on November 30, 2013
I just got mine (though not on Amazon) and I consider this TV to be an upgrade to my Samsung PN63C8000 plasma TV. It has one major flaw that will turn some people away.
The Great Vizio Myth:
First of all, I want to address a myth that is going around about this TV. It's being said that this TV has a "soft appearance that is hard to describe and can't be fixed". These reviews belong in the sci-fi horror fiction section. Use the settings that I post in this review, and it not only goes away, but the picture is about as good as my expensive plasma.
1) The viewing angle is nowhere near as good as my plasma and probably not as good as other LED TVs. The perfect viewing angles appear to be within 30 degrees of the center. Therefore, if you position yourself at a 45 degree angle from where you intend to put it, know that the picture will be slightly degraded at that point. The color suffers the most, in my opinion. This is the one great flaw of this TV, which doesn't bother me at all. Take into consideration how far away you will be sitting and the size of the 60 degree viewing cone at that distance.
2) Out-of-box settings are unacceptable and the TV is extremely difficult to calibrate - BUT! you have me here to help you, so you can breath easy now. I spent hours on this and used special tools to get it right.
3) The stand is very basic, but very stable. From stand to the bottom of the viewable screen, there is 3-1/4" clearance. From the top of the stand to the viewable screen, there are 2.5" clearance. Personally, I use a TV stand that has two middle compartments and I put my center speaker into one of them, pointed slightly up.
1) Extremely bright. When I saw the brightness possibilities of this screen, I tried to get my Samsung to be that bright. I didn't even get close. You can make it dark if you want - and the TV will even automatically sense the amount of light in the room and respond to it, if you choose.
2) Matte Screen - even now, I can see myself in my Samsung. My Vizio has no glare or reflection. I may not be able to live without this in the future. This feature is high on my list now.
3) Extremely configurable. When you change picture settings on this TV, the device responds in a meaningful way. My Samsung, on the other hand, has many settings that appear to do nothing at all, even if you shift the slider from 0 to 100 - no change.
4) Price. Black Friday was good to me this year. Even at the current Amazon price, I would buy it over a major brand. Mark my words, Vizio will be a major brand some day. I have yet to find one person that I know personally that does not approve of this company for several purchases of their products.
5) Color. With my settings, I consider it to be very close to my expensive Samsung.
6) Smart Features. Netflix, Amazon, Hulu Plus, YouTube, and a few others.
7) Remote Control with Keyboard. Searching for shows on Netflix and Amazon has never been easier, due to the fact that you can flip the remote over and type on a QWERTY keyboard. They were also smart enough to put directional arrows and the four color buttons on the back. That helps a lot. There are also Amazon and Netflix buttons on the front of the remote that will get a lot of use. An M-Go button that won't get much use at all... is also present. The size of the remote is compact enough that I don't have to reposition it to reach buttons with my thumb.
In a day in age where ILLogitech is screwing up our Harmony remotes by separating the buttons on either side of a big display screen, this is a refreshing and intellectual advancement in human sanity. Thank you Vizio, for the grand remote!
1) If you're having trouble with Amazon Instant Video, select "Your Video Library" and you will be able to connect your Amazon account to the TV and get the free Amazon Prime content if you're a member.
Press the Menu button, then select Picture and press OK.
Picture Mode: Standard
Backlight: 88 (anything you want - this is the total brightness of the screen)
Brightness: 50 (this setting will affect other settings. Backlight does NOT affect other settings)
Select "More" at the bottom and press OK.
Select "Color Temperature" and press OK.
Color Temperature: Normal
** I did not change the values below, they were all 128 by default for the "Normal" setting. **
Red Gain: 128
Green Gain: 128
Blue Gain: 128
Red Offset: 128
Green Offset: 128
Blue Offset: 128
Press the Back button on the remote.
Select "Advanced Picture" and press OK.
