Customer Reviews: VIZIO E390-A1 39-inch 1080p 60Hz LED HDTV
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on February 11, 2013
This set replace a 27" CRT TV which broke down.I found the set-up easy, although I had to call Vizio tech support twice during the process to walk me through the settings. They were quick to respond and politely and expeditiously walked me through in clear English (they are located in the U.S.A)

I was initially satisfied with the video, but found the audio to be tinny and annoying.At the time of order through Amazon, I also ordered the low priced HDMI cables and Square Trade 3 year warranty for $ 29. Two days later, my cable guy replaced my TV box with an HD box using a more substantial HDMI cable than what I ordered. I was flabbergasted with the result. The video filled the screen with a picture of photographic clarity and the sound quality is such, that I shelved my plan to use external speakers. I couldn't be happier with the end product.

I returned the cables to Amazon using their prepaid shipping label (the shipping charge was equal to the price of the cables. I swear by Amazon and would not think of making a purchase without the feedback of their reviews.

While I made my purchase based on all the favorable reviews and the promise of tech support for the life of the TV, I have a bit of trepidation after reading many complaints concerning their service. My cable guy assures me that they had a lot of trouble with their sets until two years ago and stated he now considers their TVs to be of high quality with lowest prices.

Update: I remain very pleased with the quality of the video and audio.Following are the picture settings I have adjusted, which you might find helpful.they apply to a movie picture setting using Cablevision with a TV box with HDM1 cable.

backlight ... 66
brightness .. 52
contrast .... 49
color ....... 45
tint ........ 0
sharpness ... 4

UPDATE#2 (April 7,2013): After owning this set for two months, I am still amazed at the quality of the video and audio. There are,however,some occurrences which may benefit you through my recent experience which may be food for thought. Before I go further,be aware that like many other seniors in my age group, I have little understanding of the technical jargon and comprehension of today's communication devices that go beyond the science of conversation with the aid of two dixie cups and string.

Shortly after Cablevision installed an HD box and HDMI cable which brought out the picture and sound quality that pleased me, I noticed a lipsync problem that became manifest on several cable channels(the sound lagged behind the picture with progressive gapping to two or three second after an hour's viewing.)

Cablevision made four attempts to correct the problem, changing the HD boxes three times and the HDMI once without any success.I contacted Vizio support and was told to change the PMC setting on the HD box. Cablevision stated there is no PMC setting on the boxes used and they didn't know what a PMC refers to. Finally, Vizio suggested doing away with the HDMI cable and use three single cables in its place and I will get the same reception quality that the HDMI cable provides. This was done by cablevision and the video and audio became synchronized. It was explained to me that an HDMI cable is composed of three cables in one.

While I now enjoy watching talking heads without words trailing their sealed lips, I must pull out wires and plug in the jacks of my DVD in their place since it does not have an HDMI connection. This is somewhat of a nuisance, but I rarely use my DVD and it is not much of an effort, less so than having to return the set to Vizio and be further aggravated.

I must add that Vizio responded to my e-mails within minutes or hours and were quick to respond to telephone calls. They are headquartered in South Dakota and speak in good old Americanese. Also Cablevision was very responsive and courteous in their attempts to correct the problem.

The question remains as to whether my problem is limited to only my set or is it prevalent to this model? What HD boxes are compatible with this set?

I mention the above to save you the aggravation I experienced the past six weeks of multiple calls and tech visits.If you want to discuss this problem, feel free to forward your comments.

P.S. I changed the menu settings above from what I previously listed, increasing the picture quality.


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on March 3, 2013
First things first, as most might already know, there's a sibling to this Vizio offering, an E420D-A0. The "D" is for 3-D. The 3-D model also has Wi-Fi capability and a 120Hz refresh rate. We chose the 2-D model.

I've had the unit setup for an afternoon and have put in about four hours of viewing; "Cowboys and Aliens" was the main movie watched and several newscasts. I have not watched any sporting events such as tennis or hockey so I can't say how well the television handles fast moving, small objects like a hockey puck or a tennis ball. If I come across any niggles that a consumer should know about, I'll comeback and post follow-ups and if no follow-ups, then everything is performing as one would expect.

