Vizio P-Series (2018) review: Great picture that’s not quite worth the step-up fee

    When you’re searching for the very best image you possibly can afford, and you may’t afford an OLED TV, Vizio’s P-Sequence deserves a spot in your checklist.

    It is less expensive than equally glorious units such because the Samsung Q8 and Sony X900F, and whereas it would not have their design chops or model cachet, its picture high quality is simply pretty much as good. I do not anticipate it to match the P-Series Quantum, thoughts you, however that factor prices as a lot as these “S” TVs and virtually as a lot as 2017 OLEDs.

    The primary query is whether or not the (non-Quantum) P-Sequence reviewed right here is value the additional cash — presently a pair hundred bucks — over Vizio’s own M series or TCL’s 6 series. My reply isn’t any, it isn’t.

    In one other 12 months, amongst weaker opponents, the P’s excellent image may properly have been my favourite amongst LCD TVs. When you’re splitting hairs and squinting for picture high quality variations, it is a tad higher than the M-Sequence with higher black ranges and distinction, and fewer blooming because of numerous dimming zones. And in contrast to the TCL, our favourite non-OLED TV of the 12 months thus far, it is available in a wall-busting 75-inch measurement.

    In order for you a 55- or 65-inch TV, nonetheless, the TCL 6 collection is just higher than the P. Between the 2, panel design is a toss-up whereas the distant and sensible TV menus are a strong win for TCL, because of its Roku TV system. In my direct image high quality comparisons, the P-Sequence misplaced extra factors than it received towards the TCL, particularly with cutting-edge HDR video. The 2 have been shut sufficient, nonetheless, that some viewers, significantly those that worth a true 120Hz panel and the superior video processing that goes with it, will want the P.

    The P-Sequence remains to be an amazing step-up alternative when you do not wish to pay further for an “S” model, and at 75 inches it is my favourite TV of 2018. However at different sizes, it is powerful for many viewers to justify the additional price in comparison with the M-Sequence and particularly the TCL.

    Sarah Tew/CNET

    Modern panel, weak distant and streaming

    The P-Sequence does away with the generic appears of earlier Vizios and takes extra threat. The underside edge is a comparatively shiny silver and the matching, tremendous skinny legs have a fetching, rounded look that jogs my memory of the Samsung Q8 — a lofty comparability. 

    The highest and sides are darker, in the meantime, consisting of skinny black strips topped with edge-to-edge glass ringed by a silver hairline. The impact is to floor the TV visually alongside the underside edge and make the remaining appear to drift as compared, and I actually preferred it. Whereas not fairly as much as Samsung or LG’s requirements, the P-Sequence is the nicest-looking Vizio TV I’ve ever seen.


    Sarah Tew/CNET

    Sadly the distant, the identical drained wand Vizio has been waving for years, would not measure up. It has too many buttons and I saved having to look down reasonably than function it by really feel. I want the simplicity of TCL’s Roku TV distant or the developed clickers of Samsung and LG.

    I am additionally disillusioned by Vizio’s sensible TV system. It is much less succesful, slower and usually inferior to others, together with Roku, Samsung, LG and Sony’s Android TV. It does provide the flexibility to stream apps out of your telephone, when you’re into that, with its built-in Chromecast operate. Nonetheless, when you’re getting a P-Sequence, do your self a favor and get an external streamer just like the Roku Streaming Stick Plus or, if you need Dolby Imaginative and prescient, an Apple TV 4K, and skip Vizio’s streaming altogether.


    Sarah Tew/CNET

    Though it lacks its the built-in voice assistant discovered on Sony, Samsung and LG TVs, the Vizio is ready to be to managed to some extent by Google Assistant (details here) and Alexa (here) sensible audio system. I did not check that performance this time round, however Google Residence labored comparatively properly to manage the 2017 M-Series.

    In order for you extra grotesque particulars concerning the system, take a look at my review of the 2018 M-Series.

    Of dimming zones, shiny nits and true Hz

    Whereas Sony, Samsung and LG reserve full-array local dimming (FALD) for his or her highest-end LCD fashions, Vizio puts it at basically every price. This characteristic is my favourite enchancment for LCD image high quality as a result of it improves all-important distinction and black ranges, particularly with HDR, and has higher uniformity than edge-lit dimming.

