January 18, 2009 by Admin
Vizio continues to deliver the latest technology at a highly affordable price with the VF551XVT 55-inch LED-backlit LCD TV. The beastly design of this system is a great contrast to its powerful performance.
Unlike other LED HDTVs in the market today, Vizio’s model comes with side inputs that denies possibilities of an ultra-slim design. Although it is very energy efficient and produces good picture quality, the panel does produce some background noise and has a minor viewing angle flaw.
The VF551XVT sports a relatively wide black bezel around its 1920 x 1080 pixel LCD panel. It has a 2.5” silver speaker bar right below the bottom bezel and it looks like an intentional aesthetic flaw. This, however, does not hinder the performance of the system. Despite its beastly design, it comes with a nice, glossy black remote control that has a silver base and a band of silver trim on the sides. The 8.6” remote control sports a polished chrome rocker switch that makes it easy to navigate through the settings menu, complete with well-marked keys and backlit.
One impressive feature about this model is its plentiful connectivity options. There are so many of them that users may hook everything up to this tv and enjoy the quality it offers. Also, it comes with a matte black finish, something that sets it different from glossy black finish of most other models in the market. Purchase comes with a free 1GB thumb drive.
Setting Up the Vizio VF551XVT
Above these ports are the Power, Channel, Volume and Input-Selection buttons. There is also a menu button and users will be led to the on-screen menu system to adjust basic picture settings, such as brightness, contrast, backlighting, color, tint and sharpness.
To set-up the Vizio VF551XVT for optimal picture quality, users should start in Movie mode. Adjusting the available user menu controls didn’t help much. The lack of a color management system prevents users from correcting the slightly off primary green color. Vizio probably has in mind some more seasoned and experienced technicians to work on these settings.
There is also Vizio’s 240 Scenes Per Second feature, which is actually the 240Hz screen refresh system. Vizio points out that their system combines a 120Hz refresh along with a blackout scene between each of the screen frame.
The 240MHz technology used to combat blurring and other motion errors are employed in the Color Temperature and Smooth Motion settings. The feature does eliminate jagged edges on the HD HQV three-bar de-interlacing test, but it does cause some images to appear too smooth around the edges even when the lowest setting is engaged.
Colors are accurate and flesh tones are natural looking, and users may consider disabling the Color Enhancement feature to achieve the best result. There is, however, background noise while viewing 1080p content. Plus, the scale turns bluish to a noticeable degree, leading to less accurate skin tones for midbright areas. Artifacts can be seen during scenes with very light or white backgrounds. The Noise Reduction feature did just what it described: it did reduce the noise, but does not eliminate them. That said, the Vizio did do well with minimal blooming.
The Vizio 240 Scenes Per Second is not a true 240Hz refresh which requires an interpolation system that generate three new frames between each primary frame. However, it works quite well, and there is noticeable sharpness improvement for fast motion video and smoothing of film-induced judder.
While Vizio claims a viewing angle of 178 degrees, actual performance check sees color shifting at approximately 165 degrees instead. Also, there is not much difference in the default picture adjustment modes. For example, there is no difference watching a football match on a Golf setting rather than its designated Football setting. This feature is probably just a sophistication appeal, but the picture modes are not independent per input.There are three options available for HD sources and four for standard-def videos when it comes to aspect ratio control. There is the inclusion of a versatile picture-in-picture option which doesn’t exist on many HDTVs these days.
Pros and Cons
There are plenty of ports for users to hook up almost everything to enjoy with the system. However, most modern HDTVs today come with wireless connections for almost everything, rather than seeing cables and wires. Yet, this model obviously misses a dedicated power-saving mode.
Vizio also may improve on the viewing angle. For such a big screen, Vizio should be prepared that users will set this system in a bigger room, and the viewing angle that cuts at 165 degrees is not going to be too impressive.
However, this much anticipated system is overshadowed by Vizio’s own announcement very shortly after with a new model, VF552XVT that includes a Bluetooth remote and WiFi connectivity.