Andrew Robinson began his career as an art director in entertainment advertising in 2003, after graduating from Art Center College of Design. In 2006, he became a creative director at Crew Creative Advertising, and oversaw the agency's Television Division, where he worked for clients such as TNT, TBS, History, FX, and Bravo to name a few. He now has one of the most popular AV-related channels on YouTube.
With 4K and OLED presumably right around the corner, it may not make a lot of sense for anyone to be too excited for a measly 'ol HDTV - but I am. Just because "better" may be out there doesn't mean our current standard HD is ready to go quietly into that good night; if anything, I think it may have its best days ahead. Case in point: the all-new Vizio E601i-A3 (E601i) 60-inch edge-lit LED HDTV. Retail priced at under $1,000 retail ($999.99 to be exact), this 60-inch display not only puts stalwarts like Sharp and Panasonic on notice, it is a clear shot across 4K's bow. If HD can't beat 4K in the resolution war, then it will take the fight to the consumer where it matters most - the wallet. But is the Vizio good enough to consider buying, knowing 4K is just around the bend? That is what I wanted to find out.
I have to admit, Vizio is among the more exciting brands in the consumer space, if for no other reason than they're never boring. While high-end enthusiasts may shrug at Vizio's Costco brand image and dismiss them as entry-level, I don't. Vizio has changed the game in more ways than one, and whether you like its products or despise them, we should all give credit where credit is due. Without Vizio, companies like Panasonic, Samsung, Sony and Sharp would have had no reason to compete in the price wars as feverishly as they have in recent years. Moreover, unlike its competitors, Vizio has been actively trying to bolster its brand image by manufacturing increasingly better-performing models, while other companies cut corners and/or features in order to compete on cost.
The E601i is a prime example of where I believe Vizio is headed, for it not only shatters the 60-inch price barrier originally set by Sharp, it looks the part of a higher-end product than nearly any other budget-oriented display I've seen recently. Taking a page out of the Kuro handbook (yes, I went there and it won't be the last time), the E601i looks more tailored than gimmicky, thanks to its narrow (but not edgeless) black bezel. The bezel itself is a mere three quarters of an inch thick on all sides and is finished in gloss black. There's no gaudy silver surround or accent in the style that seems to be going around these days; even the Vizio nameplate is largely hidden from prominence, thanks to its near black-on-black silk screening. I like that. The display itself (without the included stand) measures 54 inches wide by 32 inches tall and just under two inches deep. The E601i, despite its size, is manageable in its weight, tipping the scales at 54 pounds, again, without its stand. With the included stand, the E601i's weight jumps to nearly 62 pounds and the depth increases to 11 inches.
Around back, it's more good news: the inputs are clearly and neatly laid out with enough real estate to accommodate both chunky terminations and aid in proper cable management, something that many edge-lit LED displays lack. Inputs are both side-mounted and bottom-mounted and include four HDMI (two side, two down), one component (side), one composite (side), one VGA (bottom), one RF (bottom), one Ethernet (bottom) and two USB (side). Outputs include an SPDIF digital audio out (bottom) and an analog audio out (bottom).
Behind the scenes, the E601i sports a native resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. The backlighting comes by way of Vizio's Razor LED system, which is to say it is edge-lit. The E601i is not a 3D-enabled display, but it does pack nearly everything else. Color is said to be 10-bit, with a reported contrast ratio of one million to one (dynamic). The refresh rate is 120Hz, with a response time of four milliseconds. Vizio claims a viewing angle of 176 degrees, which I'll get into later in this review. The E601i has two 10-watt internal speakers with SRS StudioSound, TruSurround HD and SRS TruVolume capability. The E601i boasts Vizio's own VIA Internet App platform that brings Netflix, Vudu, Pandora, Hulu Plus and more to the party. The Internet Apps can be accessed via Ethernet or wireless Internet connection. The E601i can also access multimedia content, be it images, music or movies stored on your home network or DLNA-compatible device. No list of compatible file formats is given, though past Vizio displays have been compatible with most major music and movie formats, such as MP3, MP4 and more. The E601i also features Smooth Motion and ambient light sensor technology.
