My Average Enthusist Review - Vizio P60
There are a lot of comments out there and after doing a few months worth of research on various displays, panels, etc, I noticed there are guys like me who are just the average enthusiast who appreciates a good picture, professionals who see at a different level, and those that just take a TV out of the box and hook it up. This review is for the first group because that is what I am.
I think I looked at almost all the major sets and played with each at Best Buy, Costco, and Sam's. This includes W850, W700, AS680, HU 8550, HU 8700, HU 7250, HU 7150, and a mulitude of others. I WAS NOT a Vizio fan before. In fact, I'd usually just walk past them...maybe to a fault, but I was interested in seeing what they'd do with the P series.
So I've had the P60 for a few days now and have had the chance to really play with the settings, posted calibrations from multiple users on this forum, and here are my thoughts. I'll preface this by saying I'm not an expert but certainly an enthusiast who is still learning all of the minutia with LED sets (I'm coming from Samsung and Panasonic Plasmas). My thoughts were, I'm going to take this home, play with it for maybe a few weeks and then if I didn't like it, take it back and get the Sony W850 or W700.
I bought the set at the Sam's Sale on Saturday. Set was in great condition, packaging was good, and I did not purchase the extended plan. I will instead buy it at Costco ( 4 years for $59.00 for TV under $1000). The TV exterior is nothing special...I'm not saying it's bad, it just looks like a decent TV without a lot of extra which is just fine with me. I remember the Samsung "touch of color" bezels and at the time looked nice, but boy after about 3 years they were out of style, so the thin somewhat brushed black bezel of this set is just fine with me. It looks like a TV now and will still look like one in 5 years and not clash with other room decor. I was leaning towards a 55" but wanted a 60" (coming from a 50"). When I pulled it out of the box...my wife said "that's huge" (i'm talking about the TV here). I'm glad I went the 60" in route.
Inputs are plenty. I run everything through a Yamaha Aventage AVR so really only need one. The ARC support between the two is finicky from my experience when you are switching between a Cable/Sat box and the Smart TV functions so I ended up disabling ARC and running an optical cable back to the AVR for Smart TV functions. Everything is programmed through the newer Logitech Harmony Home Control Remote (which is a seperate review in of itself....nice once you the hang of the smart phone app). That's what I use the TV for....Satellite and movies. Mostly a sports and movie watcher. I'm using the Monoprice Redmere cables as I have fairly long run (15 ft)...which I think are pretty good for the price.
Picture quality - Out of the box it's ok at best. The typical store settings (overly cool blue tones and BRIGHT). I've played with a number of cailibration suggestions from earlier work by Buzz, Zmad, Googer, et al. Here's what I've noticed, they DO NOT copy over exactly to perfection and may not be to your liking, but they are all MUCH better than the stock pictures. It's worth the time to fiddle around and get it to your liking. My current favorite is Buzz's Night settings (cailbrated night) with some tweaks. For me the 11 pt white balance did not transfer over well and needed a fair amount of tweaking. For me the reds were still a bit oversaturated and I had to tone that back a bit. You'll have to play with it to get it to your liking because my understanding is that they don't transfer perfect from set to set and your tastes might be different anway. That's absolutely nothing to do with their calibrations! They may work perfect on the sets they are using, but understand it may not be to standards on your set or to your liking and it might take some research and fiddling to get it right for you. A BIG THANKS for the early work from these guys for helping to get things close and saving me a crap load of time!
That said, now that I've got it where I like it, I think the picture on this thing with a dead on viewing angle is outstanding. Especailly on 1080p and 1080i sources. BluRay is another level of awesome. The comments about edge enhancements aren't a factor for me. I'm not seeing it at least. I found it was best to have GLL on, Clear Action On, Smoothing on low, gamma 2.2, black detail low, and everything else off. The only hickup I've seen and it was rare was a flickering of a thrown football or flickering feet when guys were really turning over. It was only a couple of times so it may just have been some sort of combination of the settings, but I haven't seen it since. There are some qwirky color shifts when going through the 11 point white balance. The entire picture will literally change to a blue or red hue at various points. Be aware of it. The screen itself if matte but does have some reflectiveness to it. I've seen A LOT worse. No 3D is fine with me...I never really cared for it in the first place. I also had to pull down the contrast and backlight a bit so that the whites weren't quite so bright. Espcially for night football gaems where players wear white jerseys. At times there would be some glowing and clouding, but with a few adjustments it looked great. (I like to be able to see a the stiching on a white jersey so I'm picky on the white brightness). Again, this may well be unit to unit specific. I did notice the back light zones problem others have experienced (a couple of zones would stay on). I hoping this is fixed with the firmware. Cycling power cleared it for me and even when it's on, isn't major major deal for me. (it only happened once and I was messing with the settings for hours straight). I don't have any other lines. Uniforimity looks almost perfect however I can tell on the left side of the screen a small amount of variance. I may try the massage technique once I get moved into our new house next week.
Corners are really pretty good with only a very very small amount of light loss. WAY less than the Panasonic sets I saw at the store and on par with the Sony's.
Remote - I'm not going to beat a horse....otherse have hit it on the head. Good during in the light but not the best in the dark. That keyboard on the bottom is damn nice for searching....wish my harmony remote had it!
Smart Functionality - It's obvious this has solid processing power because I can move across and within the apps quite seemlessly. Amazon has a dendancy to hang on app boot up, but just hit the button again and it'll take off. One of my pet peeves for smart functionality is slow response!!! This set is great in that regards. Very little lag time and very little loading time. I tinkered ALOT with a Sony set in the store and I really liked the picture but just really would get irritated with the laggy smart menu. This one is simple and smooth. I'm not using my Smart TV as web browser (because I have a computer, smart phone, ipad, kindle, etc for all of that). Amazon and YouTube streams are pretty darn good on this set! WAY better than from my Panasonic BluRay player. That maybe attributed to the AC wifi on the TV which I haven't seen many comments about but is a GREAT bonus for speed.
Audio Quality - Meh. You can't expect friggin audiophile sound out of a TV. If you want it to sound awesome, you'll have to go with a Sony (which look really weird), buy a sound bar, or do what I do and install in cieling speakers and run an AVR. (BTW the new Yamaha Aventage A740 is REALLY good...seriously worth a look if you're in the market).
Long story short, so far I'm very pleased with the set. I can't tell you what the HDGuru guys, Katzmeier, etc think because I'm not comparing 100 sets at once, but for a guy like me who appreciates a good picture for a very fair price, it's hard to beat this set given that $999.99 Sam's deal. I literally researched TVs for about 3 months before settling on this one and it was mostly picture quality value ratio! Unless something comes up, IMHO...it's a keeper.
Update: One week later....it's been busy but had some time to fiddle with color. Ended up with a scheme that is quite pleasing to my eyes. Watched my favorite college team put a butt whipping on this Saturday and many times found myself staring and the picture thinking...It might be hard to go to the stadium from here on out. This picture is fantastic.