A Review of the VIZIO M-Series 4K Ultra HD Smart LED HDTV Series – (M55-V2, M60-V3, M43-V1, M70-V3, M50-V1, M65-V1, M49-V1, M80-V3, M75-V1 Versions)
After releasing their astonishingly low-priced P-Series 4K TVs to completely upset the High-end 4K TV industry in late 2014, Vizio is at it again with the even more affordable M-Series line of UHD TVs for 2015. Update 2016: Here is a more detailed guide and comparison the different series and features of Vizio TVs.
These latest models offer some of the best value and overall quality per dollar spent on the market for ultra HD TV technology today and you simply can’t go wrong with any of the M-Series models in terms of price, connectivity, overall specs and access to the latest and best streaming 4K video content.
The VIZIO M-Series 4K Ultra HD Smart TV represents one of the most affordable deals in the UHD TV industry today, and it more than delivers on overall value and features.
The VIZIO M-Series line of 43 to 70 inch TVs may not be of the same caliber as the latest cutting edge UHD models from Samsung UN55JS8500, LG EG9600 or Sony XBR55X850C but they do deliver on all the crucial technologies and specs. Anyone who wants to get their feet wet with 4K TV without completely going overboard on price, simply won’t find a better deal on sale today than that offered by the models in the M-Series.
The M49-C1 is not an ultra-high end 4K TV of the best caliber so don’t expect the radical new features of a Samsung SUHD or an LG OLED set but that said, this is one compact but powerful package of core future-proof 4K technology that will leave you wanting for none of the essentials in ultra HD home entertainment essentials.
For starters, the M49-C1 offers a full connectivity package that includes WiFi connections, Ethernet, HDMI 2.0, HDCP 2.2 compatibility and full HVEC compatibility. Thus, access to Netflix, Amazon YouTube 4K videos and a wide variety of other upcoming UHD video sources is guaranteed pretty much out of the box as long as you have a decent internet connection to work with.
Additionally, like the P-Series before it, the M49-C1 comes with the full-array backlighting that previously was only the domain of absolutely high-end 4K TVs and still remains an expensive “extra” feature for most Samsung, Sony or LG models. Unlike these other brands, Vizio invested early in creating affordable, high quality full-array backlighting and the result has been a wonderfully affordable version of the technology in all their 4K sets.
Other excellent features of this smaller M-Series model include 28 different lighting zones for sharper, more precise illumination of content and an automatic software update process that will make sure your M49-C1’s internal smart TV and other software systems are never out of date.
4.2 - 611 Reviews
Vizio is offering a specific thing with the M50-C1 and that is a 4K TV with all of the essentials of the latest in 4K entertainment functionality with a few luxury bonuses (like HDCP 2.2 and Full-array backlighting). Thus, they make no claims to being something more than what they are and the deficiencies of the M50-C1 are as such mostly things that the manufacturer doesn’t claim to offer anyhow.
With this TV, you won’t get the sheer beauty of OLED technology or the exquisite contrast levels of Samsung SUHD HDR. Nor will the M50-C1 offer you the quantum dot color enhancement of other recent Sony and Samsung models.
Instead, you’ll mostly get a picture quality that is very good by the standards of conventional 4K while offering connectivity that’s as good as it gets for any 4K TV.
Small picture defects like less than perfect contrast, poor off angle viewing of the screen and slightly less than brilliant color vibrancy are possible with the M43-C1.
The Vizio M55-C2 gives you exactly what it promises and no less or too much more. It’s a solid all-around starter 4K ultra HD TV set with decent picture quality and excellent connectivity to potential 4K UHD content sources. Furthermore, you can get your hands on all of these features at the most affordable price on the market today. For a starter 4K TV set, we can’t recommend a better option.
• Screen size: 43 inch - M43-V1, 49 inch - M49-V1, 50 inch - M50-V1, 55 inch - M55-V2, 60 inch - M60-V3, 65 inch - M65-V1, 70 inch - M70-V3, 75 inch - M75-V1, 80 inch - M80-V3,
• Smart TV: Yes
• HEVC (H.265) Included: Yes
• HD to UHD upscaling: Yes
• HDCP 2.2 Compliance: Yes
• Refresh Rate: 120Hz
• Screen Lighting: full-array LED backlighting with 28 zone local dimming technology
• Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160 pixels UHD
• Wireless Connectivity: Yes, includes WiFi, Blue Tooth, NFC and Ethernet port
• Remotes: one Vizio button remote
• Connectivity: 3 HDMI 2.0 ports, 2 HDMI 1.4 ports 1 USB 3.0, component, Digital Audio out, Composite, Ethernet
• Dynamic Contrast Ratio: 17 million:1
• TV weight with/without stand: 22.71 lbs/22.05 lbs
• Dimensions: TV without stand: 37.93” x 21.82” x 2.44”, TV with Stand: 37.93” x 23.97” x 8.27”
• Processor: V6 Six-core processor: Quad-core GPU + Dual-core CPU
Overall, the Vizio M-Class as a whole shares the following highlights and despite being the smallest of the 7 TVs in this family, the M55-C2 gives you pretty much all the same killer features except larger screen size and a wider array of distinct lighting zones inside the screen (for the same obvious reason of smaller screen size).
Some of the more notable highlights from this wide range of features include the following:
For starters, you get the benefit of the trademark Vizio full-array backlighting technology that the company invested heavily in making into something more compact, affordable and easier to fit inside both of its 4K TV lines, the P-Series and M-Series. With Full-array backlighting, you get a far superior overall picture clarity, brightness level and quantity of specific screen segment illumination control.
