviews where the remote does not work well from 5 feet away, but I have not had this problem.

If you are looking for a cheap, reliable, easy to use TV with a great picture full of features....GET THIS TV!
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