VIZIO XVT3D580CM CinemaWide LED TV Review
Vizio’s CinemaWide series is a new concept for HDTVs, utilizing an expanded aspect ratio.
Vizio’s CinemaWide series is a new concept for HDTVs that adds extra width to the standard screen, resulting in an expanded aspect ratio of 21:9 versus the now-standard 16:9. This is the same aspect ratio you'll see on the screen at your local cinema, and it's wider than the other HDTVs out there, which explains Vizio’s naming convention.
If there’s any one reason for the average Joe to invest in this TV, it’s 3D. The CinemaWide's 3D looks outstanding and is definitely the best home 3D experience on the market right now. Additionally, movie lovers may go ga-ga over the chance to watch their favorite cinematic masterpieces in 21:9, though they'll likely have a hard time finding a 21:9-capable BluRay or device to play it in.
If you’re really into the idea of watching films in 21:9 aspect ratio, or want to turn your living room into a faux-IMAX 3D experience, then the CinemaWide (MSRP $1999) might be a smart buy. Outside of these features, though, it’s really rather average.
In order to accommodate its extended aspect ratio of 21:9, the CinemaWide has an exaggerated, rectangular shape that looks somewhat squashed when compared with 16:9 models. Its bezel and stand consist of brushed metal, creating the perception that the TV is built from a single piece of metal, even though it isn't.
The 58-inch CinemaWide offers a decent selection of ports: five HDMI ports, two USB inputs (for photo/music playback), an Ethernet cable input for a LAN connection, an analog audio output (for headphones), a composite/AV connection, a VGA input (for connecting your PC), an audio in (to wire your PC’s audio through the TV), and a coaxial jack (for connecting either a cable or antenna service).
Smart TV Features
Vizio's menu interface is simple enough, but it leads to a paltry selection of apps.
Vizio uses the same menus on the CinemaWide as the 2012 E-Series and M-Series televisions. Pressing the Menu key brings up a 3×3 grid of titled menus, which split into sub-menus and offer a huge variety of options for Picture Settings, Picture Size, Sound, Motion Settings, Network Settings, or Restart Initial Set-up. The menus are very easy to navigate and use, but the spotty infrared/Bluetooth functionality of the included remote makes them potentially frustrating.
Vizio’s smart platform, simply called Vizio Internet Apps, is not really a smart platform, but rather a collection of apps/widgets strung along the bottom of the screen. They’re conveniently accessible due to the quick-loading nature of the platform, and take up little space on the screen. But for the most part, Vizio’s app selection is meager: Netflix, Hulu, and VUDU. There's also a VUDU apps store. Altogether, it'll get the job done for most casual viewers, but pales in comparison to the smart platforms of Samsung and LG.
Flashy on the outside, mediocre on the inside.
Ever since last year’s CES, Vizio’s CinemaWide TVs have been getting a lot of hype because of their physical shape, potential for outstanding 3D, and ability to play content in a 21:9 aspect ratio. Those features are surely welcome, but don’t matter one bit within the arena of core performance.
Unfortunately, this Vizio’s various performance parameters average out into a result that’s not very impressive. In our tests, we noted poor motion performance, bad screen uniformity, a narrow viewing angle, and a fairly inaccurate 2D color gamut. Yes, it did have a few strong areas, and the pickings are certainly slim when it comes to 21:9 TVs, but in our opinion, the positives don't outweigh the negatives here.
Within the realm of 3D, the CinemaWide is king.
Aside from the IMAX 3D films we've seen in theaters, Vizio's CinemaWide has the absolute best 3D we've ever seen. The expanded screen width allows for a level of immersion and depth that totally eclipse even the best 16:9 3D televisions from LG and Samsung.
The best part about the CinemaWide's 3D quality is that it still preserves the TV's color integrity, making it almost preferable to watch 3D rather than 2D. It's a shame the TV has so many issues with other performance metrics, since its 3D is close to perfect.
A niche television for niche consumers
Aside from the 21:9 screen and the superb 3D performance, the Vizio CinemaWide is a mixed bag of successes and failures, by traditional standards. Its unassisted motion interpolation, screen uniformity, color temperature integrity, and color gamut all range from poor to just average.
It also has an astoundingly narrow viewing angle, despite its great width. Yet it balances these shortcomings with good overall color accuracy, a strong maximum contrast ratio, above-average audio, and superb picture dynamics.
Outside of its special features, the CinemaWide is just an average TV. It would be better off with a high quality smart platform, but Vizio’s meager offerings are still (arguably) better than having no smart platform at all.
At the end of the day, we were disappointed in the CinemaWide, which backed up an innovative design with subpar performance—as if Ferrari had put a four-cylinder engine in its latest supercar. Unless you're trying to recreate an IMAX 3D theater in your home, this TV is just too inconsistent for us to recommend it.
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