Sony, LG, Samsung and even TCL are now putting one of my favorite picture-enhancing technologies — full array local dimming — into their highest-end LCD TVs. But nobody does local dimming like Vizio.
The company’s onslaught of 2018 TVs, spread across five series and 19 models announced today, includes a whopping 13 with full array local dimming. No other manufacturer has more than 6 FALD TVs in its 2018 lineup, and for the most part they’re a lot more expensive than these Vizios.
Full-array local dimming allows a TV to brighten and dim different areas of the screen independently, which greatly improves contrast. It’s crucial to better high dynamic range (HDR) images on LCD TVs, and HDR provides the best in-home video quality available today. In CNET’s previous tests Vizio sets performed extremely well, especially for the money, and the 2018 versions look like similarly strong values.
While many of its budget sets can also do local dimming, Vizio reserves its best image quality features for the mainstream-priced M- and P-series. It also introduced a new flagship TV in just one size, the 65-inch P-series Quantum. Here’s how they break down.
Vizio P- and M- series models and prices Series Size Model Price P-series Quantum 65-inch PQ65-F1 $2,200 P-series 75-inch P75-F1 $2,500 P-series 65-inch P65-F1 $1,300 P-series 55-inch P55-F1 $900 M-series 70-inch M70-F3 $1,500 M-series 65-inch M65-F0 $1,000 M-series 55-inch M55-F0 $700 Vizio 2018 P- and M-series picture-enhancing features Series Nits (peak) Dimming zones Refresh rate Color P-series Quantum 2,000 192 120Hz Quantum Dot P-series 1,000 120 120Hz Ultra Color Spectrum M-series 600 48 60Hz standard Quantum leap
The company claims a searing 2,000 nits of peak brightness, which, if true, would make it the brightest TV we’ve ever measured. Equally important to video quality buffs is its prodigious number of local dimming zones, which should allow it to minimize blooming and maximize local contrast. Finally, its quantum dots likely achieve a wider color gamut, which has been a relative weakness of past Vizio sets we’ve reviewed.
The standard M- and P-series look very similar to last year’s versions, and that’s not a bad thing. Our favorite TV for the money in 2017 was the M-series, and while the 2018 version has more zones (48 vs. 32), I don’t expect that to create a massive difference in picture quality. I measured a peak of more than 800 nits last year, substantially higher than the peak claimed for 2018, but not as bright as the 2018 P series. Just like in past years, they’re all compatible with both Dolby Vision and HDR10 high dynamic range.
Vizio also detailed its step-down E- and D-series sets. The E-series is also FALD-equipped, with up to 16 zones, and unlike the 2017 E series it’s also compatible