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VIZIO M-Series 40" Razor LED™ Smart TV M401i Official Thread

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

Of this type / class / price-point, this Vizio TV is a good buy! 

 

Note:  

 

For the other Vizio M-Series screen sizes, see, "Official Vizio M-Series Razor Mxx1i thread" in this forum area (LCD Flat Panel Displays) where mostly the larger screen sizes, 3D, defective panels due to rough handling during shipping, and other tech-talk dominate the thread.  In addition, there seems to be more panel problems with the 55” M-Series more than the other screen sizes.  Message posts are frequent.

 

Open Thread – You May Reply:

 

I will continually update (Edit) this particular post with my non-expert review of this 40” model in the days, weeks, and months ahead, so you may wish to bookmark or Favorite this post number (right-click this post’s link number located in the upper-right corner of this message).  

 

Otherwise, feel free to reply with your review, custom settings, questions, etc. which I or anyone else may reply.  

 

 


 

Updated Review: 2013 Aug 30th 9:00am ET.

 

Subject to Ongoing Revisions.

 

This is my first exposure to LED/LCD. 
 

 

Overall Picture: 

 

Fantastic. Never Before Seen Color Hues.  The image clarity and color is nothing short of spectacular, be it HD, SD, or Any-D!

 

Watching Gunsmoke, Bonanza, and The Big Valley (MeTV)… even on a lower quality sub-channel is amazing with all the stunning color hues!  From the blackest blacks to the whitest whites… Amazing. 1080p HD is like seeing a 2-and-a-half-D – without the glasses! 

 

This 40” LCD/LED screen does have its off-axis contrast/color shift, like all LCD screens, but not nearly as bad with previous generations of LCD-only screens. 

 

I like to watch some Black &White content with a custom color setting to produce a sepia (brownish) hue.   I did this with the Vizio VP322 (Plasma).  With the M401i, this does not work very well, off-axis.  A person must be dead center to see a particular picture brightness, contrast, and color/hue adjustment, especially with the sepia setup. 

 

My Sepia and ‘Warm’ Settings as of Now: 

 

I still need to account for these 2 settings by adjusting the brightness and/or the contrast:

 

Sepia Color Setting:

 

255  Red Gain

  64  Green Gain

    0  Blue Gain

 

64  Red Offset

20  Green Offset

  0  Blue Offset

 

 

Warm(er) Color Setting:

 

128  Red Gain

  32  Green Gain

    0  Blue Gain

 

64  Red Offset

16  Green Offset

  0  Blue Offset

 

 

 

During the summer, the sun shines through our skylight striking the screen.   With the Vizio VP322 plasma TV we had – it was a washout.   I had to put up cardboard shield to block out the sun shining on the right half of the Vizio plasma TV!

 

With this Vizio LCD/LED TV – it is virtually nonexistent!  No cardboard shield needed anymore!

 

Tip: If you want to make the picture pop out better in a day lit room, reduce or zero-out the Blue settings (as with my ‘Warm’ adjustment with the Blue Gain/Offset set to 0 and a lowered Green Gain and Offset).  


 

Remote Control: 

 

Oh, so sad.  Sniper's Aim required at the bottom-left. 

 

Not every button click means a command sent to the TV.  One must have enough pressure beyond the 'click' to send a signal.  Who designed this?  How did it get past testing? 
 

 

Batteries:  See below “[The Vizio XRT-510 Remote and the Batteries]”

 

 

=========================================================

 

2013 Aug 22nd Update on the Remote Control’s Narrow Aiming: 

 

After reading of the [M-Series Thread], I find that the narrow aiming of the remote is mainly not with the remote itself.  It is the IR Diode in the TV.  It is located on the UNDERSIDE of the frame! 

 

I tested this with a small mirror.  It worked!  I can point the remote in the general direction of the TV and not have to aim precisely at bottom-left.  I also find even further improvement at longer distances with even a wider aiming field by turning off the Power Indicator Light.

 

I shall attach a reflector of some sort under the IR Window, at some point.

 

So why not have the “VIZIO” logo at the bottom–left or center with the LRD facing out to the viewer instead of down?

 

=========================================================

 

 

 

[The Vizio XRT-510 Remote and the Batteries]

 

Fresh batteries installed on Aug 14thDIED within 24 HOURS!   Installed another pair – AGAIN DIED within 24 hours! 

