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Vizio’s 2017 P-Series 4K HDR TVs: Same as 2016 Versions but With New Software

by on May 1, 2017
 

Stephan Jukic – May 1, 2017

UPDATE: Following very recent communication with PR reps for Vizio, we have made some minor corrections to the following content: The 2017 P-Series TVs will offer between 126 and 128 local dimming zones and not the 64 previously claimed. Furthermore, there will be no 50 inch 2017 model as was previously stated here. Vizio has also clarified that the company is NOT owned by LeEco. That deal fell through due to regulatory issues and the two companies are thus partnering in different ways.

When it comes to their best-selling and genuinely excellent P-Series 4K HDR TVs from last year, Vizio has decided that it’s not quite time to get rid of a great thing. Thus, for the 2017 P-Series lineup from this company, what you’ll get is the same physical TV models as you did in 2016 but with some software tweaks to make them “better”.

In other words, the display panels, processor technology, connectivity ports and all other internal/external hardware features of these new TVs will be identical in the models that have just now come out for 2017 and the same will go for their overall appearance. While we’ll have a bit more to say about this slightly further down, we can safely state that many consumers should have little problem with this decision. Why? Because the 2016 P-Series models we’re pretty much uniformly excellent 4K LCD TVs with some truly superb color, contrast and overall display specs to offer their buyers. In fact, when price and performance are balanced against each other, we’d even say that the 2016 P-Series HDR models were among the best LCD 4K HDR TVs sold for 2016. But as we said, a bit more on this further down.

Now, for the 2017 releases of the (essentially) 2016 versions of these TVs from Vizio we can still expect some other changes. These are however all software related. Even throughout the latter half of 2016, Vizio kept giving their P-Series models some key software updates which were directed at delivering greater HDR support range and color/contrast handling capacity for content mastered in different high dynamic range formats. Now for this year’s releases, all of these HDR software updates will remain important but also be accompanied by an entirely new smart TV interface experience.

No more SmartCast tablet smart TV for the 2017 P-Series versions.

No more SmartCast tablet smart TV for the 2017 P-Series versions.

This is in fact the most crucial difference in the 2017 releases of these televisions. For 2017, instead of the SmartCast tablet-based smart TV system for moving between apps and loading content that the P-Series (and slightly cheaper M-Series) had in 2016, the 2017 releases will now come with a more classical TV-based smart interface that’s controlled by a standard button remote with some smart TV functionality and onscreen apps and settings menus. Users will still be able to use Google Cast from their mobile devices through Vizio’s Chromecast technology which will remain in the 2017 P-Series smart interface. There will also be Google Home support for controlling household devices via your Vizio TV as well. These things aside, the new TV-based smart interface of the P-Series (and Vizio’s entirely new 2017 M-Series models as well) will come with an onscreen menu called Smart Cast TV, which will be the Launchpad for content and other apps.

vizio-2017-demo-38

Also Again for 2017, there will be no tuner for the P-Series models, no built-in support for Amazon Instant Video and the 55 inch model in the series will come with an IPS display just like the 2016 version in this size range did. Vizio will not be releasing a 50 inch P-Series TV for 2017.

We stress once more that this year’s P-Series models include all the physical display specs of their 2016 versions. The 55 inch, 65 inch and 75 inch models have the same number of local dimming zones –between 126 (55 inch TV) and 128 (65 and 75 inch TVs)– the same HDR color performance specs, same peak brightness, black levels and the same overall motion handling specs for content or gaming in HDR, 4K and 1080p. Since all of these specs were great in last year’s versions, we’re sure to love them in this year’s versions but we do think Vizio could have released the 2017 televisions with one major improvement: Peak brightness could definitely have used a beefing up this year. The era of 4K HDR TVs which try to really pack punch into their maximum display brightness for HDR video sources is literally taking off and while the 500+ nits peak brightness in the 2016/2017 P-Series models are very good, we’d be even more impressed by 900+ nits for these Vizio flagship 4K TVs. In recent communication with us regarding the 2017 P-Series models, Vizio has claimed that they can manage full-field brightness levels of 600 nits but we’ll confirm this with our own full review of this year’s P-Series TVs as soon as possible.

That’s our one complaint for what Vizio is as of now delivering for its P televisions this year.

Now, here’s a breakdown of pricing and size specs for the 2017 releases. Prices are essentially the same as they were in 2016.

P55-E1  55-inch $1,300

P65-E1  65-inch $2,000

P75-E1  75-inch $3,500

Story by 4k.com

12 comments
 
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  • Bill
    May 2, 2017 at 4:45 am

    When will the 2017 E-Series review be completed?

    Reply

    • Stephen
      Stephen
      May 3, 2017 at 11:33 pm

      Hi Bill, as I commented elsewhere, the E-Series review will almost certainly be live on the site by Friday March 5 at the latest.

      Reply

  • Jim
    May 2, 2017 at 12:12 pm

    Matt McRae said this newer software (2017) will also be uploaded on the 2016 model UHDTVs. The advantage of getting a 2016 model is you will get a free Android tablet. The tabs will not be issued with the 2017 models. Matt already sent me the “new” remote for free…so I have the best of both worlds!

    Reply

    • Riasat Abir
      May 2, 2017 at 8:47 pm

      But the remote is more handy than the 2016 basic remote. And you can use your phone as the casting remote.

      Reply

  • Hank
    May 2, 2017 at 5:32 pm

    When will the 2017 e series review be completed?

    Reply

  • Joe G
    May 2, 2017 at 8:47 pm

    As far as ownership of Vizio , The Chinese firm LeEco has abandoned their deal to acquire Vizio (Reuters April 11 2017)

    Reply

  • Phillip Hatfield
    May 3, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    Hate to break it to you, but LeEco abandoned its purchase of Vizio:

    http://variety.com/2017/digital/news/leeco-vizio-acquisition-called-off-1202027503/

    Reply

  • Isaac
    May 9, 2017 at 9:20 am

    Will the 2016 P50 model receive the software update even though they’ve axed the P50 model for 2017?

    Reply

    • Stephen
      Stephen
      May 15, 2017 at 11:17 am

      Hey there Isaac, according to what we know, yes in fact they will, at least for smart TV design and functionality. To quote from Vizio’s own words on the matter:

      “As a member of the VIZIO SmartCast collection, every P-Series offers an intuitive smart TV experience. Available this summer as an over-the-air update to 2016 SmartCast Ultra HD displays and all 2017 SmartCast models, VIZIO is bringing the SmartCast mobile experience to the big screen by making apps accessible directly from the display.”

      Reply

      • Riasat
        May 16, 2017 at 2:54 pm

        Hi Stephen,
        Is the P series worth 300$ over the M series?
        I am planning to buy either of P or M series 55″
        P series has an IPS panel and M series have decreased the Full Array Local Dimming.
        I’m confused!

        Reply

        • Stephen
          Stephen
          May 16, 2017 at 5:19 pm

          Hi there Riasat, I would say that the P-Series is definitely worth the extra money over the M-Series if we’re talking about the 2016 TVs. (We haven’t yet reviewed a 2017 M-Series. The color performance of the P-Series is far better and the Dolby Vision HDR support is much more comprehensive as a result. Basically, the P-Series model was one of the best LCD 4K HDR TVs of 2016 for its price with plenty of premium features while the M-Series was just a decent mid-range non-HDR 4K TV. Yes the M-Series also has fewer local dimming zones. Also, yes, the 55 inch P-Series has an IPS panel which means lower contrast. However it’s excellent local dimming technology helps keep black levels deep, though I’d still say that the VA panel 50 inch or 65 inch models are better choices due to their superior general black performance.

          Reply

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