Like a few others here I participated in the VIA VIP program that allowed users to test an offering of the internet apps and provide feedback to Vizio. In exchange after completing a survey each week for six weeks Vizio would send a Blu-ray player and sound-bar with sub-woofer.My path to the VF552XVT
I had been planning on a HDTV purchase since June and had heard about Vizio offering LED backlit models. I told myself I would wait for the LED offerings since they were coming out in September. This quickly got pushed back and while I waited I had heard of the internet app version being offered in the new VIA enabled models. Due to my family watching most of our content on-line (Netflix, Hulu, Veoh and others) this seemed like the TV to wait for. So finally after not having a TV for 6 months I received notification of the VIA VIP program and signed up for our 55" TV.The wait is over
When my TV arrived I was impressed with the packaging.
The box was a bit overwhelming especially in our small living room. My only complaint with the packaging is there was not a protective sheet over the panel itself. Though I didn't have any I could see the screen getting scratched easily with only a plastic bag protecting it. Unpacking the TV was a breeze and with the stand already attached we were up and running in a few minutes.Setup...so easy
First thing you get when powering up your new TV is the setup menu. This walks you through pairing the Bluetooth Remote, Setting up your internet connection and personal information and settings. You can option out of this and set the features up separately if you wish. I decided to connect my TV to the internet cloud via wireless based on it's location in my home.Apps shmapps who cares?
I've heard a lot of people talk down a TV with "limited" internet connectivity. Will this replace your PC for internet browsing? No, the Widgets are designed around a partial multimedia experience the internet offers. These apps are designed for the general public not for the diehard guy looking to compare it to his HTPC.
Even with the limited amount of apps available at the moment. I have been really impressed. Especially with the HD streaming offerings of Vudu and Amazon on Demand. I can already see my days of running out to the video store being a thing of the past.Vizio sells junk...right?
I had been told not to go with Vizio due to their picture quality only being substandard compared to that of other providers. Initially when I started to shop for a large display I went around to the local businesses to see what they had to offer. I knew I wanted to wait until the LED Vizio came out before making my final call but nothing hurts shopping around. There are many impressive TV's out there and I am not saying Vizio is the best but I was blown away at the viewing angles on the 552. I originally compared the angles of the 551 once it came out to other offerings and it was right up there with name brand TV's. I had also checked online and started seeing more and more information that states Vizio is in for the long haul.
Now I have had some minor issues with my set. I don't want to go into detail on this post especially since the TV is not released to the general public yet. I will post those later.Game play
I have probably spent about 7 hours solid playing video games on this TV and the colors are rich and vibrant. One thing that really impressed me with this TV was how great games look. Even my son's Mortal Kombat games on his PS2 look good in 480P. I have played a few games with my PC connected via HDMI at 1080P and was equally impressed. I will provide more in this section at a later time once I have a chance to review some specific titles.Final thoughts
Vizio has put a lot of effort in their company to get to where they are today. I honestly thought a few years ago when I first saw Vizio that it would be another knock off brand that would be gone pretty quickly. The VIA enabled TV's have a lot to offer and an even greater potential. I hope they really take advantage of the features this TV offers in the next year and look forward to more application offerings.