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Vizio VW32L LCD HDTV Review

32 in.

The Vizio VW32L is a simple television with simple ambitions.

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Black Level

The Vizio VW32L produced a lackluster black level score, which was as bright as 0.38 cd/m2. As you can see from the chart below, the Memorex was nearly as bad. The Insignia and Samsung were far superior. Practically speaking, this means that the Insignia and Samsung are going to produce deeper, more satisfying shadows when you're watching old detective movies or Lost. The Vizio VW32L also can't do as good a job producing deep blacks and bright whites at the same time, evinced in most of the tests on this page. More on how we test black level.

Black Level Chart

Peak Brightness

The Vizio VW32L also produced a rather weak Peak Brightness score, as you can see below. It was, in fact, the dimmest of the competition, at only 310 cd/m2. In truth, having a really bright white is probably less important than having a deep black level. But overall, this simply indicates the limitations of the Vizio. More on how we test peak brightness.

Peak Brightness Chart
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Contrast

The contrast ratio of the Vizio VW32L is really quite stunted, only 818:1. Now, we're not surprised that it didn't match up to the 5500:1 Dynamic contrast ratio Vizio states on its website, but that's a tricky sort of math that they can fudge. We measure the actual contrast ratio: the brightest and the darkest that a TV can produce at the same time. Dynamic contrast ratio is the theoretical range that a TV can produce if you play with the brightness, contrast, and backlight settings. Either way, it's still not impressive. More on how we test contrast.

Contrast Chart

Tunnel Contrast

The tunnel contrast for the Vizio VW32L was almost completely even, and satisfactory. You don't need to worry much about losing your black levels when there's only a little shadow surrounded by a lot of brightly lit content. More on how we test tunnel contrast.

Tunnel Contrast Chart

White Falloff

The white falloff was also even, so you don't need to worry about losing any of the brightness in your whites (dim as they are) when those whites are surrounded by shadows. More on how we test white falloff.

White Falloff Chart

Uniformity

The screen uniformity of the Vizio VW32L is rather good. We didn't see any noticeable hotspots, even when the screen was completely black (when problems are most evident). There was the usual flashlighting in the corners, but it was so minor that most people wouldn't notice. More on how we test white falloff.

Greyscale Gamma

The greyscale gamma results indicate that the Vizio VW32L is not perfect at making a smooth transition from shadows to highlights. The slope of the curve measured 2.5, while an ideal score is somewhere between 2.1 and 2.2. The Vizio's ramp-up is too steep.

Now, look at the lower-left end of the line in the chart below. Those are the shadows, and the fact that it's so flat means that the TV is missing a lot of detail there. TV's never have a perfectly straight line, but we're not happy with what we see here in the shadows. More on how we test greyscale gamma.

Greyscale Gamma Chart
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. Introduction
  2. Tour & Design
  3. Blacks & Whites
  4. Color Accuracy
  5. Motion
  6. Viewing Effects
  7. Calibration
  8. Remote Control
  9. Connectivity
  10. Audio & Menus
  11. Multimedia & Internet
  12. Power Consumption
  13. Samsung LN32B460 Comparison
  14. Insignia NS-LDVD32Q-10A Comparison
  15. Memorex MLT3221 Comparison
  16. Conclusion
  17. Series Comparison
  18. Photo Gallery
  19. 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.
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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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