I intended to by the 70" Sharp later this year, but when I saw the price difference at Sams I decided not to wait. I got to compare the sets side by side in the store and was shocked to find that I liked the picture on the Vizio better. The blacks were very black and the picture popped more than the Sharp, which I would have never guessed. Granted God only knows how they have the settings in the store on these sets, but I still was able to conclude that the Vizio didn't have any noticeable degradation in picture quality from the Sharp.
I'm pretty happy with my set so far, but I seem to be in the lucky minority that got a good set right off the bat. I don't have any of the flashlight, banding, or clouding problems the others have. I did check before I bought the set and got one with a serial no starting with 47. I'll post a few pics and I apologize in advance for the poor quality. Any of the white lines in the TV are just reflections from the windows behind me which show up a lot more on the pictures than they do to the human eye. Here is a black screen while my PS3 is loading a blu ray menu. It's so black it looks like the TV is off, but you can see the small loading circle in the top right corner to prove it's really on. Sorry they weren't taken in a completely dark room -- you'll just have to take my word for it that it looks just as black when it's all dark.
Here's another one just all black (but still on):
edit: I just realized in these pictures it does look like there is a weird combo of flashlighting/clouding in the bottom corners that I've never seen before -- then I realized it was just the reflection of my carpet. The screen is truly all black.
I upgarded from a 46 inch Samsung LA46B530 and didn't think it through far enough to realize that my stand is so big and the tv is so big that it would cover up my in-wall center channel. I have a wall mount, but I'm going to have to wait to find a new equipment cabinet (any suggestions would be appreciated).
When watching a good HD source such as blu ray, the picture is really great.
I've always hated the soap opera effect... not a fan at all, but just discovered that it actually looks really good in animated video. It does create a weird pseudo-3d effect. I still don't like it for recorded film though.
I've never used a calibration disc before, but I'm thinking its time. Playing with the settings makes a huge difference. I've found that the sharpness setting is complete crap. I've read where others set it around 6-8 and crank it up for HD content. I find it does nothing besides create jaggy artifacts and the picture always seems to be better with it set to 0. I can't tell you all the settings I've gone through and tried, but immediately noticed the set looked very dark when watching low-lit scenes on a TV show. Everything looked shadowy and you couldn't see any details in the dark areas. Cranking up the backlight/brightness really just washed it all out. Once a brightly lit scene came back on, the picture was fine. I was quite disappointed, but then started fooling around with the advanced picture settings and different presets and it seems the problem has gone completely away. I have noticed that sometimes the colors seem dull -- skin tones look very grey and washed out. I really need to get some good settings dialed in.
My biggest gripe with the set is how my HTPC looks. My Samsung required jumping through a few hoops to get it right -- the PC HDMI cable MUST be plugged into HDMI 1, and the name for the input must be set to PC, otherwise, there were lots of goofy artifacts. Apparently the name setting kicks in the 1:1 pixel resolution. The Vizio doesn't seem to have any specific setting or instructions on how to do the same. With the Samsung, the computer display looks like a big computer monitor -- clear picture, no pixelation or artifacts. On the Vizio, the pixelation is very noticable and jaggy. Maybe this is just because it's the same number of pixels stretched out on a much bigger screen... I'm not sure, but it definitely looks more "aliased" and jaggy than the Samsung. Again, these pictures stink, and I had to get real close to the Samsung to get my phone to focus correctly on the screen, but you can see what I'm talking about. Clicking on these images to see them bigger really pronounces the effect I'm seeing.
I guess I can really see on these pictures how bad my settings are on the Vizio as the colors look completely washed out. Any advice on how to dial in the calibration for this set would be appreciated too -- maybe the WOW disc?Edited by Turick - 1/3/13 at 9:25am