Official Vizio VL420M Thread - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 150 Old 06-21-2009, 05:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Did not see a post yet for this model, so I decided to get it on the board. Just purchased on of these from Costco today. Been playing with it for a few hours now.

I am not a videophile, but probably am more passionate about my television viewing experiece than 97% of the population. I also own a 42" Sceptre Komodo, which is going to find a new room in my house.

My first impression is a good one. Black levels seem much better than the older 42" Vizio (60Hz) my father in law owns. I am unable to tell how much of a difference the 120Hz and Smooth Motion technology makes (vs my Sceptre).

I will add another post in a week after more viewing and working with the settings. Look forward to posts from other owners / prospective buyers.
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post #2 of 150 Old 06-21-2009, 06:46 PM
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I just saw it on the front page of the Sam's website today. Was wondering when they were going to start selling these.

Have you tried the USB port? Does the manual say what video formats it can play (Avi, Dix, mkv?)
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post #3 of 150 Old 06-21-2009, 06:54 PM
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I was just researching this model myself. I'm very interested to know what the media features usb input can do. I can't get any real specs on this anywhere yet. Does the manual say what video files it will play? Specifically, do you know if it plays Divx or xvid files via that USB port?

Glad your initial impressions of your Vizio are positive.

This is the HDTV I will get, as long as it drops in price when it hits the floor at my local Sam's Club store (currently only available online at samsclub.com and not much off the MSRP). If not, then the SV420M from Walmart. Looking to buy on 4th of July weekend.
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post #4 of 150 Old 06-21-2009, 07:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CartmanDDT View Post

I was just researching this model myself. I'm very interested to know what the media features usb input can do. I can't get any real specs on this anywhere yet. Does the manual say what video files it will play? Specifically, do you know if it plays Divx or xvid files via that USB port?

Glad your initial impressions of your Vizio are positive.

This is the HDTV I will get, as long as it drops in price when it hits the floor at my local Sam's Club store (currently only available online at samsclub.com and not much off the MSRP). If not, then the SV420M from Walmart. Looking to buy on 4th of July weekend.

Vizio's Website has it up for specs etc.

http://www.vizio.com/product.aspx?id=3394&pid=1504
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post #5 of 150 Old 06-21-2009, 09:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boswd View Post

Vizio's Website has it up for specs etc.

http://www.vizio.com/product.aspx?id=3394&pid=1504

I appreciate the information, but I am well aware of that info. I've looked at and researched those specs on Vizio's website so many times, I can point out the typos (Example: The number of colors the panel can display as listed in those specs should be 1.06 billion, which is standard for 10-bit panels, not 10.6 billion).

Sadly, neither that spec sheet nor anything on Vizio's site lists the actual types of video files that can be played via USB. You would think Vizio would have this info readily available upon release of the product.
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post #6 of 150 Old 06-22-2009, 07:32 AM
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For the people that bought this TV, could you tell me if the remote was a thin style with a click wheel in the middle?
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post #7 of 150 Old 06-22-2009, 12:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CartmanDDT View Post

I appreciate the information, but I am well aware of that info. I've looked at and researched those specs on Vizio's website so many times, I can point out the typos (Example: The number of colors the panel can display as listed in those specs should be 1.06 billion, which is standard for 10-bit panels, not 10.6 billion).

Sadly, neither that spec sheet nor anything on Vizio's site lists the actual types of video files that can be played via USB. You would think Vizio would have this info readily available upon release of the product.

I found this, but this was posted after CES so USB playback specs could have changed since then. I'm surprised this feature isn't being pushed more by Vizio. I also would be interested in seeing pics of the screen when navigating and selecting USB files

"Some models will offer USB compatibility for playing display MPEG-2, H.264 & WMV9 Video, JPEG Photos and MP3 Music from Thumb Drive or FAT32 Hard Drive"
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post #8 of 150 Old 06-22-2009, 03:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goalier95 View Post

For the people that bought this TV, could you tell me if the remote was a thin style with a click wheel in the middle?

