From a solitary model last year, Vizio is bringing its quantum-dot technology to half of its 2019 TVs. We got an early peek at the new flagship of the Vizio SmartCast family, the Vizio P-Series Quantum X, and we were blown away by how far the company has come.
Bigger is Better
After releasing the original P-Series Quantum PQ65-F1 in the 65-inch size only, Vizio has not only expanded its quantum-dot-enhanced sets to more price ranges, it’s also expanded the selection of sizes, with the P-Series Quantum X available in 65 and 75-inch varieties.
The 75-inch screen stretches an extra 10-inches from corner to corner diagonally, but the larger size does a great job of filling more of your field of vision. The result is slightly more immersive, and the flexibility of an additional display size gives shoppers more options for finding the model that best fits their homes. It's also an important step forward as sets larger than 65-inches make up a larger portion of the smart TV market.
Backlighting Gets Brighter, More Precise
Vizio also boosted the backlight on its top-tier set in two different ways: First, the P-Series Quantum X boasts an impressive 480 dimming zones on the 75-inch model (the 65-inch model has 385), which is a huge improvement over the 2018 P-Series Quantum PQ65-F1, which had 192. Our biggest problem with that model was the backlight and the way it added unwanted flaring and darkening around elements on screen, so a more than two-fold increase in dimming zones should help alleviate that issue. While a company demo is a far cry from a controlled testing environment, we didn’t see any backlighting issues on the new Quantum X mode.
The brightness has also been ramped up, with the P-Series Quantum X promising up to 2,900 nits of peak brightness. That brightness had an obvious impact on the video samples we saw in our demo, where brighter portions of the picture sang with a vivid intensity that mainstream and budget TVs can't match. Brighter backlight is one of the cornerstones of high-dynamic range content, and the P-Series Quantum X promises to deliver HDR with more oomph than ever before, easily beating the brightness offered on the 2018 P-Series Quantum PQ65-F1 (2,340 nits).
HDR support also looks good on the format front, with support for Dolby Vision, along with standard formats like HDR10 and HLG.
The design of the P-Series Quantum X sticks to the template set by last year's P-Series Quantum PQ65-F1: Edge to edge picture, with super slim bezels around the display and only the barest ornamentation added to it.
A small badge in the corner bears the Vizio logo, but that's about it. Early images of the new TV show the same slender metal stand for the TV as last year's model, but what we saw was wall-mounted, so we can't comment on how it looked.
Smarter Smarts and a Healthy Spec Sheet
While our hands on time with the TV was mostly limited to the display, it's worth pointing out that the P-Series Quantum X is no slouch in the feature set. As part of Vizio's SmartCast line, it will be getting SmartCast 3.0, which gets a number of refinements over past versions of the platform.
The SmartCast platform once relied almost exclusively upon a built in Google Chromecast to deliver all of your apps and streaming content, but Vizio has added and expanded the apps that come installed on the TV. Streaming favorites like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu are all available right out of the box. The overall selection is still limited, and there's no app store on the TV, but there are plenty of content options ready to go, even without a secondary device.
Most worth mentioning is Vizio's Watch Free channel. Originally just a repackaged version of partner Pluto TV's basic streaming channels, Vizio has added channels to the Watch Free lineup, with new channels like Paramount Movies, a handful of MTV channels, Comedy Central and others. The channel selection has grown steadily since Vizio first introduced the Watch Free app and channel – it also has its own input on the TV, so you can jump right to the free movies and shows without going to the home screen.
The smart TV is also adding new tricks to its repertoire, with the addition of Apple AirPlay2 and Home Kit support. This lets you share iTunes movies and shows directly to the TV, and gives you the ability to use Siri or an Apple HomePod smart speaker for voice control. This is on top of the Amazon Alexa and Google Home compatibility already offered on Vizio TVs. All in all, the P-Series Quantum X should be a smart addition to any smart home ecosystem.
Vizio V-Series and M-Series 2019
In addition to the P-Series Quantum X, Vizio has plenty of other sets in the new lineup.
The most affordable is the V-Series, which replaces both the 2018 D-Series and E-Series sets as the low-cost entry point to the Vizio. Positioned as Vizio's affordable smart TV line, the V-Series models will start as small as 40 inches, but go to 75 inches in size. The sets are equipped with up to 12 local dimming zones for basic HDR support (including Dolby Vision) and have a peak brightness of up to 400 nits, right in line with other budget-friendly TVs.
The M-Series serves as Vizio's mid-range model line, with sizes ranging from 43 to 65 inches, all selling for reasonable prices, but don't write these affordable TVs off as mediocre. The M-Series is available as a plain LCD set, or with the same Quantum Color enhancements seen on more premium models.
And the M-Series Quantum brings all of the quantum-dot enhancement to the more affordable M-Series. Split into two model lines, the M7 and the M8 are distinguished by different sizes and two levels of backlighting. The less expensive M7 comes in sizes ranging from 45 to 65 inches, with 20 dimmable backlighting zones and peak brightness of 400 nits.
The M8 models, on the other hand, have up to 90 dimmable zones and a peak luminance of 600 nits. The M8 is available only in 55- and 65-inch sizes. Pricing hasn't been announced yet.
The P-Series has also gone all Quantum, coming in 65-inch and 75-inch models. Like the Quantum X models, these sets offer a quantum-dot enhanced picture, as well as Vizio's SMartCast platform and HDR support, but the designs are slightly more pedestrian, with more noticable bezels, fewer backlighting zones and lower brightness levels.
The Vizio 2019 lineup will be available in late May, with pricing and availability information to come.
Credit: Tom's Guide