VIZIO M3D650SV LED TV Review
A large LED LCD that comes equipped with smart functionality and 3D technology.
VIZIO’s M-Series comes in one screen size: 65 inches. The M3D650SV, at an MSRP of $2199, is a large LED LCD that comes equipped with smart functionality and 3D technology. It ships with 4 free pairs of passive 3D glasses. For its size and features, it is probably most comparable to Panasonic’s 65-inch VT50, though the VIZIO is radically cheaper.
Considering its price, the M3D650SV is a decent deal. VIZIO’s 3D technology, as well as their smart platform, are both less rewarding than the parallel features found on Panasonic’s VT50, but its core performance—color, contrast, and audio—are very good.
The M3D650SV is an ordinary 65-inch television by contemporary standards.
With the M3D650SV, you'll find a big, rectangular display panel and an unremarkable bezel. While it’s on the thin side compared to VIZIO’s E-Series—which are pretty bulky—it wouldn’t be considered thin within the LCD market. Its back is a dark, brushed metal that is pliable and feels a little flimsy. The whole thing sits atop a large, oval-shaped stand that is black and heavy enough to keep the 65-inch panel aloft.
The ports and placement of them are standard. The side ports are generally the ones you’ll need access to most often, and feature inputs for four HDMI cables and two USB flash drives. The back ports are vertically inclined and give you a place to plug in your PC (via VGA connection); your PC audio; a component (or composite) AV connection; and a coaxial jack, for cable or antenna connection. Perhaps the only interesting aspect of the M3D650SV is its Jag Wheel, which is a silver, quarter-sized wheel on the lower half of its right side that replaces the usual buttons for Power, Menu, Input, etc.
Smart TV Features
VIZIO’s menus are fairly standard, but they’re arranged in a way that makes them sluggish.
Pressing the menu button brings up a 3×3 grid of sub menus, complete with icons. That makes things easier for beginners, but the menu’s response time is slow, and navigating between menus (via the remote’s navigational arrows) is frustrating.
VIZIO’s smart TV platform is less a platform and more a loose collection of apps. The heavy hitters—Netflix, Amazon, and VUDU—are fleshed out and cohesive, but most of the other apps (a majority of them created by Yahoo!) are slow-loading and don’t offer much content or information. It’s a good thing the included remote has shortcut buttons to the aforementioned content providers: navigating through VIZIO’s on-screen app bar is about as sluggish as navigating their menus.
Surprisingly strong color performance and terrific speakers.
VIZIO’s 65-inch M-Series tested with supremely accurate color curves, a decent color gamut, and almost perfect color temperature. Its great when we see a TV that produces accurate, consistent color.
In the area of blacks and whites, its contrast ratio is just shy of 4000:1, which is a great result for any kind of TV. It also tested with nigh-flawless picture dynamics. It’s a special bonus that its two 15-watt speakers produce above average audio.
Unfortunately, it didn’t do quite as well during the screen performance tests. This M-Series has a very narrow viewing angle, meaning if you want the best contrast you’re going to have to watch from almost dead center. It showed us blurring and artifacting during our motion performance tests—nothing that destroys its useability, consequently it doesn’t handle fast-action content as well as it could.
Essentially, the mild motion problems and narrow viewing angle don’t detract too heavily from its excellent color and contrast performances.
If you’re looking for a VIZIO TV with a convincing and immersive 3D mode, you may want to wait another year.
3D is a finicky topic both to test and to write about. Trying to describe subjectively how it “looks” can be difficult, as the 3D experience is largely subjective and varies widely with different manufacturers employing different technologies.
VIZIO’s 3D looks decent, but it’s a far cry from the 3D trickery that your brain undergoes on an IMAX screen. It’s a subtle effect, which is both good and bad. There’s very little crosstalk (when images bleed into the wrong eyes and create a halo), but there’s nothing breathtaking about the 3D itself.
Our staff recently went to see Prometheus in IMAX 3D, and the sense that we were looking back into a non-2D plane was very convincing. That feeling is entirely absent from VIZIO’s technology: The difference between a movie in 2D and a movie in 3D is very mild, though thankfully the contrast and color integrity remains strong.
Yes, it's ugly, but the M3D650SV is a strong performer for the price.
VIZIO’s 65-inch M-Series, the M3D650SV ($2199 MSRP), is a strong core performer that’ll save you money, but its unique features run the gamut from fairly interesting to hardly worthwhile. Where core performance is concerned, the M3D650SV has very good contrast, color, and black/white dynamics.
Its integrated speakers boast a higher wattage than the average HDTV, so its sound output is generally louder and of higher quality than most. Unfortunately, the previously mentioned color integrity doesn’t carry over to its 3D technology—which is so mild in effect that it’s almost not worth using.
The M3D650SV has decent connectivity options, but most of its other features are simply average. VIZIO’s smart platform is probably in last place when compared to their competitors. Finally, it’s probably the least attractive flagship TV out there, but considering its price and screen size (65 inches), that might not be a hard pill to swallow.
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