For the last several years, Vizio's M-Series has been a mainstay of TV value-hunters. The M-Series TVs (much like TCL's 6-Series) tend to give users the latest TV technology at much more affordable prices than the competition. To that end, 2019's M-Series Quantum delivers 4K resolution, an LED backlight with full-array local dimming technology, smart features, HDR and Dolby Vision compatibility, and--as you might have guessed from the name--quantum dots. Quantum dots are a newer TV tech that provide a big boost to a TV's color capabilities, and for the last several years they've really only been available in very high-end TVs from brands like Samsung and Sony. With the M-Series Quantum, Vizio is making this technology available to people who might not have $2,000 to spend on a new TV. Are the M-Series Quantum TVs perfect specimens? No--Vizio's learned how to cut just enough corners that, while nothing about them is too egregious, they're not as buttoned-up and posh-looking as their higher-price counterparts. Picture quality is the strongest foot forward here, while the design is nothing to speak of and elements of their software and behavior can be a bit frustrating.
Last year's big TV value-hitters were the 2019 TCL 6 Series and the 2019 Vizio M-Series Quantum, and that trend continues into 2020. The 2020 TCL 6-Series impressed us greatly in August via its continued excellence in picture quality and gaming-facing features, but it's also a bit more expensive than the M-Series models. So which one is right for you? As it stands, the M-Series Quantum is an excellent value model, but you'll definitely want to compare it carefully with TCL's 6-Series before pulling the trigger on either. The 6-Series is brighter and offers a higher native refresh rate, making it the more attractive pick for gamers--especially with next-gen gaming consoles on the way.
For the last few years, OLED TVs have been the best in the business, receiving rave reviews and high praise from consumers and reviewers alike. But with HDR--also known as High Dynamic Range--now entering the market, traditional LED TVs are benefiting from supercharged performance that threatens OLED's reign at the top. I recently got the chance to be a guest presenter at the 12th annual "Value Electronics TV Shootout." There we put four of the top TVs on the market through a punishing series of tests in front of an unflinching panel of experts with the goal of crowning one winner. This year, the HDR-compatible LG G6 series won pretty handily, with its OLED panel taking the top spot in almost every category.
Vizio has been owning the home entertainment market lately by selling excellent televisions for bargain prices, putting sub- 1,000 price tags on great sets with all the latest tech packed inside. The company is still at it: Vizio's new 2016 P Series of TVs offer the same features found in the company's super-expensive Reference Series, but at more affordable pricing that starts at 1,000. If you don't need the extra dimming zones and sunshine-bright backlight systems of the 6,000-and-up Reference Series panels, the new P-series sets are a steal. HDR-capable sets can produce very bright highlights, making fireballs and shimmering water appear incredibly lifelike. They can also display inky blacks, making all the details in a dim scene really pop.
This post was done in partnership with Wirecutter, reviews for the real world. When readers choose to buy Wirecutter's independently chosen editorial picks, they may earn affiliate commissions that support their work. Even when viewed side by side with TVs that cost two and a half times as much, the TCL won over our viewing panel. It's simply the greatest value we have ever seen in a TV. If your TV works and you're happy with it, stick with what you have.