Whenever I talk about HDTVs with other tech lovers, they typically point to Samsung LED-LCDs or Panasonic plasmas as the go-to televisions for the person looking for the best picture. And as an owner of a Panasonic plasma, I never protest. My 50-inch HDTV has been a treat to have in the house.
But when I get my hands on my next HDTV, I won’t be buying a Samsung LED or even a plasma to replace my beloved Panasonic. No, when I finally head to the store to get my hands on a new HDTV, I’m going to buy a Vizio set.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Yes, Vizio is supposedly a “budget” HDTV company that shouldn’t be able to compete against products from competitors like Samsung and Panasonic. But if you’ve been following Vizio’s improvements over the years, you’ve probably noticed that visual quality is quite impressive. And all the extras available in its HDTVs make it an ideal choice.
Oh yeah, and there is also that fact that they’re more readily affordable than alternatives.
For the sake of this discussion, allow me to point to the Vizio XVT3D554SV. The LED set features a 55-inch display and 3D technology. Plus, it’s nice and thin at about 3 inches thick. It also has ample inputs for set-top box lovers, thanks to its 5 HDMI ports.
Now, those specs might not seem like much. But consider the fact that the 55-inch set also comes with 120 zones for local dimming; a full selection of Vizio’s “Internet Apps,” including Netflix, Pandora, and Amazon Video On Demand; and the kicker, Wi-Fi, built-in. So, instead of worrying about running a cable from your router to your HDTV, all you need to do is connect it to your Wi-Fi network and you’re all set.
The best part is, its MSRP is just $2,400.
Some might say that competitors have similar offerings. And that’s certainly true. For example, Samsung’s 55-inch LED 3D TV UN55C7000WF, comes with Netflix, Hulu, and other entertainment apps, and features a one-inch thickness. But it only comes with 4 HDMI ports. And the only way to access your Wi-Fi network with the device is with the LinkStick adapter. Oh, and then there’s the issue of price: its MSRP is $3,299.
That’s not to say that Samsung’s HDTV won’t beat Vizio in picture quality — I haven’t tested either product myself, so I can’t say for sure — but on paper, when one compares the competition to Vizio, the HDTV maker holds up quite well. In fact, I think it delivers the most value for your hard-earned dollars than any other company on the market.
And that’s precisely why I’ll be buying a Vizio set next time around. It’s not that I have an issue with other fine options from major vendors, but I like knowing that I’m getting a lot for my money. And time and again, Vizio delivers products that prove it’s trying to capitalize on that kind of customer.