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Vizio M Series 2016 Review (M80-D3, M70-D3, M65-D0, M60-D1, M55-D0, M50-D0)

by on November 25, 2016
 


Vizio M Series 2016

Overview

Vizio M Series 2016 is the second-tier of Vizio’s 2016 4K LED TV lineup under P-Series. Like P Series, Full Array LED Backlighting and Local Dimming Called Active LED Zones are the mainstay technologies of Vizio M Series. But unlike P Series that have up to 128 Dimming zones, Vizio M Series comes with 64 dimming zones except M50-D0 that has only 32 dimming zones of local dimming. In the market, this series is available on a lot of screen sizes i.e. 50 Inch (M50-D0), 55 Inch (M55-D0), 60 Inch (M60-D1), 65 Inch (M65-D0), 70 Inch (M70-D3), and 80 Inch (M80-D3). They are sod with the lowest price $700 for M50-D0 series and highest price about $3800 for M80-D3 as the biggest screen. But of course, these prices certainly are not fixed and could still change at any time.

In addition to Full Array LED Local Dimming as the their mainstay technology, Vizio M Series is also powered by the number Vizio’s most advanced technology that makes its performance greatly for their class. As their images processor, there is VM50 Ultra HD Engine powered by other technologies likes Spatial Scaling Engine and Active Pixel Tuning. The great, it already supports both HDR format, Dolby Vision and HDR 10. For handling motion blur, it is powered by Clear Action Rate 720 based on effective 240 Hz refresh rate, except M50-D0 and M55-D0 that powered by lower level Clear action Rate that is only 360 Hz. Additionally, there is also Pure Cinema Engine technology that maximizes  its performance when handling 24p contents. And as its smart TV platform, Vizio M Series features Vizio Smart Cast Apps. But unlike most of Smart TV Platform where they provide a lot of apps, the TV only serve as the screen which you cave casted with casting apps on your Smart phone ro Tablet from casting services. This means, the actual apps are installed on tablet or Smart phone and not installed on TV.

 

Vizio M Series 2016 Key Specs

Display

`Resolution 4K (2160 x3840)
Size Available 50” (M50-D0), 55” (M55-D0), 60” (M60-D1), 65” (M65-D0), 70” (M70-D3), 80” (M80-D3)
Type of Panel VA Panel (IPS for M60-D1)
Backlighting Technology Full Array LED
Local Dimming 64 Active LED Zones (32 zones for M50-D0)

Features and Technologies

Picture Engine VM 50 UHD Engine
HDR Support HDR 10 and Dolby Vision
Active Pixel Tuning Yes
Pure Cinema Engine Yes
Clear Action Rate 720  (380 Hz for 50 and 55 Inch model)
Refresh rate 120 Hz (native), 240 Hz (effective)
UHD Up Scaling Spatial Scaling Engine
3D Technology No
Smart TV Platform Smart Cast Apps
Processor V8 Octa Core

Connectivity

HDMI 5
USB 2
Component in 1
Audio Out (RCA) 1
Digital Audio Out (Optical) 1
Ethernet Port 1
Built-in Wi-Fi Yes (802.11 ac)

Audio

Audio Channel 2
Total Audio Power 2 x 10 watts

Performance of Vizio M Series 2016

One of the highlights of Vizio M Series 2016 is HDR where it can play both of HDR formats, HDR 10 and Dolby Vision. Despite the fact its display specs than what are required by to display each HDR format fully, but at least for mid-range TV with affordable price like M Series, what offered can be said amazing. So let us discuss one by one how the actual performance of Vizio M Series 2016.

Picture Quality

Vizio M Series is one of TV Series that has great picture quality in its class. Moreover it already supports both HDR format, HDR 10 and Dolby Vision, of course this will add your watching experience. Combination of Full Array LED Backlighting and 64 Dimming zone of local dimming allow it can reach about 0.021 nits of black level and 4800:1 of contrast ratio, a pretty good value for LED TVs, even lower than what required for displaying HDR 10contents fully. Additionally, its black uniformity is also pretty good.  What reached by M Series in term of black level might not as good as what reach by P Series, but it is not too far behind. With great performance in black level and contrast ratio, this was quite enough to make the picture that displayed on its screen looks amazing, especially if it is used a dark room.

