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VIZIO M551D-A2R - It's got Pros & Cons - Happiness Lies in Your Priorities....

A Review On: VIZIO M551D-A2R 55 inch 3D Smart LED HDTV

VIZIO M551D-A2R 55 inch 3D Smart LED HDTV

Rated # 21 in 3D HDTV
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Price paid: $1,048.00
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Pros: Overall Value, Dark Room Picture Quality (2D & 3D), Aesthetic Design (Screen & Stand), Ease of Use/Menus/Setup, Smart TV Features

Cons: Highly Reflective Screen, Screen Uniformity (Light bleeding/Blooming), Goofy / Unresponsive Remote, Set Design / Input Placement, Lack of Exte

So after having my 55" M-series for about a week now I wanted to give some initial findings and considerations for potential buyers in the same boat and of similar mindset. I extensively researched every brand and screen type (LCD/LED/Plasma) out there over the internet for months before I made this purchase and I learned a very valuable lesson in it all..... reviews are only reviews, in-home trial and error is the truest of tests.

That being said, I'll list my top 5 Pros and Cons, in MY PERSONAL order of importance found in my Vizio 55" M-series:

1) Overall Value
2) Dark Room Picture Quality (2D & 3D)
3) Aesthetic Design (Screen & Stand)
4) Ease of Use/Menus/Setup
5) Smart TV Features

1) Highly Reflective Screen
2) Screen Uniformity (Light bleeding/Blooming)
3) Goofy / Unresponsive Remote
4) Set Design / Input Placement
5) Lack of External Controls

So in the end, the CONS got the best of this TV for me, here's why...

Sure, the M-series can display a sharp, bright, and awesome 3-D picture, but only if you can see it through all it's reflections. In my average living room, with only 2 windows with coverings and 2 table lamps, the glare kills dark scenes 9 out of 10 times, head on or on angle viewing. Unless you have a dark room, only watch at night, or have complete control over external and internal lighting placement in your room, BE WARNED. This was #1 for me, and coming from a 6-year old 40" Sony LCD (Matte Screen) this was night and day in a bad way.

Secondly, dimming the lights also proved to be show-and-tell for the Vizio's screen uniformity issues. And yes, I did calibrate the picture based on CNET, AVSforum and other setting, but you can't hide all flaws with just settings. In low light/dark scenes the flash lighting from the corners, and blooming from the sides is quite noticeable, along with strange variations in brightness that would follow images down the sides of the screen.

On top of that the remote is only semi-responsive, although I do like the back-lighting and overall layout. As far as input design I found it strange that they are so close to the unit my Mediabridge HDMI cables barely fit, and even then took some extra force, time and effort to get the right angle. Just be warned if you have heavy-duty or thick shielding at the base of your cables, they might not fit and require a fairly sharp bend in the cable. Lastly, the lack of external controls, besides power on/off button could be an inconvenience if you misplace or damage the remote as we all do from time to time, you would be out of luck.

Like I said, the true test is in your home, with your settings, and none of these finding I listed above, (besides the remote issues), was I aware of before my purchase. So maybe I'll save a few from the hassle of a return with my honest real-world observations. It's an attractive, slim and AFFORDABLE set with all the right features to make it competitive in the sub $1500 market (minus some failed execution) that deserves a second look, just be sure it's limitations (Listed Above) are not deal breakers for you as they were for me.

Luckily, Amazon has a great cost-free 30-day return policy, don't take this for granted in case you find a TV slightly cheaper someplace else!

Just a little tip... Sharp is the only manufacture who still uses matte screens made for brighter or what I call NORMAL viewing conditions. They are not all the hype like the Vizio's lately, but for this reviewer they are the answer and the replacement. See Sharp 857 Series / 757 Series / 750 Series / 650 Series wink.gif

1 Comment:

Thanks for the detailed review.
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