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  1. Member
    Join Date: Feb 2003
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    I'm looking to upgrade my current HDTV (4:3 Philips CRT HDTV) and get a proper 16:9 1080p LCD panel. I've had so many problems with my Philips that I'm sworn off Philips and their lackey Magnavox. When I eliminate those brands, in the low end, I'm left with Vizio and Sceptre.

    Example: Sceptre 46" 1080p LCD for $1299
    http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product.aspx?Prodid=11214671
    Brightness is only 550 cd/m2, but contrast is 8000:1

    or: Vizio 46" 1080p LCD for $1399
    http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product.aspx?Prodid=11247782
    Brightness is only 500 cd/m2, and contrast is only 2000:1. How bad really is that contrast level? I watch in a fairly dark room.
    (or 42" Vizio 1080p for only $949)

    Most other features on the sets seem pretty standard: 8ms or better response time, 3:2 pulldown, integrated tuners, etc. None are 120hz of course. Are there any other meaningful specs to compare?

    How do these sets compare to the more expensive brands? are they a "good deal" or a "you get what you pay for" piece of junk? Both companies don't seem to say who makes their actual panels, but there are only a few manufacturers out there. Anybody have either of these brands? Can you say anything about their long term reliability? how about the companies' customer service? Any experiences/recommendations are welcome.
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  2. Member edDV's Avatar
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    Good value 2nd class video (generic) processing.

    Each model is built up from off shelf parts. Neither does any chip development. Model to model variation can be significant based on availalble parts at the time. Research reviews before you buy.

    BTW Vizio is in the top three for units sold mostly due to volume deals with Costco and Sams Club.

    LCD-TV makers use tricks to up contrast beyond about ~1000:1 native. Dynamic contrast modulates light output from the backlight to assist blacks in dark average scenes and boosts backlight brightness in bright scenes. There is no accepted standard for dynamic contrast measurement so each manufacturer pulls numbers out of the air. Look for comparison reviews.
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  3. For what it is worth, I beleive Vizio is actualled owned/manufactured by Hitachi or Toshiba, so it is technically a good brand. My neighbor got one (46") last week and I have to say that it is quite nice. They are happy.

    My Olevia is 1600:1 contrast and I find it to be very good, but I am not a super videophile, I just like to watch TV and have it look very good to my eyes.

    Don't know much about Sceptre.

    --dES
    "You can observe a lot by watching." - Yogi Bera
    http://www.areturningadultstudent.com
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  4. Member oldandinthe way's Avatar
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    A friend and I readjusted the demonstration models in Costco and when we were done adjusting the Vizio, its picture was the equal of the SONY Bravia on display.

    And the warehouse lighting conditions aren;t the best.

    In our local Costco, the picture quality appears to be good better best with increasing price, but if we leave the best untouched and adjust the others, the pictures are comparable.
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  5. Setting a TV up correctly makes a HUGE difference regardless of brand. I borrowed the Digital Video Essentials DVD from my brother when I got my TV last year and the difference between what I thought looked good and what I acheived later on with the aid of the DVD was night and day.

    It's certainly worth doing it right. Blockbuster or better video rentals stores may have the DVE or Avia set up disks for rental. Otherwise they are about $50 (I think, I could be wrong) to buy one.

    Happy viewing!

    --dES
    "You can observe a lot by watching." - Yogi Bera
    http://www.areturningadultstudent.com
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  6. aBigMeanie aedipuss's Avatar
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    vizio is just a remarketer. they don't make anything. they contract their products to the lowest bidder. usually in taiwan/china.
    --
    "a lot of people are better dead" - prisoner KSC2-303
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  7. Member edDV's Avatar
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    The top name brands (Sony, Samsung, Sharp) have premium models and value models in the same screen sizes. Vizio and Sceptre compete at the value level.
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  8. Member edDV's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by aedipuss
    vizio is just a remarketer. they don't make anything. they contract their products to the lowest bidder. usually in taiwan/china.
    They do design the product (collection of parts + design) and contract manufaturing to Asia but so do the big names. The big names differ mostly with their proprietary video processing engines in the upper range models.