As for the E601i's remote, it is more or less the same as what we've seen from Vizio for the past two or three generations. It features a full QWERTY keyboard, as well as quick access Internet keys for function with Netflix and other services. It isn't backlit and is on the smaller side of average, given that it boasts a full keyboard, but at the same time, it is functional and feels solid in hand.
The E601i arrived on my doorstep before its official public unveiling, though it was not a pre-production unit. The box itself is surprisingly thin for a display as large as the E601i, but it is well-packed and everything arrived safely. Unboxing the E601i is easy enough for a single person; while I was able to move it solo, that's not recommended. The included table base attaches to E601i via three small screws, which are located in a small bag alongside the display's other accessories, including the remote and power cord. Within a few minutes, I had the E601i placed and ready for calibration atop my Omni+ Vent equipment rack.
Upon power-up, the E601i will prompt you with a series of setup procedures, the most important of these being the initial option, which is whether or not to put the display into "store" or "home" mode. Whatever you do, do not put the E601i into its "store" mode if you plan on a) viewing it in a home and b) wish to perform any higher-level image adjustment and/or calibration to the display. The "store" mode is selected by default (why, I have no idea), so you must select "home" before proceeding. You've been warned.
I arranged for my friend and THX-certified calibrator Ray Coronado of SoCalHT to come over to help me with the E601i's calibration. Out of the box, we measured the E601i's default picture setting, which was "standard." In standard mode, the E601i's panel measured at a staggering 52 foot lamberts. Grey-scale was good, with a measured gamma of 2.0. Colorimetry was average, with the biggest shift being red, which pulled towards yellow, resulting in a slight orange hue. The light output was a little shy of the SMPTE standard in Movie mode, but this can easily be rectified by raising the Backlight setting a few clicks. The standard picture mode is an offset of the Movie mode. The higher gamma in Movie mode is desirable approaching the newly established reference for video mastering of 2.4 set by the ITU (International Broadcast Union) one of the industry's leading standards setting committees. So for complete light controlled environments the Movie mode is best, and for viewing conditions that require slightly brighter pictures the Standard mode is recommended.
Thankfully, the E601i provides you with a "custom" option. As a side note, the E601i has more image presets than any display I've seen in recent memory; it even goes so far as to separate all of the major professional sports into their own image presets. Post-THX calibration, we measured the E601i at a solid 40 foot-lamberts, with improved grey-scale tracking (average Delta E error of 1.6) and gamma measuring at 2.15. Since the E601i does not have any sort of CMS functionality, the only thing we were able to set definitively was the display's white point; when it was properly set, it did improve the E601i's colorimetry a bit. We were able to better tweak the color by manipulating the E601i's basic color and tint controls, but should you need (or demand) absolute color accuracy, you'd have to rely on an outboard device, such as a DVDO Duo or the like. It should be noted that there are a number of budget displays that lack CMS control, so while this is a knock against the E601i, it is not exclusive to it. It should also be noted that many so-called high-end displays, such as Sony's VPL-VW1000ES 4K projector, also lack CMS controls. Still, post-calibration, the E601i's color accuracy was above average and, in practical viewing, it proved to be largely a non-issue, as test patterns, test images and the like looked natural and even textbook.
Before I move to the E601i's performance, I want to talk briefly about its edge lighting system. Out of the box, and in any of its preconfigured image modes, there is some visible edge light leak when viewing low light or dark images. It's not as bad as many of today's edgeless designs, but the light leak is still present. We were able to minimize and in some instances effectively eliminate its edge light deficiencies by balancing the display's overall brightness through the use of backlighting and brightness. Keeping both adjustments more or less around the halfway point (50s for brightness and low 60s for backlighting) proved ideal. Additionally, thanks to the E601i's contrast capabilities, we were able to further augment brightness, without sacrificing contrast, by bumping up the contrast. This three-way dance, when done correctly, resulted in little to no edge light leaks and some of the richest black levels I've seen in an edge-lit LED display.
