By David Katzmaier
June 27, 2012
The good: The Vizio M3D470KD produces some of the deepest black levels and most accurate color of any LED TV this year, and does it for a bargain price. Its passive TV was brighter than many active sets and virtually crosstalk-free. The Smart TV suite has plenty of content and the remote has plenty of capabilities. Vizio includes four pairs of 3D glasses.
The bad: Variable black levels, blooming, and lackluster video processing hurt the Vizio's picture quality to some extent. Its passive 3D showed occasional artifacts and moving lines. The TV's design is ho-hum and the bricklike remote annoying to use.
The bottom line: Very good picture quality and an extremely aggressive price make the Vizio M3D0KD one of the best LED TV values on the market.
This year I've seen plenty of LED-based LCD TVs with disappointing picture quality, but the Vizio M3D0KD series isn't one of them. It boasts black levels and color accuracy that surpass competitors costing hundreds more, making it one of the elite values in its class. No, the series doesn't quite match the price-to-picture ratio of some of our favorite plasmas this year, but at least it comes in a screen size smaller than 50 inches. For TV buyers who don't want a plasma TV or are sold on another aspect of this Vizio's spec sheet, like passive 3D or its QWERTY Bluetooth remote, the Vizio M3D0KD belongs high on the list of candidates.
Series information: I performed a hands-on evaluation of the 55-inch Vizio M3D550KD, but this review also applies to the 47-inch member of the series. The two have identical specs and according to the manufacturer should provide very similar picture quality.
Vizio won't win any awards for innovative styling with the M3D0KD, but it tends toward pedestrian rather than unpleasant. The glossy black, rounded-off frame around the screen is admirably narrow and the panel sits low atop the fixed stand. Two brighter elements annoy me, though: the lighter strip adjacent to the screen along the bottom (material right next to the screen should ideally be black and the same on every side) and the silver pedestal.
As I'd expect from an LED TV, the M3D0KD is quite thin in profile. The panels of both sizes measure a mere 1.5 inches deep.
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Friday, July 27, 2012 2:24:37 PM America/Los_Angeles