A Review of the Vizio P-Series 4K TVs: 50 to 70 inches of affordable Top-Shelf Technology
This is an Old Review, Check out our Review of the New 2016 Vizio P Series
The Vizio P-Series line of 4K ultra HD TVs are some of the latest additions to the new models that have emerged in a near flood in the second half of 2014 from all of the major brands. What’s revolutionary about this particular line from the Vizio brand is that they come with virtually all of the top-shelf technology of Samsung, Panasonic, Sony or LG TVs but at a dramatically reduced price tag in comparison to what their competitors offer in the same size and specs categories.
Vizio has released the P-Series in five different size models, each with its own highly affordable price but with all five having the exact same features and internal specifications. Thus, the company has offered consumers some excellent choices overall. Here is the new Vizio M-Series 4k TVs that were released in 2015. Considered the new version of the Vizio P-Series.
The list of great things about the new Vizio P-Series TVs quite large. For one thing, you can choose between a 50, 55, 60, 65 and 70 inch screen, depending on what fits your home and budget best.
Secondly, when we refer to top shelf visual technology, we mean it. The P-Series TVs cost only $2,499 at the very most for the largest, 70 inch, model and under $1000 for the 50 inch set
Despite these low prices, they offer full array LED backlighting (try getting that from any other major brand at these prices), full HEVC support for streaming 4K content from the best online sources such as Amazon Prime and Netflix, 5 HDMI ports and WiFi for full connectivity, an excellent HD upscaling engine for watching ordinary Full HD content at higher than normal clarity and full Smart TV functionality.
Finally as far as "the Good" goes, the Vizio P-series truly are some of the best priced high quality TVs you'll find on the market right now. The 70 inch model costs at least $1000 less than anything else with the same specs and size and the company's 50 inch 4K TV is retailing for a very reasonable $999. To give you even more perspective on just how affordable these very powerful 4K TVs are, just look at the 65 inch Vizio P-Series TV's price tag and compare it to the cost of Sony's 65-inch X950B. It costs a full $6,000 less! And this is for what is still a fully top shelf TV in pretty much every respect.
Whatever minor flaws the Vizio TVs do offer are more than offset by their sheer affordability. These are not your typical crappy budget 4K TVs from unknown brands, they really deliver while sticking to budget prices.
The bad is pretty limited on the Vizio line of TVs. After all, they offer the full scope of connectivity features, full HEVC support, and compatibility with the best and latest in streaming and VoD 4K content from Netflix, Amazon Prime, Ultraflix and others. They come with high quality upscaling engines that make even HD content look sharper than normal.
The one area in which the P-Series does lag behind alternative brands is in picture vibrancy. The Full Array LED backlighting does wonders to create brilliance but the color processing engine just doesn’t create the same palette of vibrant tones that you’d get with more expensive alternatives from Samsung, Sony or LG. Of particular concern is the color saturation on the screen, which is weak and bound down by a limited traditional color space that Vizio installed in the TVs.
However, Vizio claims that it’s working on a firmware update that will address some color issues that owners have reported and we can probably expect the Vizio P-series 4K TV line to perform even better in 2015.
In terms of sheer bang for your buck, you simply can’t do better than the Vizio P-Series line of TVs. All of them have the same internal specs and there are 5 different sizes to choose from –each extremely affordable for its class but particularly the 65 and 70 inch models. These TVs deliver nearly every piece of internal technology as much more expensive Sony or Samsung brands without costing you an entire years’ worth of credit card debt.
• Screen size: 50, 55, 60, 65, 70, measured diagonally
• Smart TV: Yes
• HEVC (H.265) Included: Yes
• HD to UHD upscaling: Yes
• HDCP 2.2 Compliance: Yes for three out of five HDMI ports
• Refresh Rate: 120Hz refresh on 50” model, 240 Hz on all other sizes
• Screen Lighting: Full Array LED backlighting with Local dimming
• Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160 pixels UHD
• Wireless Connectivity: Yes, includes both built-in WiFi and Ethernet port
• Remotes: Two-sided remote with back-lit keyboard
• Connectivity: 4 HDMI 1.4 ports, 1 HDMI 2.0 port, 1 USB 2.0 port
• Sound: DTS Studio Sound with Advanced Surround Sound
• Contrast Ratio: 50 million to 1
• Active LED Zones: Yes, 64 zones in all models below 70”, 72 zones in 70” model
For starters, the TVs offer full compliance with the HEVC (H.265) codec for decoding streamed 4K video. This means that the P-Series gives you access to all of the streaming 4K content available from Amazon Prime Instant Video, Netflix and from any other 4K streaming service. Furthermore, the P-Series has been made compatible with the UltraFlix VoD 4K entertainment service, which includes one of the largest libraries in the U.S of 4K movies and shows.
Additionally, all but two of the TVs’ HMDI ports are HDCP 2.2 compliant for DRM security. This means that new 4K content sources which later become available can be played on your TV without being blocked due to insufficient DRM security.
In terms of visual highlights, there is first of all the VM50 UHD engine in the P-Series, which provides both high level native 4K picture quality and excellent upscaling that’s genuinely noticeable when used on 1080p Full HD content.