The unit was easy to set up. A very simple auto-setup came up when first turned on; language and the user was ask if they wanted to do a cable based, auto-channel select routine. Other than that, if like us, using a HD cable box, I set the appliance to accept the HDMI input from the cable box and everything came right up. I programmed the cable box remote and after entering the fifth number choice on the list, the cable box remote now operates both the cable box and the television.

The unboxing was a normal event. The only assembly was attaching the base to the already attached base neck, attached to the television with three hex head screws and the provided allen wrench.

The out of the box colors, are set to factory specifications and I found them to be excellent. There was a minor tweaking with contrast to improve movie shadow detail in nighttime movie scenes. Other than that, everything is good to go, right out of the box.

At this point, there's not much to add.

The unit comes with a quick start manual and that's it. If one wants, the full manual is a download from VIZIO.COM/SUPPORT.

The unit has full back lighting as opposed to edge lighting. Because it's has full back lighting, the case is deeper (thicker) then edge lit units but for the thicker case, one has much better contrast. When we compared this unit to other units of similar size and price that were setup next to the unit, we immediately found the image of this unit to be a bit better in overall image quality.

It was brighter, cleaner and had more image definition (sharper) than the Vizio unit next to it or the Toshiba unit that was a 46" unit, and next in line, to the left, of a three television display. When one stood in the middle of the three television display, equidistant from this unit and then compared image quality to the 46" Toshiba unit to the left, this unit had the better overall image quality.

Colors are excellent.

The unit has a 6ms refresh rate.

Our cable box provides a 720P/1080i signal and the image quality is excellent.

We won't have a Blu-ray player hooked up so I can't comment on 1080P resolution.

We have cordless headphones hooked up to this unit and the sound quality is excellent. The speakers sound fine; not tinny or weak.

For easy access, the controls are on the edge of the left bezel.

The television has, as is typical, two connection sites. One on the left edge of the bezel and one on the same side but in the back.

If I have to give some negative ink, it would be no 3-D, no 120Hz feature and lacks any Wi-Fi capability for easy software upgrade capability. Nothing that a convenient thumb drive won't fix.

FYI, the stand is a fixed stand and does not have the much needed base, swivel component.

Other then these obvious niggles that with the exception of a missing swivel component, for a hundred dollars more, the sibling version has the listed missing features. At the time of writing this review, I have no user complaints and if one is looking for a budget minded, 42", full back lit, LCD television with a great image, in my opinion, this unit will make you happy. In short, there are no shortcomings to feel the need to get over.

Hope the above helps in your buying decision.


Note: When I made the purchase, I purchased the extended three year warranty contract.

Disclosure: the unit we have was purchased yesterday at a big box warehouse. The purpose of the review is to help family members with their buying decision.
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on November 27, 2012
I was looking for a TV for the kitchen that fits in a cabinet so I had a limited size that I could work with. I really wanted at least a 26 inch TV.

I had originally purchased a Samsung UN26EH4000 26 inch LED TV based on the excellent reviews,
however when I got it hooked up I was dismayed with the pixelated picture quality with my DirecTV HD receiver.

I started looking for other 26 or 28 inch TVs when I saw this 29 inch Vizio. I looked at the product dimensions hoping it would fit and to my surpise it was an exact match! And it was 3 inches larger than the Samsung to boot! At the time there were no reviews available so I really didn't have anything to go by except for prior experience with a 22" Vizio LED (still working, just wanted something larger). I decided to buy it knowing that Amazon has a great returns policy. I figured I would compare it to the Samsung and return which ever one I did not like.

The assembly of the TV is very easy. The stand is not a typical flat panel stand (more on this later). It installs easily by just snapping into place and there are 2 screws that are hidden from the bottom to install. Very easy to install though. From there it is typical install of plugging in your cables.

This TV has 2 HDMI ports, and the first port supports Audio Return Channel (ARC) which is a nice feature if you are going to hook up an AV receiver. It also supports standard composite and component connections and a PC connection.