Smooth Motion Effect: Off
Real Cinema Mode: Smooth
Noise Reduction: Low
MPEG NR: Low
Color Enhancement: Normal
Adaptive Luma: Medium
Film Mode: Off
Backlight Control: DCR
Ambient Light Sensor: Off (This will change the Backlight intensity based on how much light is in your room at the moment. If you like that idea, turn it on after you finalize your settings. You may or may not like it afterward.)
Press the Exit button. You're done. I suggest you pop in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and watch the beginning through the introductory story of the Dwarven kingdom. You will see bright scenes of landscapes, dark scenes of the golden treasure room, skin tones, and much more. It's the perfect test movie.
* A lot of people are having trouble with TV sizes and model numbers. Vizio made the poor decision of grouping many sizes and models together and called them all their "Razor" line of TVs. This collection is not uniform and my settings will not work with all of them. My expectation is that these settings will work with TVs where the model number ends in "A3", which includes a 60" and the 70" that this review is actually in regard. You can try these settings for other models if you want, but I suggest paying more attention to Vizio's advanced features than the standard features. That's where I found the best approach when I was figuring all this out. Good luck!
* 02/05/2014 - I'm not sure why, but the TV wouldn't work tonight. I tried pressing power and input repeatedly, with no response. I removed the power cable from the back of the TV for several seconds and then replaced it. The TV is back to normal operation.
on February 20, 2013
I've had my Vizio E701i-A3 for about a month and I have been tweaking various settings the entire time to arrive at what I consider the best picture. I used two blu ray calibration discs; Digital Video Essentials and Spears and Munsil. The end result image with a high quality input source is jaw dropping. Colors are rich and beautifully rendered; clarity and detail are exactly what I would expect from a world class display. Even watching movies I've seen before is a revelation and a totally new experience.
Just a few years ago I would have expected to pay as much as $3000.00 or more to get this kind of performance. To say I'm happy with this TV is an understatement. I've been a home theater enthusiast for over sixteen years and this set is the end point of my home theater evolution. With this display I feel I have the best theater experience I've ever had and it beats every walk in theater presentation I've seen. If anyone has not taken the time to properly calibrate ANY HDTV they should not be posting opinions on the quality of the display since NO display set at factory defaults will render the best visual experience in a home environment setting. It takes a willingness to invest some time and effort if you really want to see what the display is capable of. I can't comment on the audio aspect of this set because I run all my sound all the time through my surround speaker system. BTW, It is not possible to evaluate a display in a very bright store environment alongside other displays because you have no idea how each display is set up. A display can look like crap in the store and look absolutely beautiful when properly calibrated in your home. In a store they are set to stand out and get your attention not to be accurate and they are almost always using a split source so the same signal is not reaching every display equally; this can mislead you into thinking one display looks better than the others. About the only thing you can evaluate accurately in a store is viewing angle.
For what it's worth I'm including my calibrated settings although as always they may differ from other set ups depending on room environment and personal taste. I started with contrast at 75 and sharpness set at "1" but after repeated critical viewing I found I actually got a better picture with my current settings. I also found Adaptive Luma set at medium created a better picture than set to off. Personal preference comes into play on this setting and the sharpness setting as well. I spent a lot of time watching the same demonstration material over and over again to be certain I was getting exactly the picture I wanted. In my opinion this is a great HDTV and a great VALUE.
So here are my E70 settings and my system components.
Yamaha RX-V465 Receiver
Oppo BD-P83 Blu Ray Universal player
Infinity RS3 Front speakers and Infinity center channel speaker
Bose surround speakers
Picture Mode: Movie
Color temperature Normal
Red Gain: 106
Green gain: 107
Blue gain: 116
Red offset: 128
Green offset: 128
Blue offset: 128
Smooth motion effect: Low
Real cinema mode: Smooth
Noise reduction: off
mpeg fr: off
Color enhancement: off
Adaptive Luma: Medium
Film mode: auto
Backlight control: off
Ambient Light sensor: off
on December 15, 2012
First off, after reading so many reviews for the Sharp 70" which I was so close to buying, I decided to go $1-200 cheaper than the cheapest Sharp model in the 70" lineup and buy the Vizio. I've always wanted to try Vizio because I've heard a lot of good things about them so I did after finding that this was only about 1 of 3 or 4 of the total 70" LCDs on the market from which to choose. My choices were very limited. I read much good and much bad about the Sharp image. So, after reading about the Vizio and finding less negatives for their model than for the Sharp, I went with Vizio.
