A Review of the Ultra-Affordable Vizio V-Series 2019 4K UHD HDR LCD TV (V405-G9, V435-G1, V505-G9, V555-G1, V605-G3, V655-G9, V755-G9)
Stephan Jukic – January 20, 2020
The Vizio V-Series 2019 is mostly a very practical and functional budget 4K UHD TV with some very light HDR capabilities and simple but good motion handling, color rendering and gaming. However, at least in certain key specifications, this TV surprises nicely with its much better than expected performance. This is something we liked about the V-Series despite its weaknesses. Given its low price, it offers a very decent home theater package.
Also check out our detailed review of Vizio’s fantastic P-Series Quantum 4K HDR TV, the best model of 2019/2020.
• Excellent contrast and black level rendering
• Very decent color performance
• Surprisingly good motion handling
• Great gaming responsiveness specs
• Native smart TV platform isn’t great
• peak and sustained display brightness is generally low
• No strong HDR performance
Considering the very low prices that the V Series retails for and its openly budget-minded consumer orientation, this 4K HDR TV actually delivers a lot more display and performance quality than we expected at first. Thus, it offers very decent value per dollar spent and we recommend it as a good starter TV choice for this reason. It gives stiff competition to similarly priced TVs from rival brands like Samsung and TCL.
Check out Vizio’s Affordable and great V Series 2019 4K HDR LCD TV on sale at Amazon
4.7 – 4 Reviews
What We Liked about the Vizio P-Series 2019 V Series
There are several key things about the Vizio V Series that we really did like. Their presence makes this TV deliver much better picture quality than we expected and overall, the highlights below make the V Series into a rather awesome basic 4K TV for studios, dorm rooms, bedrooms, gaming spaces and starter home theater systems. Let’s take a look at what’s best about the V Series.
Superb contrast, local dimming & brightness
The single most notable high quality characteristic of the V Series is its sheer performance at rendering high quality contrast and black levels/uniformity. Despite the fact that this 4K TV doesn’t even have local dimming, it delivers a truly excellent contrast ratio, a wonderfully strong quality of black uniformity and its deepest black levels can get extremely inky. All of these are great, crucial specs to have working so well in terms of overall picture performance. The Vizio V Series excels at them in a way we’ve rarely seen in TVs with its price range. In fact, this TV even outdoes a large number of much more expensive 4K HDR TVs from the same brand and others on contrast.
Robustly decent color performance
While the Vizio V Series doesn’t support full HDR color because it lacks wide color gamut, its overall color performance is still extremely good and more than rich enough for great rendering of any decently mastered SDR content source. Even when playing back HDR video sources from your favorite apps or Blu-ray discs, the V Series performs well, and color values blend extremely smoothly. Additionally, its performance at rendering vibrant, accurate colors even during shadowy scenes or bright highlights is better than we’ve seen in many similarly priced televisions.
Surprisingly good motion handling
And on the motion handling front, Vizio’s little budget 4K HDR TV surprises as well by delivering surprisingly good motion performance. The V Series has excellent motion blur control due to a very low pixel response time that means only minor blur during fast-paced action on the screen, and its playback of 24p content and other sources of content is generally good and smooth. On the other hand, it lacks any sort of motion interpolation technology but unless you really like your soap opera effects in movies or TV shows, we don’t consider this a huge loss except in the case of sportcasts.
Good gaming responsiveness specs
The gaming responsiveness of the V Series is also good. It’s not great, and other low budget 4K UHD TVs we’ve reviewed for the year deliver even better input lag but the V Series does enough of a respectably good job of it to be perfectly sound as a useful budget-priced casual gaming TV with lots of size options. Its native screen refresh rate doesn’t let it support any resolution at more than 60Hz but it does support all resolutions including 4K and 1440p up to 60Hz. It’s also a good 4K TV for PC display use.
Check out Vizio’s Affordable and surprising V Series 2019 4K HDR LCD TV on sale at Amazon
4.7 – 4 Reviews
Our comprehensive review of the best IPS TV we’ve ever reviewed, LG’s powerful new SM9000 4K HDR edition
What We Didn’t Like
The 2019 Vizio V Series is surprisingly great at some things and decent at a number of others, but it also has a couple of very notable weaknesses. We don’t consider any of these to be deal-breaker defects that make this TV unrecommendable but they’re definitely worth keeping in mind.