I kicked my evaluation off with James Cameron's Avatar on Blu-ray disc (20th Century Fox). I didn't chapter ahead; instead, I opted to let the film play from the beginning, since there are a myriad of bright and dark scenes in rapid succession. The shots of the transport ship steaming through the blackness of space were jaw-dropping. The E601i's edge lighting system did not betray the image in any way as the deep, dark blackness of outer space was rendered brilliantly. Truthfully, there's only one LED HDTV that I've seen in recent memory with the same black level fidelity I witnessed through the E601i, and that is the Elite from Sharp at five or six times the E601i's price. Part of the reason for this discrepancy, I believe, is the E601i's matte finish screen, as opposed to most LEDs' high-gloss screens.
Read more about the performance of the Vizio E601i-A3 on Page 2.
The matte screen surface does an admirable job of absorbing light and minimizing reflections, so I have to imagine it helps in creating a rich black-level experience, as the display surface seems to be a bit of black hole. Also, the matte screen surface didn't enhance or impart a sheen to the image, especially colors and skin tones, which resulted in an image that appeared far more natural to my eyes. No, it didn't pop the way some LED displays do, but I'd argue that neither does real life, which is why I preferred the E601i's image and felt it more natural in its rendition than even my reference Panasonic plasma.
The combination of the E601i's screen, black-level rendering, contrast and natural color (despite slight colorimetry errors) resulted in one of the most naturally sharp and dimensional HD images I've seen. Edge fidelity was great, without artificial enhancements or any sort of video or motion anomalies. Skin tones and textures looked organic and, again, natural, despite the film's somewhat artificial or enhanced color palette, thanks to its otherworldly locale of the planet Pandora.
Moving on, I fired up Crimson Tide on Blu-ray (Hollywood Pictures). Crimson Tide was originally shot on 35mm film and then later scanned in order to be transferred to Blu-ray. I do not know if the film was fully remastered or not; suffice to say that the transfer to Blu-ray looks good, though it's clear that the images were originally captured on film. The E601i does not alter or try and mask this, which is a good thing. The edges of the performers and/or their surroundings were appropriately soft, compared to today's modern films, but that isn't to say the E601i is vague, it's just true to the source. Despite this slight roundness to the image's sharpness, it still appeared sharp and dimensional. Black levels again were superb, though the color grading in this particular film imparted a slight cool hue to them. This allowed me to make a comparison between the E601i's ability to display true black and manipulated or color-corrected black, as evident in the aspect ratio bars top and bottom, versus the black within the action on screen. The black bars top and bottom were nearly as deep as the E601i's bezel, while the slight cool black tones in the film were a few shades lighter than that. Keep in mind that I had all dynamic contrast and/or adaptive lighting turned off, so it wasn't as if the E601i was killing some of its edge lighting to ensure the black bars top and bottom stayed black.
Skin tones were again natural in their portrayal and, thanks to the film's Earthly origins, they appeared far more realistic in their tone, detail and texture. During the scene where the Navy officers await their order to board the USS Alabama in what can only be described as a torrential downpour; the E601i's superb contrast rendered the rain in such a way that it appeared genuinely wet. The high-contrast narrow streaks of white that often portray rain on film can easily become overwhelmed by today's digital compression, noise or a display's poor contrast and motion capabilities. Not so with the E601i, as it was rendered with aplomb.