Vizio Active LED ZOnes

But in other hand, as a TV with VA Panel (Except 60”), Vizio M Series is not a very bright TV. The peak brightness reached is only 413 nits at 25% window. It is not as bright as 570 nits what reached by P series, it is not even as bright as what reached by LG UH8500 as an IPS TV. For playing SDR contents in a dark room, its peak brightness might quite enough, but when it is used in bright room or playing HDR contents, peak brightness reached by M Series 2016 is still far from the required. You need to know, to display HDR 10 fully, a TV must reach at least 1000 nits of peak brightness, and Dolby Vision even requires higher peak brightness.

Moving on color performance, although it already supports HDR which require wide color gamut, but it doesn’t support wide color gamut. Color gamut delivered by M series only can cover about 81% of DCI P3 color space. Although it is quite enough for SDR contents that require Rec.709 color space but it is still far from color gamut required by HDR 10 that is 90% of DCI P3 color space, much less for Dolby Vision that requires Rec.2010 color coverage. Additionally, while HDR 10 need 10 bit depth of color and Dolby Vision need 12 bit of color, M Series 2016 only supports 8 bit depth of color that means it only delivers about 16 millions shades of color. Although color gradient can be said good but color gradations is slightly noticeable, especially when displaying HDR contents.

dci-p3-vs-rec-2020

DCI P3 vs REC 2020 Color Gamut

From display specs that offered by Vizio M Series 2016, we can conclude that this TV is less suitable to be used in bright room caused its low peak brightness. Additionally, although both of them already support both HDR formats Dolby Vision and HDR 10, but the quality that produced is not as good as the P series. It peak brightness is not as bright what required to display HDR fully, so does about color gamut delivered, it doesn’t cover at least 90% of DCI P3 color space.  But considering its cheap price, what offered by Vizio M series can be said great, especially its deep black level where there is no TV in its class that can reach black level as deep as what reached by M Series.

And like other TVs with VA Panel, viewing angle certainly becomes a downside of Vizio M Series. As we know, most of VA TVs that available in the market have critical angle 20 degrees that means, the quality will look to deteriorate started at 20 degrees off center and front. Special for M60-D1 that use IPS panel, it offers wider range of viewing angle but black level reached is not as deep as what reached by other sizes.

Motion Handling

Vizio M Series is including good performers in handling Motion Blur. Its pixel response time is very quick, even faster than the some top models TVs, so this makes there is not many motion blur appears when it used for watching videos contents with fast scenes like sport or video games. The great performance is also offered by M Series 2016 when playing 24p sources like movies on DVDs, Blu Ray. This means when it is playing 24p contents, it offers judder-free.  But unfortunately, when it is playing 24p movies at 60 Hz like source on streaming devices or cable/Satellite TV, judder cannot be eliminated completely. The judder might still be eliminated by setting ‘Reduce Judder’ function to 1, but in other hand, this will add a bit of the Soap Opera Effect.

UHD Up-scaling

UHD Up-scaling of Vizio M Series is great especially when the source is 1080p contents like Blu-Ray movies, the picture that displayed look very clear and very detail in 4K quality. But although when the source is 720p or 480p still can be said great, but it is not as good as the competitor like LG or Samsung 4K TV. The overall 4K picture that produced looks a bit soft with small details is a bit lost even when the source is 480p like DVD, a straight line in the image will looks choppy. But even so, at least, the picture that displayed still looks better than they are displayed on each of their native resolution.

Tru 4K Up-saler

Smart TV

Like other model of Vizio’s 2016 4K TV lineup, Vizio M Series features Vizio SmartCast Apps as its smart TV platform.  But unlike most smart TV platform, the apps are not installed on TV but they are installed on tablet or smart phone that supports Vizio Smart Cast. That means the TV only serves as big screen to display casted contents from casting service that available in the internet. For some people, this might be less attractive because there are not Web browser, Apps Store or other useful apps provided like on other Smart TV Platform. But for some other people, the simplicity of Vizio Smart Cast precisely becomes its own attraction because indeed the most useful apps on smart TV are which have to do with videos streaming. It’s like you are using Chrome cast on your android devices.