    Go to the library and read the HDTV reviews in the current Consumer Reports magazine. They ranked LCD, plasma and RPTV by screen size. The best Vizio was their 58" plasma (#6 and a Best Buy). For 47" LCD the GV47LF finished #11. At 42" the Vizio VU42LF finished #12. This year Vizio finished mid pack in all sizes.
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  9. Member
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    forgot about Westinghouse. A more respected name brand, but how do their TV's stack up?

    ABT has a 42" 1080P for $1149.
    http://www.abtelectronics.com/product/28411.html
    Only 1000:1 contrast, but similar specs to the others (inverse 3:2, 8ms, etc)
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  10. Member
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    I'm not sure if this is the case, but I thought I had seen somewhere that Vizio is actually a separate product line within the Sanyo family.

    This past week, I had occasion to go to WalMart and out of all the 32" flat-panels they had there, I was more impressed by the pictures on the Vizio and RCA (who knew?) models than I was with the more established brands like Samsung and Philips. But somehow I suspect that none of the sets were properly calibrated; they don't even sell any of the calibration videos, and half the people working in those departments don't know anything other than what they're being told to push.
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  11. Member
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    Vizio & Olevia have been well-received by lots of folks around here (west of the Pecos). I found a deal on a Westinghouse at BestBuy (32") and have been very happy with it. Two HDMI ports, two sets of component inputs (with audio for each), one composite with audio, and one VGA. Speakers are a bit weak but, as this set is in my bedroom, I don't need to blast the sound. There's also audio out (stereo RCA jacks) and a headphone port. I can turn off the speakers and use a wireless headphone when my wife wants to read without being disturbed by the audio. The ATSC tuner is also quite good. (I turned off all the analog stations.)
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  12. Member edDV's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by akrako1
    forgot about Westinghouse. A more respected name brand, but how do their TV's stack up?

    ABT has a 42" 1080P for $1149.
    http://www.abtelectronics.com/product/28411.html
    Only 1000:1 contrast, but similar specs to the others (inverse 3:2, 8ms, etc)
    Westinghouse is a licenced brand name now owned buy an appliance distributor -- long story. Westinghouse the company long ago was divested.
    See here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westinghouse_Digital_Electronics

    Consumer Reports rated the Westinghouse TX-47F430S and TX-42F430S second to last in their catagories.

    RCA is a brand name now owned by Thomson of France. RCA the company went out of business in the 80's.

    Factoid: Did you know that the "GE" brand when applied to consumer A/V products is also licensed by Thomson?
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  13. Originally Posted by edDV
    Factoid: Did you know that the "GE" brand when applied to consumer A/V products is also licensed by Thomson?
    I knew! :P

    --dES
    "You can observe a lot by watching." - Yogi Bera
    http://www.areturningadultstudent.com
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  14. Member
    Join Date: Sep 2004
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    I have a Vizio VU42 (42" 1080P) unit and I think the picture is very good. Only negative in my opinion is some bleed on very dark pictures but for normal colorful scenes the picture is as good as most TVs. As someone said - setting up is very important. I have used Get Gray for visual setup. Just bought an Eye1Display2 for my monitor and it can also be used with some SW to setup TVs. As far as a poster saying that Vizio just subs to the lowest bidder - don't think that is true. As said initially I am very happy with my Vizio and the price is very nice.
    Steve W.
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  15. Always Watching guns1inger's Avatar
    Join Date: Apr 2004
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    I have seen enough low budget and off-brand LCDs to know they are not for me. I also know so many people that have been happy to buy them that I have concluded that either

    1. The masses wouldn't know image quality if it hit them in the face while wrapped in a dead fish

    or

    2. They simply don't care, so long as it's big

    or

    3. They are happy to over-look the many issues inherent in most low budget sets because the price suits them

    All are valid perspectives, and if you are happy with what you get, good for you. As has been pointed out, the key to image quality is the processing done before display. There is only a small range of LCD manufacturers, so most of the large brands and many of the smaller ones share screen tech. The different between budget and higher end is the amount of money spent on getting the best image onto the screen.

