Best Vizio TVsBy Lee Neikirk
Originally based in California, Vizio—who was acquired by Chinese tech company LeEco in 2016—has in recent years established a very strong presence in the 4K and smart TV markets. Vizio's TV series tend to deliver the year's cutting-edge TV features without the razor-sharp prices.
While Vizio generally doesn't produce as many "series" as competitors Samsung and LG, the company's lineups tend to be available in a huge range of sizes, often with variable screen resolution or smart features to help consumers maximize value by only paying for what they need.
Generally, Vizio TVs come in a few "core" series: the D, E, M, and P Series, which run the gamut from budget-friendly to high-end, respectively. There's also a Reference Series from 2015 that Vizio continues to produce as its flagship.
Updated January 23, 2017
Where To Buy$1,598.00 Walmart Buy
Vizio P Series (2016)Best Overall
While it's not the most technically decked out TV that Vizio's ever made, the 2016 P Series—available in 50-, 55-, 65-, and 75-inch screen sizes and starting at a very palatable $999—exemplifies the company's crossroads of quality and affordability.
The 2016 P Series TVs deliver 4K/UHD resolution (3,840 x 2,160), High Dynamic Range (HDR) compatibility including HDR10 and Dolby Vision, full-array local dimming backlights, and a Chromecast-based "Vizio SmartCast" system that allows every function of the TV to be controlled via a second-screen device.
Forget that it's not quite as bright nor as snazzy overall as the flagship Reference Series (which is $6,000)—the 2016 P Series is the best overall choice for most people. This series boasts above-average HDR and 4K picture quality at very agreeable prices.
Where To Buy$5,999.99 Vizio Buy
Vizio Reference SeriesBest Performance
The Vizio Reference Series is Vizio's créme de la créme, flagship product, and has been since late 2015. When it debuted, the 65-inch (RS65-B2) was $6,000, while the 120-inch model asked a jaw-dropping $129,000. For most people the 65-inch is the only real option.
That said, the 65-inch still knocked our socks off when we got it into the lab in early 2016. For six grand, you're getting a whopping 65-inch TV; HDR and Dolby Vision compatibility about 800 nits of brightness; a quantum dot film for wide color gamut; an included 8-inch Android tablet; and full-array local dimming with 384 zones.
The RS65 also includes an entire surround sound system, with soundbar, tweeters, and a subwoofer. The heavy metal finish really seals the deal. On the other hand, while technically it's Vizio's highest performing product, its HDR brightness/color specs are already being notably outpaced by 2017 sets.
Vizio M Series (2016)
There's no denying the tech- and filigree-heavy Reference Series is too expensive for most folks, but even the best overall 2016 P Series might boast a bit more fancy than you're looking for. Never fear, Vizio's 2016 M Series—the "midrange" one—fills in the gaps.
Available in a huge range of sizes—50, 55, 60, 65, 70, and 80 inches starting at $849—the M Series brings a bunch of forward-facing tech like 4K resolution, the SmartCast system and included tablet, HDR compatibility, and full-array local dimming backlighting.
While it isn't as bright and flashy as the step-up 2016 P Series, this is the one to go for if you mostly want a good deal on a 4K TV but don't want to miss out on HDR.
Where To Buy$848.00 Walmart Buy
Vizio E Series (2016)
Vizio's E Series continues to be one of the better TV values out there, and thankfully—like the much more posh P Series TVs—each E Series model this year (4K or not) delivers solid picture quality. They're not quite the M Series, but these are solid all-around TVs.
Depending on which model, you'll get either 720p, 1080p, or 4K resolution, but each is equipped with the SmartCast system and full-array LED backlighting with variable local dimming zones depending upon screen size.
The E Series is available in a whopping number of screen sizes—15 or so, starting from a 720p 32-inch model for around $200 through a 4K 70-inch model for $1,300. But no matter how to slice the screen size, the prices tend to be very good.
Vizio D Series (2016)
Last but not at all least, the 2016 Vizio D Series is the company's bottom-of-the-barrel, super cheap entry. But as we discovered, that doesn't mean the D Series TVs aren't good—they make the cut, albeit they cut corners in places, too.
Like the 2016 E Series, the D Series is available in a bunch of sizes—25, to be exact—with a dizzying amount of variability from the cheapest (a 24-inch, 720p "dumb" TV for $149) to the most expensive (a 65-inch 4K smart TV for $1,200).
This series, while a great way to maximize affordability, can admittedly be a little confusing; Fortunately, we have a handy guide for figuring out which one you're buying. Scan through the guide before you pull the trigger, just to be safe.