I ended my critical evaluation of the E601i with the recently Blu-ray re-release of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (Paramount). Without rehashing earlier praise, let me just say the E601i's color rendering was simply beautiful and wholly cinematic. What stood out to me on this demo was the E601i's rendering of texture, as the film's period garb proved a good yardstick by which to judge. I could easily discern whether a performer was wearing wool, tweed, cotton or silk by the sheer level of fine detail the E601i was able to capture. Another thing that stood out to me was the E601i's control over the film's brighter elements. This again speaks to the E601i's contrast capabilities, as I've seen many a display, including those costing far more than this, rob cinematographer Janusz Kaminski's work of his signature look, specifically in his treatment of highlights. For example, in the diner scene, the light over Harrison Ford's shoulder gives him and his hair line a strong rim light. Kaminski lets the highlights bloom, creating a halo-like effect, but he is careful not to lose Ford's hairline in the process, and that is exactly how the E601i displayed the image. Impressive.
With my opinions towards the E601i's image quality cemented, I then proceeded to test its other functions, specifically its Internet connectivity and apps. The E601i's apps are accessible by pressing the centrally located Vizio icon or button on the display's remote. Doing so will cause a pop-up menu to appear along the display's lower edge. You can scroll through the various options by using the directional keys on the remote. The speed and quality of your Internet connection will determine how seamless an experience you will have with any of the aforementioned apps, as they are all streaming-based.
A quick glance at a few Netflix trailers proved that, despite the E601i's superb image quality with Blu-ray content (and even DVD), there's no getting around the often crap quality of today's overly compressed streaming files. Still, everything worked as advertised and was simple enough to navigate that even my wife could manage without any sort of instruction by me.
Lastly, I just want to point out that, as a computer monitor, the E601i is positively brilliant. I'm not a gamer, but I can see diehard computer or console gamers falling all over themselves when playing games on the E601i. I merely surfed the Internet and did some minor Photoshop tweaks just to see how the E601i fared and was blown away. Granted, when it comes to true computer monitors, you can get higher resolutions than the E601i provides, but for those who just want to experiment now and then, the E601i is good fun.
Okay, I'll admit it, I was - am - blown away by the E601i's performance. That said, there are a few items that keep it from being truly reference grade. For starters, the viewing angle is not as wide as Vizio suggests. In fact, it's much, much narrower. Vizio would have you believe that you can enjoy the E601i in an arc stretching as wide as 178 degrees. This simply isn't true. Yes, you can technically see an image at roughly 178 degrees, but it's not one I'd call enjoyable. For best performance, you're going to want to restrict your viewing angle to about the width of a standard three-seat sofa. Sitting too low or too high will also play a role in how good or bad you perceive the E601i to be. This is honestly the biggest strike against the E601i.
Next, I would've liked to see full CMS control inside the E601i's menu options. It's not that the E601i's colorimetry is wickedly out of sorts, but it could be better; it lacks the control to make it so. Minor color and tint adjustments (post grey-scale calibration) will help things, but without an outboard device, one hundred percent color accuracy is impossible with the E601i.
I'm not certain the first option a consumer should face when powering on the E601i is whether or not to put it into "store" or "home" mode, especially as "store" is the factory default. If you're at all like me, when you first buy a new TV, you want to get to the action as quickly as possible. I wonder how many E601i purchasers will mistakenly put their new screens into "store" mode unwittingly, due our need for immediate gratification. For those of you who don't know what "store" mode is, it's an image preset that basically sets the display into full on or full auto mode, meaning all features and lighting adjustments are engaged in order to produce the most brilliant image possible. Yes, it is captivating from a distance, but it is totally wrong for home viewing and cannot be calibrated properly. If you want a blisteringly bright image, simply select "home" mode, then put the E601i into its "vivid" setting, and you'll be most of the way there.
Lastly, regarding the E601i's menu, I wish there was a way to save and recall your settings. I know that technically your settings are saved on each input until you change them, but there's no way to store those settings to recall them later should something get mixed up or, worse, a loved one hits reset. Some form of memory functionality would be a welcome feature.
Competition and Comparison
It's not that 60-inch LED HDTVs are anything new. Hell, nearly every manufacturer offers an SKU or 12. What makes the E601i unique among its competitors is that its everyday price rests below a grand and its performance and connectivity are also largely otherwise unknown in its class.
