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Customer Review

92 of 94 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Picture Quality, Features, and Customer Service!!!, January 8, 2011
This review is from: VIZIO XVT553SV 55-Inch Class Full Array TruLED with Smart Dimming LCD HDTV SPS with VIZIO Internet Apps (2010 Model) (Electronics)
First of all my review is solely for the TV itself, and not Amazon, since we purchased this TV at Wal Mart.

- Start up and Set up -

With so many features offered I thought this TV might be overwhelming to set up out of the box - it ISN'T. It walks you through step-by-step on things such as synching up the remote with your cable/satellite box, receiver, setting up the network to use the "WIDGETS" (or apps), etc. I was up and running literally within 10 minutes.

- Picture Quality -

The picture qualioty is AMAZING. I Googled "XVT553SV picture settings" and used the settings found on a CNET discussion board [...], but added my own tweaks such as I turn the back light up some, and for my XBOX 360 input I turn color enhancement on "normal." The colors are very rich, the black levels are AMAZING so long as you've got the Smart Dimming turned on, and there is little, if any, "blocking" or pixelation when there is fast moving scenes like waterfalls, or explosions on movies.

- "Smart Dimming" local dimming -

While the picture is certainly great, it has some flaws. There is some "blooming" or whitish halos around white objects that are against black backgrounds. I only see this on slow, or fixed screens such as when changing inputs and there is an all black screen with a "No Input Selected" white message in the middle of the screen. It is also more evident as the viewing angles get wider. Evidently this is a by product of local dimming (Smart Dimming) but in all honesty I NEVER notice this when watching TV, playing video games, or watching movies. You quickly notice how BLACK the screen can be. I have an LCD 1080p TV and a DLP 720p TV and neither come close to the black levels on this Vizio with its Smart Dimming turned on. When the screen goes black it looks like the TV is OFF! Not so with the Smart Dimming turned off.

- Smooth Motion Feature -

With ANY 120hz TVs (this is truly a 120hz TV with a scanning back light creating a "240hz" like affect) the "smooth motion" feature can make cinematic shows/movies look strange. It has been described widely as "The Soap Opera" effect, and it makes even wonderfully filmed/edited shows/movies look as if filmed with a camcorder. Camera panning looks wobbly, peoples' movements are super smooth, but it really looks like you are there while filming, which is NOT good. Simply turn off the Smooth Motion feature if watching anything such as movies, or movie-like TV shows that are not reality TV, etc. Sports look AMAZING with Smooth Motion turned on high. Animation and CGI animated shows/movies look AMAZING with Smooth Motion turned on.

- Gaming on the Vizio -

I play an XBOX 360 console, and with some types of TVs delay can be evident when playing. Not with this Vizio. I play lots of first person shooter games, music type games requiring perfect timing for inputs from musical instrument type controllers, and motion-based Kinect games which also require perfect timing. Everything runs smoothly on this TV. The picture quality is the best I have EVER seen when playing XBOX 360 of any TV I've seen/owned.

- Sound -

Surprisingly such a thin set of speakers sound pretty darned good. I personally turned my speakers off, and I use the Vizio remote (I'll get to the remote itself) to adjust the volume on my receiver and use the larger speakers. This not only gives me better quality, but it saves me from blowing out the small Vizio speakers down the road like one of my other flat panel TVs has in the past.

- Inputs -

Inputs are abundant with this Vizio, with HDMIs dominating. I know component cables are on their way out, but only having ONE component in (the 5 wire input with red/green/blue video and white/red audio) might require one to buy a switching device that takes one component in and turns it into three such as the one in this link [...]which can be $45.00 or more depending on quality.

The ability to custom name inputs (rather than having generic "game" or "cable") is a nice touch. You can have "Cable Box" or "Direct TV" or "XBOX360" or "PS3" etc. etc. For those that have literally 5 HDMI devices plugged in it keeps things much more organized in the menus.

- Remote Control -

This might be a polarizing topic for this TV. I LOVE the remote. It does feel slightly "cheap" due to the slide-out portion not really staying 100% solid when not in use, but it doesn't bother me. The remote being bluetooh enables one to control the TV without pointing anywhnere near the TV, in fact, I can control the TV in another room altogether if desired. The remote also linked to my cable box and stereo receiver in a very simple menu that asks "what model" you have, then it auto scans and asks you to perform a funtion for the device, then click "yes it worked" or "try next code" and mine both worked on the first try.

The slide out QWERTY keyboard is not PERFECT, but it's great. The top row of buttons can be obstructed by the fixed portion of the remote, but it's better than not having a QWERTY keyboard at all. It seems like a NECESSITY when using WIDGETS/apps such as Facebook, Twitter, Netflix (makes searching easier) etc.

- Widgets/Internet Apps -

What can I say? I don't know how we did without these before. Right out of the box we have Yahoo! news, weather, sports, fantasy football (updates stats real-time while watching TV), Pandora internet radio, Blockbuster on Demand, Hulu Plus, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon movies on demand, and TONS more. I can check my local weather, or any number of custom-set cities around the world. It's funny to ask XBOX friends in England how they're enjoying their current conditions when we chat.

After another firmware update (second one since Christmas) we not only have MORE Widgets, but the interface for existing ones (Netflix for one) has been improved upon. It's nice to know that they aren't resting on their laurels when it comes to the apps.

The wireless connection is STRONG. It auto detected our wireless network, and it works so well I've not yet climbed in the attic to run a dedicated ethernet cable to the TV as I'd planned to. I can stream Netflix as smoothly (maybe better?) then I can with my ethernet-wired XBOX 360!!! I have not had it slow/pause a movie/playback due to internet/connection speed yet! This is also on a wireless G router too, and not the fancier N router.

