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Vizio P series 2016 Review (P50-C1, P55-C1, P65-C1, P75-C1)

by on November 16, 2016
 


Vizio P Series 2016

Overview

When it was first released in 2014, Vizio P series it has attracted a lot of attention because with affordable price, it offers great specs just like premium TV that sold hundreds dollars more expensive. After it is absent in 2015, now in 2016, it comes with a lot of technologies we found in the Vizio 2015 Reference Series. Of course as a 2016 model, HDR (High Dynamic Range) is the highlight of Vizio P Series 2016. And not only support HDR 10 only like Samsung or Sony HDR 4K TVs, it already supports both types of HDR format, HDR 10 and Dolby Vision like LG HDR 4K TV lineup. But unlike most of top models of 4K TVs that available in the market, P series doesn’t equip with 3D technology.

For producing brilliant HDR 4K picture quality, Vizio P series is powered by VM50 UHD engine and the number of Vizio’s most advanced technologies. Additionally, there is Full Array LED Backlighting with local dimming technology called Active LED Zones behind it that has great performance in enhancing contrast and black level of the picture. For this case, it has 128 dimming zones of local dimming or active LED zones. As the comparison, the M series below has 64 dimming zones or even E series only has 12 dimming zones. You need to know, a growing number of dimming zones of local dimming, the contrast and black level produced will stronger and deeper. The other Vizio most advanced technology behind P series is about Ultra Color Spectrum technology that designed to deliver wide color gamut. In addition to stunning picture quality that offered, with clear action rate 960 based on effective 240 Hz refresh rate panel behind it, it is also a good performer in handling motion blur and 24p videos. Input lag of P series is also low so this allows it is great for games. And that is not less interesting is about Vizio SmartCast as their smart TV platform that offers its own uniqueness in enjoying 4K entertainment in your home.

Vizio P Series Key Specs

Display
`Resolution 4K (2160 x3840)
Size Available 50” (P50-C1), 55” (P55-C1), 65” (P65-C1), 75” (P75-C1)
Type of Panel VA Panel (55 Inch IPS Panel)
Backlighting Technology Full Array LED
Local Dimming 128 Active LED Zones
Features and Technologies
Picture Engine VM 50 UHD Engine
Ultra Color Spectrum Yes
HDR Support HDR 10 and Dolby Vision
Active Pixel Tuning Yes
Pure Cinema Engine Yes
Clear Action Rate 960 Hz (480 Hz in 50 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

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Performance of Vizio P Series 2016

Picture Quality

As we have mentioned, Vizio P series 2016 already supports both types of HDR format, HDR 10 and Dolby Vision. But even so, we all might know each of these HDR formats has certain standardization that should be met by a HDR TV for displaying fully video contents mastered in HDR 10 or Dolby Vision. So, how great display specs that offered?

The excepting of 55” size P55-C1 that uses IPS panel, contrast and black level is the flagship of Vizio P series 2016. With Full Array LED backlighting and 120 dimming zones of local dimming, it can reach up to 0.18 nits of black level with contrast ratio about 5700:1.  What achieved by Vizio P series might not as deep as Samsung top model SUHD TVs that can reach up to 0.14 nits, but it is much lower than minimum standardization of black level set by UHD alliance for HDR 10, that is 0.05 nits of black level. This shows the black level of the picture that produced by P series is very deep with strong contrast. Additionally, the FALD (Full Array Local Dimming) technology behind it also makes the black uniformity of P series is almost perfect.

Vizio HDRvs SDR

But unfortunately, in term of peak brightness, what reached by Vizio P series is not quite bright to 1000 nits what required by both HDR 10 and Dolby Vision Format. It can reach about 550 nits of peak brightness, similar to what reached by LG UH8500 with IPS Panel. For IPS TV, 550 nits might be said bright, but for VA TV, it is not quiet bright. As the comparison, Sony X930D series with VA panel can reach up to 1000 nits of peak brightness while Samsung SUHD TVs even reach more that is about 1500 nits of peak brightness. Because to get Ultra HD Premium Certification, a HDR TV must reach 1000 nits of peak brightness, of course Vizio P series 2016 is not compliant with Ultra HD Premium Certification.