That said, the most obvious competitor is Sharp. If you follow financial news, you're no doubt aware that Sharp is on the verge of going belly up, making any investment in their HDTVs a potentially shaky one. Still, Sharp does sell several 60-inch edge-lit LED models, though the closest one in price to the E601i retails for around $1,300 and features zero Internet connectivity. If I'm honest, the lesser or cheaper Sharp models (normally those not branded with Quattro) don't possess the chops that the Vizio E601i does in terms of picture quality.
Other competitors include Samsung and LG, both of which have come on strong as of late in the thin-is-in LED market. However, in my opinion, in Samsung's and LG's quests for beauty, they've sacrificed image quality, most notably light uniformity due to their lack of bezel. Low-light scenes or 2.35:1 content on many of these so-called bezel-less designs are often plagued with visible edge light, resulting in washed out blacks. Additionally, I do not believe that either LG or Samsung's more affordable LED displays come even close to matching the price of the E601i.
For more on these LED displays and other HDTV displays like them, please visit Home Theater Review's HDTV Review page.
Once again, Vizio has managed to take a popular segment of the HDTV marketplace and make it accessible to more people without sacrificing performance or functionality with their E601i-A3 60-inch LED HDTV. It's not that the E601i is perfect - no display is - but it is surprising. Not only is the E601i the most affordable 60-inch LED display out there, it manages to outperform all of its direct competition and even some costing much, much more. There are a few options I'd love to see included with the E601i, such as CMS. I'd also love to see Vizio improve the viewing angle in future models, but again, for a sub-$1,000 HDTV the E601i is hard to fault.
Earlier, I spoke about the emergence of 4K and/or OLED and how either may affect your future buying decisions. If you're in the market for a new HDTV, but you're holding out for 4K or OLEDs to become more affordable, I understand. I'm in the same boat, but as of right now, both 4K and OLED are prohibitively expensive, if they're even available to mere mortals like you and me. What I like about the E601i is that it hits a price point that makes a lot of sense (at least to me) while I wait to see what transpires with 4K and/or OLED. Both 4K and OLED are coming, but we're still a ways away before either hit the levels of affordability we're talking about with the E601i. With regard to other similarly-sized LED HDTVs, I'm not sure I would spend more. I just don't feel the amount you'd have to spend to outright best the E601 is worth it. In any case, most viewers willing to invest in proper calibration will likely not be aware of the E601i's minor colorimetry errors.
It's my conclusion that, on its own, the E601i is not an absolute reference display, but with a little help, and provided you're within its optimal viewing angle, there is little that keeps the E601i from being world-class. I love it.
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Thanks for the review. I just opened mine that I won at a raffle. I am excited to place it in my exercise room in the basement on a wall mount. I like this unit even more since reading your review, by the way.
idk if this has been answered or not but is this tv mhl compatible
I've been trying to decide between the Vizio E601i-A3 and the Sharp LC-60LE650. I think this review just made my decision easy. Andrew I've seen a few comments ask you for the calibration settings you used but I never saw a response from you. Can you please share the settings you used to get the picture quality you raved about?
Awesome review! I purchased this TV on black friday. I was looking for it based on all the information I gather from this extensive review. Best purchased so far!! Thanks again!
Hello Andrew Robinson, Could you post the calibrated settings? I understand the calibration depends on the user setting and preferences. But I know you guys get the most out of every pixel from the display and I would like to calibrate this HDTV with your settings. Thank you and kudos on such detail review!
