Thought I would start a new thread about this since I've had some problems with my Vizio TV (XVT553SV) since the latest firmware update, which was rolled out from December to January, and I've heard of others having problems too. I have the extended warranty so someone from there will be coming to look at my TV, but seems like this is something Vizio should get some more heat about since they claim there haven't been any other problems with the new firmware.
Main problem with mine is the frame rate. On filmed material, whether it be from any digital or analog media or broadcast, the frame rate becomes a bit jittery. This was a bit difficult to spot at first since some shots in movies are intentionally done like this, but after watching a few movies I'd seen multiple times and playing them over, and hearing of similar problems posted here, I've found this IS a problem with the TV, and it was NOT doing this before the firmware update. Turning film mode on or off doesn't make any difference, neither does game mode, and smooth motion of course still makes film look like video so that's not an option. If a disc is doing this I can pause it and when re-starting the problem will go away, and when scanning back there seems to be something in the picture that is flagging the TV to do this. (I'm wondering if this hasn't affected ALL TVs of this model but this is the sort of thing not all viewers would notice.)
Another frame rate problem I just discovered is with PAL DVDs, on a player that sends out an unconverted PAL signal. This TV can display PAL sources through its HDMI inputs, but after the update it is now forcing the "smooth motion" feature on, making filmed material look like video. This effect is amusing but of course should be kept off for serious viewing. I've found on PAL discs the effect stays on regardless of adjusting the smooth motion settings. Again, it was NOT doing this before the firmware update- I would have noticed this immediately if it were. One of my reasons for choosing this TV in the first place was its ability to display PAL properly.
A smaller issue my TV is having is with Pandora- when playing, normally you can hit the Exit button on the remote and stop it until you start it again- if you had the TV on a broadcast station, it would go back to that. After the update, when hitting Exit it now goes back to broadcast for about 5 seconds, then the screen goes black and the music from Pandora starts playing again. If you try to start another 'app' on the TV, it will start that up but again stop and revert to the black screen with Pandora playing. The only way out of it without resetting the power is to go back into Pandora and hit the Stop button. A minor problem compared to the others, but still annoying.
I've heard that others have had an excessive amount of reboots, where the TV will turn itself off for a few seconds while flashing the front light, then start up again. I've only had that happen one time during regular viewing since the update, but sounds like this is something else that should be looked into. I've heard some people from Vizio check this board so hopefully if enough people post they'll look into it further. I'd rather have another firmware update sent out that fixes these problems than have someone come over and likely not notice anything I'm talking about, and unnecessarily take the TV apart and replace stuff inside it.
Did you tell them the most likely issue is new firmware or they just don't listen?
The frustrating thing about these TVs is there seems to be NO way to manually change the firmware on them. They're always connected to the internet (at least they're supposed to be, you could disconnect them but then you wouldn't be able to use any of the built-in internet functions) and the company sends updates out to each specific one based on its serial number. I've heard that you can get firmware on a USB stick and plug that into the TV and change it that way, I've heard of them sending those to people but I don't know how they got them. Again, the people on the phone seem to have little to no idea how these things work. (Long story but last year my TV was unnecessarily replaced due to another issue I had with the picture- it turned out to be inherent in the way the feature was designed, but since the phone reps didn't know what I was talking about they replaced the TV and it had the same problem so I just had to turn that feature off. Must have cost the company a few bucks to do that, and I actually liked the design of the older set better.)
Latest response [from Vizio tech support]:
"I believe this was done by design. This way people can still have the music from Pandora playing in the background while using other apps."
Which doesn't make sense on the face of it, but you can actually navigate to other apps (after confirming to stop "video playback" of Pandora - the audio persists).
Sounds like a borderline "undocumented feature" which it might be nice to read about if they provided any information at all regarding the update.
You can retain Pandora audio in some other VIA apps (for instance, flickr), however the implementation seems buggy at best (frequent crashes of VIA).
I for one could live without the "updates" in this firmware update - Skype and YouTube widgets are nice but not worth this trouble. Would happily go back to the previous firmware.
Note to OP: also found a thread on the VIA app-enabled TV's in general: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...226591&page=24
Though it seems your primary issue is more related to the set's primary function (video playback) than VIA apps.
Note to Vizio: HOW ABOUT SOME DOCUMENTATION ON THESE FORCED UPDATES?
The company doing the warranty service is called Precision TV, and doing a Google search brought up many negative comments about them. They were supposed to call me back today to set the visit up but I never heard from anyone, so will have to call them back tomorrow- the main complaint about this company seems to be that they don't call back when they say they're going to. I just hope they're competent enough to fix the thing (had an unbelievably bad experience with Circuit City's "service" many years ago which resulted in a TV being practically ruined, which is why I wasn't sad at all when they went out of business!) Again, I don't think a serviceperson really needs to come over (unless they REALLY know about these TVs), a flash drive with a firmware update that will make it not do this would probably be sufficient.