Going beyond this, the P Series all come with out-of-the-box accessibility to a full array of digital content services (assuming you’ve got a powerful enough internet connection of at least 20Mbps). These include Netflix 4K streaming content, Amazon Prime Instant Video’s 4K offerings, Hulu, YouTube and others.
There is also a “Pure Cinema Engine” that automatically adjusts the frame rates in the settings their creators intended of them. This can range between 24 and 48 frames per second depending on the original filming of the show or movie in question.
Additionally, there is also a High Velocity Rate feature that’s been designed with gamers in mind. Thus, if you want to use the Vizio P-Series TV for video or PC games, this feature adjusts the frame rate so that a very nice 120 fps is possible for high intensity 4K gaming with low latency. However, one problem with this feature is the TVs’ lack of DisplayPort 1.2 connectivity and the fact that they come with only one HDMI 2.0 port for PC to TV connectivity.
In terms of physical design, we’re talking about a very nice package with the P-Series. They are built with a nice metallic black finish, feature a truly thin, minimalist screen design and come with an ultra-thin bezel that has now become pretty standard among 4K TVs.
The TVs also include 802.11ac WiFi connectivity and feature at least one HDMI 2.0 port. While just one of these is less than ideal, there are at least 4 other HDMI 1.4 ports available to offset the deficiency a bit.
There is a whole load of excellent visual specs that come built into the entire P-Series line of TVs.
We’ve already mentioned the VM50 upscaling engine, built to make both native 4K content and Full HD content perform at peak rates. Unlike the upscaling features of many lower cost 4K TVs, this one really does perform when it comes to its upscaling duties, and the improvement on 1080p content is noticeable.
The 4K and other visuals on the P-Series are rendered with a very powerful V6 processor that delivers a hefty quad-core GPU coupled with a dual-core CPU. Thus, the performance of most high action movies and sports events is genuinely quite good. However, when it comes to gaming and fast camera panning shots in sportscasts, the TV works best with the “Clear Action” setting that’s built into it. This feature shutters some of the LED backlighting and provides a much clearer visual experience for sequences that involve faster movement.
Another interesting visual highlight of the P-Series TVs is a feature called “High Velocity Mode”. What makes this so notable is that it allows 1080p and 720p input sources to render at a very powerful 120Hz or 120 frames per second. This is something rarely found in a 4K TV and is more common in high end 4K PC gaming monitors.
Other visual specifications at which the P-series excels include a 50 million to 1 contrast ratio and Active Pixel Tuning technology that works to automatically adapt even tiny on-screen details via pixel level brightness adjustments that create some impressive illumination accuracy. On top of this, there are also the 64 and 72 (for the 70 inch model) active autonomous LED brightness zones built into the back of each TV. These use a proprietary Vizio algorithm and help the TV deliver highly intelligent and well rendered brightness to specific sections of the content that’s being displayed. The overall result is some pretty superb contrast and very nice black tones.
Finally, we come to a visual highlight that is very, very rare outside some of the most expensive 4K ultra HD TVs. This is the Full Array LED backlighting technology that went into all five of the P-Series 4K TVs. What this means is a full array of dynamic LEDS behind the entire screen instead of just the more common (and usually cheaper) edge array that any lower priced TV from Samsung or Sony would come with. Full array backlighting is what makes many of the other visual specs above so much stronger.
The Vizio P-Series 4K line comes with pretty comprehensive connectivity features. It features the already mentioned 801.11 WiFi connection, Ethernet and comes with Smart TV functionality that allows for great integration with the web. This is as connected a line of 4K TVs as you get as far as the technology goes. There are of course also several optical audio ports.
Pricing is the single best part of buying a Vizio P-series TV. You simply cannot get better overall quality for these kinds of prices from any other brand and in fact it could be argued that many of the competitor models from Sony, LG, Panasonic or Samsung are at times even grossly overpriced in terms of what they offer for their costs.
The Vizio P-Series are priced accordingly:
The 50” inch: $799.99
The 55” inch: $1,349.99
The 60” inch: $1,649.99
The 65” inch: $2,199.99
The 70” inch: $2,499.99
The not so great about the Vizio P-Series TV line is very little indeed. Sure, they have some deficiencies in their brightness and color saturation when compared to competitor models like Sony's X950B series but you're still getting what is some overall exquisite picture quality and at a price that's ridiculously cheaper than that of Sony's 65 or 70 inch 2014 4K TV models.
One other minor defect is the lack of more HDMI 2.0 ports, this could have definitely been changed during the design phase and the company should have also added in a DisplayPort 1.2 connection for good measure.
Beyond these two, there's really not much to criticize about the P-Series given its prices.
• Excellent, excellent prices
• Full array LED backlighting with multiple Active LED zones
• Full HEVC and HDCP compatibility
• Heavy duty processing power combined with a great refresh rate
• Ideal for gaming and upscaling HD content
• Sleek, minimalist design
• Overall clear, crisp picture quality
• Only one HDMI 2.0 port
• Color saturation and image brightness could improve