Just wanted to add my opinion. I purchased the 60 inch E601i-A3 this morning from Sam's Club for $978 before tax. My needs were a large screen (55" or more) with a minimum of 120hz to use almost exclusively for blu ray and gaming. I can also confirm that both the "store" and "home" settings are horrible. I have been tweaking somewhat with The Dark Knight blu ray and I have something that is tolerable until the more experienced voices on here are able to post their calibrations. Here are my thoughts so far (slight spoilers of the first ten minutes of The Dark Knight):
For reference I purchased this unit as a stand-in between now and about five years out. Ideally, I would have gone with the 70-inch 240hz Sharp 70LE847U, but I am starting grad school and can't justify a $3K tv right now. So...a compromise was made and this unit fit the bill. I watch NFL football on Sunday evenings, and that is about it for live television (I watch all tv shows on blu ray or Netflix streaming). So, I won't be able to report much on OTA HD performance. I will report back after this weekend about how it performs for HD football. I do watch alot of blu rays and do quite a bit of gaming, both on PC and PS3, so I'll report back on those in more detail.
Blacks: The blacks seem above average to me. I am not a videophile (still learning), but they look good to my eye. I will say that we saw a 55 inch Panasonic ST50 on display at Sam's playing Tron Legacy/Tangled trailers on a loop and the depth of the black on that unit was stunning, even in the bright lighting. I would say that if the blacks on the ST50 were a 10 I would give the blacks on the E601i-A3 an 8.5. The blacks (and details in the blacks) are substantially improved over the 42 inch LG and 55 inch Samsung units I've owned. On a black screen (I put it on an input screen for an empty HDMI slot) there is a slight variation to the black in the lower left of the screen. In my opinion, it is more or less a non-issue and I don't think I would even worry about it if it was present in a more expensive panel. I could not see it in dark portions of the Dark Knight or Skyrim. It has much less variation than the non-LED LG and Samsung units I own.
Glare: Reflections don't seem to be an issue. It is sunny today and I have open window blinds in the room. I can see a slight reflection when the screen is black, but it is not evident when watching something on screen. It is not the black hole of a matte screen that my 7 year old LG is, but I think it would be fine in virtually any level of light.
Picture Quality: I don't have the best HD cable tv performance, so I didn't even bother trying to look at anything on live tv. Like I said before, out of the box it wasn't great. Everything was over saturated (even in Home mode). After fiddling with everything, I got the Dark Knight to a level that is superior to my 55-inch Samsung. Only watched up through the end of the bank robbery, but the images are very crisp and nicely realized on the screen. I don't think there is much more I can say (again, I'm less experienced at this stuff than others are), but I think that when the experienced posters have time to go through detailed calibrations, this tv will look stellar - especially given the price point. I am going to try the C-Net settings later and see what I think about those as well.
Motion: I am not a person who hates the soap opera effect. So, regarding the motion settings on this tv: they are better than what I've had experience with in the past. After getting the picture settings toned down I watched the opening of The Dark Knight, trying to compare the "Smooth Motion Effect." It isn't as bad as I expected. In the scene where two of the masked bank robbers are zip lining down to the roof of the bank, you I could easily see a sort of haze of swimming pixels around their figures because the image is moving so quickly and I assume the processor can't keep up. In slower moving scenes (essentially every other scene leading up to the Joker leaving in the bus), I thought the motion settings performed fairly well. Again this is a very limited sampling, but if you are one who likes motion enhancement, the Vizio seems capable.
Without the motion enhancement, the movement appeared smooth (not SOE smooth) with no juddering. Even though I enjoy the SOE to an extent, I think I will leave the setting off for blu rays.
Remote: The remote is very responsive and well laid out, and the QWERTY keyboard on the back is an excellent addition (surprising on a tv at this price point). But, be aware that either the tv's IR sensor or the remote has a very narrow range. I cannot have anything impeding the view of the remote to the IR sensor.
Response Time: I am also happy to report that the response time is acceptable for gaming. However (like everything else with the unit) it is horrible out of the box. I need this monitor to perform well for gaming, and I was initially very worried that I would have to take it back. I started with Black Ops on PS3 and loaded a multiplayer match to see if the response time was ok. It was not, to say the least - easily the worst I've personally experienced compared to the two prior LCDs I've owned. So I went into the picture settings and chose "Game" from the listed Picture Modes and turned off every extra setting that might be taking up processing power. Did not help. I booted the PC and loaded Skyrim out of Steam Big Picture and still had bad lag. Then I realized that I needed to go into "Settings" and turn "Game Mode" on. All is well. Skyrim (pc) and Black Ops (ps3) perform fine.
Gaming: Black Ops on the PS3 is obviously not a graphical powerhouse, but it looked ok - nothing special. Skyrim was a different story. I put everything on Ultra to see what it would look like, and WOW. I have a decent 1080p computer monitor and I've run Skyrim on the 720p 42-inch LG, but this Vizio screen is in a different ball park. Even with my preliminary settings, the colors are vivid and seem to pop more than on the PC monitor. And everything is razor sharp. I played for about thirty minutes, both in outdoor daytime settings and also indoors in an inn, and it looks phenomenal. I know alot of that is the result of Skyrim just being a good looking game, but I am very happy and impressed.
Apps: I cannot report on the Smart TV functionality yet. The internet capability of the unit was not really a focus because I've got the PS3 and a PC as sources. One thing I thought was odd was that it requested that I accept a Yahoo! EULA when I first turned the tv on for the use of widgits. I just bypassed it, but I thought that was strange. It appears to be a fully connected device (to my limited knowledge) and the remote has Amazon, Netflix, and something called M-GO buttons at the top.
Sound: Regarding the sound - it's ok I guess. I will have 7.1 for movies and either 7.1 or a good headset for gaming, so I didn't give it much thought. I would probably agree with iGirl though, I certainly was not impressed by the sound.
Connections: The tv has plenty of connections (4 HDMI, I think). But, the coax cable input and two of the HDMI inputs are a little hard to access. They point down, towards the stand, but there is a little ridge on the back panel about two or three inches below them that required me to bend the cables slightly before connecting them. Not a major issue, and the only reason it even came up was because I am using a 40 foot HDMI cable to connect to the PC, which means the cable is very thick and was a little hard to bend. Ultimately worked fine though.
Build Quality: I had no problems attaching the stand, three screws and you are done. It seems sturdy, but it will wobble quite a bit as you get it set up. Personally I think the tv itself looks very nice. The bezel (I measured it at 6/8 of an inch on the tops and sides and 1.5 inch on the bottom) is not very thick but also not super thin like the slick looking new Samsungs. So, there is a little bit of black around the edges but I think it looks fairly classy. One of the things I hate about my old 55-inch Samsung was the three inch glossy black border around the panel that got finger prints on it any time you touched it.
Overall, I am very pleased. I think that for $1K, the tv is exceeding my expectations.
Thank you guys for the great community and I will try to post some pics later.
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