Vizio's 2017 M-series TVs were intriguing when we saw them in April. And now, you can give them a try -- the company has started shipping its latest M- and P-series TVs in the US. The mid-range M line is actually more affordable than we first heard: it starts at $700 for a 55-inch model and tops out at a still reasonable $2,500 for a 75-inch variant. As we mentioned earlier in the year, there are some worthwhile upgrades (particularly in the M-series) -- at least, so long as you didn't want that included Android tablet from last year. Both model lines now have support for over a billion colors and higher brightness, the combination of which promises a more accurate picture and higher contrast.
If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. However, our picks and opinions are independent from USA TODAY's newsroom and any business incentives. It's almost football season, which means it's almost time to buy the biggest TV you can afford from Best Buy, watch your favorite team's biggest games, and bring it back just before the return policy runs out. Okay, so maybe that method isn't for you: not only is it inconvenient, it's a little underhanded! Instead, why not fully upgrade your TV permanently with one of these valuable big-screen buys, and enjoy a better viewing experience all year round?
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.
As the young folk say, the Vizio Reference Series is pretty hype. The vaunted 4K TVs first graced the stage during CES 2014, grabbing AV enthusiasts' attention and refusing to let go. But then 2014--and 2015--came and went with hardly a peep about Vizio's darling, save for a brief appearance last April when the company debuted surprise prototypes of the 65- and 120-inch Reference Series TVs in NYC. The TVs became available for special order shortly after, suggesting a masterfully timed release that would hit the market just in time to take advantage of the growing tide of new TV standards like HDR.. We've finally got the 65-inch Reference Series (Vizio RS65-B2, MSRP: 5,999) in our lab and have set Vizio's paragon to boil after two years of simmering. Does it really deserve the title of "Reference Series?"
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.