Vizio Active LED ZOnes

Moving on color performance, it is powered by Ultra Color Spectrum technology. Among all series of Vizio’s 2016 lineup, there is only P series that is powered by this technology. And the result, it can cover about 90% of DCI P3 color space while the minimum standardization of HDR 10 is also 90% of DCI P3 color space. Although its color coverage can be said wide for most of 4K TVs that available in the market, but it is not as wide as color gamut covered by the competitor. But even so, because HDR 10 requires 90% of DCI P3 color space, of course when displaying HDR contents, there will not issues on color of the picture produced. In other hand, P series also supports 10 bit that means it is according to what required for displaying HDR 10 contents fully. The result, color gradient is smooth. Nevertheless, there is slight banding and imperfections that makes its color gradients is not as perfect as what offered by the competitors. But at least, color gradient of Vizio P series is much smoother than 8 bit TV.

Vizio Ultra Color Spectrum

Display specs that delivered by Vizio P series is quiet enough to display normal / SDR contents stunningly, but for displaying HDR contents, its peak brightness is not quite bright. Supposing its peak brightness can be improved further, the result might be more stunning. But even so, at least HDR 10 contents displayed on the screen of P series still looks amazing, much better than most of HDR TV that available in the market, particularly for middle to lower class, even for HDR TV that sold more expensive. The other benefit, it also can play Dolby Vision contents. And like when it is displaying HDR 10 videos, although it cannot display fully Dolby Vision Videos, but at least, Dolby Vision contents that displayed still look amazing.

But like other TVs that use VA panel, the amazing picture quality that displayed on its screen cannot be maintained from side viewing angle started at 20 degrees off center and front. The contrast will degraded quickly and color also will look faded if the viewers watch from side viewing angle. And the picture deterioration will be worse if the viewing angle is the wider. But because all of the competitors also have the same issue, we will not consider this an issue of P series.

Al l of this review about the display specs that offered by Vizio P series doesn’t applies for 55 Inch P55-C1 series because it is the only model that used IPS panel. But essentially, contrast and black level reached is not as strong and deep as other sizes, in other hand it offers wider viewing angle.

Motion Handling

Vizio P series is including the best performers when handling motion blur and 24p playback. Behind it, there is Clear Action Rate 960 technology based on effective 240 Hz refresh rate. The result, pixel response time is very quick so makes there are not many motion blur appears when playing sports or video games with fast movement.  The perfect performance is also done by P series when playing 24p contents from all media sources. No matter 24p contents from Blu Ray or DVD, or even 24p via 60 signals like from media streaming or 60i signals like from satellite TV, it offers judder-free.

UHD Up-scaling

With Spatial Scaling Engine behind it, it also offers great performance when up-scaling lower resolution contents to near 4K quality. 1080p sources like Blu Ray movies looks very sharp without losing small detail at 4K quality on the screen P series. But even so, when up-scaling from lower resolution contents like 480p from DVDs or 720p from Cable TV, the performance of P series is not as good as the competitors like Samsung, LG or, Sony 4K TV. Although it is still softer than what offered by the competitor, the 4K Image produced is not too much lost small details from 720p sources. The less perfect performance is shown by P series when the source is 480p. The 4K picture produced looks slightly soft with some small details still looks choppy.

vizio-spatial-scaling-engine

Smart TV

Vizio P series features Vizio Smart Cast as their smart TV platform and powered by V8 processor combination of quad core CPU and quad core GPU. It is like a Google cast on Android platform. But unlike other smart TV platforms which have a lot of apps, the TV only serves as the big screen to display contents which you have casted with cast apps installed on smart phone or tablet from casting services. There are not Web Browser, Content Store, VoD apps, and other apps installed on TV. This course will lighten the work of TV than it stream directly from videos streaming services. There are a lot of apps that already support casting service like YouTube, Netflix, Spotify, and more. From here we can see Vizio more focuses on video streaming content and the reality, the most used apps on Smart TV is that has to do with video streaming.