I have had mine for 8 months, my local wal/mart has it now for 899;;;;;;;;; I have it on an antenna, so the best I can do is 1080i, have no hdmi hooked up, the pic is amazing, the most noticeable thing you notice is the colors are perfect,, all I hear about is black level, well for me white level is just as important, I see some of the real high end sets, with the perfect black level, but the whit is grey, this set has Whites;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;; as for settings hear is what I use, in Vivid Mode, color temp is set to Cool, Then for all the options, just turn them all off except for auto film mode on, and put the adaptive lumna on medium, this will pump up the gamma a little,as for other settings, back lite at 80,briteness at 50, contrast at,75, color at 56, tint at 0, sharpness at 3, on net flix I use movie mode, all same except backlitedown to 75, and contrast up to 80;;;;;;;;; these settings seem to produce a near perfect picture. I am every day amazed with this set, and it works well in a bright room. bottom line for me is everything has real color;;;;;;;;;; Steve
Would you be willing to share the post-calibration picture settings?
hello andrew, Great review of vizio E601I, i am thinking of getting a 65" tv from vizio, saw a new vizio it's a E650I A2, i contacted vizio to check whether it is similar to a E601I, they say both are the same except that the E650I has better contract ratio than the 601I. but the E650I is not a razor series LED. So i need suggestions. please do reply.
Hey guys! I just ordered my 60" Vizio from Vizio.com. Delivered to the door for $1,085.
I come late to this discussion, as I do to most (as you're about to comprehend), but hope you'll see my question as a valid one - and I'm patient, too, Andrew. Now that my e-center is finally installed, I want to make my Fisher 304B Quadraphonic receiver the centerpiece of my system, which will include a cable box, DVD and VHS players, casette deck, turntable, and 2 Sony 400-capacity CD jukeboxes. I'm concerned that the component v. composite choice may limit my options not only in running the cable, DVD and VHS lines into the set, but also in running an analog audio out from it into my Fisher. Am I covered? And no, "with moss" is NOT the right answer. Thanks!
I guess I'm confused as the Vizio (which you bought?) does have App support.
i bought a 60 inch about three months ago great tv ,but i was in sams today ,they have a 55 inch samsung with apps,you can searn the internet,it has a app for this ,i paid a lot of money for this this tv ,vizio needs to give us a app to search,or i will have to change brands. i dont want any more boxes,just add the the app now!!
My apologies 2dubyas, I promise my not getting to your question was not intentional. We got comment bombed and it pushed a lot of peoples' legitimate questions out of the current feed which is how i may have missed yours. Again, I apologize but am glad to hear you've found something that works for you. Thanks for reading!
Well Andrew, since you either forgot to answer or chose to ignore my question re: speaker recommendations, I did my own on-line research and purchased Panasonic's Model SC-HTB350 2.1-Ch. System for $150 (Half off the MSRP at Best Buy). Saw an "Open Box" priced DENON DHT-1513BA System while in the store for $410 but hadn't researched it yet. Read all the great reviews on it back at home while enjoying the Panasonic "split" bar option system with my Vizio. It has very good sound but not the surround sound effect I was after, so went back to buy the Denon system but it was gone! Fortunately, when I got back home and Google-searched who had the best price on this system, found a link to one of Denon's authorized sellers who had a warranteed refurb unit for only $350, so snapped it up immediately and it sounds as good (if not better) as a Bose system for $1200 more!
I can't wait to see one of these at my local Costco, although I'm still a plasma fan at heart. Recently at a Sams store and so far its quite impressed.
I would try turning off any and all dynamic settings, motion adaptation effects and the like and see how that works for you. From there I'd check to see what your DVR settings are too. Often what you're describing is the result of poor compression and/or interpolation and not the displays fault at all. Good luck and my apologies for not getting to your question(s) sooner.
Any ideas? I think it's that smooth motion thing possibly?
Andrew, Just bought mine today. Great review by the way. The picture looks great except when watching sports. I may need some more calibration. i was watching the nfl playoffs today and every time a quarterback threw the ball the ball seemed to blur pretty bad. Almost like the tv couldnt catch up. Honestly it was pretty annoying and kinda gave me a headache. I flipped over to a basketball game and every time they shot it did the same thing. I bought an lg 3d 55" a couple months ago and I do not notice it that badly on that unit. So is there a setting I need to turn off or am I stuck with this? Is this due to 120 refresh rate? I view a lot of sports and watch a lot of movies. I wanted a plasma but I feel the room may be too bright for the Panasonic u50 that was at Costco for under $800. Sorry for all the questions but so far I'm not impressed while watching sports.
