on June 15, 2013
I don't write many reviews so this will be short and to the point with some helpful info.
I just received this TV using Costco (comes out to be same price after tax/shipping as Amazon, but you get 2nd year warranty free from Costco). The TV is packaged well and installation of the base was really simple.
From reading the reviews here, I narrowed it down to this TV compared to similarly priced Samsung or LG. I'd like to say that maybe I got lucky (knock on wood) but the edge-light bleed is not so bad. After reading some forums about edge-light problems some people have had, I was expecting a nightmare. I went from a 32" Philips LCD TV to this and I have to admit the Black level of the Vizio isn't as dark (probably a byproduct of the edge-lighting). However, don't be scared of Vizio because some people have had excessive edge-lighting issues. If your unit has a lot of this issue, then exchange it within the return period.
Second, we all know that every TV now require some color tweaks. So I looked around and found this, which has worked amazing for me!
Color Temp:Normal (lowered both Red gain/Offset) white areas looked very pink otherwise.
Auto brightness:Off/High (works in reverse on this set) Example:Instead of the High setting being "Max" it actually dims it the least and "Low" practically turns the backlight off.
Black detail:Off ( very aggressive Dynamic Con) crushed blacks on every setting
UPDATE: Feb 13, 2014
Glad everyone is finding the settings helpful. I have uploaded some pictures to help you see where these numbers are which go way above 500.
I also wanted to say a CON for the TV so far. The remote that came with it is utter garbage. However, I was planning on using my Logitech Harmony from the start so it did not affect me as much. However, you will have to get a new remote because the stock one is horrible.
Another things I have found which is probably a feature of a SmartTV. I have Plex on my iPad and I can stream YouTube, Netflix, HBOGo directly to the TV from the iPad. You don't have to use the SmartTV's interface because iPad's interface is much better for these services.
UPDATE: August 27, 2014
Over a year now and still happy with the TV as day 1. The color calibrations for the TV have not changed at all. I have also updated the firmware for the TV and the original remote is a lot more responsive, but I'll stick to my Harmony (the battery life on the Harmony is much better).
Semi-recently I connected my PS3 to the TV directly so it could sense the TV was 3D. I watched a few Disney 3D movies on it and the glasses work really well. So for the 3D features, I would give it very high marks.
As for Plex streaming, I have ChromeCast to use for streaming from my iPad with Plex. However, the native YouTube app on iPad picks up my TV as if it were broadcasting like an AppleTV (Bonjour protocol). I see the TV is much cheaper now, but I see other TVs out there coming down in price. So please do some more research before putting down to get this or any TV in this price range.
on August 6, 2013
So after having my 55" M-series for about a week I wanted to give some initial findings and considerations for potential buyers in the same boat and of similar mindset. I extensively researched every brand and screen type out there over the internet for months before I made this purchase and I learned a very valuable lesson in it all..... reviews are only reviews, in-home trial and error is the truest of tests.
That being said, I'll list my top 5 Pros and Cons, in MY PERSONAL order of importance found in the Vizio M-series:
1) Overall Value
2) Dark Room Picture Quality (2D & 3D)
3) Aesthetic Design (Screen & Stand)
4) Ease of Use/Menus/Setup
5) Smart TV Features
1) Highly Reflective Screen
2) Screen Uniformity (Light bleeding/Blooming)
3) Goofy / Unresponsive Remote
4) Set Design / Input Placement
5) Lack of External Controls
So in the end, the CONS got the best of this TV for me, here's why...
Sure, the M-series can display a sharp, bright, and awesome 3-D picture, but only if you can see it through all it's reflections. In my average living room, with only 2 windows with coverings and 2 table lamps, the glare kills dark scenes 9 out of 10 times, head on or on angle viewing. Unless you have a dark room, only watch at night, or have complete control over external and internal lighting placement in your room, BE WARNED. This was #1 for me, and coming from a 6-year old 40" Sony LCD (Matte Screen) this was night and day in a bad way.
