Vizio Unveils More SmartCast `Displays’ In New E, M Series Lines
Updated! – Vizio unveiled Tuesday new entry level E-Series 4K Ultra HD “home theater displays” and Full HD TVs and M-Series 4K Ultra HD “home theater displays” that incorporate the new SmartCast Smart Entertainment Ecosystem first introduced in the 2016 P-Series.
Like those models recently unveiled SmartCast P-Series, the new E-Series and M-Series SmartCast “displays” build in Google Cast technology for smart TV functionality. All of the 4K models lack built-in over-the-air tuners and are technically “entertainment monitors” or “entertainment displays” and cannot properly be called “television sets or TVs.”
After this was posted, Vizio announced that the E-Series 4K UHD models are available now. The E-Series HD models will be rolling out in mid-to-late May. The M-Series will be available on Vizio.com in mid May, and will be in retail by the end of the month.
The six new M-Series 4K Ultra HD displays support 3840×2160 pixel resolution (four times the resolution of 1080p Full HDTVs) and will accept and display metadata for high dynamic range (HDR). The seven 4K Ultra HD E-Series models offer 3840x2160p resolution but do not support HDR. The six Full HD E Series TV models offer 1920x1080p resolution and SmartCast functionality.
Vizio told HD Guru that while the 4K Ultra HD M-series models will offer support for HDR, it “is focused on Dolby Vision support at this time. Vizio has not made any announcements for any updates.”
We have asked Vizio for the minimum peak luminance and black level measurements it uses to qualify using the term “HDR” in the M series models. We are still waiting for a response.
Due to differences of opinion on luminance and contrast testing methodology for HDR, Vizio said it does not participate in the UHD Alliance Ultra HD Premium logo certification and labeling program.
“Vizio remains focused on the Dolby Vision format at this time, as we feel it is technologically superior and has substantially better picture quality resulting from a proper implementation of high dynamic range and extended color gamut,” the company said in statement.
Vizio M series models (like the one pictured at top) will carry HDR supporting HDMI 2.0a/HDCP inputs and one of five total HDMI inputs will support HDMI 2.0, a company representative told us.
The new E-Series entertainment displays are hitting retail shelves now and are being offered in a range of screen sizes from 43 to 70 inches for 4K Ultra HD models and in 32 to 55 inches for Full HDTV models. Vizio said the Full HD models have built-in over-the-air broadcast tuners and can be properly called television sets.
Read more about Vizio’s 2016 E and M series entertainment displays after the jump:
The new SmartCast platform, replaces the old Vizio internet apps smart TV platform with a system based on Google Cast. It essentially builds a Google ChromeCast adapter into the display to stream content from Andriod and iOS mobile devices and in-home Wi-Fi networks. In the M-Series and P-Series models, SmartCast will support 4K Ultra with HDR streaming from various service providers.
Vizio said it plans to extend the new SmartCast Smart Entertainment Ecosystem to other display models as well as Vizio soundbars and speakers.
The SmartCast platform also enables using an iOS or Android smartphone or tablet as a touchscreen remote for both the new E and M Series models. However, the M Series models will ship with a 6-inch Android tablet pre-installed with the Vizio SmartCast app. The tablet will allow controlling the TV, sharing content from the mobile device to the big screen and streaming 4K Ultra HD content with HDR among other resolution levels from select entertainment app services directly from the Cloud.
The tablet supplied with M series models will have 720p resolution, quad-core processing and 8GBs of storage, compared to 1080p, an Octa-core processor and 16GBs of memory found in the tablet supplied with P series models. Both tablets come with a wireless charging dock.
Vizio said the SmartCast ecosystem simplifies playing content from mobile devices on the TV screen. Users need only “tap to Cast that entertainment” to the display, the company said.
Although the E series models don’t include a tablet, they can be controlled by a compatible third-party phone or tablet running the SmartCast app. The set will also come with a standard IR remote control, for those who prefer more familiar and basic operation.
Vizio said the SmartCast app on a smart device can aggregate content for faster discovery, playback and control. The app allows searching for content by genre across multiple apps at once, and then lets the user select the appropriate playback app or source to watch it on the TV screen.
The E Series 43–70-inch Ultra HD models feature full-array LED backlighting using up to 12 active LED zones, depending on the model. Lighting to each of the zones is dynamically controlled for improved black levels, contrast and color performance.
Vizio uses Clear Action 240 motion compensation technology, which Vizio said delivers “a 120Hz Effective Refresh Rate” achieved with backlight scanning. A 120Hz Effective Rate typically means the Vizio display is using a 60Hz native refresh rate LED LCD panel.
Other features in 4K models include: Vizio’s Spatial Scaling Engine and VM50 Ultra HD Engine to upscale non-4K Ultra HD content to 3840x2160p resolution.
Because the new 4K Ultra HD E-Series and M-Series models omit built-in tuners, Vizio points out that a separate external TV tuner is required to watch over-the-air broadcasts and QAM digital cable signals that aren’t tuned by a set-top box.
The M-Series models use Full-Array LED backlighting with up to 64 active LED zones, 32 zones in the entry 50-inch unit. The series as much as doubles the number of zones available last year.
The M series models incorporate Vizio’s Clear Action 720 motion compensation technology with a listed “240Hz Effective Refresh Rate.” This typically means the displays use panels with a 120Hz native refresh rate. Vizio said its system enhances the native refresh rate of the panel with “backlight scanning” for improved motion clarity, stability and smoothness with reduced motion blur.
Because they lack tuners, both the M Series and E Series 4K Ultra HD entertainment displays ship with an HDMI cable to connect with an external tuner or similar source device.
Vizio 2016 M Series Full Array LED 4K Ultra HDTV LCDs with SmartCast and Dolby Vision HDR:
50-inch M50-D1 ($849.99 suggested retail)
55-inch M55-D0 ($999.99 suggested retail)
60-inch M60-D1 ($1,249.99 suggested retail)
65-inch M65-D0 ($1,499.99 suggested retail)
70-inch M70-D3 ($1,999.99 suggested retail)
80-inch M80-D3 ($3,999.99 suggested retail)
Vizio 2016 E Series Full HD 1080p LED LCD TVs With SmartCast:
32-inch E32-D1 ($229.99 suggested retail)
40-inch E40-D0 ($299.99 suggested retail)
43-inch E43-D2 ($369.99 suggested retail)
48-inch E48-D0 ($399.99 suggested retail)
50-inch E50-D1 ($469.99 suggested retail)
55-inch E55-D0 ($569.99 suggested retail)
Vizio 2016 E Series Full Array LED 4K Ultra HDTV LCDs with SmartCast:
50-inch E50u-D2 ($599.99 suggested retail)
43-inch E43u-D2 ($469.99 suggested retail)
48-inch E48u-D0 ($549.99 suggested retail)
55-inch E55u-D0 ($699.99 suggested retail)
60-inch E60u-D3 ($969.99 suggested retail)
65-inch E65u-D3 ($1,099.99 suggested retail)
70-inch E70u-D3 ($1,699.99 suggested retail)
By Greg Tarr
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