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
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.
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.
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.
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