Secondly, dimming the lights also proved to be show-and-tell for the Vizio's screen uniformity issues. And yes, I did calibrate the picture based on CNET, AVSforum and other setting, but you can't hide all flaws with just settings. In low light/dark scenes the flash lighting from the corners, and blooming from the sides is quite noticeable, along with strange variations in brightness that would follow images down the sides of the screen.
Besides that the remote is only semi-responsive, although I do like the back-lighting and overall layout. As far as input design I found it strange that they are so close to the unit my Mediabridge HDMI cables barely fit, and even then took some extra force, time and effort to get the right angle. Just be warned if you have heavy-duty or thick shielding at the base of your cables, they might not fit and require a fairly sharp bend in the cable. Lastly, the lack of external controls, besides power on/off button could be an inconvenience if you misplace or damage the remote as we all do from time to time, you would be out of luck.
Like I said, the true test is in your home, with your settings, and none of these finding listed above, (besides the remote issues), was I aware of before my purchase. So maybe I'll save a few from the hassle of a return with my honest real-world observations. It's an attractive, slim and AFFORDABLE set with all the right features to make it competitive (minus some failed execution) that deserves a second look, just be sure it's limitations (Listed Above) are not deal breakers for you as they were for me.
Luckily, Amazon has a great cost-free 30-day return policy, don't take this for granted in case you find a TV slightly cheaper someplace else!
Just a little tip... Sharp is the only manufacture who still uses matte screens made for brighter or what I call NORMAL viewing conditions. They are not all the hype like the Vizio's lately, but for this reviewer they are the answer and the replacement. See Sharp 857 Series / 757 Series / 750 Series / 650 Series - Got a 60" 757 coming in hot by the end of the week :) Review to follow!
on November 2, 2013
Edit/Addition 11/17: Vizio support claims they have begun rolling out the "wifi direct smart remote" upgrade to all the TVs connected to the Internet in order of first connection. I've been waiting two weeks but they cannot give me an exact ETA besides "very soon." This feature cannot come soon enough. Its mindboggling that they would release a TV with such poor infrared reception when the remote has onboard wifi. Vizio should have had that ready before releasing the TV and should also allow for manually firmware updates and not a slow phased remote update.
-Slim and light.
-Netflix and Amazon instant video app quality is great.
-Able to pass-through Dolbey and DTS 5.1 signals from incoming HDMI through the 5.1 optical output (digital audio output has to be set to non-default bitstream and speakers off).
-The remote control also controls the Vizio 4251w-b4 soundbar.
-Good value (product for price)
-8 pairs of glasses
-Input lag is extremely low in game mode (but bad if not in game mode).
-The picture quality is top notch in a dark room. (CNET says the same).
-The Infrarer sensor/receiver on the TV SUCKS BIG TIME. Tried two different remote controls. You'll be straining your arm and twisting it in odd directions to get your button presses to be received. The problem is the TV, not the remote. The remote sends signals to the sound bar perfectly with no problems. It may have better reception if the TV is mounted at chest height though, as mine is on a stand 30" up.
-There is minimal white bleeding. It is only present in the bottom-right on my set, a splotch expanding 8 inches from the corner. It is about the same as I see on my $1,000 IPS computer monitor. It is completely normal, unfortunately. I only notice it in solid dark backgrounds.
-The glare. Very bad glare. I have my sharp aquos(also a gloss screen) turned on next to this Vizio, and the glare difference is much worse. Do not purchase this TV for frequent use in a bright room.
-Input lag is really bad when not using game mode (but is extremely good in game mode). I mark this as a con too because it causes my computer cursor to lag (which is annoying), and I don't want to use game mode when viewing videos with a connected PC.
This TV really needs to have an optional USB connected accessory that increases the infrared reception.
