Update:  Amazon Best Selling HDTVs -Many Still Available for Pre-Super Bowl Delivery

Vizio, number one seller of LCD TVs in the US (source Isuppli Q3 2010), recently announced its 2011 line of 53 LED 2D and 3D capable HDTVs (see charts at bottom after the jump). Screen sizes will range from 16-inches to 71-inches, of which 21 models (22″-65″) are passive 3D using Patterned Retarder (link) technology

The 3D line includes three new, ultra wide aspect ratio HDTVs.

For those still not familiar with Vizio, they market and sell a line of TVs assembled by contract manufacturers.  AmTran out of Taipei, Taiwan, who also owns 23% of the company, is their main source,. Vizio products are sold in the US primarily by warehouse clubs (BJ’s, Costco, and Sam’s), Target, Wal-Mart and on-line by Amazon.

In addition to 1080p LED-lit HDTVs, Vizio’s extensive 2011 line includes entry-level standard CCFL-lit (cold cathode fluorescent lamp) sets with using 60 Hz refresh and 720p resolution along with 120 Hz/1080p models.

21:9 (more or less)

The biggest 2011 news from Vizio is the introduction of a line of “very” widescreen LED LCDs with 50″, 58″ (top photo) and 71″ screen sizes. A Vizio spokesperson told me the 58″ model would be introduced in late Q2 this year, followed by the other screen sizes. The resolution of the screen is 2560 x 1080 pixels, making the aspect ratio 21.3:9 (or if you prefer 7.1:3). You can also express this the way movies do, as  2.37:1. All current large screen HDTVs are 1.78:1 (aka 16 by 9).

Movie buffs will be able to see 2:35 aspect ratio movies with small black bars on the sides or may use the TV’s built in aspect ratio control to expand the image and eliminate the bars entirely (cutting off 5 lines from the top and bottom of the image). 2.39:1 and 2.40:1 movies will have tiny black bars at the top and bottom of the screen. In either case, these TVs will have significantly smaller black bars with these ultra-wide movies than “normal” 16×9 televisions. For example, with a 2.40:1 movie on a 1.78:1 HDTV, there are over 280 lines of black bars. With the 2.37:1 VIZIO sets, there will be only 14 (without expanding the image).

High def broadcast programs are in the 1.78 aspect, they will need to be either expanded, (cutting off the top and bottom) or viewed with black bars on the sides (640 columns worth).

Vizio is also offering TV Apps with picture feature, allowing the viewing of Vizio Internet Apps along side of the TV image. So you can use the App while watching the entire 1.78:1/16×9 image at the same time.


All 21 3D models listed in the chart below use a patterned retarder for 540 lines (one-half HD vertical resolution) per eye 3D viewing with inexpensive passive glasses like the ones you get in a movie theater. This is by far the largest line of 2011 3D sets announced to date. Up to four four pairs of passive 3D glasses will be included with every Vizio 3D capable TV, depending on price/model.

While the public will have to wait for the 2011 models to hit the stores for an opinion on passive pattern retarder technology, we could visibly detect  the alternating polarized lines in the 3D  mode . We find it distracting.

In our post-CES look at the 65″ Vizio’s patterned retarder set at our local Costco, we detected other picture anomalies with 2D source material. Read more here.

In our visit to Vizio’s suite off-site at 2011 CES, we noticed every TV (of the dozens on display) had light leakage, (seen as white streaks) when the sets faded to black between demo scenes. Whether this will occur in the production models is an issue we will reexamine once they begin to ship.

Below are two charts listing all the Vizio 2011 3D LED (top) and 2D LED (bottom) announced at CES followed by Vizio’s description from its press release of its main product  features. Pricing and availability have not yet been announced.

“VIZIO’s Leading LED Picture Quality
Some Theater 3D models feature VIZIO’s Edge-Lit Razor LED technology with Smart Dimming. Razor LED HDTVs with Smart Dimming intelligently control the array of LEDs, which are organized in 32 zones. Working frame by frame, based on the content being displayed, Smart Dimming adjusts brightness in precise steps down to pure black (where the LED is completely off). This cutting-edge technology minimizes light leakage and enables a Dynamic Contrast Ratio of 10 Million to 1, for blacker blacks and whiter whites.

Certain XVT models utilize VIZIO’s Full Array TruLED backlighting with Smart Dimming technology. With over 120 zones across the entire display, TruLED backlighting is able to control specific areas of the image, depending on what’s on screen, resulting in the most incredible and life-like images that “pop” off the screen.

VIZIO Internet Apps(VIA)
All Theater 3D models feature VIZIO Internet Apps (VIA) Connected HDTV platform. VIA delivers unprecedented choice and control of web-based content directly to the television without the need for a PC or set-top box. Current Apps from top online content and service brands include: Netflix, Amazon Video On Demand, VUDU, Pandora, Facebook, Flickr, Rhapsody, Twitter, and Yahoo! TV Widgets. Additional Apps recently released include Fandango, iMemories, MediaBox, My-Cast, TuneIn Radio, Web Videos, Wiki TV and Yahoo Fantasy Football.

Navigating VIA is simple, using the included Bluetooth Universal Remote (optional on some models) that includes a QWERTY keypad. State of the art wireless Internet access is available through built-in 802.11n Wi-Fi, allowing viewers to enjoy the convenience of on-demand movies, TV shows, social networking, music, photos and more with just the push of a button.

The XVT3D476SV and XVT3D556SV are part of the new VIZIO VIA Plus ecosystem that combines the convenience of entertainment on demand with a consistent and seamless experience across all devices in the ecosystem, including the VIA Phone and VIA Tablet. VIA Plus TVs, which will incorporate the Google TV platform, feature a sophisticated and intuitive user interface that allows users to access their favorite apps as well as search and browse the web using a premium Bluetooth QWERTY universal remote with touchpad and built-in dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi.

Advanced Audio
To compliment the 3D video of the Theater 3D TVs, M and XVT models include the latest high performance audio technologies from SRS Labs. SRS technologies help deliver an immersive, virtual, high definition surround sound through SRS TruSurround HD. TruSurround HD creates an immersive, feature-rich surround sound experience from two speakers, complete with rich bass, high frequency detail and clearer dialog. In addition, SRS TruVolume provides a consistent and comfortable volume level while watching TV programming for a more enjoyable multimedia experience.

Certain VIZIO Theater 3D TVs will feature SRS StudioSound HD – the ultimate all-in-one audio suite designed specifically for Flat Panel TVs. Years of excellence in audio, practical experience, and patented technologies allow StudioSound HD to deliver the most immersive and natural surround sound ever using built-in TV speakers. The suite also delivers remarkably crisp and clear dialog, rich bass, an elevated sound stage and consistent, spike-free volume levels. StudioSound HD features optimized audio presets for movies, news, sports and music while also providing a built-in EQ toolset for peak audio performance.”

Edited by Geoff Morrison

Have a question for the HD Guru?

Copyright ©2011 HD Guru Inc. All rights reserved. HDGURU is a registered trademark.