    I want to watch a movie and not be constantly annoyed by banding, bleeding, flickery contrast, grey blacks etc. To that end, I still have a CRT, and probably still will have until I can afford to spend $3500 - 5000 on a quality TV.
    Read my blog here.
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  16. Member
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    I bought a Vizio 50" plasma a couple of months ago. I spent a lot of time comparing models before I made the decision to buy it. The picture quality is very good - colors are great as is the contrast. I don't pretend to be an expert on HD TVs but I did a lot of comparison shopping with a critical eye. I daresay that a lot of self-anointed "experts" would be hard pressed to pick the "best" HD TV in a double blind comparison where only the screen was visible in a side by side comparison. It's a bit like a French wine connoisseur; they hate blind wine tasting because they often embarrass themselves when they pick a good Australian or California wine as the best.
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  17. Member
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    I agree with SCDVD. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. If YOU are pleased with the picture quality and features then what some A/V techno editor's review says means nothing (just look at your mechanic's car ). If you are confident in the warranties and cutomer support, and get it at a reasonable price, then it is a good deal.
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  18. Always Watching guns1inger's Avatar
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    It's a bit like a French wine connoisseur; they hate blind wine tasting because they often embarrass themselves when they pick a good Australian or California wine as the best
    Australian wine is the best. Californian wine is for people who find the flavour of real wine a bit too strong . . . . .

    As for TVs - I an only going on what my eyes tell me is pleasing and my brain is happy with. So far it has been Pioneer Curo plasma at the top of the list, except that I don't have room for a plasma at 42 inches or above, Sony Bravia X series 1080p and that is pretty much it. I have seen a couple of Samsungs that have looked pretty good, but Samsung has issues with our digital broadcasts over here that are still unresolved.

    I like to watch a lot of older movies, so they tend to be noisy, and often black and white. Getting deep blacks is kind of important. Few things bug me more when watching a movie than bad colour and bad contrast. Black is black, not grey.

    But as I said earlier, I know a lot of people who have bought cheaper models and are happy with them. That's great. They have what they want. It's just not what I want.
    Read my blog here.
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  19. Member
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    Originally Posted by guns1inger

    As for TVs - I an only going on what my eyes tell me is pleasing and my brain is happy with.
    That's the best selection criteria of them all.

    A side note - I find the picture quality is slightly better when I use a Toshiba upconverting player to play standard DVDs rather than using a standard SD player and let the TV do the upconverting. The difference is small; you really have to look hard with your nose in the screen to see the difference. I guess what that means is that the upconverting circuitry in the Toshiba player is better than the upconverting circuitry in the TV.
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  20. Banned
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    Interesting what Des said - did not realize Vizio was made by Toshiba. I have a friend who wanted to save some money on a new TV and Costco had a smokin' deal on a Vizio - I told him I knew nothing about them, but that I had a Phillips which is a "name brand" and was not pleased at all - so who knows, right? Needless to say, he loves his Vizio. For whatever reason, I just find the Philips has poor sound quality. We also have a Sony LCD HD and think that is pretty good.
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  21. Member
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    we bought a 26" Olivea april 2007, and have been very pleased with it.
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  22. Member edDV's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by cdanddvdpublisher
    Interesting what Des said - did not realize Vizio was made by Toshiba. I have a friend who wanted to save some money on a new TV and Costco had a smokin' deal on a Vizio - I told him I knew nothing about them, but that I had a Phillips which is a "name brand" and was not pleased at all - so who knows, right? Needless to say, he loves his Vizio. For whatever reason, I just find the Philips has poor sound quality. We also have a Sony LCD HD and think that is pretty good.
    Vizio is a private company and uses parts from a variety of suppliers. Where did Des hear that Toshiba was an investor? Amtran of Taiwan is one of the prime investors and I suspect is a design partner. The design sample TV's shown on the Amtron site look alot like Vizios. You can order a full report at Hoovers.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vizio
    http://www.hoovers.com/Vizio,-Inc./--HD__rtktryftx,src__dbi--/free-co-dnb_factsheet.xhtml
    http://www.amtran.com.tw/

    Vizio moved up to #1 in LCD share in Q2 '07 but that was before Samsung, Sony and Sharp introduced their new models over the summer. Q3 Q4 data isn't fully released yet.
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  23. Originally Posted by edDV
    Vizio is a private company and uses parts from a variety of suppliers. Where did Des hear that Toshiba was an investor? Amtran of Taiwan is one of the prime investors and I suspect is a design partner. The design sample TV's shown on the Amtron site look alot like Vizios. You can order a full report at Hoovers.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vizio
    http://www.hoovers.com/Vizio,-Inc./--HD__rtktryftx,src__dbi--/free-co-dnb_factsheet.xhtml
    http://www.amtran.com.tw/

    Vizio moved up to #1 in LCD share in Q2 '07 but that was before Samsung, Sony and Sharp introduced their new models over the summer. Q3 Q4 data isn't fully released yet.
    I used the qualifier, "I Beleive..." that doesn't mean that I am sure I don't mind being corrected

    Where I got this nugget of mis-information? Last year when I was researching inevpensive but decent TVs Geeks was pushing the Vizio line and as I recall they tagged them as (or maybe with) Hitachi.