Remote is short and stocky, very simplistic.
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post #9 of 150 Old 06-23-2009, 03:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Unfortunatley neither AVI/Divx or H264 are supported
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post #10 of 150 Old 06-24-2009, 01:51 PM
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hmmm... after years of waiting on a HD flatscreen, this seems to be the time to take the plunge.

i'm a little unclear on the difference between the VL420M and the SV420M. they seem to be nearly identical, though the VL has the brown colored frame, the USB Media Player input (whatever that is), and uses a bit more energy. looks like Sam's Club.com has the VL420M for $847 plus shippin. WalMart.com had the SV420M a few weeks ago for $798, but i don't see it now. I don't see either at CostCo.com, though they have the VL320M so I'm guessing they may stock the VL420 also.

am i missing anything on the model differences?

also, reviews of the Vizio line at these various sites seem pretty mixed, with some people receiving clunkers. seems like a good reason to buy from CC or Sam's rather than WalMart, for the better return policy. and of those two, seems like Sam's doesn't restrict refunds to 90 days?
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post #11 of 150 Old 06-24-2009, 04:42 PM
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You're pretty spot on with your reasoning, drjoe, though I haven't seen any true reviews saying these were "clunkers." I would advise you to take into account when the SV and VL were released when reading reviews. I have seen many negative reviews of TVs where the reviewer obviously has last year's model (i.e. "I bought this TV a year ago" when the TV has only been available within the month). I suspect this is because the model the reviewer wants to trash is long gone, but he/she came to drop the bomb on the product. Same brand, same size, so Mr. Grumpypants goes to town.

I am anticipating a price drop when the VL420M hits the shelves at Sam's Club. I have seen that happen before. Plus, that price is wayyyyy to close to the MSRP of $899.
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post #12 of 150 Old 06-24-2009, 05:27 PM
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I agree with Cartman about some out of date reviewers. Also don't discount Walmart's return policy, they too have a 90 day no question's asked return policy.
The SV42 is a very nice looking model It most likely the same panal but the VL has few extra bells and whistles, I say if he USB Port is not all that important to you then I would go with the SV42
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post #13 of 150 Old 06-24-2009, 05:45 PM
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Agreed as of now, boswd, as long as WalMart has the SV420M for that low price online. But it has disappeared for the moment, as drjoe pointed out. And the price jumps $100 in stores. And I really think Sam's Club is going to drop the price $75 to $100 when it hits stores. So, in the long run, I think the VL420M will be more for less.
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post #14 of 150 Old 06-24-2009, 06:40 PM
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OK, I'm geeking a bit. I requested the VL420M manual from Vizio last night, and it just popped into my inbox about a half an hour ago. Here's what it says about the USB:

Multimedia Viewer Specifications:
Supported File Extensions:
Video: .asf, .wmv, .avi, .mp4, .mov, .mpg, .mpeg, .vob (DVD)
Audio: .mp3
Image: .jpg, .jpeg (up to 17,000 x 10,000 pixels)
Readable Data Format FAT and FAT32
Maximum folder depth: Folders can be up to 20 levels deep. The first folder on the drive is Level 1. A folder within that folder is Level 2, a folder within that folder is Level 3, etc.
Display Limits: The Multimedia Viewer will show the first 1000 folders and 1000 files in the list

[OK, this next part was in a table, so it's a bit jumbled from cut and paste]


Supported File Formats
The following are the supported file formats that can be played on your HDTV. Media server content protected by digital rights management such as WMDRM10 (Windows Media Digital Rights Management 10), may not play.

File Extension Video Decoders Supported Audio Decoders Supported Res. Supported
.avi H.264/AVC AAC Up to 1920 x 1080
.mp4 MPEG 4 ASP AAC Up to 1280 x 720

.asf
.wmv
WMV7 (WMV1)
WMV8 (WMV2)
VC-1/WMV9
(WMV3/WVC1)
WMA7(V1)
WMA8(V2)
Up to 1920 x 1080

.mov H.264/AVC AAC Up to 1920 x 1080

.mpg
.mpeg
MPEG2 AC3 Up to 1920 x 1080
.vob MPEG2 AC3 Up to 1920 x 1080

Note: Even the supported format files listed above may or may not play properly or completely, depending
on the USB device, bit rate stream and other content characteristics, as well as other factors.