This is further augmented by 28 different autonomous lighting zones as found in the 43 inch M55-C2. In comparison to the edge—lit displays of more expensive models from Sony, Samsung or LG, the full-array of Vizio’s M-series is a notable improvement that’s all the more valuable because it doesn’t ruin the affordability to this TV.
Additionally, the M60-C3 comes with the obvious ultra HD 4K resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels. This is augmented still more by an Ultra Upscaling engine that takes normal 720p HD and 1080p Full HD content and then scales both up to levels of clarity that come relatively close to the caliber of native 4K. Vizio’s upscaling engine is particularly known for being good at delivering a quality upscaling process which doesn’t distort the original HD content it’s working on.
We should also mention the VM50 Ultra HD motion and picture processing engine of the M60-C3. This feature is a standard of any quality 4K TV and in this case it works surprisingly well at delivering constantly refined clarity that sharpens realism and detail on the screen even for content that isn’t natively 4K in its resolution.
Finally, there is the sheer connectivity of the M60-C3’s smart TV package. Thanks to agreements with different content providers and a sound investment in building HDMI 2.0, HDCP 2.2 and HEVC compression codec decoding capability into its TVs, Vizio has made sure that your smart TV interface is packed with apps that give you out-of-the-box access to 4K content from Netflix, Amazon Prime Instant Video, Ultraflix and a number of other web-based sources.
4.2 - 611 Reviews
The VIZIO M65-C1 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart TV offers the standard visual specs that come with any high quality 4K TV in its class but also includes the added twist of full-array LED backlighting to make things even more valuable.
Thus you get the full benefit of the 4K ultra HD resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels found in any standard and more budget-oriented UHD TV but with the still rarified feature of an LED panel that covers the back of the screen instead of simply lighting it from along the edges.
This means far better content illumination and a much better overall color vibrancy.
Moving beyond this, the M65-C1 includes the already mentioned Ultra Upscaling engine for moving HD and Full HD content into a different category of quality and on top of this, it comes with a VM50 Ultra HD picture processing engine for smooth, crystal clear rendering of on-screen content.
Additionally, we should mention that this is a model with a 120Hz refresh rate and a contrast ratio of as much as 20 million to 1 thanks to the 28 active autonomous LED zones that are built into the full-array LED sequence.
Two visual deficiencies that the M65-C1 does unfortunately come with include a lower contrast ratio than the Vizio P-Series or many newer 4K models from Sony or Panasonic and the others and a narrow optimum viewing angle. Neither of these is anywhere close to being a deal-breaker but they can affect performance under the wrong circumstances. Darker content shown in a more brightly lit room can look more murky than is fitting of a 4K TV and if you’ve got couches that are too far off to one side of your TV’s ideal location, you might want to move them closer towards the front of the M65-C1.
The M70-C3 comes with the kind of connectivity that you need for a 4K TV to work effectively with all the latest content and media options. In fact, this is one of its strongest features and the one area in which the M70-C3 is on par with even the best that High end TVs like the Samsung SUHD line or The Panasonic Veira TVs have to offer.
With the M70-C3, you of course get built in WiFi via a powerful 802.11ac Dual Band high speed connection. On top of this, there’s also the usual and perfunctionary Ethernet port that’s so crucial to getting your Netflix and Amazon streams to the screen.
The M70-C3 also really does a fantastic job of covering your potential HDMI-based content connectivity needs. It offers a total of 5 HDMI ports. And while only three of them are for HDMI 2.0, and only one of these for content delivery at 60Hz, all are fully compatible with HDCP 2.2 and the older 2.0 version.
Additionally, there are the usual Component, Composite, Tuner, and USB ports along the side of the TV.
We should also mention that the Vizio Internet Apps Plus and UHD Smart TV functionality of the M70-C3. With the combination of these two features --the first a part of the second—the M70-C3 lets you quickly easily and fairly conveniently access your favorite video, information and other internet applications with the included remote control.
The home screen on the smart TV platform does its part to make browsing easy by giving you a seven-position App launcher and Full-Screen App home page for finding new applications as well as running already-used favorites.
Basically, if you want a 4K TV that gives you affordable access to the latest ultra HD movies, shows and other content from set-top box makers like Sony or streaming 4K content providers like Netflix and Ultraflix, then the Vizio M70-C3 covers all the bases and is generally robust enough in the future-proofing department.
The Vizio M Series is about as affordable as any high-quality 4K ultra HD TV can get and it's current starting price on Amazon.com is $548.00 for the 43 inch M43-C1. This is even more affordable than the formerly record-breaking price of the smaller P-Series 4K TVs from Vizio. Other versions such as the M55-C2 is going for $829.00, M75-C1 for $2,498.00 and the largest M80-C3 is selling for $3,998.99.
4.2 - 611 Reviews
As we'd already covered, the Vizio P-Series isn't offering the top of the shelf in terms of overall quality, but it does give you a solid, reliable and fully connected 4K home entertainment package. Thus, while the M75-C1 doesn't have the best contrast ratio, best off-angle viewing capability or the best color saturation you can find on the market, it does offer these visual specs at the best level they could have at its $600 price tag. And in the bargain, you also get your hands on full-array LED backlighting.
• Excellent refresh rate
• Full-array LED backlighting
• Excellent price
• Full connectivity package
• Five HDMI ports
• Poor off-angle display quality
• Relatively low contrast ratio
• The screen is pretty small