    So I remebered what I saw/read, but may have not remebered it correctly. Perspective IS everything.

    That said, still seems like a good TV for the money.

    I do agree with Gunslinger that one should get what looks good to them and meets the standards they are hoping for.

    --dES
    "You can observe a lot by watching." - Yogi Bera
    http://www.areturningadultstudent.com
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  24. Banned
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    Originally Posted by Des
    I used the qualifier, "I Beleive..." that doesn't mean that I am sure I don't mind being corrected

    Where I got this nugget of mis-information? Last year when I was researching inevpensive but decent TVs Geeks was pushing the Vizio line and as I recall they tagged them as (or maybe with) Hitachi.

    So I remebered what I saw/read, but may have not remebered it correctly. Perspective IS everything.
    --dES
    Oops. I guess I should check the facts first before I go spreading misinformation. But, yes, it does look like a good TV.
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  25. Originally Posted by cdanddvdpublisher
    Oops. I guess I should check the facts first before I go spreading misinformation. But, yes, it does look like a good TV.
    I guess I put it down first You just carried it forward...

    At least now the truth is out there and we can get back to the discussion of top quality lower end televisions.

    --dES
    "You can observe a lot by watching." - Yogi Bera
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  26. Member
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    Vizio is owned by William Wang, an entrepeneur who owned Mag Innovision a monitor supplier for many computer manufacturers. When that company was having difficulties he flew into Asia to deal with his issues, caused by having 'partners' controlling his business. When flying back to America his plane crashed on takeoff killing about half of the passengers on the plane. As a plane crash survivor his look on life changed completely. Vizio employees work normal workdays. None of this work until you drop hysteria. His company is completely in his control, he has no 'partners' as some have intimated. He does a lot of business with Costco, as he did back in his Mag Innovision days. Since there are, for all practical purposes, three manufacturers of LCD screens in the world he buys. His sets are put together to his specifications using the components he has chosen in the same factories making sets for other people. In short, its a smaller world then some people seem to think. As for the sets themselves.

    I have a 42" 1080P LCD that was released on the world in late June of 2007. It has performed excellently. I did a lot of picture adjusting the first week as you would with any LCD set. The only disappointment I had with the set was I could not do picture in picture with the TV Tuner and the AV In inputs. In essence the AV In's are tuned using the TV tuner. So I could not do a side by side comparision of Over the air HD vs SD, or even watch two games at the same time. I'm getting HD Satellite this weekend so that little 'problem' will be thing of the past because component and HDMI inputs are both valid pip choices. It did a good job of upconverting 480p signals from my old Philips 642 using the component inputs. My newer Philips 5982 has its own upconverting and I used HDMI to read it. I think the TV does a better job of upconverting then the Philips DVD player does.

    Vizio TV's are an excellent deal. They are made of top grade components and I've never heard a bad word said about them by anyone I know. My set impressed the hell out of my brother in law who has a 37" Philips LCD and another relative who had a Sony LCD from a couple years back. Since what we were watching was either 720P (Fox football) or 1080i (CBS football) it wasn't the 1080P. I haven't noticed motion artifacting so it is clear that this generation of LCD has got its act together on that.

    IF you want to know more about Vizio just visit their website. Mr. Wang had articles written about his business philosophy in a few of the buisiness mags.

    I've have a sceptre LCD monitor. Which has turned out to be a good little performer. I've seen their TV's they look OK.

    Westinghouse has an interesting look to it. At one time they were HUGE in the TV market and appliances. I suspect the name was bought by someone for its name value. I've seen their products in multiple mass retailers. Their company is being run by people who were innovators in the electronics industry and are headquartered in California. You might see big things from them. Their products have looked good in the stores when I've studied them. Again, you can visit their website to learn about the company.