    Key options

    Show know-how LED LCD
    LED backlight Full array with native dimming
    Decision 4K
    HDR suitable HDR10 and Dolby Imaginative and prescient
    Good TV SmartCast
    Distant Normal

    Two issues separate the specs of the P collection from step-down Vizios with FALD, together with the M-Sequence and the E-Sequence, in addition to from the step-up P-Sequence Quantum (solely accessible in a 65-inch measurement). These issues are its variety of dimmable zones and light-weight output. Zone quantity is a vital spec as a result of it controls how exact the dimming may be. Extra zones would not essentially imply higher image high quality, nevertheless it often helps.

    This is how the 2018 Vizios evaluate to 1 one other, in addition to to TCL’s 6 collection (Sony and Samsung do not disclose the variety of dimming zones on their FALD units). As you possibly can see, the TCL 6 collection has extra zones than the Vizio P-Sequence at 55 and 65 inches — and greater than any Vizio other than the Quantum — however the Vizios can be found in bigger sizes.

    Vizio and TCL dimming zones in contrast

    Model Mannequin Dimension Dimming zones
    Vizio PQ65-F1 65-inch 192
    Vizio P75-F1 75-inch 120
    Vizio M70-F3 70-inch 48
    TCL 65R617/65R615 65-inch 120
    Vizio P65-F1 65-inch 100
    Vizio M65-F0 65-inch 40
    TCL 55R617/55R615 55-inch 96
    Vizio P55-F1 55-inch 56
    Vizio M55-F0 55-inch 32

    Vizio’s 2018 advertising can be constructed partly round uncooked mild output, highlighting (so to talk) the variety of nits in varied collection. The corporate claims the M-Sequence will get to 600 nits whereas the P-Sequence can obtain 1,000 — that is an enormous distinction. In our testing, nonetheless, the 2 delivered virtually equivalent mild output, and each have been just like the TCL 6 collection. See the picture high quality part beneath for particulars.

    The P-Sequence does present one marked enchancment over the M-Sequence and the TCL 6 collection: a real 120Hz refresh fee panel, similar to Sony and Samsung. It improves video processing to a degree virtually pretty much as good as these opponents, and likewise permits the choice to have interaction MEMC (movement estimation, movement compensation), aka the soap opera effect. All the sizes within the P-Sequence use higher-performance VA panels, not the IPS panel discovered on some sizes in earlier years.

    Like LG, TCL and Sony, Vizio helps each major types of HDR, HDR10 and Dolby Imaginative and prescient, within the P-Sequence.


    Sarah Tew/CNET
    • 4x HDMI inputs (model, with HDCP 2.2)
    • 1x HDMI enter (model 1.four, 1080p/120Hz enter succesful)
    • 1x part/composite video enter
    • 1x USB port
    • RF antenna tuner enter
    • Ethernet port
    • Optical digital audio output
    • Stereo analog audio output

    Vizio improved its connectivity from final 12 months, enabling 4 of the inputs to simply accept all main 4K and HDR sources. It improves upon the M-Sequence by including a fifth HDMI enter that is designed to simply accept neither HDR nor 4K sources — as an alternative, Enter 5 can deal with 1080p at 120Hz enter, preferrred for so-equipped gaming PCs (we did not check this operate). Avid gamers may even respect that enter 5 has decrease input lag than the others (see beneath).

    Past HDMI, the P-Sequence choice is strong and even, in contrast to some main TV makers, consists of an analog (composite/part) video enter. And sure, in contrast to final 12 months it does embody an antenna port for the TV’s built-in over-the-air TV tuner, similar to these of opponents. The tuner has real value to wire cutters and others who don’t subscribe to cable or satellite TV.

    Image high quality


    Click on the picture above for really helpful image settings.

    Sarah Tew/CNET

    Similar to the opposite 4 midpriced FALD TVs I’ve examined in 2018, the Vizio P collection delivered a wonderful total image, sufficient to earn a rating of “eight” on this class. It is not adequate to get a “9,” nonetheless, and in comparison with the opposite LCDs in my lineup that scored an eight, I preferred it barely much less total than the Samsung Q8, the TCL and the Sony, however a bit higher than the Vizio M collection.

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