***WARNING ABOUT THIRD PARTY/INDEPENDENT APPS!!!***

I have discovered that at least one third party, independent app was causing my TV to shut itself off and cause it to go in a "standby" mode. The entire issue is explained in the next section. I would steer clear of any apps not made by big companies. The exact app name is "1337 Pwn" and it's published by a company called BrickSimple.

- Problems and Vizio's customer service -

With all of the great things I've said about this TV, it did have a few bugs to work out. First of all the TV would shut itself off after 10:00pm (hey that's what it did!) and then the Vizio logo would flash orange/white just as it does when it receives a firmware update. After a few days of this I was about to exchange the TV for another just like it, but decided to contact Vizio customer support first. Through a series of messages with a REAL PERSON in a real time chat on Vizio's website, we set up a phone call with a "Level 3" tech to see if we could fix the issue. We did a "memory clear" procedure and the problem was FIXED. A real human being in AMERICA that spoke perfect English helped me not only fix the issue, but also walked me through resetting all my settings AND told me about some features I didn't know about.

***UPDATE***

I believe I have found the true source of my shutting down problems - BAD THIRD PARTY APP!!!

It was only AFTER I added a third party app for monitoring XBox Live friends (The exact app name is "1337 Pwn" and it's published by a company called BrickSimple) did the TV have the shutting off issues. I was able to figure this out when I finally re-added this exact app to the TV (I never added it after "fixing" the TV with Vizio Tech on the phone) this week, and what do you know? Random shutting off with the flashing Vizio logo! I deleted the app, and once again TV works perfectly as it should. When Vizio Tech walked me through the rest it deleted any apps not already on the TV, the XBox one included. THAT is why it "fixed" the TV!

- OVERALL -

I could not be happier with this purchase. I know nobody likes to spend lots of money only to say how crappy the product was, but if I were not 100% satisfied with this Vizio XVT553SV I would have easily exchanged it for something else. The fact is I cannot think of any other TV that offers the same features, picture quality, etc. for the price. Some top level plasmas might do the trick, but they put off more heat, and suck much more power. If this Vizio lasts for YEARS without issues I could call it the PERFECT TV, and would absolutely buy more Vizio TVs in the future.
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Tracked by 3 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 11 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 9, 2011 11:40:44 AM PST
M. W. Ames says:
Great, honest review!

Posted on Jan 17, 2011 9:26:32 PM PST
T-Bone says:
Thanks for the great review. I probably already know the answer to this question, but since the remote is Bluetooth, I assume I won't be able to use a conventional IR remote which currently controls my entire entertainment system? Thanks, Tony.

Posted on Jan 18, 2011 12:12:57 PM PST
Hey can you game with the 120hz "true motion" or whatever Vizio calls it turned on? On my Samsung that I'm considering taking back, "game mode" is the only mode that has no perceivable lag to me but you dont get the motion smoothing of the 120hz feature.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 22, 2011 11:14:17 AM PST
Tom Hornsby says:
T-Bone:

I'm not sure if the TV can be controlled with an IR remote or not.

gringote:

Yes you can have "Game Mode" AND "Smooth Motion" running at the same time, but depending on the game you might want to leave "Smooth Motion" off, or turned down. I find that on FPS games such as the COD series the motion is just "strange" and almost distracting when I'm running around and looking around quickly. I just might try playing with both turned on again tonight just to see if I can adapt to it. On other games like racing (Forza 3) both turned on looks amazing.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 25, 2011 10:48:10 AM PST
Grassrootz says:
I just ordered this TV so I can't speak first hand, but from all the reading I've done I've read it will accept both IR and bluetooth.

Posted on Mar 22, 2011 9:56:48 AM PDT
Have you noticed any of the "halo" effect in high contrast pictures (white credits on a black background) mentioned in other reviews?

Posted on Apr 20, 2011 4:56:56 PM PDT
D. McCoy says:
Great review by the way. I've had it for almost 8 months now and have the same "shut down" issue. Out of nowhere, the TV turns off, the Vizio logo blinks, and then it turns on again after about 60 seconds. What the heck!? Sounds like it's an App issue, not the TV. SO good to know, so thanks for the heads up. I'll go through and remove some Apps and see if that solves my mystery shut down issue. Thanks again.

Posted on Jun 17, 2011 9:08:44 AM PDT
Great review, and thank you for relating your experience with the third-party app.

I don't know if you've thought about it, but the fact that it was named "1337 PWN" and published by a company calling itself "BrickSimple" would be a huge tip-off in the programming world that the app is meant to be a hacker's way to take over ("pwn") your TV and turn it off ("brick it," or turn it into an electronic device as useful as a brick). (Look up "pwn" on Wikipedia if you're interested in knowing more.)

Sorry you ran into something so childish that interfered with your enjoyment of the TV. :-)

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 22, 2011 9:11:31 AM PDT
Wes Lennon says:
I have the same television, the Blue-tooth remote included with the Vizio, will control every other device I have, Sony BluRay player/recorder, Onkyo TX-NR609 Receiver (HD) 4 HDMI inputs/outputs, which I thought might be a problem, but was wrong. VIP922 HD Satellite with Slingbox/Dual Tuner w/external HDD. Until I converted my VHS tapes to Digital, it also controlled the VHS player. A pleasant surprise for the remote...

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 16, 2011 11:10:04 AM PST
Nass T. Nas says:
Yeah dead give away. But i'm glad you figured things out. I am going to purchase this TV tonight and I am looking forward to enjoying the same as you
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