Viewing Review: A really really nice TV. - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
A really really nice TV. Edit
by jaybot31k Combined Rating: 4.2
The M Series is Vizio's flagship line for 2013 and pretty much represent the cutting edge in current TV tech. If you're looking for something that these TV's don't offer, you're probably looking...
Pros Cons
  • Incredible picture, the highest refresh rate available, great smart TV apps and interface, great looking 3D
  • Clumsy remote
The M Series is Vizio's flagship line for 2013 and pretty much represent the cutting edge in current TV tech. If you're looking for something that these TV's don't offer, you're probably looking for a 4K television.

At $799 (listed at both Best Buy and Amazon), the M501D-A2R is priced incredibly competitively, and is cheaper than a lot of similarly sized TV's from other brands without nearly the amount of offerings. With well integrated Smart TV applications, passive 3D (and 8 pairs of glasses!), 240hz refresh, wifi and ethernet, the M series really packs a punch as far as features go. Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and Youtube all come built in, as well as a plethora of social networking and Yahoo apps. There is also easy access to the Vizio App store that has a few dozen other apps, from fitness to local broadcast affiliates. It also has a built in media player, which can stream from a media server (like Plex or PS3 Media Server) via DLNA or directly from a USB thumb drive.

With super rich blacks, vibrant colors and smooth motion, the picture on the M series is really stunning. It even makes the menu system on my PS3 look impressive.

Perhaps the biggest downside to these TVs is the inability to "force" the TV into 3D mode. Both my Roku 2 XS and my PS3 are capable of streaming 3D video, but my Vizio is not recognizing them as such, and therefore just displays them as two side by side images. I was able to stream 3D video from the on board youtube app as well as play a PS3 game in 3D, though, and was also able to get 3D out of a file from my thumb drive, but it would be so much easier to simply stream 3D videos from my media library the way I do all of my other movies and television shows. I was not able to get a straight answer from Vizio as to why they've built their TVs this way, but this may be resolved in a future firmware update. Let's hope.

The remote is also pretty well designed. I've had some line of sight issues, and often need to push buttons 2 or 3 times to get the function I'm going for, but the buttons are well placed, it has a nice backlight, and I'm able to have synchronicity with my Denon receiver thanks to CEC integration.

Even with the inability to force this TV into 3D mode, it's gorgeous, lightweight, and pretty damn cutting edge. I highly recommend this for anyone looking for a great TV at a modest price.

EDIT: A recent software update has solved my issues "forcing" this TV into 3D mode. Cheers to Vizio for recognizing this as a huge issue and solving it almost immediately.
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Machead47 08-11-2013, 05:30 PM

I am on my second M501d. Both with the same issues. Severe flash lighting from the right side during dark shots and a white spot in the top right and bottom right corners. The display unit at Best Buy has the same issues. The TV does not see my server all the time. The TV IS DLNA compliant but not certified. They do not support Mac so I am on my own. One thing I did notice is when I view my server status, it shows the TV as an LG. Not what I was looking for. I will return the set and try a Samsung. I had a 46" Sony HX820 that died after a year and a half so i ant not going down that path again. The only TV that lasted for me was my 42" Panasonic Plasma. !) years and still going. I just wanted a bigger screen. The price for this set was great but i am sure there must be some good one out there but not a third for me.

jrapps3k 07-04-2013, 09:21 PM

I have now had this TV for 2 weeks and I will probably be returning it. I have had three instances where the TV would not turn on using the remote or the power button on the set. I had to unplug the display, then plug it back in before it would turn on. Today, it actually was stuck "on" and I had to unplug it to turn it off. Also, several times that I tried to access Youtube resulted in the TV shutting down. As far as the audio sync is concerned, I am pretty sure it is an issue with Comcast.
I will first try to swap this set for another, hoping I just got a defective one. It does make me worry about long term quality. I love the TV in every other respect, which is the only reason I'm giving it another try (the price doesn't hurt my enthusiasm either). I'll update this again after I get another one, in case anybody is reading this.

jrapps3k 06-24-2013, 08:30 PM

I just purchased this TV on 6-21 and found out I could not force it into 3D mode to watch 3D content that it didn't recognize. I set up my WiFi connection, and within a few hours received a firmware update that fixed the problem. I can now put the TV into 3D mode no matter what the content is.
Now, one other problem I have been noticing is with audio sync. I have been reading forums on this problem for other TV's and nothing seems to work to fix the issue. The longer I watch, the worse the audio gets off track from the video. I have followed the advice of connecting source to home theater to TV, and that still doesn't work. Even if it did, I still have trouble with Netflix streaming from the TV itself. I have not hooked up a BluRay to see if it happens with that. I love the TV, but the Kung Fu effect is really distracting.

sdg4vfx 06-20-2013, 10:16 PM

Thanks for the review - sounds like an excellent budget 3D TV! I'm looking forward to trying out it's passive 3D.
FWIW, 3D broadcast, blu-ray, you-tube, etc. all carry a metadata flag telling the TV the signal is 3D. The HD stream from your Roku and PS3 are not carrying the flag, as far as the TV is concerned it is receiving a standard HD video.
For the TV to recognize an un-flagged HD stream as 3D it needs to "analyze" the visual/pixels of the HD stream and determine it's 3D Side-By-Side, Over-Under, etc. This requires software and a somewhat robust CPU on board. (For instance, the Panasonic TV's with 2 CPU's recognize un-flagged Side-By-Side much quicker than the single CPU TV's.)
It's possible Vizio could add the 3D-image-analysis software later, but the strength of it's CPU might be a limiting factor.

DeadEd 06-19-2013, 11:58 PM

Maybe I'm missing some of the review. Not much here other than looks pretty and passive 3D. Is there a second page to this with comparisons to other sets, or results with different resolutions, sources? Motion blur? Color gamut? Sound? What I'm reading is so different that other AVSforum reviews makes me think I completely missed part of it.

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