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Vizio P-Series Quantum (P65Q9-H1) review

A premium picture with a midrange price

Vizio P-Series Quantum (P65Q9-H1) review
(Image: © Vizio)

Our Verdict

The Vizio P-Series Quantum (P65Q9-H1) delivers a crisp picture with great contrast at a good price — but its software holds it back.

For

  • Sharp and detailed picture
  • Excellent contrast
  • No blurring during action scenes

Against

  • Software is so-so
  • Lacks integrated voice assistant
  • Limited sizes
Vizio P-Series Quantum (P65Q9-H1): Specs

Price: $1,199.99
Screen size: 65 inches
Resolution: 3840 x 2160
HDR: Dolby Vision, HDR10+, HDR10, HLG
Refresh rate: 120Hz
Ports: 4 (1 ARC, 2 HDMI 2.1)
Audio: 2 Channel [15-Watt]
Smart TV software: Vizio SmartCast 5.0
Size: 57.0  x 32.7 x 2.7 inches [w/o stand]
Weight: 54.3 pounds [w/o stand]

The Vizio P-Series Quantum (P65Q9-H1) sits squarely in the middle of QLED TV options when it comes to cost — at $1,199.99 for the 65-inch model, it’s neither the cheapest nor the priciest. But it stands out for providing a premium picture at that price. It’s loaded with features to generate its very sharp image, including a full-array backlight, HDMI 2.1 ports, 120Hz refresh rate and support for every type of HDR.

Its faults are mainly inherent to all Vizio TVs — its SmartCast operating system. SmartCast doesn’t keep up with smart OSes from the best TVs from LG and Samsung, or TVs that have Android TV or Roku OS driving them. But if you can’t afford a big name TV and picture quality matters most to you, the Vizio P-Series Quantum (P65Q9-H1) review will entice you.

Vizio P-Series Quantum (P65Q9-H1) review: Pricing and availability

Among quantum-dot LCD TVs, the Vizio P-Series Quantum (P65Q9-H1) can be considered affordable, though it isn’t the cheapest. The 65-inch model that I reviewed sells for $1,199.99 from Vizio and Amazon. Vizio also sells a 75-inch version of the P-Series, but those are the only two options for this model — many competing TVs also come in smaller and larger sizes.

Since both models have the same features and specs — such as full-array backlight, HDR support and HDMI 2.1 ports — we expect the 75-inch model to perform similarly to the 65-inch model we tested. 

Vizio P-Series Quantum (P65Q9-H1) review: Design

The P65Q9-H1 doesn’t look like a cheap TV, especially from the front with its slim, aluminum bezel, but more expensive TVs look more sleek. The 57.0  x 32.7 x 2.7 inch unit isn’t quite as thin as some premium LCD TVs, for example. 

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Its boomerang style feet are made from metal, instead of plastic like many budget TVs, giving it a firm foundation as well as classing up the look of the TV.

Vizio P-Series Quantum (P65Q9-H1) review

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

However, as with most TVs with this style of stand, you don’t have a lot of clearance for a soundbar in front of it. You can also use a wall mount that supports 400 mm x 400 mm VESA patterns.

Vizio P-Series Quantum (P65Q9-H1) review: Ports

The P65Q9-H1 has four HDMI ports: two on the back and two on the side. The two on the side of the P65Q9-H1 support HDMI 2.1, and can handle 4K at 120Hz . One the back of the P65Q9-H1, one HDMI offers audio return channel (ARC); neither of the ports on the back can do 120Hz. 

Vizio P-Series Quantum (P65Q9-H1) review

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In addition, there’s a composite video connection and USB port on the side. Audio ports on the back include optical digital audio and stereo analog audio — but it lacks Bluetooth, so it can’t send audio wirelessly to headphones.

Vizio P-Series Quantum (P65Q9-H1) review

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There’s also an RF antenna input as well as an Ethernet connection for wired network access, if you prefer that over the included Wi-fi.

Vizio P-Series Quantum (P65Q9-H1) review: Performance

The P65Q9-H1 delivers an impressively detailed and color-rich picture — on par with TVs that cost hundreds more. 

