Most helpful critical review
836 of 931 people found the following review helpful
LCD panel failures & audio sync problems (now addressed with warranty extension and firmware update)
on November 26, 2012
- Big and bright; nice color; matte screen for bright rooms
- 4 HDMI inputs
- Thin and very attractive minimalist glossy black frame (less than 1" wide)
- Built-in WiFi and DLNA; most of the popular subscription-based smart apps
- Great value
- High LCD panel failure rate (On 2/8/2013, Vizio publicly acknowledged this and is addressing the problem. See below for details.)
- Severe audio-video sync problems (In mid-January 2013, Vizio released a firmware update to fix this issue. See below for details.)
- Still some glare in bright room
- Takes about 8 seconds to "boot up" from power on (down from ~18 seconds before firmware updates)
- Only one shared composite/component input for older devices
- Slightly gray blacks and somewhat uneven back-lighting, although this likely varies between individual units
- DLNA and smart-app implementations are very crude (you are probably better off getting a dedicated device to do these, like a Roku or Apple TV)
- Ports hard to access on back, which is particularly a problem for the USB port, if you want to plug and unplug (somewhat inherent in thin flat-panel TVs)
LCD PANEL FAILURE ISSUE
Many owners, including me, were reporting a problem where the image would disappear but the backlight and sound would remain on. This required full replacement of the TV. On 2/8/2013, Vizio acknowledged this problem in a "special bulletin" revealing that a bad batch of chips were installed in units with serial numbers ranging from LFTRNWAN3800001 to LFTRNWAN4805300. It also affects a range of the 70" E701i-A3 models. Vizio extended the warranty from one to two years for that specific problem. However, Vizio said it was "promptly" and "proactively" contacting registered customers about the possible issue, but, disappointingly, there is no evidence that they have done this beyond the bulletin and a blog post.
AUDIO-VIDEO SYNC ISSUE
Many people were reporting a variety of audio-video sync problems, particularly with cable boxes and Dolby Digital audio. Vizio initially blamed the cable boxes and had people set them to output PCM audio (rather than Dolby Digital). Unfortunately, that downgraded the audio to two channels only. However, in mid-January 2013, Vizio released a firmware update (version 1.1.5, which can be seen under Menu>Help>System Info>Version) that allegedly fixes the problem.
Also, the Vizio seems more sensitive than average to different HDMI cables. Video periodically drops out completely (screen flashes to black for a few seconds) with cables that work fine with other displays.
When my first unit failed with the LCD panel problem after only 23 days of use, I was very disappointed that Vizio initially only offered to replace it with a "recertified" unit. After a great deal of insistence, they agreed to send a new one.
In addition, when I communicated with them about the audio-video sync problem, I was disappointed that they were blaming my cable box that worked fine with my other displays, and that they insisted that I downgrade to two-channel audio to "fix" their problem. In my online chat, the Vizio representative stated the following: "The newer TVs that we manufacturer are set up for PCM rather than Dolby Digital. So it is not a defect in the TV, you will just have to connect it a different way."
I have mixed feelings at this point.