televisions

Vizio VO47L LCD HDTV Review

47 in.

The VO47L manages something of a tightrope act; keeping the price down, while still producing decent quality.

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.

Performance: Viewing Effects

{{article.attachments['section_summary_viewing.jpg']}}
The VO47LF had a good viewing angle; the entire family should be able to gather around the screen and see the action. And reflections were not a big issue, because of the matte coating on the scren that diffuses them slightly.
{{article.attachments['section_summary_bottom.jpg']}}

**Viewing Angle***(7.16)*

info_15.jpg

The viewing angle of the 46W4100 was a problem; we found that moving even a few degrees away from right in front of the display meant that the blacks got lighter, and the whites got much paler. We test this by measuring the contrast ratio of the TV at a variety of angles, and working out when the contrast ratio has fallen by 50 per cent. We found that this happened on the VO47LF at 39 degrees, for a total viewing angle of 77 degrees. This might not sound like much, but it's pretty decent performance for an LCD; many have a significantly smaller angle (such as the 30 degrees total viewing angle of the Sony 46W4100). Plasma TVs (such as the Panasonic TH-46PZU) have a much wider viewing angle; in our tests, the Panasonic had a total viewing angle of 156 degrees.

{{article.attachments['vizio_vo47l_viewing_angle.jpg']}}
{{article.attachments['info_20.jpg']}}

We did also find that colors on the Vizio got somewhat pale at angles as well; reds in particular faded into pale shadows of their original selves when you were viewing from an angle of 35 degrees or more.

**Reflectance***(6.75)*

info_15.jpg

Like all HDTVs, the front of the VO47LF is a big piece of shiny plastic that shows reflections. But Vizio did put a matte layer on top of the screen that diffuses reflections to some degree, so they tend to be more diffuse patches than well-defined spots of light. And, as this screen is pretty bright, reflections do tend to be less irritating as all but the brightest are drowned out by the screen light. As long as you're careful where you put your lights, there shouldn't be a big issues with reflections on this screen.

**Video Processing***(3.0)*

info_15.jpg

The VO47L offers several features in the advanced video menu that claim to help improve the image quality. To test these, we test each one with a variety of video sources. Here's what we found...

Processing Type What They Claim What We Saw
Dynamic Noise Reduction 'to diminish picture artifacts caused by the digitizing of image motion content' Can be set to Low, Medium or Strong. No difference between on and off on a noisy cable TV signal.
Setting Claim Saw
Black Level Extender 'to increase the picture reproduction performance in the ark areas of the picture' Makes the picture darker, loosing shadow detail.
White Peak Limiter 'to limit excessive white in bright areas of the picture' Pushes down the brightness of highlights, but also makes the picture look somewhat gloomy.
Color Transient Intensity 'to reduce the time taken to transition from one color to another' No noticeable difference.
Flesh Tone 'to highlight Flesh Tone' No noticeable difference. But perhaps we just don't watch the right kind of movies.
Adaptive Luma 'will raise the APL (average picture level)' Makes the picture appear slightly darker.
Dynamic Contrast Ratio (DCR) 'to display...dark and bright scenes; with a more vivid or intense quality' Attempts to tweak the contrast depending on the video source, generally making every thing slightly lighter.font>

Are any of these features worth using? We don't think so. None of them will compensate for a poor signal, and none of them will do anything more for the image quality than calibrating the display would do. So, turn them all off and calibrate it instead.

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.

Sections

  1. Tour & Design
  2. Performance: Summary
  3. Performance: Blacks & Whites
  4. Performance: Color
  5. Performance: Motion
  6. Performance: Viewing Effects
  7. Remote
  8. Audio
  9. Connectivity
  10. Controls & Menus
  11. Formats & Media
  12. Power Consumption
  13. Value & Comparisons
  14. Conclusion
  15. Ratings & Specs
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.
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
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.
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

What's Your Take?

All Comments