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Nice Video, OK Audio, But it Crashes
on November 6, 2010
Wanted a bedroom TV that had full 1080p, network interface and Yahoo! Widgets (or similar capabilities). Most other TV manufacturers offer this combination of features only in models of 40 inches or larger -- I wanted a smaller size for a simple bedroom TV.
First, the good things... Very nice picture that remains clear and viewable even from way off angle -- this is its strongest feature. Also, the built-in Yahoo! Widgets include being able to view movies or listen to music ordered from services such as Netflix and Pandora without an outboard box. Further, one of the Widgets brings in TV Guide over the Internet, which is helpful if your cable company can't seem to successfully transmit a TV Guide (or similar function) over their own cable. I also found the remote control to actually be pretty good in the sense that the different buttons are of different shapes and sizes that you can actually find the correct buttons to push by touch without looking at them.
Second, the OK thing... I have to echo, to some extent, some of the other reviews that criticize the audio -- it's not really that bad, but I've had other LCD TVs of similar size that did better. I must say, though, that the audio is clear, so you won't find yourself unable to understand what someone is saying when they're speaking softly, and the speakers output a full enough range that you won't find yourself wondering where an instrument disappeared to when listening to a piece of music. I have encountered other small TVs (both old CRT types and current-day LCD types) that have had audio far, far worse than this -- some were so bad that the whole casing of the TV would vibrate when certain instruments were played in a piece of music -- this TV definitely does not have anything like that problem.
Third, the problem... It actually crashes! This has to be the weirdest thing I've ever experienced or have ever said about a TV, but this thing actually crashes to the extent that it completely ignores the remote and its built-in button controls, and can only be brought back under control by unplugging it! I'm guessing, but I think it's a simple case of overheating, because the crashes occur after it's been on for a number of hours to the point where the back side feels awfully hot. The heat is a little surprising, since this is an edge-lit LED TV, and not one that uses CCFL backlighting. Also, it doesn't seem to matter whether you use any of the Widget applications, or not -- the crashing occurs even when you do nothing more than feed it video from a cable box or other source. So, the crashing doesn't seem to be precipitated by running any particular Widget application.
Fourth, some missing information... It is not made clear on Vizio's website or even if you download a PDF of the user's manual, but this TV comes with an external brick-type power supply. This item caught me by surprise as most LCD TVs of this size (in my experience) have the power supply built in. This is not a big deal, unless you intend to wall-mount it, in which case, you'll need to decide what to do with the brick power supply.
All-in-all, I would be perfectly happy with this TV if I didn't occasionally need to unplug it in order to bring it back from crashing. It's this weird crashing behavior that is actually causing me to consider returning it.