Vizio SMartCast

But even so, to get the benefits of Vizio Smart Cast, you must have a smart phone or tablet that has installed apps that supports casting service. Fortunately, there is a 8” tablet included in its buying package that have installed a lot of apps that supports Vizio Smart Cast.  But because it is the first version of Vizio Smart Cast, of course are still many bugs that should be solved in newer versions.

Vizio P Series Remote and Tablet

Connectivity

Vizio P series is equipped with 5 HDMI ports as the major connectivity. This is a bit more than what provided by most of premium 4K TVs that available in the market. But otherwise, it is only equipped with 2 USB ports while most of premium TVs that available in the market is equipped with 3 USB ports. In addition to HDM and USB ports, there are also Component in, Ethernet, Analog Audio Out(RCA) and Digital Audio Out (optical) where the amount of each is 1. It is not equipped with Composite in (AV), and RF (terrestrial) so you need to buy external tuner for watching terrestrial TV broadcast. Additionally, it also offers great input lag especially on HDMI 5. And of course, with great input lag, Vizio P series 2016 is great for Video games even for fast games.

Sound Quality

Vizio P series is equipped with 2 channel speaker system with total audio power 20 watts as their sound system. There is no built-in woofer like the competitors. Of course, this will make the performance of bass or low frequency is very poor. Additionally, frequency response is also average and the loudness is also less than maximum, even for a TV it is not quite enough. The poor sound quality that offered is also shown by the high distortion on overall frequencies. To watch movies or Music clips, the additional external sound bar is a highly recommended, unless you have been satisfied with poor sound quality that delivered.

Conclusion

Full Array Local Dimming with 128 Dimming Zones of Active LED zones and Ultra Color Spectrum is the main advantage of Vizio P Series 2016. With these technologies and the number other technologies behind it, it can deliver stunning picture quality in HDR and SDR with deep black level, strong contrast, and vivid color. But unfortunately, peak brightness reached is not quite bright to display HDR 10 contents fully and makes it is not compliant with Ultra HD Premium Certification. Even peak brightness reached by P Series is not brighter than what reached by LG UH8500 that use IPS panel. But even so, although it cannot display HDR contents fully, HDR picture whether it is mastered in HDR 10 or Dolby Vision, they are still looks amazing on the screen of Vizio P series.

Vizio P Series also offers great performance when handling motion blur and 24p contents. The other great performance that offered by P series is when it is up-scaling from full HD contents to 4K quality. But even so, when the source is 720p or 480p, its performance is not as great as the competitors. The interesting thing is about their Smart TV where it comes with a different approach than other Smart TVs. A TV only serves a big screen to display Video Casted while the actual apps are installed on the tablet that supports Vizio Smart Cast. In its buying package, It is included 8” Tablet that have installed apps that support Vizio Smart Cast The downsides, the excepting of P55-C1 that used IPS panel, the viewing angle of P series is poor, as poor as its sound quality. Vizio P Series 2016 also comes without 3D technology.

Details
 
Positives

- Support both HDR format HDR 10 and Dolby Vision
- Great Contrast
- Deep Black Level
- Support Wide Color Gamut
- Great Motion handling
- Included 8" Table for Vizio SmartCast apps

Negatives

- Peak brightness is not quite bright to display HDR fully
- Poor Viewing Angle
- 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
 

Vizio P Series is both types of HDR format, HDR 10 and Dolby Vision. From all aspects of standardizations of Ultra HD Premium Certification, there is only peak brightness that doesn’t meet 1000 nits required by HDR 10. Additionally, Vizio Smart Cast is the smart TV that uses different approaching than other Smart TV platform and only focuses on video streaming only.

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