Last year, Vizio wowed us with its P-series 4K TVs, which delivered premium picture quality at a price much lower than other companies. But Vizio's mid-range M-series sets also gained a reputation for being more affordable while still looking pretty good. This year, things are a bit different. Surprisingly, the 2017 P-series TVs are exactly the same as last year's model. But the newer M-series "XLED" sets received some useful upgrades that will make them even more compelling to shoppers looking for a good deal.
Vizio and TCL sell budget-friendly TVs that don't compromise on quality -- perfect for gaming, virtual workouts, and binge-watching Cobra Kai. Reviewers love them because they're not as expensive as TVs from other top brands, but have many of the same features. But what brand should you choose? Both TCL and Vizio offer models with 4K resolution and advanced gaming features to use with the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5. To help you decide, take a look at our TV breakdown. Sure, they don't have 4K or 8K displays.
Vizio has announced a new series of 4K UHD TVs that leverage the advanced technologies developed for the company's Reference Series, such as HDR (High Dynamic Range) and more accurate color, but at significantly lower price points. The 50-inch P-Series TV retails for 999, including a 6-inch Android tablet that can be used both as a remote and for streaming content to the TVs via the newly supported Google Cast. Said tablet is bundled with all P-Series TVs. This 6-inch Android tablet/remote will be included with each of Vizio's P-Series TVs. Vizio is calling its implementation of Google Cast (nee Chromecast) Wi-Fi multimedia streaming SmartCast, and it will be supported by all of its P-series TVs as well as upcoming sound bars and standalone Wi-Fi speakers.
While many other manufacturers chase new technology with 8K and HDMI 2.1, Vizio is enhancing its 4K TV lineup, starting from the lower-priced V series all the way up to its top-of-the-line P-Series Quantum X. The V series steps in where Vizio's E line of TVs used to reside, with smart TV features, Dolby Vision HDR and up to 16 zones of local dimming, with models ranging from 40- to 75-inches. The number of dimming zones and peak brightness -- crucial for precise backlighting with proper contrast and vivid colors -- goes up as you proceed across the lines and increase the prices. This year's M-Series features up to 90 zones (double that of last year's M-Series) and 600 nits of peak brightness, while also adding the "quantum color" technology previously reserved for the higher-end P-Series, all in sizes between 43- and 65-inches. Speaking of the P-Series Quantum lineup, that covers 65- and 75-inch TVs (plus an 85-inch prototype that the company wouldn't commit to) with up to 480 local dimming zones, while the P-Series Quantum X feature the highest brightness rating of the group with "UltraBright 2900" that Vizio claims elevates Dolby Vision to a new level, plus a slick bezel-less design.
Cutting-edge technology always comes at a premium for early adopters, but it never stays premium for long. After launching its new P-Series 4K TVs with built-in Google Cast last month, Vizio, the most notable affordable TV maker, is bringing the feature to its lower-priced TVs. SEE ALSO: Vizio's new 4K TVs come with Google Cast built right in The 2016 M-Series 4K TVs start at 849.99 for a 50-inch and rocket up to 3,999.99 for an 80-inch. They support high dynamic range (HDR) with Dolby Vision. Vizio is quick to suggest these aren't "TVs" but "home theater displays" because they don't come with built-in TV tuners, but come on, they're still TVs.