Sharp apparently has issues with the big ones that actually require professionals to come to the house to calibrate the image because buyers just can't make it look good no matter what they do. Many of those complaining about this were seemingly "qualified" to make the adjustments, having such extensive experience with LCDs. Also, I don't know what Sharp is doing with their model numbers but I swear, I had to (with a fine-tooth comb mind you) painstakingly go through the exact specifications of each of the models, and I think there were like 8 70" Sharp models to go through at rather dramatically different price points. Reading reviews for each, each had their own unique image issues even though they all had the same comments regarding not being able to adjust the picture to look good at all. By the time I was done with hours and hours of research over about 2 weeks, I basically gave up. That's why I was so happy to find the 70" Vizio.
I may provide updates in the future. I've only had the TV running for about a week so I can only comment on so much at this point. If you have questions for me, or if you want me to test something for you, post a message and I'll reply.
On CNET I read that the smaller version of this TV, the 60", likely performs worse that the 70" because they fixed an issue the 70" models that existed in the 60". They complained a lot about blacks not being true. That's important to me but I kept the faith and went with it anyway. Well, I'm not dissatisfied with the blacks at all. I keep my backlight at 100, contrast at 90 and brightness at 30 for a deep but very bright, excellently contrasted picture, and this helps the blacks be almost true. However, if I turn these setting higher, blacks are just a very dark gray so this may or may not apply to you depending upon the settings.
My only complaint is about the white. This complaint would in NO WAY influence my decision to buy this Vizio, but it does exist and I think it's more of a size issue because I noticed the same thing on the Sharps when comparing them side by side in Best Buy. The 60" Sharp had the best pure white and was very bright. The 70" Sharp that I contemplated buying showed white as a very light blue that's just a hue, like the bluish you might see while looking at white glaciers. It was noticeably dimmer than the 60" Sharp. The 80" Sharp cinemawide was the dimmest with the greatest bluish hue whites. I would not buy that one. The picture just isn't good enough.
I have the 70" Vizio side by side with the 37" Samsung running the same shows and the Samsung white is white (snow for instance was pure white on Samsung, bluish hue on Vizio). Given the Samsung's smaller size though, and, if the blueish hue is the result of the large size of the TV and edge-lit technology, that would make sense. I even turned the contrast, backlighting, and brightness to 100% on the Vizio and it was still bluish. However, oddly enough, while playing my PS3, I noticed that the whites were pure! Explain that! There goes anything that might cause the bluish hue to come from size (but it still seems apparent to me that size causes dimness, perhaps more so with the newer edge-lit technology). I don't know. I'm not an expert but after seeing all of the different things that can impact picture quality, I'm almost left with the thought, why bother? You've got the following things weighing in to what you're trying to compare: Screen size, picture settings, each TVs built-in technology (60 vs. 120Hz, 720i vs. 720p vs. 1080i vs. 1080p), whether the channel is in HD, what the program you're watching is shot in (non-HD, 720, 1080), streaming vs. non-streaming content (Netflix, Hulu, On Demand, etc.), bandwidth speed and the quality of your wired/wireless connection, whether on a gaming system or watching any of the above forms of programming, and the list goes on and on.
Here are the settings on both the Vizio and Samsung I've been comparing 24/7:
Tint: +5 on Vizio, 0 on Samsung in order to make skin tones and other colors match on both TVs
Sharpness: 100 (not always possible depending upon the channel and program where it's just too grainy)
Noise Reduction: Low
After seeing and researching all of this, and since it's impossible to compare apples with apples if you have the chance to do so when comparing TVs of different sizes, brands, technologies etc., I've come to the conclusion that you should just buy what you like after seeing it in person. I never saw the Vizio before I bought it but it's the best advice I can give in my opinion (I took a chance that paid off so far). Even when I change channels from HD to standard, some look horrible (even on the Samsung), and some look fantastic. How do you know what's supposed to look good when you have no idea what each channel change is going to do to your image? I would say on average, every other channel I change looks better on the other TV. Samsung excels in whites, and the Vizio seems to be more colorful and sharp in many programs.