Vizio SMartCast

The interesting, in its buying package, there is 8” Table included that has been installed Vizio Smart Cast and apps that support casting service like Spotify, YouTube, Netflix, and more. In addition 8” Tablet as the controller of Smart Cast apps, It also comes with a basic remote for controlling TV functions.

Vizio P Series Remote and Tablet

Inputs/Outputs

As their major connectivity, Vizio M Series comes with 5 HDMI Ports, a bit more than what provided by most of premium Models 4K TVs that available in the market. All of HDMI ports already support HDCP 2.2 protected contents. Additionally, the input lag of Vizio M Series is very low on both 4K and 1080p resolution, as low as P Series, especially on HDMI 5. Input lag of HDMI 1 to 4 is also low, but not as low as HDMI 5. This means for playing video games, you should use HDMI 5 as the connection with your game console. But among 5 HDMI Ports provided, there is only HDMI 1 that supports HDR 10. In addition HDMI Ports, there are also 2 USB Ports, Digital Audio Out (optical), Analog Audio Out (RCA), Component In, and Ethernet. There is no Composite In (AV) and RF port or Antenna In provided. This means, to be able to watch terrestrial broadcast, you must by external tuner separately.

Sound Quality

As its audio equipment, Vizio M series is equipped with 2 channels speaker system with 20 watts total speaker power. There is no built-in woofer. The maximum loudness is not quite loud and frequency response is very poor, even for TVs. Additionally, there is also no bass sounded. But even so, of course this issue can be easily solved by adding external sound bar and of course this is very urgent, unless you feel comfortable with poor sound delivered by It.

Conclusion

Deep black level is one of the main advantages of Vizio M Series 2016.  This makes quality of the picture that displayed on its screen looks amazingly for its class, particularly when it is used in a dark room. The other advantages, it is as good performer in handling motion blur and also has low input lag, so it is great for watching sports or playing Video Games. But unfortunately, its deep black level is not counterbalanced with bright peak brightness. It is not a bright TV, even its peak brightness is not as bright as most of IPS TVs. There will be a slight problem when it is used in bright room, particularly on sun highlighted area.  Additionally, its peak brightness is also not as bright as what required for displaying HDR contents fully, even for HDR 10 that has lower standardization. As a HDR TV, Color gamut and depth of color also becomes a downside of Vizio M Series like we have discussed above.  For displaying SDR contents in dark room, Vizio M Series is a great TV, but for displaying HDR contents, most of its display specs are still far from what is required.

Considering its cheap price, what offered by Vizio M Series 2016 is really great, even in some aspect, it is the best in class. Should I buy this TV? Of course this depends on your need. If you will use this TV in a room were not so bright and Excellent HDR performance is not your main consideration, you should consider it as your choice. But if the contrary, you’d better look for another TV.

Details
 
Positives

- Support HDR 10 and Dolby Vision
- Excellent Black Level
- Good Black Uniformity
- Good Motion Handling
- Low Input Lag
- Affordable Price
- Simple Smart Cast Apps

Negatives

- Poor Viewing Angle (Except 60")
- Peak brightness is not too bright
- Not Support Wide Color Gamut for HDR
- Poor Sound Quality
- No 3D Technology

Editor Rating
 
Contrast

 
Color

 
Peak Brightness

 
HDR Performance

 
Side Viewing Angle

 
Motion Blur

 
Input Lag

 
Smart TV

 
Sound

Total Score


Bottom Line
 

Deep Black Level, great black uniformity, low input lag and good motion handling is the flagship of Vizio M series as a TV with affordable price. Additionally, it also comes with HDR 10 and Dolby Vision ability despite its display specs is less qualified to display both HDR formats fully. In other hand, although it comes with FALD (Full Array Local Dimming) and VA Panel technology, it is not including bright TVs, even its peak brightness is not quite bright to match most of IPS TV like LG UH8500.

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