Vizio M Series XLED (Hardware) Review

Ken McKown

Introduction to 4K.

I have spent the last six months researching the 4K upgrade. I have purchased two sets of my own, and spent time with another brand. This is my first foray into Vizio, and so far I am impressed. For the price tag this 50 inch set delivers a quality picture that showcases my 4K content with great clarity. For those on a budget the Vizio M series is a solid choice in the ever-growing swamp of 4K TV sets.

The Setup Process

The setup process feels a bit long in the tooth. I love options, but the Vizio process feels overly complicated. The SmartCast feature is great. I loved being able to stream most apps from my phone to the TV. Setting it up though takes way more effort than it should. I had to place my phone in close proximity to the set to even get it to pair. I also had an issue where after an update, my set made me re-do the process all over again. Once I got in though, the menus are responsive and everything has a nice flow to it.

MSRP: $599.99
Available At
Best Buy
Amazon

Apps and Features

There are only a select number of apps available at the start. The core stuff is here such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and Vudu. Anything else has to be SmartCast to the TV. The performance leaves a little to be desired. It was not nearly as slow as a comparable LG unit I have tested, but it was also not as snappy as others I have seen. I really wish I could add more apps or remove ones I do not use. I like to be able to customize which apps I am currently using. However, it is worth noting that most users never bother with TV remotes nowadays, whereas the phone is always with me. So when it was available, SmartCast worked extremely well.

Design

The TV itself is nice and thin. I like the placement of the HDMI slots. The biggest omission is the TV tuner. For those wanting to use a standard coaxial cable for TV will have to buy a separate converter. When mounting the removable screws which can be reused are super appreciated. Though I wish the brackets were spread a bit further apart. The remote is extremely basic and some of the button placement is hard to decipher. Also it is extremely hard to see in a dark room. It is also worth noting that this TV has four HDMI inputs, which is nice as most units now comes standard with only three.

Picture Quality

I spent time with a plethora of different mediums to test picture quality. Hooking up an Xbox One S to check out some 4K Blu-Rays proved impressive. The contrast and image quality is nice. There are a nice array of picture options. I was able to get a good picture setting within ten minutes. I am a stickler for my settings, but this unit hit my sweet spot quicker than most other TVs. Streaming services look great, even without full 4K resolution. The upscaling does a good job on everything from older TV shows to brand new movies.

I am a big fan of Football and sports are always questionable depending on the signal. Watching over-the-air looks good on the Vizio. It looks even better when being streamed over something like Amazon Prime. Video games are also a big proponent of 4K and HDR. I tested Xbox One S and PlayStation 4 Pro. Several games including Gears of War 4 and Horizon Zero Dawn. The HDR looks great on this set, especially at the price. Game mode is also available and the input latency is pretty good, even when using HDR.

The Vizio M-Series is a marvelous entry-level 4K set. The colors pop and the addition of HDR really showcases the new technology. I loved that I was able to get my picture settings setup so easily. If the app system was a little more fluid with more options I would recommend it over most TVs in this price range. Still as it stands this is one killer set that won’t break the bank.

TV provided by Vizio for review.

Good

  • Easy setup for picture settings
  • Lots of HDMI inputs
  • Picture quality

Bad

  • Laggy apps
  • Lack of TV tuner
8

Great

Ken McKown

Ken is the Editor-in-Chief of this hole in the wall and he loves to troll for the fun of it. He also enjoys long walks through Arkham Asylum and the cool air of Shadow Moses Island. His turn-ons include Mortal Kombat, Metal Gear Solid and StarCraft.

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