Edit: Update November 2014. Two months ago I received a firmware update which added wi-fi remove capabilities. Remote control reception is no longer a problem. The remote still uses infrared to control my vizio sound bar in addition to wifi for the TV. Regarding glare on the TV, I bought some black-out blinds on amazon which resolved the issue as well. I've also recently began testing 3D gaming connected to my PC, which is quite impressive, although a little disapointing that it is limited to 24 frames per second at 1080p. Forced to use 720p for 60 FPS due to limitations on HDMI.
on June 19, 2013
I just upgraded from a 50" Samsung Plasma. I miss my plasma and it is my preferred choice, but I have a little one now and the idea of a 100lb TV with a glass front crashing down on her made the switch a necessity. I will say however, that the M Series made the switch a lot easier ;-)
The Physical TV:
I went with the 55 inch from Best Buy that was on sale for the same here. Amazon said 3-5 weeks on ship time and I would have had to take time off work to be home when it arrived. I did have to pay the sales tax though, but it worked out just fine for my situation. First, it fit in the exact same space as my 50" Plasma because of the razor edge design, so that was a nice bonus. Second, it really is easy on the eyes and very, very thin. I'm not the biggest fan of the silver, as all my devices are all black, but a week later and I don't even notice it and its black around the front edge, so it really isn't a big deal. The screen gloss is not as bad as my plasma, but perhaps more than what most LCD TV viewers are used to seeing. I guess the reason for this type of screen has to do with the Passive 3D, but I don't find it problematic. Again, I'm used to full glass with plasma and I only get a lot of sun in that part of the house early in the morning. So far, even with the sun coming in, it hasn't been an issue, although the cartoons my daughter watches in the morning are the very bright, newer looking shows like Littlest Pet Shop. Wow, I just mentioned Littlest Pet Shop in an electronics review. Its possible having a child has, in fact, destroyed my ability to relate to adults ;-)
The picture quality is amazing, and that is saying a lot coming from plasma. I'm still playing with a lot of the settings and fine tuning the colors, but so far I prefer the Calibrated settings with some tweaks. I don't like the soap opera effect, so during normal TV viewing, I turn the smooth motion off. However, I watch a lot of Cardinals baseball games and it looks great turned to high. I also prefer it with 3D as it eliminates a lot of cross talk and makes the image look more like a full 1080p image. More on 3D below. Update: I am no longer experimenting with smart dimming. Its an unusable setting IMHO. It creates too much blooming and flashlighting in the corners. I some may not notice it, but its way too noticible to me to be used. You can still get an outstanding picture with the feature off, so there is no reason to lower my 5 star score. Also, you might like it, so the take away is that you have a lot of options to adjust the Picture Quality just as you see fit. I will say, however, that I am not experiencing the screen bleeding at the edges that a lot of others are mentioning. This is an edge lit display, so some should be expected as it's a drawback common with the technology, but for me, it isn't an issue and certainly not a distraction of any kind. However, about a 1/4 in around the edge by the bezel, the pixels are slightly darker. Its not always noticeable and its likely a result of the 3D coating on the screen. All and all, the black levels are very impressive for a non-plasma tv, regardless of your settings. I promise you won't be disappointed in the picture quality, regardless of you personal tastes.
I have to say that I'm a true fan of passive 3D and this TV's 3D capabilities are a reason to own this set (so I'm hoping 3D doesn't fizzle out and die - thanks ESPN 3D). I have viewed content in the form of Blu-ray, side-by-side/top-bottom on demand from cable and gaming with the PS3. I have not yet tried the Sensio 3D but I imagine it's very good if their claims of maintaining higher resolution quality are true. I will likely download the 3DGO app and try it at some point. So to address a few common concerns, my TV arrived with firmware version 1.02 and I needed to upgrade to 1.04 before I could manually tell the TV to switch my Uverse signal to 3D. I followed the instructions for a service call addressed in another review and then waited. One person said you had to register your TV for the update, but for me, I just had to be patient. I am connected wirelessly and after about 3-4 days, it was updated. I didn't have to even tell it to install, I just went into my system settings to get my serial number so I could register the set, and it was displaying 1.04 firmware. I immediately tested it with an On Demand preview and it worked perfectly. I was able to select 3D and then the type (top/bottom, side by side, Sensio). As far as the Smooth Motion, I actually like it in the 3D mode. With Jurassic Park, there are definitely some jerky moments unlike the other Blu-rays that we watched (The Hobbit and Avatar), but I still preferred that to the lower definition you get without it. I would just say play around with it to see if you like it. There are two ways to turn off the Smooth Motion in 3D. Either turn it off before you enter into 3D mode, or select the computer setting and it will turn off. If it's off and you enter the menu and cycle through other picture setting, it will come on and you can't get it off, so that's when the computer setting is useful. I have only played one game, Crisis 2, in 3D, but I didn't experience any lag issues. I am curious to see how third person games will look. Unfortunately, I just traded in Assassin's Creed 3, which is 3D, so I don't yet have a game to test it.