Smart TV platform almost sucks
Maybe the single most immediately annoying aspect of the V Series (and all of Vizio’s new 4K HDR TVs for 2019 and early 2020) is the Vizio smart TV platform. It’s called Smartcast and quite frankly it sort of sucks. For one thing, there’s the interface. It’s easy to use but also annoyingly slow (especially for loading the home screen) and sometimes even stuttery. Secondly and much more annoyingly, the selection of apps is fixed at a little over a 12 options in this TV, and worst of all, there is no option for downloading more applications. This particularly sucks about Smartcast. One small compensation is that the smart OS lets you cast almost any apps that aren’t natively available from your phone. The remote control of the V Series isn’t a smart remote either, it’s your basic button remote, functional but nothing to get excited about.
Fortunately, all of the above problems can be easily fixed by simply plugging your favorite external streaming media device with its own smart OS and remote control into one of the V Series TV’s HDMI ports.
Our Guide to today’s absolute best streaming media set-top boxes for all the 4K ultra HD content you can handle
Upscaling of low resolution content isn’t great
In terms of the crucial technology of content upscaling (useful since most content today still isn’t natively 4K) the V Series suffers from something we’ve noticed in Vizio’s 4K TVs of all types since we started reviewing them in 2014. For some reason the brand’s processing engines never seem to upscale low resolution content as well as most other 4K TV brands do. Samsung, Sony, LG and even Toshiba and TCL seem to have no problem upscaling 480p and 720p video neatly but Vizio still underdoes it a bit. The problem is mild but some users might notice when watching old DVDs or broadcast content.
peak and sustained display brightness is generally low and weakens HDR
On a final note, the Vizio V Series delivers only mediocre peak and sustained display brightness. We know that this brand’s TVs can get exceptionally bright, because the premium models from Vizio do so to a fantastic degree, but while the budget V Series obviously shouldn’t be expected to perform that well, it could have done better. Instead, in both SDR and HDR modes, it never kicks luminosity above 300 nits. This makes it especially weak in HDR mode for viewing HDR content that looks best with strong highlights.
Value for Price & Bottom Line
Vizio’s V-Series in no way delivers the sort of premium, ultra-vibrant performance of its more expensive cousins from the same brand, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t excellent as the really low-priced, basic budget TV that it is. If this is what you’re looking for without frills or too much expectation of awesome performance, the V Series delivers really nicely, and compared to almost any HDTV it won’t disappoint at all. As a starter TV it’s great for gaming and movies in particular.
Check out Vizio’s Affordable and great V Series 2019 4K HDR LCD TV on sale at Amazon
4.7 – 4 Reviews
Key Vizio V Series 2019 2019 Specs
• Screen sizes: V405-G9, V435-G1, V505-G9, V555-G1, V605-G3, V655-G9, V755-G9 (TV being reviewed is 55 inches)
• Smart TV: Vizio smart TV Smartcast 2019 Edition
• HEVC (H.265) Included: Yes
• VP9 Included. Yes
• HD to UHD to 4K upscaling: Yes
• HDCP 2.2 Compliance: Yes
• HDR Support: Yes, HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision, Hybrid Log Gamma
• Refresh Rate: 60Hz native refresh rate
• Screen Lighting: LCD Display with edge-lit backlighting, no local dimming
• Resolution: 3840 × 2160 pixels 4K UHD
• Wireless Connectivity: Yes, includes both built-in WiFi and Ethernet port
• Remotes: Vizio smart remote
• Connectivity: 4 HDMI ports (all of them 2.0a and with HDCP 2.2, 3 USB ports, 1 Ethernet port, WiFi, 1 Digital Audio Out
• Contrast Ratio: 7,399:1 (native, real maximum contrast)
• Absolute Maximum Peak Brightness: 295 nits (cd/m2)
• 3D Technology: N/A
Display Performance Metrics
The sections below are where we go into the slightly more technical details of how well the Vizio V Series 4K HDR TV really performs on the specs that actually matter for real quality and value to you as a user. The following metrics cover the essentials of HDR performance, black levels, contrast, brightness, color, motion handling, connectivity and gaming/PC use performance and other specs for using this particular UHD TV. They apply to its quality for playback of movies, TV shows, broadcast content, gaming and even for using the V Series as a PC monitor if you prefer. Our descriptions completely cut out any of the fluff and marketing jargon you often see, since it doesn’t really explain genuine quality in a practical home use sense.