Vizio P-Series Quantum (P65Q9-H1) review

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The first thing to catch my eye was the sharpness of the picture. Closeups of icebergs in the 4K Blu-ray version of Blue Planet II revealed bubbles in the ice and the tiny tube feet of starfish were each distinct. The picture’s crispness also translated well to action sequences — the Falcon zipped through the canyon without any blurring in the opening sequence of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. 

Vizio P-Series Quantum (P65Q9-H1) review

(Image credit: Vizio)

But the colors seemed slightly off in the default Bright mode. They lacked warmth and were oversaturated — too green, too blue and too red. I switched to Calibrated mode and the colors got much warmer. Skin tones appeared more natural. Showing off both the sharpness and color range, when Thor arrives in Wakanda in Avengers: Infinity War, the rainbow colors of the bifrost were distinct and Thor’s lightning was very detailed.

Calibrated mode also allowed the P65Q9-H1 to demonstrate its excellent contrast. With support for all sorts of HDR — Dolby Vision and HDR10+, especially — the screen handles dark scenes very well. In Without Remorse, Michael B. Jordan finds himself in a lot of dark rooms and locations at night. In all those scenes, the P65Q9-H1 made it possible to keep track of the action despite the low light. In the 4K Blu-ray version of Blade Runner 2049, as Joe walks through the city and encounters the Joi ad, I could see details in the background, even as the intense colors of the hologram popped. While watching the Weathertop scene in the 4K Blu-ray version of Fellowship of the Ring, facets of the rocks were evident in the moonlight.

The P65Q9-H1 features a full-array backlight, which gives a uniformity to the display and helps it achieve its pleasing picture. However, the image appears washed out on the side if you stray too far from center while watching. The P65Q9-H1 was easy to watch in daylight, with what I perceived to be a bright panel — though our lab test results disagreed.

Vizio P-Series Quantum (P65Q9-H1) review: Test results

In our lab testing, the P65Q9-H1 produced a max brightness of 471.2 nits. That is well below the Samsung Q80T QLED TV (681.6), Hisense Quantum 55H9G (668.03) and TCL 6-Series Roku TV R635 (583.1), though better than the Samsung Q60T QLED TV (414.9). However, I never thought the screen looked dim or lacked enough brightness.

Vizio P-Series Quantum (P65Q9-H1)

(Image credit: Vizio)

In other tests, the P65Q9-H1 performed in the middle of the pack as well. It’s reproduced 99.90% of the Rec 709 color space, showing its color reproduction was on par with the TCL 6-Series (99.92), but below the Hisense 55H9G (99.76%), Samsung Q60T (99.72%) and Samsung Q80T (99.93%). It’s Delta-E score, which measures color accuracy, of 2.2 placed it in the middle of this group, with only the Hisense 55H9G beating it (an impressive 0.9). 

But sometimes the numbers don’t tell the whole story. In combination, the P65Q9-H1’s sharp image, color and brightness created an overall enjoyable picture. 

Vizio P-Series Quantum (P65Q9-H1) review: Gaming

For gamers, a big improvement in the P65Q9-H1 over last year’s Vizio PX65-G1 are the two HDMI 2.1 ports, which allow the TV to take advantage of the Xbox Series X and Playstation 5’s most advanced features. When connected to those two side HDMI ports, the P65Q9-H1 supports 120Hz at 4K resolution, as well as variable refresh rate (VRR) and AMD FreeSync. However, when I connected an Xbox Series X, I had to manually switch the settings to HDMI 2.1 to get those features — the Auto setting didn’t detect the Xbox’s abilities. 

The P65Q9-H1’s lag time of 26.8 milliseconds means it’s a good, but not great, TV for gamers, despite its support of 120Hz at 4K. Again, it sits in the middle of the pack against the competition, with both the TCL 6-Series Roku TV 2020, at 21.5 ms, and the Hisense 55H9G, at 16.1, beating it out.

While playing Forza Horizon 4, I didn’t experience any blurring even while racing at top speeds down the highway, and the details in the background remained sharp throughout. Similarly, the details in the foreground and background while playing Apex Legends were impressive.