Still not sure all it will play (DivX and Xvid are mp4 implementations in .avi containers, so it may play...or it may not), but this makes me much more hopeful that a previous poster was simply misinformed.
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post #15 of 150 Old 06-24-2009, 07:13 PM - Thread Starter
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It does not play Divx. When I tried I received a "Codec not Supported" error.
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post #16 of 150 Old 06-24-2009, 08:18 PM
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Not really doubting you on that count, my friend. Divx is a proprietary implementation of mp4, and use of the codec would need to be licensed. It is Xvid, which is open-source and widely used, that I really want to know about. Divx-licensed players will do Xvid, but not being able to do Divx does not rule out Xvid capability. But you did say avi (perhaps limited to Divx?) and h.264 is not supported. That is contradicted by the manual.

Furthermore, you can bet I will test this thing ten ways to Sunday to see what it can do if I do go with this HDTV (which is looking mighty likely). I only know something when I learn it myself. Please don't take offense. Tinkering is just my nature--and I wouldn't be going out on a limb to assume that the majority of those in this forum are like that as well. That's why we have all these great settings for HDTV's here--someone went gonzo, tried all the options, and published the settings that worked best here. I have little doubt you are correct with respect to Divx for the reasons stated above. But I will have to experiment myself--just so I know.

I'm not here to argue, however. I'm here to get the facts (and share the facts, now that I have a few) on this TV, which is shaping up to be a great buy. Sharpturn, we're still waiting eagerly for your report based on your personal experience with this set.

Here's the one thing I'm disappointed about: If the USB features on this set do video well, then what am I going to do with the Home Theater PC I put together last month in anticipation of my HDTV purchase? It wouldn't make sense to make it a dedicated component anymore, since video is the primary reason for it. I know I'll grow tired of the "wow factor" of a 42" monitor quickly. Oh well. It makes a fine third computer.
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post #17 of 150 Old 06-25-2009, 01:00 PM
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1. OK, so WalMart and CostCo have a 90-day refund policy? I can't find such a limit on Sam's. I would think, like most electronics, that any problems might likely occur around day 91. In that case, is there any advantage across stores?

BTW, looks like CostCo has the VL420M now at $899 including shipping, so about the same price as Sam's.

2. Normally I never buy extended warranties, but in this instance it would seem reasonable?

3. Help me understand what people are going to use the USB port for. Can we tell what the USB on the SV420M can handle?

4. The SV420M has SRS TruSurround XT, while the VL420M has SRS TruSurround HD. I assume that means nothing.

5. Does anyone have evidence that the 50K:1 constrast ratio is more than just marketing hype (I notice now some companies are advertising 80K:1)? Are the blacks truly improved from earlier models? I would think not, but then Vizio specifies that the VO42LF has a CR of only 5K:1, and that's one of the models that is at CostCo now. So, it must actually mean something?
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post #18 of 150 Old 06-25-2009, 05:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Cartman, no offense what-so-ever. I am glad to see the thread is still going. I do not know much about video formats. I have a DVD player that supports Divx and I download a ton of files with .avi extensions, burn to cd and pop in my DVD player. I did not know there are different flavors of .avi. They all work on my DVD player.

Usually the torrent files I download include Xvid and/or avi in the title (not sure this means anything). I have tried about 10 different .avi files and no luck yet. I was so excited at the possibility because I could dump my DVD player. The only reason I have not upgraded to Blu-Ray is because almost non of the players support Divx.

I hope there may be a tweak/upgrade down the road to enable better .avi support. If you do get your hands on one of these TVs please let me know what you find. I seem to be watching more and more video each day via download. Anything I can learn to figure out what files will play on this TV is a plus.
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post #19 of 150 Old 06-25-2009, 08:40 PM
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Well, now I'm disappointed. Thanks for sharing your experience, sharpturn.

sharpturn, have you tried converting one of those files to h.264 AAC with mediacoder yet?

I don't like the idea of having to convert (and the time that takes) before plugging in. That's just harshing my mellow.

Looks like my HTPC will have a companion after all.
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post #20 of 150 Old 06-26-2009, 09:51 AM
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i bought this tv, like it for the price, never thought i would get a vizio, it is for the bedroom

i am curious to find out what settings others will use for the advanced motion flow stuff, i am new to all that as i primarily use a kuro plasma for my viewing
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post #21 of 150 Old 06-26-2009, 10:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drjoe4 View Post

1. OK, so WalMart and CostCo have a 90-day refund policy? I can't find such a limit on Sam's. I would think, like most electronics, that any problems might likely occur around day 91. In that case, is there any advantage across stores?