We’ve based our specs from measurements taken for one specific model of one particular size. However, their accuracy is exact enough to closely reflect what they should be like for any normally functioning editions of the Vizio V Series 2019 in any size range. Slight variations for some of the specs in the sections below might be the case with editions of different sizes and with different specific units, but only slightly. If your particular TV deviates heavily from the following metrics, it’s possibly either defective or mis-calibrated in some way
Black Level, uniformity, Local Dimming and Contrast:
Black level, uniformity and contrast are three crucial specs of 4K TV display performance. They’re also extremely important for the high quality rendering of HDR content. Thus, we cover them together because they’re interrelated.
In the V Series TV from Vizio, what you definitely get is some excellent performance at creating deep, rich black levels for all kinds of content. As a result, this TV’s contrast ratio is also exceptionally high for such a budget 4K TV. It sits at 7,399:1, which is excellent. Black uniformity in the V Series is also extremely surprising by just how even and deep it is. This 4K UHD TV manages to pull this off despite having no local dimming technology to speak of.
The bottom line for the above metrics is that they greatly help the Vizio V Series in how well it renders content and in how vibrantly it makes colors stand out. Furthermore, they give a strong boost to this 4K TV’s otherwise weak HDR chops.
Vizio’s V Series may deliver great black levels and contrast but unfortunately it’s not a very bright ultra HD TV at all. Whether set to SDR mode for the majority of content that doesn’t have HDR mastering or to HDR mode for content formatted in any of the three HDR formats this TV supports, the V Series just never gets particularly bright. For both sustained and peak HDR or SDR luminosity it can’t even reach above 300 nits, which is especially mediocre for the V Series HDR mode. Bizarrely, it’s SDR luminosity is actually better than its HDR brightness levels.
The following SDR and HDR measurements bear out what we say about the V Series 2019:
Vizio V Series 2019 SDR Brightness
- Overall SDR peak brightness for normal content: 261 nits
- Peak 2% display area display SDR brightness: 284 nits
- Peak 10% display area SDR brightness: 294 nits
- Peak 100% display area SDR brightness: 295 nits
- Sustained 10% SDR brightness: 294 nits
- Sustained 100% SDR brightness: 298 nits
Vizio V Series 2019 TV HDR Brightness
- Overall HDR peak brightness for normal content: 239 nits
- Peak 2% display area display HDR brightness: 299 nits
- Peak 10% display area HDR brightness: 265 nits
- Peak 100% display area HDR brightness: 265 nits
- Sustained 10% HDR brightness: 264 nits
- Sustained 100% HDR brightness: 258 nits
The Vizio V Series 4K HDR TV lineup delivers pretty damn decent color by the standards of extremely affordable budget 4K TVS. It doesn’t offer full HDR color because this TV lacks wide color gamut technology for 90%+ coverage of the broad DCI-P3 WCG spectrum but its color support is reasonably good and further complemented by the smooth rendering of 10-bit color for HDR content sources. This means 1.07 billion gradations of the three base colors of its pixels, which blend to make up all other colors this TV renders.
Another major color metric that works well with this TV is the V Series color accuracy, which is decently good even out of the box and just great after a bit of calibration. This applies to both HDR and SDR content and really helps whatever you watch on this TV look crisply real.
