VIZIO has long been the bargain shopper’s HDTV brand of choice. Peppered across shelves in Wal-Mart, Costco, and Target electronics department, the displays—albeit not the most advanced in terms of picture quality—have always been reliably, affordable, and completely viable options for people wanting to achieve the new American dream of owning a HDTV and Dolby Surround setup to come home to after another laborious 9-to-5.
For a company that started with three employees and $600,000, VIZIO has gone on to become one of the leading LCD television manufacturers, just a fraction of a percent behind Samsung in 2010 sales. Their competitively priced models have helped solidify them as a recognized brand amongst their peers (Toshiba, LG, Samsung) and have helped separate them from the lagging Sony, a company who's HDTV offerings have all but been put down behind the tool shed like Old Yeller.
Coming just a day after releasing year-over-year sales figures showing 31% growth, which is nearly double the industry average of 16%, VIZIO announced on Friday (August 20th) the availability of their new upper echelon TVs: the RazorLED and TruLED XVT series.
"VIZIO is solidifying its position as a technology and performance leader with the introduction of the new generation of XVT HDTVs," said John Schindler, VIZIO VP New Products. "Our dedication to high performance drives us to use the best commercially available technology. Each of our XVT TruLED sets uses a Full Array with local dimming that produces an unquestioned superior picture. Many competitive manufacturers have decided to use only Edge Lit technology in their flagship products, but edge lighting results in an inevitable compromise in performance."
The major difference between Edge Lit technology and Full Array is the manner in which the picture is displayed. Edge Lit, as the name suggests, illuminates pixels from the edge of the screen, whereas with TruLED Full Array displays feature regions of Smart Dimming LED backlighting, which improve black levels and picture uniformity. The premier benefit of Edge LED lighting allows manufacturers to produce extremely thin HDTV chassis at the expense of not housing a full LED panel.
This is an ironic choice of words by Schindler considering their newly released 32-inch XVT323SV and 37-inch XVT373SV RazorLED XVT models feature Edge Lit LED displays. The major improvement with these two smaller models, however, is that VIZIO has implemented local dimming into the displays, a new innovation for TV technology in 2010. The idea is to give you a taste of both worlds: the svelte design of modern a 32”-37” LCD (of which VIZIO’s RazorLED series sizes in at less than 2” wide) with the added picture quality of a TruLED. In doing so, it drastically helps improve upon the dynamic contrast ratio (DCR) of previous generations of similarly sized Edge Lit products without local dimming. In VIZIO's case, DCRs are up substantially to 1,000,000:1 from 50,000:1, an uncompromising comparison. Both of these RazorLED models feature 120Hz refresh rates, full 1080p displays, 4 HDMI inputs, SRS TruSurroundHD and TruVolume technologies, as well as company standard competitive pricing.
The smaller Razor models are just a stepping stone to the unparalleled achievements found in VIZIO's new 42-inch XVT423AV, 47-inch XVT473SV, and the 53-inch XVT553SV TruLED Series. The TruLED models all boast dynamic contrast ratios of 10,000,000:1, 240Hz refresh rates, 120 zones of smart dimming (160 in the XVT473SV), five HDMI 1.3 inputs, and SRS TruSurroundHD and TruVolume technologies. They are VIZIO's new Cadillac line of HDTVs and come with an open letter to consumers and competitors who may have written them off to say, "Hey, we can do luxury too."
The XVT models are made all the more impressive with the inclusion of VIZIO’s Internet Apps (VIA) platform, which includes widget integration of some of the internet’s leading media services: Yahoo!, Netflix, Rhapsody, Facebook, Pandora, Flickr, Twitter, Showtime, Blockbuster OnDemand, and more. The inclusion of VIA is seamlessly integrated with the the television’s onboard Dual Band 802.11n Wi-Fi internet and included infrared/Bluetooth slider QWERTY remote, which looks like the illegitimate lovechild between a TV clicker and cellphone.
The new VIZIO XVT line of high-performance LCD displays are available now wherever fine HDTVs are sold.