BTW, looks like CostCo has the VL420M now at $899 including shipping, so about the same price as Sam's.

2. Normally I never buy extended warranties, but in this instance it would seem reasonable?

3. Help me understand what people are going to use the USB port for. Can we tell what the USB on the SV420M can handle?

4. The SV420M has SRS TruSurround XT, while the VL420M has SRS TruSurround HD. I assume that means nothing.

5. Does anyone have evidence that the 50K:1 constrast ratio is more than just marketing hype (I notice now some companies are advertising 80K:1)? Are the blacks truly improved from earlier models? I would think not, but then Vizio specifies that the VO42LF has a CR of only 5K:1, and that's one of the models that is at CostCo now. So, it must actually mean something?

1. Costco 90-day return/doubles the warranty from 1 year to 2 year; Sam's club lifetime satisfaction guarantee=you can bring it back if you're not fully satisfied (!). They also offer service agreements--but why bother? Advantage Sam's Club

2. See above.

3. You can view photos, listen to music, and watch videos. The types of video formats it can handle is still up in the air.

4. Vizio's web site has them both listed as TruSurroundHD.

5. Actual contrast ratio (per the manual) is 1400:1. Dynamic Contrast Ratio is a made up number there to try to impress people. Actually, that's true of the actual contrast ratio as well. That number for the VO42LF is with DCR as well, so actual CR of that set is going to be pretty low. Go look at it, and if you like it, buy it.
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post #22 of 150 Old 06-27-2009, 12:13 AM
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edit; oops, posted in wrong thread
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post #23 of 150 Old 06-28-2009, 09:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Anyone other new owers out there yet? Looks like I am flying solo so far.

I have only owned one other LCD so I cannot really gauge the quality/performance of this TV vs. outhers. Sure... I can go to BB/Costco or other retails and look at the displays, but their video feeds usually leave a lot to desire. Also, I often find the settings are below average for less expensive TVs.

I am anixous to get feedback on this TV from someone who has had more experience with LCD TVs. Especially the black level. I know a lot of folks on this board do not like to use DCR, but I absoluty love it on this set.
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post #24 of 150 Old 06-29-2009, 11:05 AM
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Saw the VL420M in Costco on Saturday. They're selling it at $849. MSRP on the Vizio site is $899. I expect the price will drop (either by coupon or competition) in the next 2 months.

In regards to contrast ratio, here's a quote from PCMAG.com about the SV420XVT and its contrast ratio. It's interesting to see how it fared compared toe the Toshiba and JVC. Looks like Vizio's number (1300:1) is pretty darn close to what pcmag.com pulled out in their testing. In that case, perhaps the 1400:1 rating for the VL420M won't be too bad if it's a little better than last year's xvt.

"This set can produce a well-contrasted picture in almost any lighting situation. When configured for dark-room viewing (peak brightness limited to about 100 cd/m2), the SV420XVT's average black level measured only 0.08 cd/m2. The resulting contrast ratio of 1,287:1 is perfect for watching a movie in the dark. The average black levels of the similarly sized (and configured) JVC LT-42X898 and the Toshiba 42XV540U were less impressive at 0.14 cd/m2 (760:1) and 0.13 cd/m2 (767:1), respectively. Also, the TV's dark-colored screen and peak brightness in excess of 400 cd/msup>2 are ideal for bright-room viewing."
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post #25 of 150 Old 06-29-2009, 01:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sharpturn View Post

Cartman, no offense what-so-ever. I am glad to see the thread is still going. I do not know much about video formats. I have a DVD player that supports Divx and I download a ton of files with .avi extensions, burn to cd and pop in my DVD player. I did not know there are different flavors of .avi. They all work on my DVD player.

Usually the torrent files I download include Xvid and/or avi in the title (not sure this means anything). I have tried about 10 different .avi files and no luck yet. I was so excited at the possibility because I could dump my DVD player. The only reason I have not upgraded to Blu-Ray is because almost non of the players support Divx.

I hope there may be a tweak/upgrade down the road to enable better .avi support. If you do get your hands on one of these TVs please let me know what you find. I seem to be watching more and more video each day via download. Anything I can learn to figure out what files will play on this TV is a plus.

.avi is just a container; do you have any information on what actually the video/audio codec it has?

