Of this type / class / price-point, this Vizio TV is a good buy!
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.
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).
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.
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 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.
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.
. . .
Edited by CleCakYngMfd - 9/4/13 at 2:05am