The remote really is as bad as people say. You need a clean line of sight and you need to point it toward the bottom left. Then you just need to be patient. I'm glad an update is coming to switch it to wi-fi, but I have a harmony remote, so it's not too bad. I still have some issues, so it's likely the TV's IR that is bad more so than the remote, but who knows. I have looked at a few apps but I haven't given them much time. They seemed a little slow to me, but it's my first go with a Smart TV, so maybe they are par for the course.
Overall, I will say that I'm very impressed with the TV and it's an acceptable substitute for plasma given my situation. The price point and passive 3D are what really sold me. I have always been a Samsung TV owner, but I'm glad I made the switch. Vizio is proving that you can still get an impressive TV with the features you want at an affordable price. I would definitely recommend this TV.
Update: The firmware update changed some of the 3D menu flexibility. Looks like game mode is the only way to remove the smooth motion, however, in 3D, I really like the smooth motion, so its not a big deal to me. Also, once you launch 3D, it automatically switches to Vivid Mode, so you will have to change off if you want one of your preferred settings.
UPDATE: My settings
I am running the image through a Yamaha receiver, so it's possible the image is slightly different if a source is direct to the TV - perhaps not as its just passing through, but others have said the Yamaha improved color and PQ, so I thought I would mention it. Also, I have switched to Cnet's calibration settings that they did when they reviewed the tv. However, I have come to dislike the Smart Dimming feature so I have tweeked them to not use SD, which was a feature used in Cnet's calibrations.
Color Temp: Normal
Auto brightness: Off
Black detail: Off
Smooth Motion: On with most 3D and sports, Off with normal tv and movies
Smart Dimming: Off - Its very aggressive and when you go from a light scene to a dark one, the four courners take a few seconds to light up and its very distracting (flashlighting?) Also, when in letterbox, the four corners are rounded and its highly distracting. Because of this, I just cant use SD.
Reduced Noise: Off
Reduce Block: Off
Film Mode: Auto
I have found these settings to be the best balance between a super dialed in picture with amazing color and acceptable black levels. Using smart dimming does make the black levels better, but there are too may problems with it as of this update. Should firmware updates fix the flashlighting and uniformity issues, I might very well go back to using it. If you like SD or dont notice its problems, then look up the Cnet settings and enjoy the outstanding PQ :-)
on June 28, 2013
Unpacked mine with delivery guy about 7 hours ago. Took all of 10 minutes to have it on the stand hooking up all the cables. I've read 30 reviews of people complaining about the remote & edge light. There is no distortion on the edges period. As for the remote, it works just fine!!! The start menu asks for your name & email address. You have to use the screen to fill in the blanks, no big deal, & remote did everything with ease. I can't see why or where the problem is that people have written about. Maybe cause I'm an old guy & know how to push the buttons, but my remote works perfectly. As for the picture, OMG!!! I'm in Heaven. Couple of the reviews said they went to vivid on the menu so I did too and what a picture! Its Amazing! Watching the Tiger's play right now and I swear I'm at the game. Have hooked up my 3D Blue Ray and will rent some 3D movies tomorrow to see how good it is. I'm sure I won't be disappointed. The delivery carrier said I should keep the box in case I wanted to send it back, I pity anyone who wants to try and remove it from my man cave! Ain't gonna happen, I'm very,very happy with my new Vizio & I'll recommend this TV to everyone!!!