Other than that, although it's a smart TV with built-in wi-fi, there's no browser. It only has apps but a good selection: YouTube, Hulu, a Yahoo suite, Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Rhapsody, Vudu, twitter, and Facebook. And other than that, for some reason, the menu is somewhat blurry even with the sharpness at 100. Strange but I really don't care since the actual picture doesn't look like that. I don't nit-pick on remote controls and ease of menu navigation. They work fine and the flip-over qwerty keyboard on the remote also works well. I have no other complaints at all so far.
So the question is, am I happy with it so far? YES. Very happy for $1699, with the only issue being the white. I was a little upset to see it was offered at Costco for $1499 though! I thought I go the best deal in town :(
Anyway, if you're really anal about detailed specifics in picture quality and whatnot, knock yourself out trying to determine what to buy. After this experience I'm done with all of it. Support a company that you know is established, tried and true, which you've had good experience with in the past, see and compare the images in person before buying (even if you ultimately buy it online) and buy from them.
Again, I'd be happy to set up tests for you with your own settings and give you my opinion. Hope I've made your research easier, and happy shopping!
on December 12, 2012
I purchased this TV after extensive research from Costco during the Black Friday sale and was initially a little skeptical about buying a Vizio. I have always been a Panasonic fan - have 3 plasmas that have great picture and have served me well over the years. The Vizio is the most affordable among the 70 inchers and when I compared the Sharp that happened to be right next to it at Costco, I did not see any noticeable difference. Bought the Vizio and could not be happier. I have been reading reviews and realize that folks have complained about lip-sync issues and washed out picture which probably means there are some quality issues. I bought the extended warranty from Costco just to be sure. But I must say, after calibrating it and playing with the settings, I am blown away. For $1500, you cannot beat it. I have a PS3 for my blu-rays and DVDs and Dish Network and have not found any faults with PQ. Believe me, I have looked hard and long and could not find anything to complain about. If you don't want to spend 2 grand or more on a 70 inch and still want great quality, this is the TV for you.
on April 24, 2014
- Purchased a VIZIO E701i-A3 70-inch LCD on 12/2013
- 02/2014, the set went out, no picture just sound
- Called Vizio, they comped a Service call and repair, but would not replace, because I'm out of warranty by 1 1/2 months.
- 6 weeks later, after 3 technician visits, every board changed, ruling is screen was bad, DUE TO A MANUFACTURING DEFECT in the screen. FYI - Visio probably spend $400-$600 trying to repair it.
- Visio called me back to offer me a reconditioned 55" to purchase from them. (I gave them the middle finger.)
- 7 weeks now, without a TV. Decided to just check and see if the retailer I purchased it from can do anything....... guess what, they did.
- They called Visio and then called me back to tell me that they would be refunding me my money.
- I don't want to use the online-retailers name, because they really went above and beyond. Don't want people abusing a good thing.
Vizio treated my concern when I called with little respect. The online-retailer giant called and the request was granted. Vizio told me, quote"electronics do break". Yes, they do break over an extended period of time. When you make a $2,000 purchase on a product and the product fails in a year, due to a manufacturing defect - Not Good Larry.
If you decide to purchase Vizio, remember - you been warned, Don't buy.
As you see, as for now, these sets have strong reviews - Clam before the storm.
on December 4, 2012
I've just installed this Smart-TV earlier this week and have had a chance to watch it for the last few days: in short - IMPRESSIVE!