I just bought a composite video cable made specifically for the wii from monoprice.com. ($3) I plan to install them this weekend. Composite video is the best possible image that the wii console can output. It will still be 480 but look better than component (yellow-red-white) output.
This is probably the best review I've read of this TV, so far. I just got mine and couldn't be more pleased. Sound is 'so so'. Users will want a sound bar or Audio connection and I felt set up was overly complex and not intuitive. Vizio needs to work on their out of box experience a bit, I think. But once set up, the tech leery should have little trouble. using the TV. 4k sets? Well, they're gonna be expensive for a while, and for the casual viewer, will they ever be priced so that they are considered the base level of IQ? Maybe, but size, quality and recent prices of 1080p LED TVs will keep them a viable option for the casual user for a good 3-5 years I expect. And at < $1000 a copy, it is worth the gamble.
Andrew, my wife and I pre-ordered this Vizio right after reading your very positive review and are enjoying all its features. We would now like to by a compatible sound bar or home theater system for it and were wondering if you could suggest models in the low- to medium-price range which have the "biggest bang for your buck" for features, sound quality, ease of remote, etc. Thanks in advance for your reply to our question, and hope you will bat "2 for 2" for us!
Thank you so much for this amazingly well written review! I am far from a fanatic or HD snob, but I have transitioned to streaming all my content form the web and my home network, and have been looking for a budget friendly TV that would play nicely with my network and cord-cutting lifestyle. Your review helped me to hone my search, and I have settled on the Vizio E601i-A3. Actually bought it form Best Buy because they price matched and will remove my ancient oversized CRT HDTV that has been haunting my living room for the past 5+ years. Thank you again for your great review!
I forgot to thank you for your excellent review, it was certainly instrumental in my selection of the E60. My only problem with it is I'm watching way too much TV!
Thank you for sharing the helpful advice. Unfortunately I have not experienced this issue with either of my Vizio E-Series so I have no comment but I'm glad you've posted a solution versus just "this TV sucks". Thanks for the comment and thanks for reading!
I've had this set for about two months now and I'm well pleased with it. I think a lot of people unhappy with the display simply haven't had to dial one in before. I know my '07 Toshiba 47 and '08 Olevia 65 were crude in comparison to the adjustability of the E60, it took me two weeks of experimenting to get the clear, sharp vibrant picture that appeals to me. So worth the effort! If you are following any of the AV forums you will know this set has had remarkably few introductory problems. A few failed remotes, the usual panic send backs over perceived panel faults, some actual failures which were quickly dealt with by the sellers. All told a solid TV and an astounding bargain for what you get. Two persistent issues for people seem to be the viewing angle which is either a terminal problem for you or it isn't but there is no "solution" for it. The other and most frustrating has been the lip sync problem. It has been very common and varies in it's intensity from set to set. Based on what I've read in the forums, this has been the number one reason for returns. My set had a fairly mild case of it, it only manifested on pure cable channels (never on network, streaming or blu ray) and could be temporarily corrected by a channel change so I could live with it. I was hoping a firmware/software update would come along and solve it but the update to 1.1.4 solved nothing. I then did a web chat with Vizio service and was pleasantly surprised with the helpfulness and competence of the CSR. I described the issue, she did not admit it was a common issue but walked me through various scenarios and determined the problem was the audio output on my Motorola DCH3200 cable box. She then gave me the procedure to change the audio output on the box to LCPM and the problem was solved! No more random lip movements! If you are experiencing the sync issue give it a try. My service is with Time Warner and as I mentioned my box is a Moto DCH3200 so check with your provider to find out your procedure and hopefully, you will end up with a perfect E60 as I have.
Thanks Rod. I appreciate that.
Sir, your review is excellent, I have been in agony as to which HDTV to buy, and you have just moved me towards the E601i. Mr. Robinson you are a really good writer....