Here are the Vizio 2019 V Series’s main color accuracy settings before and after calibration. These cover the key metrics for accurate color and the lower the numbers, the better. In post-calibration readings, they’re very good:
- Pre-calibration White Balance delta-E: 2.64
- Pre-calibration Color delta-E: 2.58
- Pre-calibration Gamma: 2.15
- Post-calibration White Balance delta-E: 1.02
- Post-calibration Color delta-E: 01.3
- Post-calibration Gamma: 2.02
- Wide Color Gamut: 98.8%
Motion Handling & Upscaling:
Unlike some extremely low-range 4K UHD TVs, the Vizio V Series 2019 handles motion rather well. This 4K HDR TV delivers wonderfully sharp pixel response time for minimal motion blur during playback of even the most fast-paced, dynamic and complex content, and its handling of judder control for 24p content from most sources is really good. On the other hand, the V Series doesn’t have any motion interpolation technology of any kind, which some people might not like if they’re fans of making their movies or TV content have that overly smooth soap opera effect that interpolation creates.
Input Performance for Gaming and PC:
When it comes to gaming performance, the input lag of the V Series is very low whether this TV is in or out of game mode, which is rather unique among 4K TVs. It delivers the same low input lag for gaming at 60Hz or lower in 1080p, 1440p or 4K UHD resolution (2160p). This also applies to gaming in HDR mode, with 10-bit color, with 4:4:4 and so forth. On the other hand, the V Series doesn’t have a native 120Hz panel, so it can’t support any resolution at more than 60 fps. It does however support 1440p resolution at its maximum of 60Hz, which not all budget 4K UHD TVs can do.
The resolutions and color settings supported by the V Series when hooked up to a PC are also good within the TV’s basic limitations. In other words, you get effective handling of 1080p, 1440p and 4K resolutions at frame rates of up to the TV’s 60Hz limit and with assorted color options enabled.
The metrics below bear out the V Series TV’s performance:
- 4k @ 60Hz: 23.8 ms
- 1080p @ 60Hz: 24.8 ms
- 1080p @ 120Hz: N/A
- 1080p @ 60Hz outside Game Mode: 24 ms
- 4k @ 60Hz + HDR: 23.5 ms
- 1440p @ 60Hz: 24.6 ms
- 4k @ 60Hz Outside Game Mode : 25.2 ms
- 4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4: 23.8 ms
- 4K @ 120Hz: N/A
- 1440p @ 120Hz: N/A
- 1080p with FreeSync: N/A
- 4K with interpolation activated: 88.7 ms
PC Gaming Input Support
- 1080p @ 120Hz: No
- 1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4: Yes
- 4k @ 60Hz + 4:4:4: Yes
- 1440p @ 60Hz: Yes
- 4k @ 120Hz : No
- 4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4: Yes
- 1440p @ 120Hz: No
The Vizio V Series 2019 TV comes with all the usual essentials for up-to-date 4K TV connectivity for gaming, streaming, disc media devices or broadcast and cable connections. This means that it comes with full 4K HDR HDMI 2.0a connection ports, USB, WiFi (high-speed) and Ethernet connectivity. On the other hand, it’s a bit weak on the number of ports available. This is because there are only 3 HDMI ports and 1 USB slot. Most 4K TVs even in the budget range offer 4 HDMI connections and at least 2 or 3 USB ports.
The following are the VIZIO S Series V Series’s ports, their specifications and the HDR formats this TV supports:
- HDMI : 3 (HDCP 2.2 & full HDMI 2.0a capacity)
- HDMI 2.1 : N/A
- USB : 1 (USB 2.0)
- Digital Optical Audio Out : 1
- Analog Audio Out 3.5 mm : 1
- Tuner (Cable/Ant) : 1
- Ethernet : 1
- HDR10 support: Yes
- HDR10+ support: No
- Dolby Vision HDR support: Yes
- Hybrid Log Gamma HDR support: Yes
The VIZIO V Series 2019 TV models also offer audio connectivity in the following types.
- 1 Passthrough ARC Dolby Digital
- 1 Passthrough ARC
- 1 Passthrough Optical Dolby Digital
- 1 Passthrough DTS via ARC
VIZIO is selling the V Series TVs in many different sizes, which is great for budget-conscious buyers. Thus, you can choose between 40 inch, 43 inch, 50 inch, 55 inch, 60 inch, 65 inch or 70 inch models or just go all out on a budget for a giant 75 inch model that’s still amazingly affordable for its quality and size.
These editions all sell for the following prices, found in the link below at the time of this writing. Bear in mind that these are subject to sometimes frequent downward change and it’s a good idea to click the following Amazon links for real-time pricing and all available discounts on this model.