on February 10, 2014
I've had this TV for a few months, and I'd say it's OK but has a couple of substantial problems that will annoy many everyday TV watchers:
A) The unpredictable responsiveness of the TV remote is maddening at times. I've tried different fixes (mirror under sensor, new batteries, got closer to the TV, etc.) - nothing helped. There are sometimes odd things you can do to get it to start working again at times. Example: If the TV isn't responding to the remote right after you turn it on, sometimes adjusting the volume gets TV to respond. Channel surfing can be really painful after a while...
B) The smart TV apps I use are unpredictable or sometimes outright unusable. Examples: The Netflix app would not connect to Netflix (went to an error screen with a web page URL in it) for a couple of weeks. (Netflix worked on other hardware.) Then all of a sudden it started working. Then the YouTube app (which had a couple of bugs) suddenly stopped working at all (starts to load then shuts down and returns to the TV). Why? (The apps do update in the background, and I don't see a manual way to force updates - which makes the app problems that much more frustrating to diagnose.) Also, on occasion, various apps will freeze the TV completely and you have to turn off the TV for a few seconds to clear it up.
So - If you really want this promising but somewhat frustrating TV:
1) Take solace in the pros: The picture quality is really good IMO, especially for the money. There was a review here on Amazon with recommended picture settings, and I used them and got a really good picture. The sound is also ok. I'm picky about audio and was going to get an expensive soundbar, but it does good enough for me. The "VISIO" on the lower RH corner of the TV is a little annoying at times, but it looks good overall.
2) Do not buy this TV and count on it to take care of all of your Smart App needs (YouTube, Netflix, Vudu, etc.) I STRONGLY recommend getting an external device for those apps. Unlike this TV, my Sony Blu-Ray player (I bought on the same day as this TV), which has the same smart apps, have never once given me a lick of app trouble. Rock solid.)
3) Be REALLY patient with the remote, or find a way to avoid using it altogether. If you're a channel surfer, don't have a cable box, and plan on using the in-TV tuner with over-the-air channels with this remote, you should cross this TV off of your list immediately.
I forgot to mention the 3D. Since I don't watch 3D much I knew that passive 3D glasses was definitely the way to go. This TV is passive, and it came with a box of lightweight 3D glasses (6 or 8 pair?). I'm not a 3D expert, but I've watched a few streamed films (Monsters Inc., Tron Legacy, and a couple of throwaway 3D freebies on Netflix) and on Blu-Ray (Pacific Rim) and the 3D looked pretty good to me (with Pacific Rim on Blu-Ray looking the best - but that may have just been the movie's 3D was done.)
on June 8, 2013
Iv'e had the tv for about a day now, and im happy to confirm that there seems to be no cosmetic or hardware issues. First of all, it is very simple to set up. Takes less 10 minutes to unbox and put everything together. I was coming from a 4 year old 46" samsung lcd 60 hz 70,000:1 contrast tv, and I wanted something that had a higher refresh rate and higher contrast. Im happy to say that this tv delivers. Blu-rays are sunningly sharp with high detail, deep blacks thanks to its smart dimming, and popping contrast. Now on to some of the cons. One of the first things I noticed when turning on the tv is there seems to be some light bleed in and around the corners of the tv. This has to do with the fact that this is an edge lit tv and I was aware that I might encounter that. It seems to be noticeable when ever you activate the menu while watching a movie, but because of the smart dimming feature, it dims the light to the point where you can barely see the light bleed while watching a movie. There are different presets for picture adjustments and standard seems to be my medium because it gives great picture quality and screen uniformity. The other presets, even a calibrated preset, seem to bleed out more light even after the dimming has taken affect, but it's nothing too severe. The 3D quality is pretty good and seems to have a decent amount of depth to it. Because it is passive, it gives you great picture quality without the dimming you get while wearing active glasses. While playing games in 3D however, there is some amount of lag, and this is while offline. My main issue is with the remote. It is a very unresponsive remote. I have to aim within the line of sight and press hard on the arrow keys and it takes multiple trys sometimes. I do howerver realise that VIZIO will have a firmware update that will allow your remote to be wifi enabled, so this issue can be resolved. Other than some of the issues I ha with this tv, it really is an amazing tv for the price and I am happy with my purchase.