For audio connections it has an optical audio out connection and a 1/8 inch mini-jack audio out. This 1/8 inch jack is a standard headphone jack and the volume control of the TV controls the volume of this jack. THe Samsung TV does NOT have this feature and I sorely missed it. I use the 1/8 mini jack to hook up a nice pair of computer speakers for better sound and being able to turn off the TV speakers and still use the volume control from the remote to control external speakers is a great convenience.

The picture on this TV is noticely nicer than the picture on the Samsung. Within a minute of hooking it up my wife instantly said this picture was noticeably better than the Samsung, which is strange because when I mentioned that I didn't like the Samsung picture she said it looked fine to her! Women, go figure! Just kidding. Both are 720p resolution but the Vizio is a much nicer picture. When you are close to the TV (within 3-5 feet or so you can start to notice a lower resolution but from a greater distance, 720p is more than adequate. I would suggest getting 1080p for anything larger.

The internal speakers really are not too bad. They aren't surround sound quality but they are fairly robust and actually sort of loud. I forgot to plug in the external speakers at first and though they were being used because the sound was that good. As with most flat panel TV's there is very little bass.

THe only strange (not negative, just different) thing about this TV is the stand. This TV does not have a standard upright stand. The stand consists of a V shaped bar that attaches at the bottom back of the TV and the TV actually leans back about 5 degrees to stand up. For my application this is good and bad. The tilt actually helps alleviate some glare from straight on light sources. For us, this TV is in an upper cabinet in the kitchen the TV leans back and it looks a little strange sitting in the cabinet, but in no way affects the functionality. Just be aware that it sits this way when purchasing. One of the stock images shows the approximate tilt of the TV when using the stand. It also has standard VESA mounts if you wanted to utilize an arm.

The TV itself is slim. It isn't the slimmest TV but it is pretty slim. The outside frame is also minimal and provides for an overall sleek appearance to the TV.

Aside from the funky stand, I would rate this TV a 4.95 stars out of 5.
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on January 20, 2013
I selected this model for its 1080P resolution (rare in this size class). I had purchased one, and the audio continued to shut off, and as others have said, the only way to restore volume was to turn tv off and then back on, a process which takes 30-45 sec. This happened 6x so far today, random and irregular. Went to customer service at Vizio, they said I could send it in for repair, 3 week turnaround. Not going to happen. Returned to BJ's, got a replacement, and it is doing the same thing. I see others share this problem, and it is clearly a Vizio issue. Vizio then suggested getting FIOS to change the audio output of the set top box (convertor box) from digital audio to PCM audio. Verizon FIOS could not help me with that so far. Vizio told me that some cable boxes seem to trigger the vizio set to shut its volume off. Be forewarned on this model. Do not know if it can affect other vizio sets or not. (Have no problem with my 47" vizio in living room.) This set had decent sound and a nice picture, but this problem is annoying to say the least. I will next try replacing the HDMI cable with the component cables, but this means 5 cables stuffed behind the tv vs. the nice simple HDMI cable! UPDATE:
I did replace the HDMI with the 5 component cables and this seems to have solved the problem. Hope this helps someone else...
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on February 23, 2013
A number of people have commented on the lack of brightness with this TV. I had the same experience and considered returning it. Then i read the review by Greta J Stager and started looking for the auto dim feature. Once I found it and turned it off this TV went to GREAT. I would have rated it 5 stars, but went with 4 because Vizio documentation is so inadequate that we have to come here to find out how to use their products.

For others out there: go to Menu>Picture>More>Advanced PictureAmbient Light Sensor and turn it off.
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on June 21, 2013
I bought this TV a few weeks ago and love it. The picture is amazing and it is large enough for everyone to see in my massive living room. The only real problem with the TV was a noticeable dimming of the middle of the TV during movies as well as TV shows. At arbitrary times the Vizio would get dark in the very middle of the entire screen. I was able to fix the problem doing the following:

1) Go into the picture menu and you will find the option for more that will take you to the advanced picture menu.