Vizio P-Series Quantum (P65Q9-H1) review: Audio

For a midrange TV, the P65Q9-H1 produces average sound — but that doesn’t mean it sounds good or that the audio comes anywhere near to matching the picture quality. Through its two 15-watt speakers, dialogue is easy to hear and its Virtual:X surround sound mode creates a very wide soundfield (again, for a TV of this type). But bass was lacking in every scene I watched. If you buy this TV, a soundbar should also be in your budget.

Vizio P-Series Quantum (P65Q9-H1) review

(Image credit: Vizio)

There aren’t many tweaks you can make to the sound. In addition to Virtual:X sound mode, you can also pick regular surround sound or turn surround sound off. You can also switch on volume leveling and dialog enhancer, but there are no other sound modes to choose from. 

The P65Q9-H1 supports Dolby Audio, but not Dolby Atmos, which may limit your sound options in the future. 

The TV gets very loud — about 89 decibels at 100 — but it’s very uncomfortable to listen at that level, especially with the lack of bass. 

Vizio P-Series Quantum (P65Q9-H1) review: Smart features

The P65Q9-H1 runs Vizio’s SmartCast operating system, which — while improved — still falls way behind the field in terms of features and apps. 

Setup is intuitive and the system takes you step-by-step through what you need to do. I was up and running in a few minutes.

The home screen is dominated by suggestions of what to watch, and there’s no way to customize what you see there. You can adjust the featured apps on the third row to show your favorites in the Extras menu. Other menu options include Movies, Shows, Free Channels and Apps.

Vizio P-Series Quantum (P65Q9-H1)

(Image credit: Vizio)

You’ll find some popular apps in the app store, including Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+ and Hulu, and it has YouTube TV for live TV streaming. But it doesn’t have Sling TV or HBO Max. Even with the limited app selection, finding an app is frustrating. The TV’s search doesn’t include apps in the results, so you have to scroll through what’s available. You can use Chromecast or AirPlay to push content from your phone, tablet or computer to the bigger screen — or just add a Roku stick and bypass SmartCast entirely.

Vizio P-Series Quantum (P65Q9-H1) review

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The P65Q9-H1 lacks a built-in voice assistant, but you can link it to your Alexa, Google Assistant or Apple HomeKit device to go hands-free. I used Alexa to turn the TV on and off and launch Prime Video. But it’s not as fast as having an integrated voice assistant and the commands didn’t always result in an action.

Vizio P-Series Quantum (P65Q9-H1) review: Remote control

Vizio’s remote feels solid and comfortable in your hand. It has quite a few buttons, including power, input, menu, info, home, back and closed captions. You can control the volume and channels, muted the audio and there’s even a 0-9 number pad. The scroll wheel in the middle allows you to navigate menus and apps. All buttons were responsive. However, it lacks a backlight so it can be hard to see in a dark room. 

Vizio P-Series Quantum (P65Q9-H1) review

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The remote also has seven quick launch buttons — more than most remotes and including some unique choices. In addition to Netflix, Prime Video and Hulu, there are quick launch buttons for Vudu, Kumo (a free content service), Redbox (another free content service) and Watch Free (Vizio’s free content service). Based on what I saw showing on those free content services — how many reruns of 21 Jump Street do you want to watch? — you likely don’t need a quick launch button for all of them.

Vizio P-Series Quantum (P65Q9-H1) review: Verdict

Vizio P-Series Quantum (P65Q9-H1) is an excellent TV if you prize picture quality and don’t care about the smart OS that comes with it. With its sharp 4K image and contrast that reveals details in dark scenes, the P65Q9-H1 sets itself apart from cheaper QLED alternatives. It’s a mid-priced model that registers moderate scores in our lab test and lacks a few nice-to-have features, such as an integrated voice assistant and Dolby Atmos support, but the picture quality outweighs its downsides. 

If you have several hundred more dollars to spend, Samsung’s Q80T has a beautiful picture and top-of-the-line features, including Samsung’s excellent Tizen OS. And if you’re looking to spend less, the TCL 6-Series Roku TV (R635) and Hisense H9G Quantum Android TV are more affordable and still produce a very good picture. Plus, they both come with much more robust smart operating systems. But for a balance of price and picture, the Vizio P-Series hits a sweet spot.