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.
If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives. Originally based in California, Vizio--who was acquired by Chinese tech company LeEco in 2016--has in recent years established a very strong presence in the 4K and smart TV markets. Vizio's TV series tend to deliver the year's cutting-edge TV features without the razor-sharp prices. While Vizio generally doesn't produce as many "series" as competitors Samsung and LG, the company's lineups tend to be available in a huge range of sizes, often with variable screen resolution or smart features to help consumers maximize value by only paying for what they need.
This morning, Vizio announced its latest batch of TVs in the form of the 2016 Vizio P Series. These new 4K/UHD sets are the direct descendants of the 2014 TVs of the same name, albeit with some serious picture improvements--thanks in no small part to Vizio's work engineering the Dolby Vision-compatible Reference Series that we just reviewed. I just spent a little time with the full 2016 P Series lineup, and while I can only speculate right now, they're an extremely impressive group of TVs given their starting prices. Between stock footage and Vizio's dark-room demo, the TVs look to have enough brightness/color for some semblance of High Dynamic Range--but it's the new SmartCast feature people should really be excited about. While we can't outright recommend you pull the trigger just yet, the P Series has a pretty good track record.
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.