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Vizio D Series (2016) TV Review

42.50 in.
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Maximum value with minimum frills: Vizio's D Series is a quality, budget-friendly TV

March 25, 2016
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About the Vizio D43-D1

There are three 43-inch models in Vizio’s 2016 D Series lineup, the D43-D1, the D43-D2, and the D43-C1. The D43-C1 is a 2015 model that lacks smart features, while the D43-D2 and the D43-D1 are nearly identical 2016 models that have full array local dimming, built-in smart apps, and 1080p resolution. The only difference between the two is that the D43-D1 has just two HDMI ports while the D43-D2 has three.

About the Vizio D28h-D1

The Vizio D28h-D1 is one of two 28-inch models in Vizio’s 2016 D series, along with the D28hn-D1. The main difference: the D28h-D1 has built-in WiFi and smart features like Netflix, while the D28hn-D1 has none. The D28h-d1 also has an updated design with two caltrop-like feet, while the D28hn-D1 is a little less stylish.

About the Vizio D32h-D1

The Vizio D32h-D1 is one of three 32-inch models in Vizio’s D Series. It looks just like the D65u-D2 that we tested, but it is much smaller and just 720p, so we expect performance to be slightly different. It also does not have local dimming and it gets by with just 2 HDMI ports. Unlike the similar Vizio D32hn-D0 and D32hn-D1, this model does have smart features like built-in Netflix. It has both built-in WiFi and a wired Ethernet port.

About the Vizio D50u-D1

The Vizio D50u-D1 is one of two 50-inch variants of Vizio’s 2016 D Series. Other than being a 50-inch TV, the D50u-D1 is near-identical to the model that we tested in our labs and as such as expect the same performance from both models. One notable difference is that the D50u-D1 includes built-in 802.11ac WiFi, while the D65u-D2 doesn’t have WiFi at all. It is also nearly identical to the D50-D1, except the D50u-D1 has a 4K panel while the D50-D1 is just a 1080p set.

About the Vizio D65u-D2

The D65u-D2 is one of two 65-inch models in Vizio’s 2016 D Series. It has 4K resolution, Vizio’s smart platform, and the same two-footed design as the rest of the D series. We tested this exact model for this review, so all the conclusions below apply to this exact model. Note the “u” in the model name; the Vizio D65-D2, without the u, is a 1080p model.

About the Vizio D24hn-D1

The Vizio D24hn-D1 is the smallest TV in Vizio’s 2016 D Series lineup. It’s quite different from the 65-inch model that we had in our labs, as the D24hn-D1 only offers a 720p resolution, doesn’t have any smart features, has a different stand design, and is an edge-lit panel rather than a full-array LED. It also has just a single HDMI port, though it does have a TV tuner.

About the Vizio D55u-D1

The Vizio D55u-D1 is the 55-inch version of Vizio’s 2016 D Series. It offers 4K resolution, Vizio’s smart platform, and the same no-nonsense design we saw in the model we reviewed. It is essentially identical to the model we tested in our labs, besides the obvious differences of size and price. Like the D65u-D2, note that the D55u-D1 does not have built-in WiFi.

About the Vizio D40u-D1

The D40u-D1 is one of two 40-inch models in Vizio’s 2016 D Series lineup. It is a big step up from the other 40-inch model in this series, the D40-D1, with a 120Hz refresh rate, 5 HDMI ports (compared to two), local dimming, and a 4K panel. All that adds up to a much better all-around TV, and one of the best values in this series.

About the Vizio D32hn-D0

The Vizio D32hn-D0 is one of the 32-inch models in Vizio’s D Series. It is similar in design to the 65-inch D65u-D2 that we tested in our labs, but has a much smaller 32-inch panel, only offers a 720p resolution, has just two HDMI ports, and it lacks an Ethernet port or smart features like built-in Netflix. It has a full-array LED panel, but it doesn’t have local dimming. It is identical to the Vizio D32hn-D1, except it has more powerful 10 watt speakers.

About the Vizio D39h-D0

The Vizio D39h-D0 is the 39-inch model in Vizio’s 2016 D Series lineup. Unlike the D65u-D2 that we tested in our labs, this model has a smaller panel that tops out at just 720p and lacks local dimming. It also has just 2 HDMI ports and no Ethernet port, though it does offer built-in WiFi and smart features like Netflix.

About the Vizio D40-D1

The Vizio D40-D1 is one of two 40-inch variants of the 2016 Vizio D Series, with the D40u-D1 being the other. The main difference between the two is that the D40-D1 is a 60Hz 1080p model, while the D40u-D1 has local dimming and a 120Hz 4K panel–hence the “u” in the model name. The D40-D1 is cheaper as a result, but it also has just 2 HDMI ports (compared to 5). It’s still a great value, but you may want to consider stepping up to the D40u-D1 if you want better performance and features.

About the Vizio D39hn-D0

The Vizio D39h-D0 is the 39-inch model in Vizio’s 2016 D Series lineup. Unlike the D65u-D2 that we tested in our labs, this model has a smaller panel that tops out at just 720p and lacks local dimming. It also has just 2 HDMI ports. Compared to the near-identical D39h-D0, the D39hn-D0 lacks smart features like Netflix and built-in WiFi.

About the Vizio D43-C1

The Vizio D43-C1 is one of three 43-inch models in Vizio’s current D Series. Unlike the D43-D1 and D43-D2, however, the D43-C1 is a holdover from 2015. Despite being a bit older, the main difference is that the D43-C1 doesn’t have built-in smart features like Netflix and it lacks local dimming. Otherwise it’s a solid 43-inch, 1080p TV with a design and performance that should match the other 2016 D Series TVs.