VIDEO: The frame motion clarity works well at 120 Hz with whatever image-processing algorithm the Vizio engineers are using. Sports look right at home on this HDTV. The viewing angles (on ALL LCD/LEDs that I've viewed) are noticeably less than specified. In the case of this model, the viewing angle is very wide -- still, not plasma wide, but fade becomes noticeable only way out at the edge, ~150º off axis. Picture quality is, as expected, FIRST-RATE. It is, however, difficult to quantify picture quality at all anymore. Fidelity seems to no longer be the standard of comparison - instead - very high contrast and ultra saturated color is the expectation. If that is your liking, this TV can be adjusted to that as well as most.
AUDIO: Some nice features are: 1) "speakers off" when external surround sound speakers are used; 2) "lip sync" to tighten the audio and video synch; 3) "SRS Studio Sound HD", a very nice audio "depth" enhancement when NOT using surround sound; 4) "SRS true volume" to equalize the audio to program level and nullify the high volume commercials that scream at you. The speakers do a nice job in a moderate size room (16' x 18' in this case). With a TV this size, however, most people will likely use a surround sound speaker set and mute the internal speakers.
PHYSICAL: Very thin! I used the Chief LSTU Thinstall Universal Fixed Wall Mount for 37-63-Inch Displays (Yes, I cheated; the mount is for 63" max, but the weight of this TV (72#) is well under the capacity (125#) of the mount). This mount preserves all the challenging Vizio engineering that was focused on getting the TV so thin in the first place. The E701i-A3 connects as expected to the VESA standard 400-mm x 400-mm hole spacing set using M6, 20mm screws. Thankfully, Vizio designed the cable input/outputs for vertical mount so the connections do not force the TV to set out from the wall on their account. The final look (with a thin mount) will fit that "picture like" presentation that most of us desire. Connections to WiFi internet-delivered content is as easy as connecting a laptop, or notebook device. The supplied Vizio remote includes a very handy QWERTY keypad on its backside (for keying-in those annoying user names and passwords for: HULU, Netflix, Amazon, etc.) The TV does NOT support web browsing (which can legitimately be considered a negative). It is not a 3-D capable TV - nor does it claim to be!
VALUE: At this price point it will be extremely difficult to see anything like >$1000 worth of "better" in ANY of its competitors. Maybe "better" is out there... but on a price-performance curve, this TV is so far above the "knee" of the curve that a bit "better" will come at a (questionably) high price. And, FWIW, Vizio did win the J.D.Powers highest brand loyalty survey. To review the hardware & functionality details for this model TV, download Vizio's PDF User Manual which can be easily found using this search string: "E701i-A3 User Manual".
PERFORMANCE: (3 Jan 2013) After a few weeks with the TV I am still impressed. With sports - the motion clarity is virtually indistinguishable from my 50" Panasonic plasma. The LCD picture has a bit "edgier" rendition than the plasma, but still very appealing, especially for sports. I was pleasantly surprised how very well a streamed movie was rendered using the Vizio's "Movie" setting. A bit disappointed that the USB connection requires tipping a wall-mounted TV out on its mount "kickstands" to plug-in a flash drive. Still...it's a gorgeous beast and I've had it and used it long enough to recommend it completely and still give it 5-stars.
on December 3, 2012
We wanted to go bigger for a dedicated home theater in a new addition. We had a 52" Panasonic Plasma. I read a lot of specs and reviews and decided on this model when the price dropped for Black Friday. Since my standard for comparison was a nice 52" 1080 Panasonic plasma, I expected some compromise on image quality for this LED-technology set. Last weekend I hung it on the wall and watched a few movies.
The set is easy to set up. I am using it for Blu Ray movies only and am not using the 'smart TV' features. I notice that it picked up the wireless network just fine as I skipped that step. I made some changes to the standard "movie" settings, mostly adjusting contrast and brightness to taste. I turned up sharpness, then realized it made the image grainy and turned it down some again. I didn't touch color temperature.
Our viewing distance is roughly 12 feet, and the picture seemed downright stunning and at that distance made for a theater-like experience. I couldn't be more pleased with the picture quality of this economy level set. We watched the blu-ray of Prometheus, which has a lot of dark scenes in it, and it still looked great. I don't' know the Vizio record for reliability, but we got the 4 year warranty with it so I'm not going to worry about that for some time.