on December 16, 2013
I purchased this TV to replace my year old Samsung 7000 series TV, I felt the image quality was very washed out. I may have been lucky in the panel loto with this Vizio, but I do not have any noticeable issues with flash-lighting, blooming, or backlight bleed when the screen produces dark images. I have only had the TV for a few days, but it performed wonderfully with my PS4 and TiVo. I haven't had a chance to test the 3d as the PS4 and Xbox One I switched to do not support 3d at this time, I will report back when I can test it.
I will say the TV definitely requires calibration out of the box. Below are the settings I decided best suited my 55 inch tv. These settings absolutely enhanced the quality of the images displayed. These settings should work with all A2 panels.
---Picture settings menu---
Picture Mode: Calibrated or Calibrated Dark
---Size & Position submenu---
---Color Temperature submenu---
Colour temperature: Normal
Red Gain: 489
Green Gain: 460
Blue gain: 381
Red offset: 517
Green offset: 510
Blue offset: 515
--Advanced Picture submenu---
Auto Brightness Control: Off
Black Detail: Off
Smart Dimming: On
Smooth Motion Effect: Off
Reduce Signal Noise: Off
Reduce Block Noise: Off
Film Mode: Auto
on December 29, 2013
TV is all right but customer service is non existent. I got a bad remote, I contacted the company and they refused to make any adjustments. I still Have a bad remote.
on May 31, 2013
This is our 3rd Vizio. It is replacing Vizio's original XVT 240Hz (240Hz claim requires an asterisk) offering we purchased about 3 years ago. (CNET Editor's Choice, wireless SmartTV w/exceptional pic). The XVT still performs flawlessly (still love it), moving it to another room. New (to us) house, wanted a bigger set for main TV.
Last summer we hung Vizio's M3D470KDE in the master bedroom. At $688, may best the best overall value on the market. I continue to be impressed with what a great buy that TV has proven to be.
When shopping for a new TV, I looked at the new E series Vizio on repeated occasions over the last few months.
Just couldn't pull the trigger.
I found them underwhelming. I thought maybe Vizio had fumbled the ball. The previous generation XVT and M3D are both a better products than the E series (my opinion).
Then I read about about the M series being launched, and decided to wait.
The wait was well worth it, the new M has exceeded my expectations. It deserves the accolades it is receiving.
Elegant design (even the remote), simple plug and play set up, easy/painless wireless connection, nicely designed back panel for hanging on a wall (without protruding connections), ample array of picture tweeks/customization.
Sound is very acceptable. By now we should all understand that sound from these flat panels is not going to blow your mind. Vizio has made it easy to add Home Theater by incorporating the new HDMI with Audio Return Channel.
The remote is also elegantly designed. It's Bluetooth (don't have to point it right at the TV). It's also lighted. Good ergonomic feel.
Although, I do kind of miss the sliding QWERTY keyboard of the the brick-ish remote that came with Vizio's XVT.
I didn't measure it, but it appears the new Vizio M takes up less space than the old 47" XVT it is replacing.
Although - the older XVT does have a better matte finish on the screen. There is more glare coming from this M series (although it likely compares favorably to it's competition). Certainly not a deal breaker.
The picture is simply stunning.
We have nice Panasonic plasma in the basement and this picture, and it's blacks/contrast, rivals that of the Panasonic.
Without question, the new M series is another major win for Vizio.
And, I tip my hat Vizio for changing the TV landscape. Continuing to bring really exceptional values to the market time and time again.
The M551d-A2R is a beautiful TV with an outstanding picture.
If you want to save a cool $500, check out the M3D470KDE. Very nice TV. It's still available on Amazon and it's truly an exceptional value.