 

[Update] – New info posted on the [Vizio Remote Thread].

 

 

[Updated 2013 Aug 23rd] - Internet Performance: YouTube/Shows/Movies: 
 

I now have seen HD videos automatically drop down to a lower resolution.  This must be a newly added ‘feature’.  Previously, it did not do this.  In addition, “LOADING” pops in and out while a video is playing.  Before, this only happened when a video froze (buffering).  

 

I believe the download speed we have (after burst) is around 6-to-7Mbps during peak traffic times.  Apparently, this download speed is not quite reliable enough for 1080p videos.   At off-peak times, I have seen 10-to-11 Mbps speeds and 1080p videos play fine, mostly.  

 

I have been researching and looking to get a new modem that allows “Channel Bonding”.   From what I gather, this should increase the download speed at the current tier we subscribe to. 

 

Other Notables:

 

Except for the [Power] button on the rear-left, there are no user controls on TV.   I did find out from the M-Series message thread that the power button doubles for changing the input!  Quick presses of the power button changes to the other inputs.  I do not think this feature is mentioned in the manual.

 

Limited Composite/Component Inputs:  Only 1 and it is shared.

 

Shadowy/Light Falloff at the edges. (Not major thing with me.  It is worse with off-axis viewing at the far edge.)

 

The Program Info/Guide Popup Text is very small.  There should have been a way to cycle through larger sizes of the text.

 

Smart Dimming:  I turned it OFF.   A certain dark/light mixed scene (The Big Valley) pumped the dimming up and down.  In addition, at certain times, some centrally located text became hard to read with SD on.

 

Sound:  Gifted a Sound Bar – Not used at all times, but when I do, it is cool.  Maybe someday 12.2 4D Sound-Abound.    :D

 

Sound: The built-in speakers are in the rear and bottom (vs in front on my former Vizio VP322 Plasma TV).  At first, I did not like it.  I am use to it now.  I am considering adding some reflectors.   However, as it is now, the sound is more ‘open’ and ‘room-filling’.   There are a handful of preset EQ settings to choose from, and any one of these are adjustable to your liking.  Actually, I am pleasantly surprised at the quality of sound from this thin TV.   If you are wondering:  External speakers or sound bars are not required.  This is not your yesteryear’s tinny, cheap sound from the older LCDs and plasmas.

 

Sound: EQ Settings.  I adjusted some of the lower frequencies up a bit in the Bass Boost Mode.  

 

Picture Quality:  Varies greatly.  It depends on the source material. (Such as, camera changes with ‘out of sync’ color or scene changes.  That is how good this TV is.  It will show the flaws that are more or less ‘hidden’ from other older TVs.)

 

  

 

Firmware: 

 

Firmware updates download automatically in serial number batches over time, if you are Internet/Broadband connected.  

 

Earlier in August 2013, my M401i-A3 had version 1.08.12.0000 installed. 

 

 

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

 

Links:

 

http://www.hdtv-database.com/vizio-m401i-a3

http://reviews.cnet.com/basic-hdtv-tips/

http://reviews.cnet.com/intermediate-hdtv-tips/

http://www.rtings.com/info/television-size-to-distance-relationship

http://www.homecinema-fr.com/colorimetre-hcfr/hcfr-colormeter/

 

 

 

My Future Review Edit ‘To Do’ List:

 

I will be 'calibrating' / making user-adjustments on the other inputs with the 'Video Essentials' DVD purchased years ago.  (I already did the DVD input.  Awesome!)

 

Audio:  Post my Adjusted EQ Modes.

 

Picture Sizing/Position: Post Horizontal / Vertical settings.

 

Measure my Off-Axis Viewing Angle.

 

Post all of my picture and audio setting adjustments.

 

 

 

 

VIZIO 40” Class Razor LED Smart TV

 

 

 

 

 

  • VIZIO Internet Apps Plus™
  • Razor LED™ with Smart Dimming™
  • 120Hz effective refresh rate
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • 1080p Full HD resolution
  • 10 million to 1 ultra-high contrast
  • Backlit smart remote included
  • 3 HDMI ports

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

. . .

