We had the luxury of being able to sit down with one of these bad boys to give it a shot to see how it compares to the competition, o see if it lives up to the hype Vizio has created around it, and to see if we would be tempted to buy one ourselves.
First, I have to say we were impressed. There has been a lot of talk lately about the Sharp 80″ LED TV and 90″ LED TV, and although we liked what we saw with those, we were not impressed by the price vs quality. Sharp has good looking TVs there but competitors such as Samsung and LG could easily release a TV that just stomps all over them. So we would rather see Sharp lower their price to around 3500 for the 80″ and 4999 for the 90″ given today’s “current” market. Then Vizio came out with the Vizio M801d-A3R 80″ M-Series LED Smart TV to join the competition of large-screen led/smart TV’s. Now THIS…is a TV worth breaking our your wallet for.
The image quality does exceed that of the Sharp TVs, feels a bit lighter and looks as though it has a better physical build to it. It offers a great refresh rate, all the apps you need and once again the picture it amazing. Most importantly…it weighs in at less than $4000. In fact, you can find it for $3799.
It is an edge-lit LED and with some TV’s a lot of people have problems with bleeding on the edges. If you are familiar with edge-lit screens, you know what we are referring to. In our experiences with this TV, we couldn’t find anything in particular to point out or complain about. There were no distractions with the edges that deviated your eyes from the over-all image. There was no strange glowing (both lights on or off) that came from the edges and dark scenes (or all black scenes even) didn’t result in any discrepancies within the picture (in terms of color or texture).
This TV provides very accurate and very dark blacks that are pleasing to the eyes. The screen has a high-gloss to it so it gives it a nice glass quality vs a non-glossy/less-glossy screen that has a plastic-like look that some TV’s work to achieve for some reason. The disadvantage to a nice glossy screen is you may get more reflection during the day but the quality it helps uncover in the image you are watching far out-weighs it.
The speed of the equipped apps is impressive. We have toyed with TV’s and Blu-ray players in the past who’s menus and app navigation were just deplorable. The Vizio however was quick and responsive and didn’t cause any bother with our collective A.D.D..
3D video looks amazing on this TV and it also comes with 4 pairs of glasses so it won’t send you running to the store for “add-ons” if you have a family (unless of course you have been pretty busy in life and have a few more kids to supply glasses for…then you may be paying the store a visit). The amount of glasses they provide is more than perfect if you consider an average household size, so considering that some TV’s only come with one or two pairs, extra kudos go to Vizio for being reasonable. We did not test any off-brand or regular theater glasses (ie, imax or RealD) so we can’t offer much detail outside of the glasses it comes with. The 3D picture is impressive though, resembling some of the 3d technology we were so impressed with at CES earlier this year.
The controller is basic so you may be interested in seeking out a nice Logitech Harmony or something if you want anything insane. Due to the availability of so many learning remotes on the market now (including the Logitech where you can download TV profiles directly to them), we couldn’t really penalize them for the remote (they could have easily provided a better one though if they wanted to).
We also couldn’t penalize them for the on-screen speakers as no flat TV has mind-blowing speakers in our opinion. If you’re looking for basic TV watching sound, then this TV has the sound quality of pretty much every other TV. If you are looking for theatrical sound…you should always invest in a nice bar or surround sound system as with the TV you are mostly paying for video quality (sound is just icing on the cake).
We didn’t find anything wrong with the given firmware. However, just like any TV or Blu-Ray player, it is still always good to update the firmware as soon as you break it out of the box and turn the device on (just in case). Always make sure you have the latest firmware before going deep into customizing the TV. This helps minimize bloopers found in earlier firmware releases.
In the end, we feel that finally someone released a quality large-screen LED that is both eye catching, and affordable to the general public. It beats out Samsung’s price (their largest is 75″ at the moment), Sharp’s price and all other competition (currently).
When it comes to price vs quality, Vizio has nailed the objective in one swift swing of a hammer. When it comes to the question of “would any of us buy one for our homes”, the answer is….yes. Given budget of course, if there is a chance to stick a new TV somewhere, we have all agreed we would love to own one of these.
So we give the Vizio M801d-A3R 80″ M-Series LED Smart TV 8 stars out of 10. That rating feels well earned as the TV lives up to the interests of the average consumer yet there is always room for improvement (higher star rating for example if it had the screen quality of a nice Samsung TV yet kept the same price it has now).
(They also have a 70″ located here.)
|Screen Size||80″ Class|
|Design||Ultra thin, near borderless design|
|Smart TV||Yes, VIZIO Internet Apps®|
|Backlight Type||Razor LED™ with Smart Dimming™|
|Resolution||1920 x 1080 (1080p)|
|Refresh Rate||240Hz with Smooth Motion|
|3D Glasses||8 pairs Theater 3D® Glasses included|
|Dynamic Contrast Ratio||10 million to 1|
|Viewable Angle (H/V)||178?/178?|
|Number of Colors||1.07 Billion (10-bit)|
|OSD Language||English, Spanish, French|
|Speaker Power Output||10W x 2|
|Composite||1 (shared with component)|
|Analog Audio Out||Yes (RCA)|
|Digital Audio Out (SPDIF)||Yes (Optical)|
|Smart TV Apps||Netflix®, Amazon Instant Video, MGO, VUDU™, Hulu Plus™, YouTube™, Pandora®, iHeartRadio®, Facebook® and more|
|Energy Compliance||ENERGY STAR® 6.0|
|Standby Power Consumption||<1W|
|Ambient Light Sensor||Yes|
|Wall Mount Specifications|
|Mount Pattern||400mm x 400mm|
|Net With Stand:||134.48 lbs|
|Without Stand:||113.98 lbs|
|With Stand:||71.21”W x 43.43”H x 12.80”D|
|Without Stand:||71.21”W x 41.10”H x 2.62”D|
|Packaging Dimensions:||77.76”W x 46.89”H x 13.46”D|
|VIZIO Warranty||One Year Parts & Labor; Free Lifetime Technical Support|
01-20-2014: This review has been updated to include links to the revised model that comes with 4 additional glasses (8 total). It has been unconfirmed if there have been any improvements made to the hardware of the TV itself. Price has so far remained the same.
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