With the first wave of 3D HDTVs behind us, it's time for round two, only this time many manufacturers, including Vizio, are choosing to learn from their collective mistakes with active 3D technology and are going with a more passive approach. The Vizio E3D320VX reviewed here is the smallest of Vizio's new, passive, 3D HDTVs at 32-inches diagonal. Along with being the smallest, the E3D320VX is also the cheapest, retailing for $549.99. The E3D320VX is part of Vizio's new E-Series lineup of LCD based 3D HDTVs which also includes 42 and 47-inch models.
All E-Series 3D HDTVs are LCD backlit, feature Vizio's own Theater 3D technology with two pairs of passive (polarized) 3D glasses included and feature Internet connectivity courtesy of their built in 802.11n built-in WiFi. In terms of the E3D320VX's performance - specifically it's a native 1080p display with a reported contrast ratio of 200,000:1 (dynamic) with a 60Hz refresh rate and SRS sound support via its dual, internal 10-Watt speakers. The E3D320VX also features Vizio's new Ambient Light Sensor technology, which automatically adjusts the overall brightness of the display to account for changing lighting conditions in the room.
In terms of connection options the E3D320VX has three 3D compliant HDMI inputs along with component, composite, RGB (computer), RF and Ethernet inputs as well. There are even two USB 2.0 inputs, which are MP3 and JPG compatible located along the side of the E3D320VX as well. The E3D320VX comes preloaded with a barrage of popular Internet Apps which include, Netflix, Blockbuster, Hulu Plus, Flickr, Yahoo, Vudu, Facebook, Twitter and Vizio's own App store to name a few.
The E3D320VX itself is a minimal design clad in a piano black bezel complimented by a matte black speaker bar that runs below the screen itself. The E3D320VX measures just over 31 inches wide by 21 inches tall and three inches deep without the stand. With the included stand the E3D320VX's height increases to 22 and a half inches and its depth increases to seven inches. The E3D320VX is easy enough to handle and move by a single individual thanks in part to its total weight of 20 pounds.
In terms of performance out of the box the E3D320VX does require some basic calibration, which isn't difficult to accomplish with the help of a simple calibration disc thanks to its stellar on screen menus. Once calibrated the E3D320VX's performance is anything but average, possessing an image that is both accurate in its color reproduction and movement as it is in its contrast, sharpness and overall clarity. The E3D320VX's image is decidedly cinematic in look; thanks in part to its matte screen surface making images feel more organic and less "digital" than the competition. Its black levels are superb; however they aren't as deep as some, though the texture and detail contained within is class leading in my opinion. The E3D320VX does display a slight vignette effect at the corners during brightly lit scenes or while viewing white graphics such as those often found at the end of a number of car commercials.
The E3D320VX's 3D performance is among the best I've seen from any 3D HDTV, for it's flicker free and possesses a clarity you won't find, at least in my eyes, with active 3D designs. The included 3D glasses are comfortable and easier to live with and are inexpensive to replace if damaged or lost. In fact, RealD glasses from your local theater will work on any Vizio E-Series display as well.
Read about the high points and low points of the Vizio E3D320VX 3D HDTV on Page 2.
• The E3D320VX's low cost and passive design make it a perfect entry level 1080p HDTV
for those looking to get into 3D without breaking the bank. Also I
applaud Vizio for including two pairs of glasses with every E-Series
display, something first generation 3D HDTVs didn't do.
• The E3D320VX size and design make it nearly ideal for use in a small
den, office or bedroom system, which is where I chose to install mine.
• The E3D320VX 2D picture is terrific and is easy to calibrate thanks to its beautifully designed on-screen menus.
• The E3D320VX's built in WiFi is also a welcomed addition to the
feature set, allowing you to stream movies and interact with your
friends via Facebook and/or Twitter without having to shell out extra
money for dongles and/or lengthy Ethernet cables. Personally, I enjoy
the Yahoo Apps for it allows me to check the news and weather before
getting out of bed.
• As much as I appreciate the E3D320VX's 3D performance I don't feel
that its 32-inch diagonal screen size is engrossing at all and when
viewing 3D content from a distance of even six feet it makes the
E3D320VX's screen appear smaller.
• The E3D320VX takes forever to warm up as well as acquire a signal,
which is annoying when switching between source components.
• Speaking of source components,
the E3D320VX's three HDMI inputs are simply not enough. If you're a
consumer who relies on your TV to handle your video switching I'm
afraid four or even five HDMI inputs is the magic number you're going
to want to see present on the E3D320VX.
• While I like the inclusion of Internet Apps and built in WiFi, the
E3D320VX's remote and Qwerty keyboard are pretty much useless and the
only tool at your disposal to access the displays numerous features.
• The E3D320VX's Ambient Light Sensor technology is a nice idea but
fails in its practical application for its adjustments are far too
noticeable and distracting.
Competition and Comparisons
At just under $550 retail I'm afraid the E3D320VX has no competition
when it comes to other 32-inch passive 3D HDTVs at this time. There are
numerous 32-inch 2D displays at or around the E3D320VX's asking price
but no 3D ones that I am aware of. LG is currently the only other
manufacturer (at the time of this review) producing passive 3D
displays; however they all start at over $1,000 and come in screen
sizes in excess of 40-inches diagonal. Still, having demoed one such
display I can say that I prefer Vizio's 3D image to the costlier LG one
and even feel that with 2D material they're more evenly matched than I
would've ever suspected.
For more information on 3D and 3D HDTVs including which 3D HDTV may be right for you please visit Home Theater Review's 3D HDTV Review page.
At a hair under $550 retail the Vizio E3D320VX 32-inch passive 3D HDTV
is the perfect way to break into the 3D HDTV game and find out if its
truly for you without going overboard with your budget. If it turns out
you're one of the many folks who either don't like 3D or can't see 3D
then at least you can rest easy knowing you've got a terrific 2D
display, for the E3D320VX produces a wonderful HD picture as well.
Consider this set highly recommended and worth every penny.