I realize that since I am not using the built-in speakers or any of the smart-TV features this is a rather narrow review. I'm just saying if you're concerned that you're sacrificing picture quality by going with this Vizio unit, don't be.
on January 24, 2013
I wanted to like this TV but it had a couple (three actually) problems that made it difficult to live with.
The first problem was a definite shift toward green that was impossible to get rid off. It is possible this was limited to my unit only but I was reluctant to take a chance on that. The second and more serious issue was with off-axis viewing. I have an L-shaped seating area and viewing from any location other than directly in front of the set very disappointing. Colors began to wash out with as little as a 20-30 degree viewing angle shift. I understand this can be somewhat of a problem with some (all perhaps?) edge-lit LCD's but did not expect it to be this bad. I'm sure back-lit LED's would have helped but of course the unit would have to be a little thicker, and perhaps a little more expensive. Lastly, even straight-on viewing showed a lack of brightness uniformity across the screen. The edges (sides) were very bright and sharp, center screen much less so. This also resulted in differing black levels across the screen.
I am in the process of returning the set. I do think Vizio is on the right track and there were bright spots to the 70". If the back-light issues were addressed, I thing most of the issues would go away (assuming the tint problem was my model only).
As always, Amazon was extremely easy to deal with. Love their customer-oriented focus.
on July 12, 2013
Two problems I found is that there is a small brite spot on the bottom right hand corner. Only noticeable when watching dark movies. And now after only 3 months of light use there is 3 brite white spots on the bottom of the screen. Vizio is swithcing it out but there giving me a returned refurbished tv. I then went to Best Buy, BJs and Target and found the same white dots on all three displays. You can only see these spots on a white screen like a hockey game. Vizio you should have a recall on these tvs before there is a major lawsuit. I am really dissapointed because before this I loved this TV and now I am stuck with a lemon, beware.
UPDATE - Returned 3 of them all got spots on the screen. I finally got a full refund from Vizio and bought a Sony.
on April 8, 2014
We bought this TV in December of 2013 as a family Christmas present. The shipping process went like clockwork. It delivered on time and by the time the delivery folks left it was set up and running. The picture was great and we loved it from the start.
Fast forward 3 months. After about 3 months to the date of purchase, it developed a thin red verticle line from top to bottom. When we called Vizio they said it needed to be replaced. Since we had the TV for 3 months, it was now considered used and could not be replaced with a new one. The customer service rep used the analogy of buying a car (once off the lot it is used). They said that they would replace it with a "re-certified" TV and the rep assured me that these were TV's that were brought back into stock from warehouses or customer refusal. My husband had talked to a different customer service rep who told him that the re-certified TV's were returns that had issues fixed and were re-certified to be in good working condition. So the person I talked to outright lied about the replacements. At this point, we are not very happy that we have paid full price for a "used" TV. I was also told that the delivery team would bring it in, install it and show us that it was working properly.
After voicing my concerns about purchasing what is now a used TV for a new price, the customer service rep started getting rude. It was very apparent that they were not going to send us a new replacement and how could I expect to get a new replacement since our is now used (even if only 3 months).
The re-certified TV was delivered yesterday. The delivery guys said they only did the installation and pick up, but were not responsible for any set up. One of the gentlemen told us that they have replaced MANY of these same model TV's for this EXACT SAME issue at about the same time in the TV's life cycle. This seems to be a prevelant problem. After it was installed, we went into the menu to do the set up. This is where we noticed that the menu is different from the previous one, with fewer options for picture, etc.
So did we not only get a re-certified TV for our purchase price, but we got an OLDER model, as well. I suspect this is a 2012 model.
We will never buy another Vizio product after this experience. We are hopeful that this one will continue to work without issues, but who knows. Vizio does NOT stand behind their products and has lousy customer service. We would have been better served to buy a more expensive brand that produces quality equipment and better customer service. You really do get what you pay for.
I hope that those who have written glowing reviews after only a couple of months of use, continue to have good luck with theirs. If not, be prepared to receive a re-certified model of whatever age that happens to be available.