Vizio unveils low-priced 3D HDTV models

Friday, November 19, 2010, 19:47 by Tech Correspondent

Vizio, a company that carved out for itself a substantial portion of the HD television market by developing inexpensive, high-tech TVs, has just launched 3D HD TVs that are said to be as good as the best in the market, but cost much less.

The three new 3D TV models from Vizio measure 55 inches, 47 inches and 42 inches and cost $2,400, $1,800, and $1,400 respectively.

They all offer full HD (1080p) resolution and LED Smart Dimming. The larger televisions are LED backlit, while the smallest model uses Razor LED lighting. This backlighting technology is TruLED which dims or brightens the entire image, and not just around the edges. The TVs also have 120 zones for local dimming or lighting. The new TVs include Vizio Internet Apps, using which it is possible to stream video from services like Netflix and Pandora directly to the TV. The TV set uses WiFi 802.11n and doesn’t require an Ethernet cable to stream content from the Internet.

All three TVs from Vizio use a standard Vizio VUR10 remote that works via Bluetooth and has a sliding QWERTY keyboard for typing search terms while browsing the net.

Vizio’s TVs also have RealD technology, a 3D technology used by theatres. These television sets have refresh rates of 480 Hz, which reduces motion blur considerably. Further, the TV’s dynamic contrast ratio of 10,000,000:1 reproduces darkness and light with accuracy.

Vizio is promoting its 3D glasses right now and while one pair costs about $130, two can be had for $220. Vizio had earlier made $10 3D special glasses.

3D is fast gaining in popularity, with there being 3D channels in the United States. A survey has declared that one fourth of all TV viewers expect to upgrade to 3D within a year.

This is good news for firms like Vizio. While the company will compete with the likes of Samsung, LG, Sony and Toshiba in the 3D TV market, it will only do so in the mid- and low-end segment.

Full blown models such as the 103 inch Panasonic 3D Plasma and 55 inch Samsung 9000 3D LED TVs which cost around $6,000 will not offer competition to any of the models offered by Vizio.

The 55 inch TV from Vizio, called Vizio XVT3D554SV, is about 3 inches thick and has five HDMI ports. A direct competitor to this TV from Vizio is Samsung’s 55 inch LED 3D TV UN55C7000WF that comes with Netflix, Hulu etc and is one inch thick. This TV, though, has only 4 HDMI ports. Also, Samsung’s TV costs about $3,300 and can only access WiFi networks via an adapter.

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