    I think if you are thinking about buying something from a brand you know little about some basic research is in order.

    Bill F.
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  27. Member MysticE's Avatar
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    If movies and HD programing are what you watch forget the LCD's and get a Panasonic plasma. Ultra reliable with a beautiful, realistic picture. Real blacks, no fast motion problems, mature technology, great off axis viewing, excellent upconverting, very good SD PQ... the list goes on and on. A basic Pansonic 42" plasma can now be had for about $1000. Plasma is still King.
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  28. Member Epicurus8a's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by akrako1
    Anybody have either of these brands? Can you say anything about their long term reliability? how about the companies' customer service? Any experiences/recommendations are welcome.
    Whatever you decide to buy, make sure you can have it serviced locally. I know of two people who threw away their $1,000 purchases 18 months later because the manufacturers wouldn't assist the local repair shops. Instead they were told return the item(s) to the Los Angeles distributor for repair. Shipping was $200, and the repair cost was $400 for a total of $600. Meanwhile the cost of a brand new one had dropped to $600. If I remember correctly the brands they purchased were Vizio and ProView.
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  29. Banned
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    Originally Posted by Epicurus8a
    Whatever you decide to buy, make sure you can have it serviced locally. I know of two people who threw away their $1,000 purchases 18 months later because the manufacturers wouldn't assist the local repair shops. Instead they were told return the item(s) to the Los Angeles distributor for repair. Shipping was $200, and the repair cost was $400 for a total of $600. Meanwhile the cost of a brand new one had dropped to $600. If I remember correctly the brands they purchased were Vizio and ProView.
    I won't buy ANYTHING if I have to mail it for repairs. That's never made sense to me.
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  30. Member
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    Originally Posted by guns1inger
    I have seen enough low budget and off-brand LCDs to know they are not for me. I also know so many people that have been happy to buy them that I have concluded that either

    1. The masses wouldn't know image quality if it hit them in the face while wrapped in a dead fish

    or

    2. They simply don't care, so long as it's big

    or

    3. They are happy to over-look the many issues inherent in most low budget sets because the price suits them

    All are valid perspectives, and if you are happy with what you get, good for you. As has been pointed out, the key to image quality is the processing done before display. There is only a small range of LCD manufacturers, so most of the large brands and many of the smaller ones share screen tech. The different between budget and higher end is the amount of money spent on getting the best image onto the screen.

    I want to watch a movie and not be constantly annoyed by banding, bleeding, flickery contrast, grey blacks etc. To that end, I still have a CRT, and probably still will have until I can afford to spend $3500 - 5000 on a quality TV.
    Well put me in the #3 camp, I do care However the issues I have re minor niggles.

    I have a Westinghouse 32" LCD HDTV. It was the biggest I could afford back in the fall of 2006 when I bought it.

    I use it with DVD players, Satellite TV for SD & HD and the SD looks OK. I use it for my computer monitor and I am using its QAM tuner on basic Cable for HD locals. Each of the inputs remembers what settings I used for it. So that each can adjusted to the source. The TV buton recalls the last SD channel and another press takes me to the last viewed HD channel. Maybe the 1366 by 768 resolution wouldn't look so good at a larger screen size, however it was what I could afford, it looks good to me and it works for me. Since I sit 6 to 8 feet away a larger screen would be to big.

    It is my learner HDTV. 1 HDMI, 2 Component, 1 Composite and 1 S-Video, Tuner & VGA with sound in from the computer.

    Some nits to be taken into consideration for the next time. More than one HDMI input. Better sound although I have the sound hooked up to a 7.1 surround system via optical from my HD DVR I don't always feel like using it. Better native resolution for use with the computer.

    Bottom line for me it was the best value at that time. As it was going to a HD DVR and the TV set gave my finances a slight hernia that took a while to cure. I didn't jump into HD I first started getting interested in it years ago. But decided to wait a while until the input types stabilized first. I also avoided looking at a HDTV that was running so I would be able to wait for features I wanted and could afford.


    As regards options 1 & 2 above my brother is a 1, he is quite happy with his old 19" tv. The #2 types are the quantity over quality. My father was like that, he'd look at the supermarket adverts and when he found some off brand hot dogs for example he'd go stock up, sometimes they were all meat sometimes with cereal filler. Price was all. I suspect that the #2 type is the price is all that matters type.
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