2) Under the advanced picture menu you will find "Adaptive Luma" which you would want to set to off and the "Smart Dimming" which would need to be set to off as well.

3) If these settings are off but the issue is still occurring then we would perform a series of resets to the TV. The first reset would be to unplug the TV from the wall outlet and then press and hold the power button on the TV itself for 30 seconds and then plug the TV back in. Test to see if the problem is still happening after reset.

4) If issue is still happening after the power cycle of the TV then we would factory reset the TV by pressing menu on the remote, going in to "help" on the menu and selecting "clear memory (factory default)". The default code is 0000. It will ask you if you're sure you want to reset and then select yes and the TV will turn off and then back on.

5) After the factory reset go back in to the advanced picture menu and make sure the "Adaptive Luma" and the "Smart Dimming" are still off.

The dimming was due to a power-saving setting. I hope this helps!
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on November 30, 2012
Unboxing it, I was impressed by the construction and design. I didn't see evidence of cutting corners to keep price down.

Turning it on, I wasn't impressed by the picture at all. It was dim and had too much contrast and not enough gradation of tones. None of the presets were useable so I had tailor a custom setup. It took some messing around with the settings over a couple of days to get a picture I could be satisfied with. The automatic backlighting feature, which adjusts the brightness to the room's ambient lighting, was getting in the way so I had to disable it.

Comparing it with two other flat screens TV's I have (non-LED), I think this one is the least bright and the least able to finely render the delicate color shading of skin tones. It also seems to have an odd color palette on solid tone graphics. I have two computer monitors that are LED and are they're bright and render color very well, so I don't blame the picture deficiency on being LED design.

To get it bright enough for my needs, it lost some of the depth of the blacks, but it's not bad in that regard. The image is sharp enough to read very small text across the room. Viewing angle is superb in all directions. The image doesn't change in appearance as you move from side to side.

The sound is decent. You won't need an add on sound system unless you want to hear bass. The SRS surround simulator is interesting. It can over-exaggerate the spread of the sound sometimes, but it does help on most content. The feature that automatically rides the volume for you is pretty useful.

The remote is quite nice and was easy for me to learn, although I don't need it. The thin frame case is simple and elegant. The base is very stable. The screen is not very anti-glare and I can see reflections from windows and lamps pretty clearly when the unit is turned off. Not a big issue when it's on.

It has 2 HDMI inputs along with the older style analog inputs. For those adding a sound system, it has an optical output (fixed volume) and a pair of RCA outputs (selectable fixed or variable volume).

All things considered, it's a good value. It seems well made. If you're looking for a knockout picture or wanting to use it in a very bright room, maybe there are better choices out there. If I weren't very tightly constrained by the space I have to fit a TV into, I probably would have returned it for a 40", of which there seem to be a lot more to choose from.
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on September 29, 2013
After only 14 months both of the HDMI ports on my Vizio failed. Vizio customer service acknowledged the problem and tried to help with the power hold down fix. But both of the hdmi ports will not accept any input. At that point, Vizio apologized but there was nothing they could do since I had the TV more than 12 months.

My cable operator advised me to use component cables (as so many other vizio TV's have the same problem).

Now, I can no longer use my Roku player or my DVD player (as they only have are HDMI outputs).

To produce a TV with such poor quality and limit the use of a relatively new TV to just 1 input (component cables only) is just unacceptable. I have never experienced such poor quality in a TV. Moreover, the internet is filled with various Vizio problems and recalls. Beware - if you want to have a TV for many years.
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on December 31, 2012
We got this as a gift for my 89 year old grandmother
So we did not want something to complicated but we wanted the quality
This was a perfect combination. Just an FYI make sure you remove the auto dim or you wonder why it doesn't look as bright as it should. We figured this out and it made the tv pop.
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on April 17, 2013
Although the details in fine print above the reviewer's text provide the product model, I wish Amaxon would not mix reviews for similar but not the same product together. Luckily in this case most reviewers diferentiate the 22" and 24" review in their text.
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