I'm not sure about XVid and DivX.
DivX is a proprietary implementation of mp4, so I would expect partial compatibility (so certain versions of DivX would work) from the TV. I believe they could be asking for money on a function that few would use. Honestly, how many TV buyers know what DivX is?

XVid is like mp4 too. The problem with Xvid is it's under GNU license IIRC, if Vizio says they support it they would have to publicize their source code.
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post #26 of 150 Old 06-29-2009, 05:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MKL View Post

XVid is like mp4 too. The problem with Xvid is it's under GNU license IIRC, if Vizio says they support it they would have to publicize their source code.

Not very familar with Vidio Codecs. I just download anything .avi and it plays on my DVD Player. I wish I could say the same for the USB media feature on this TV. I have not got a single H.264 or .avi file to work yet. Also receive a codec not supported error. I am happy to test out any files. Just send me a link to download and I will let you know if it works.

So far the picture quality has exceeded my expectations. The color and black levels (for LCD) are execellent. I must mention that I like all the advanced features turned on (DCR, Luma, Color Enhancement, etc...). Almost any review I read for a given LCD says it is best to turn these off. Then again usually they watch in a cave. Maybe the color on my TV is not totally accurate, but the picture IMO looks a 100 times better with all the bells and whistles turned on. The only feature I have not come to a conclusion on is the MEMC dejudder. It works great with some material, especially movies (if you like that 3D effect). However, I think it causes some problems viewing sporting events. For example, I watched the tennis tournament and FIFA soccer this weekend. In both cases the ball appeared to have a jerky motion. Not so much motion blur, but like frames were being missed or inserted incorrectly. Maybe I have a setting incorrect. I have the Smooth Motion effect set to Middle under Precision Mode.
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post #27 of 150 Old 07-02-2009, 10:23 AM
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I'm back and forth on a decision to buy this Vizio vs another Philips 42LCD and there is but one issue remaining (Costco have both at almost the same price). Philips has a wide format option that automatically stretches any 4:3 material to 16:9. Once that format option is set, it "sticks". That is, all 4:3 material is stretched wherever it is encountered, without the user having to do anything, even when the 4:3 is a commercial within a 16:9 program.

In the Vizio, when you set aspect/format to Wide, is it "sticky" from then on, or do you have to press Wide each time a source material changes format?

Thanks...Stan
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post #28 of 150 Old 07-04-2009, 08:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mistah Vistah View Post


In the Vizio, when you set aspect/format to Wide, is it "sticky" from then on, or do you have to press Wide each time a source material changes format?

Ahh, I got a copy of the manual from Vizio, and I have the answer. There is no /wide/ on this model, just Normal, Panoramic, Zoom 1 and Zoom 2. And it appears that once set, it will stick for each source.

What I don't see in the manual is how the Format/Aspect is selected. It says you can switch viewing modes using the remote, see page 39. But page 39 doesn't reference that issue.

Any help on this? Thanks.
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post #29 of 150 Old 07-04-2009, 02:21 PM
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Ok, the "Wal-Mart version", the SV420M shows a suggested retail on the Vizio website of $999.99, and it has the service only USB port.

The VL420M shows a suggested retail of $100 less, but has the USB port with media capabilities. Is it just me, or is this totally contrary to logic....or am I missing some advantage that the SV version has??

Also, do you think the VL version will have flash upgrade capabilities, via it's USB port, allowing increased video format compatibility in the future?

thanks,
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post #30 of 150 Old 07-06-2009, 12:12 PM
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Hey, I think you are not comparing the right models. The SV421XVT seems to be almost a dupe of the VL420M except it is also 240Mhz. the SV421 is not in all areas yet but is in California at Costco and has been for about a week. I bought one on Saturday.

The USB feature is interesting. It does allow you to see pictures, listen to mp3's and watch some movies off of a USB flash drive. However in my testing this weekend, I decided to play some WMV-HD format videos, since they are suppose to be 720p and 1080p videos. I got the demos from here. (Well the system won't let me post URL's yet
so google WMV HD and click on WMV HD content showcase)



The annoying thing was this. The actual video was supported, but the TV dutifully reported that the Audio Codec was not supported, so it played the videos beautifully, but there was no sound.

So why would they support the video codec without supporting the audio codec?
And is there a way to add an audio codec, or update the firmware to support a codec?
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