About the Vizio D48-D0

The D48-D0 is the 48-inch model in Vizio’s 2016 D Series. It is nearly identical to the 65-inch model we tested in our labs, except that it has a 1080p panel instead of 4K. It is still a 120Hz panel, however, and it offers full array with local dimming. The only other notable difference is the D48-D0 has just three HDMI ports (compared to five) and built-in WiFi, which the D65u-D2 lacks. It is similar in most other respects.

About the Vizio D43-D2

The Vizio D43-D2 is one of three 43-inch models in Vizio’s D Series, and one of two 2016 entries. It is basically identical to the D43-D1, except that it has three HDMI ports instead of two. It is a big step up from the D43-C1, which is a 2015 model that lacks built-in connected features like Netflix.

About the Vizio D65-D2

The Vizio D65-D2 is the other 65-inch model in Vizio’s 2016 D Series. It is practically identical to the D65u-D2 that we tested in our labs, except that it has a 1080p panel instead of 4K. With a TV this large you will notice the bump to 4K quite a bit, but the D65-D2 starts at just $899, so if you want the most bang for your buck the 1080p model is a solid choice.

About the Vizio D24-D1

The Vizio D24-D1 is one of two 24-inch models in Vizio’s 2016 D Series. It’s much smaller than the 65-inch we tested, though the aesthetic design is similar. Unlike most of the other small TVs in this series it’s a 60Hz 1080p panel, though it’s edge-lit and as a result doesn’t offer local dimming. It has one HDMI port, WiFi, Ethernet, and smart features like built-in Netflix.

About the Vizio D28hn-D1

The Vizio D28hn-D1 is a 28-inch model in Vizio’s 2016 D Series. Like the other D-series models with “hn” in the model name, this one lacks internet connectivity or smart features like built-in Netflix. It is a full-array panel, but it lacks local dimming, has a resolution of just 720p, and has just one HDMI port. It is significantly different from the 65-inch model we tested in our labs, with a basic design that’s better suited to a desk or bedroom.

About the Vizio D50-D1

The Vizio D50-D1 is one of two 50-inch models in Vizio’s 2016 D Series, along with the D50u-D1. The main difference is that the D50-D1 is a 1080p TV, while the D50u-D1 has a 4K panel. They’re otherwise identical, and both are pretty close to the D65u-D2 that we tested in our labs. As a result we expect nearly identical performance to what we saw in our labs, though the 50-inch models are obviously smaller.

About the Vizio D55-D2

The Vizio D55-D2 is a 55-inch 1080p model in Vizio’s 2016 D Series. It is very similar to the D65u-D2 that we tested in our labs for this review, except that it doesn’t have 4K resolution and it is a smaller TV. At 55 inches you will notice the difference between a 4K and 1080p TV, but the D55-D2 is still fully featured, sells for under $500, and should offer near-identical performance to the D65u-D2 in most respects.

About the Vizio D70-D3

The Vizio D70-D3 is the biggest model in Vizio’s 2016 D Series, weighing in at a whopping 70 inches. It’s very similar to the 65-inch D65u-D2 that we tested for this review, except that it is larger, has just three HDMI ports (compared to five), and has a 1080p screen instead of 4K. It’s worth noting that the D70-D3 only has 12 local dimming zones, compared to 16 with the D65u-D2, so you may notice some haloing with bright objects on a dark background. It’s near-identical in all other respects.

About the Vizio D60-D3

The Vizio D60-D3 is the 60-inch model in Vizio’s 2016 D Series. It is very similar to the 65-inch D65u-D2 that we tested for this review, except that it has a 1080p panel and built-in WiFi, while the D65u-D2 is a 4K set that lacks WiFi. The D60-D3 also only has three HDMI ports (compared to five), but given that it’s several hundred dollars cheaper than the D65u-D2, it’s one of the best big-screen bargains around.

The Vizio D Series—and specifically the D65u-B2 that we tested—turned out to be a promising performer, though far from perfect.

Like many winning budget entries before it, the D Series strips away fluff and filigree, offering up a bunch of "good enough for most people" performance points with regards to its color accuracy, video processing, and out-of-the-box picture settings.

Here are most of the nitty gritty test results from our CalMan 5/ISF testing and calibration process.

Contrast/Viewing Angle

I measured an ANSI checkerboard black level of 0.026—which is very good for an LED TV—though at times it got much brighter (around 0.1) and at times much darker (as low as 0.01). The TV's reference brightness in the Calibrated Dark picture mode averaged 156.4 cd/m2, though at smaller APLs dropped as low as 37 nits. Overall, the D Series TVs boast pretty solid contrast, especially for what you're paying.

I measured a total viewing angle of 50°, or ±25° from the center to either side of the screen.

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Color Gamut

Viz-DSeries-Color
In the "Calibrated Dark" picture mode, the D65u-D2 boasted surprisingly accurate red/greens and grayscale coloration. Blue is a little off, but this is a good result.

Grayscale & RGB Balance

Viz-DSeries-Grayscale
The D Series doesn't have perfect out-of-the-box grayscale results, averaging about 8dE (where 3 or less is ideal). This is higher than we like to see, but isn't so high that you'll notice discolored neutral elements.
Viz-DSeries-RGBBalance
According to the D Series' RGB balance results, the grayscale deltaE noted above is the driect result of notably under-emphasized green sub-pixels.

Gamma

Viz-DSeries-Gamma
The D Series didn't test with the flattest gamma curve, tending to brighten a little too quickly between the lower and higher signal inputs. This is likely due to the course local dimming and not a function of the TV's image processing, however.
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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