 

 

 

 

 

 


Edited by CleCakYngMfd - 9/4/13 at 2:05am
post #2 of 18
Thread Starter 

More info added today.  

 

Added Smart Dimming change.   Turned it OFF.

 

See the revised post #1 above.

 

 

 

 

...

post #3 of 18
Nice thread, thanks for taking the time to post

I was just looking at this TV at Costco, It will be a going in my bar and not my primary

Looking at the Vizio, the Sony R450A and the Samsung UN40EH5300F. Looking at the Samsung it appears to only be a 60Hz tv so that is out. Sony doesn't have any smart apps. So I was leaning towards this Vizio

Glad I found this thread and will be keeping an eye on it

Mike
post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by viper8u2 View Post

...leaning towards this Vizio...

...Glad I found this thread and will be keeping an eye on it. 

Mike

 

 

Ok, Mike.  Just updated the review.

 

 

 

 

...

post #5 of 18
Great review and lucky you for getting a functional set but let me share my bad luck with this TV as I went through 3 of them before giving up.

After the announcement of the PS4 I was all excited to get one but I realized that my old 720p bare-bones basic TV needed an upgrade for the next generation. So I started doing some online research and really liked the looks and specs on the Vizio M-Series. Thinking the 40" Vizio M401I-A3 would fit my living room great and it had the right features so I ordered one and here's what happened:

M401I-A3 No. 1: Had a stuck pixel but a tap to the screen revived it. However, the TV had a horrible blue ghosting effect during games (on all inputs, even composite) and the blue ghosting affected streaming movies on all inputs and even basic cable. Also, it took different gradients of the color blue and and combined it into a giant blue blob of neon-blue.

M401I-A3 No. 2: Had 8 dead pixels all next to each other making a big black dot on the screen. Nothing could fix that.

M401I-A3 No. 3: Had 11 stuck pixels above the "V" logo you could see when powering on and 4 dead pixels off to the right. And, the blue ghosting was back in full force.

After this I gave up on the M-Series M401I-A3 and returned it. Aesthetically, the TV is gorgeous but electronically...it was a dud every time. Sorry but, after this, I went with a different manufacturer and... no issues. Now... just to wait for the PS4.
post #6 of 18
I've owned mine for several months now and I'm fairly happy. Screen quality was spot on, and when testing for bad pixels, I'm unable to find any.

Purchased through Costco. Their electronics return policy is top notch, so even if I had run into a problem, I wasn't worried about replacement.
post #7 of 18
I'm looking at picking up a TV for gaming on a PS4 and PS3 in the bedroom.

I have the m501d for the living room and it's a great TV. I also know there's a bit of a difference in the <50" models. How does it compare to a comparable E series?

I'd love to get another m501d for the upstairs, but the additional money's a bit hard to justify at the moment.

Thoughts?

Thanks!
post #8 of 18
Just picked this up. Love it so far!
post #9 of 18

It will be a going in my bar and not my primary

post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 

Is anyone having problems with adjusting the Horizontal Width?   The width looked a little too wide on an OTA channel but the Horizontal Adjustment is grayed-out.    I changed the input to cable, zeroed the Horizontal Width, went back to OTA, it is still grayed-out, went back to cable and the Horizontal Width Adjustment – now it is grayed-out!

 

I will update the review with some new ‘sepia’ color settings soon. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

...

post #11 of 18

I really appreciate this forum, since I just opened up my first HDTV, a Vizio M401i-A3, today.  I hope it is the first of many HDTV's for me.  My first question is…the remote with this unit, the XRT510…did I read above that with a recent firmware update this unit can be programed to control one other device?  LIke my Motorola VP1216 cable box?  If so, how?

 

Frank

post #12 of 18

Since I am pretty much a rookie at all-things-HDTV, I really don't know much about Horizontal Width.  But, I did find one feature today that I like a great deal.  I was watching a college basketball game that was NOT available in HD.  The picture on the station was shrunk…looked like a shadow box.  I found the WIDE button on the remote (looks like a rectangle) and it gives immediate options for screen sizes.  I was able to boost the picture size immediately…it's not like HD, but it's much more pleasant than watching the game in shadow box.

post #13 of 18
My TV received the 1.09 update today and ever since then my DirecTV DVR has been suffering playback issues. Does anyone have any ideas or suffering a similar issue?
post #14 of 18

My M401i-A3 also received a firmware update (to version V1.09.42.0080) on 3/5/14.  Have been struggling with chronic sound sync problems ever since.  

