I thought i would contact vizio to report the problem, here is their record of the live chat session i had 10 minutes ago:
Vizio: Welcome to Vizio Live Chat.
Vizio: Mikayla has joined the conversation.
Mikayla: Hi there! Thank you for contacting VIZIO, America’s Number One Hi-Def TV Company and the home of Entertainment Freedom for All. My name is Mikayla in South Dakota and my badge # is 278.
wlliam : I bought an E550VL at Sams on 11-28-2010. I am now having an Audio analog (red & white RCA jacks) output problem. I hooked up my Sennheiser headphones, and it worked great, but the next day one of the headphone channels dropped out, i thought it was a loose connection to the VCR composite RCA plugs, because when i wiggled it at the VCR the sound came back on. But it has happened two more times, and not only when using the VCR, but also in HDMI-1 mode at the timeWarner set top box. The second time this happened it seemed as though i had fixed it by switching between fixed and variable on the Audio Advanced menu, but it has happened again, and that fix is not working, instead after I fiddled with the advanced audo fixed vs. variable to no avail. a minute later, inexplicably both channels chimed in, i was on the Hdmi-1 when it came back. I wonder if a firmware update would fix this.
Mikayla: Oh ok, I am researching this for you.
Mikayla: I can assist you!
Mikayla: Here at VIZIO, we always deliver our best in class support for every customer. Let me get you registered in our technical system first. May I please get your phone number, email address, street address, and serial number?
wlliam , I already registered my TV With Vizio on Nov 30th.
Mikayla: Thank you. Let's test another set of RCA cables.
wlliam : I already did that, plus it is occurring on the VCR/AV input and the HDMI-1, please dont waste my time. Other people are haveing this problem too, I can give the the link to an AVS forum so you can read up on it.
Mikayla: I am a tech for VIZIO, and it is my job to help you do troubleshooting. I am not wasting your time. I apologize your receiving this error. We can set up a repair to have those ports fixed for you.
wlliam You are not answering my question, Is Vizio aware of this problem? If not, why not, because it is happening to others.
Mikayla: No we are not. If there is something wrong, we will fix it for you.
wlliam : I already offered you a website where you can read up on other users experiencing the same thing on the same model, would you like the link to it?
Mikayla: Yes, I saw that.
Mikayla: This is not a known issue though.
wlliam : AVS Forum xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxpost # 214,215,216,219, 222, starting on page 8.
Mikayla: Ok, sir what would you like for a resolution at this point?
wlliam : For you to enter this problem into your database so that you can issue a fix.
wlliam n: I don't want to be the guinnea pig, it seems as though others are having this problem, and I'll bet you can recreate this in your Tech center and hopefully come up with a fix or firmware update.
Mikayla: Yes of course!
Mikayla: Were always here to help.
wlliam : How will i know when firmware updates or other "known issue" fixes are available?
Mikayla: They will be located on our xxxxxxxxxx website.
wlliam : Is there a case number for this conversation?
Mikayla: Yes it is xxxxxxxxxx. Is there anything else i can do for you?
wlliam : NO thankyou, goodbye