I bought the Vizio soundbar + wireless sub from Costco yesterday for about $275 (with sales tax). After reading these posts, I found a open-bx Sony HTCT100 for $40 less than the Vizio, and was able to do a side by side comparison last night. Note, I did not have HDMI going into the Sony, so it may have handicapped the Sony a little bit.
- Vizio volume goes higher. (but not a big deal for me, because I have a small room)
- Vizio sound bar much bigger fatter than Sony. The Vizio bar still looks nice, but if you want svelte, go with Sony.
- Found the Vizio remote control to be rather rinky-dink. Very imprecise control of the volume. Also, watched a full movie on Vizio and found that I needed to adjust volume quite a bit -- loud scenes were too loud, quiet spoken stuff was often too quiet (or dialogue was drowned out by background noise).
- Vizio has a much bigger, "boomier" sound. Feels more like you're in a movie theater.
- Conversely, Sony has a much more realistic sound. I suspect this is going to be more important when listening to music.
- More types of sound configurations to listen to with Sony, even without HDMI -- Music, Movie, Sports, TV, etc. Haven't really experimented a lot with this, but it's fun to play with.
- Both sound a whole lot better than the backward pointing speakers on my Samsung LCD.
- I have a PS3 playing Blu-ray, and I preferred the more realistic sound of the Sony. If Sony will be better with Dolby, TrueHD, and Dolby Digital, then I'll be better off as well. So I'm keeping the Sony and returning the Vizio, especially since I got the Sony cheaper than the Vizio.
- However, I think the Vizio is a good buy. If you're looking for a decent sound bar, don't need the HDMI input, and don't want to shell out for the Yamaha, the Vizio is a perfectly good solution.