 

TV can only go about 10-15 minutes on a given cable channel before a sound bite stutters/repeats (sometimes two or three times) while video continues.  Sound eventually picks back up but remains 2-3 seconds behind video.

 

Only way to restore proper sync is to change channel then change back. Now having to do this 4-5 times to make it through an hour-long show.  This can't go on!

 

Anyone else dealing with this since firmware update?  Such a shame because this TV had been flawless up until then.

 

One other thought: could it be an issue with input from cable box (TimeWarner in Brooklyn, NY)? I've noticed that recorded feeds from "Start Over" option have same issue; you can often see a bit of pixelation of video when sound bite stutter/repeat occurs (don't notice that when it happens in live feeds), but sound ends up 2-3 seconds behind video.  Only way to sync back up is to rewind to point of stutter and hope recorded feed rides through the hiccup, which generally does happen after a try or two.

 

Perhaps the onset of this was just an unfortunate coincidence with firmware update?  Could it be that that just masked an issue with the input source?  Nothing has changed with cable box or HDMI cable in input setup as far as I know.

 

Really appreciate any help.  Would hate to have to return/replace what was otherwise such a perfect TV.

post #15 of 18
I picked this up from Costco yesterday for my home office/man cave. I play PS3 on it often and watch sports. Has anyone calibrated this tv yet? I did find the preferred settings in the other M-Series thread but I'm having a hard time settings them. This is what I found:

Settings:Calibrated Dark
Backlight:50
Brightness:52
Contrast:73
Color:53
Tint:0
Sharpness:20
Color Temp:Normal (lowered both Red gain/Offset) white areas looked very pink otherwise.
R/G:525
G/G:472
B/G:443
R/Off:505
G/Off:512
B/Off:514
Adv.Setting:
Auto brightness:Off/High (works in reverse on this set) Example:Instead of the High setting being "Max" it actually dims it the least and "Low" practically turns the backlight off.
Black detail:Off ( very aggressive Dynamic Con) crushed blacks on every setting
Smart Dimming:On
Reduced Noise:Off
Reduce Block:Off
Film Mode:Auto

I have everything else set up and the picture looks good except for the color settings "R/G, G/G..." not sure how to set these settings on our TV. I've gone to "Professional Picture" setup but I can't seem to get anywhere close to these posted numbers...can anyone offer any advice? OP, I see on your to-do list you have listed calibration...have you had a chance to do that yet? What are your settings?

Even in these color settings posted in the OP for example (below) my Red Gain doesn't even go above 100, how do you have it set to 255?

Sepia Color Setting:

255 Red Gain
64 Green Gain
0 Blue Gain

64 Red Offset
20 Green Offset
0 Blue Offset


Warm(er) Color Setting:

128 Red Gain
32 Green Gain
0 Blue Gain

64 Red Offset
16 Green Offset
0 Blue Offset
Edited by KingZee - 3/23/14 at 4:14pm
post #16 of 18
Hey KingZee,

I picked this model up yesterday at Costco as well and was having the same problem. I found out about an android/ipad app called THX Tune Up. it's currently free through the apple store. You just have to have some way of streaming from your device to the tv, airplay for example. Anyways I was thinking of taking it back until I used that app and optimized it. If you don't have access these are the settings I got. I think they tend to vary depending on room lighting and stuff so you should use the app if you can. If not here they are:

Backlight 100
Bright 62
Contrast 76
Color 52
Tint 0
Sharpness 32.

Hope this helps!
post #17 of 18
VizioM401iA3Fan,

I'm having the same exact issue with the sound sync problems. I've changed the hdmi cable, the satellite box (from directv to dish even) and tried simply changing hdmi ports but to no avail. Hopefully they come up with fix via firmware update. If anyone has any other info that would definitely be appreciated.
post #18 of 18

I just HDMI connected a Denon X1000 to my Vizio M series 40 inch and now have great sound except for network which is ethernet connected to AVR. When I try to watch Netflix or an Amazon movie I have a great picture but no sound.

 

Can someone please advise on how to fix this issue.

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