In addition, the new firmware doesn't allow for the removal of all the widgets any more. I experienced the random vizio reboot issue in the past, and my solution was to remove all the widgets. That worked perfectly, and I never had a reboot after that for 6+ months. With the new firmware, however, several widgets cannot be removed any more. I got my first reboot yesterday. So, my solution of removing the widgets won't work any more.
I really hate features that cannot be turned off.
Just called the warranty company and they've ordered a new main board, which means I'll have to get my place cleaned up enough for them to take the TV apart again. (The main board was already replaced a few months ago when the VIA apps quit working altogether, you couldn't bring them up with the button or anything.) If this doesn't fix it I'll have to go a step higher than Vizio's usual customer service people. I'm REALLY annoyed with how it's forcing smooth motion on my PAL movies, making them look like sitcoms or soaps!
Good job posting in this one thread, now you all need to email this link to Vizio repeatedly until they do something about it. I've bought 7 of their sets, sold 5 locally and still have 2, and none of them have had problems, but I won't support them in the future if they don't atleast show they care about their customers!!
Starting soon after we got the TV, we've had the HDMI handshake problem during warm up. For the first five minutes or so on 1080i or 1080p sources the screen is heavily pixelated. After the warm up period it stabilizes and is fine after that. It also does it on 720p sources, but the effect is much less noticable (more like "swigglies" in high contrast edges). That does not appear to have been affected (better or worse) by the latest firmware update.
Both the HDMI handshake problem and the freeze/reboot problem are related to cold startup. The reboots occur very frequently (maybe 1 out of 3 times we turn on the TV), but always during the first minute or two of use. It seems to occur most frequently on 1080i/p sources during the handshake pixelation period, making me think that the two issues are somewhat related.
I'd love to see a firmware update that addresses both issues.
It really seems to do this a lot when playing laserdiscs more than anything else. I've also noticed it on a few CED videodiscs (yes, I know that's getting really obscure, but I collect those and watch them.) All my old equipment is running through my Pioneer receiver and sending a 1080P signal to the TV via HDMI.
Latest more-recent media I've noticed this on- My Bloody Valentine DVD (original Paramount release) does it about 51 minutes into the movie, when the girl is alone and a bunch of suits drop down from the ceiling then the killer gets her. I think the quick cutting triggers the weird motion, it goes back to normal the scene after that.
Another one is Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World on Blu-Ray- does it during chapter 10 when he's walking through the snow and the girl comes flying out of nowhere. The motion jitters after he punches her and she says "You punched me in the boob!" This disc is a pain to cue up though since it takes several minutes of loading.
Anyways, found a good movie on HD-DVD to test this problem with- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Does it so many times it would take too long to list them all, but easiest is skipping right to chapter 2 and you'll see it during the shot of the town with the kid going into the house. Played this several times and it always did it. I have the same movie on standard DVD though and it did NOT do it on that copy, so probably only the HD-DVD will trigger it. I watched this disc before the firmware update and it definitely did not have that problem then.
I just had the tech from Precision TV come back and while I was willing to give him the benefit of a doubt before, I have to say now he is rather incompetent. The way he spoke I couldn't understand many of the words he was saying- I wish I had recorded the conversation. I showed him the problem coming from both my Blu-Ray and HD-DVD players, he could see the problem but insisted that was how the players were sending the signal out and the TV was just displaying what it was getting from them (at least that's what I THINK he was trying to say.) Then he said I needed to "adjust my player to conform to the TV"- I handed him the remote and told him go ahead, and he didn't know what to do then. He then suggested my receiver was causing the problem as it was introducing a "signal delay", and that I should instead hook the players directly to the TV and use the TV's audio output to the receiver. That just about destroyed his credibility right there- obviously if I hooked them up that way, the lossless Dolby formats would be down-rezzed to standard Dolby Digital and any DTS or multi-channel PCM tracks would be downmixed to 2-channel. After he left I hooked the player's HDMI directly to the TV anyways, and the stuttering problem was still there. My Pioneer receiver actually doesn't seem to "process" HDMI video at all.
I called Vizio right after that and told them about the experience; they said they'd like to wait until Precision TV enters everything into their records which won't happen for about 24 hours, and then possibly have another service company come look at my TV. We'll have to see how that works out. Needless to say I'm pretty annoyed; if I had more money right now I'd probably just go buy another brand of TV and sell this one if or when it gets fixed.
EVERYONE else who's been having this problem, PLEASE post what you've done about it here. I still think whoever's in charge of the firmware updates isn't owning up to something that's caused this. The more that's posted here, the less anyone can deny that there's a problem.
Vizio contacted a more reputable repair service in the area so they're going to come check it out now. Hopefully they'll at least acknowledge that this IS a problem. I could not believe that other guy, he was on par with the people you'd get from Circuit City or any cable company!
here to make it Easier for you to see let me know if this is sort of the problem your having
My TV's problem does happen on broadcasts, noticed it on "Everybody Hates Chris" last night. Also seems apparent during "The Office" though the station here that carries that has a huge annoying logo onscreen making it hard to watch anyways.
The response I got from twitter just basically said that they release a new firmware ASAP if they find something wrong.
Also just got done with Vizio chat (useless of course) and they said there are no documented issues with the firmware.