Bought the tv at Costco and returned the next day. Viewing angle was the deal killer. Just a few feet each way from direct center caused a visable diference in picture quality. Wife would not allow rearrangement of furniture. You know how that goes! Bought the Sharp 60" and am pleased.
Michael, You may have been watching a channel that wasn't in HD, or have your Dish box set to output a max resolution of 480 perhaps. I'd start there. If the box is set up properly (1080i output) and you have HD service (it's often an extra monthly fee) then I'm not certain what is happening as the display -in this case the Vizio -wouldn't down-res the signal. As for the soap opera effect that is the Vizio's "fault" but not to worry for you can turn it off in the advanced picture menus. I believe it's the Smooth Motion option or something to that affect that you need to turn off as the default setting is either medium or low (off the top of my head). Hope this helps.
Andrew, When I hit the "info" button on the Vizio remote, the TV displays three small rectangles in the upper right corner that say "HDMI-1" in the first, "Dish" in the second (the name I gave that input for Dish Network), and "480p SD" in the third. Does that mean I am not receiving a better signal than that even though I should be getting that, and most other channels, in HD and supposedly at least at 720p through Dish Network? Also, I read up a little on the "Soap Opera" effect that this TV produces on most channels. What would be your best suggestion for the settings to get rid of this effect? Thanks for your help, Mike
Hi Jessica, New to this way of leaving messages, so hopefully this works and gets to you. I had the same question when I was setting up my TV, but then looked at the Quick Start Guide on about the 12th page (using cover as 1st page...no page numbers inside) where it says "Connecting Your Devices" and it shows how you connect a device like the Wii. I believe red and white wires go in red and white holes and then the yellow wire goes in the top video hole where the component cable will go. I connected as it shows and my Wii works. Let me know if that works for you and good luck!
I honestly don't know much about repair parts though can understand and/or appreciate your concern. To counter your argument (not to pick a fight but as a devil's advocate) I ask why are Samsung parts so readily available? Typically if parts are stocked it's because there is a steady demand for them. Now, Samsung also makes a lot of panels for a lot of other people so their parts may also be more universal. Toss in the fact that perhaps your local repair shop is a Samsung affiliate of some sort and it makes more sense why one would be more readily available than the other. Again, not saying you're wrong or that your repair man is dishonest, just trying to present all the angles before passing judgement yay or nay on any particular product. I don't believe the Vizio to be a bad product but I also don't believe Samsung to be bad either. As with anything there are bound to be a few stinkers here and there and that's just the nature of electronics but overall I do believe most mainstream HDTV sets to be fairly reliable. Now watch, now that I've jinxed myself all my displays will now crap out. :)
Havent seen an EXX1i-A3 yet, like the cost and looks. Stopped in a TV repair shop today to pick their brain, was told Vizio is tough to get parts, Samsung was the best for parts. Andrew, have you heard this? Can you add this type of info in your reviews, I would hate to spend $1K on something that is timly to get parts to fix.
We love the tv however im trying to figure out how we can get our wii plugged into the tv and our cable, right now we don't have hd tv so its the red, white, yellow wires the same as the wii. this tv only offers the one set of the red, white, yellow jacks. Would really like to not have to switch every time we want to play or watch tv?? any help there? also when calibrating do we just go by what we like or is there a certain number that's perfect?
Personally I prefer the Vizio.
Hey Andrew, having a tough time deciding between the Vizio E601i-A3 and the Sharp Aquos 60LE600U.. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!
I'm an old school type, I put up an HD antenna on my roof & get 20 channels in my area. Can I plug the coax antenna into the TV & will the tuner(s) find digital channels & regular analog broadcast channels?
Where did you find this pre Black Friday sale?! I'd love to buy this tv without having to fight the crowds at Walmart!
No, but you can add it via their outboard Google TV device for less than $100 I believe.
Without seeing your display, room, source material etc it's hard for me to comment on what you may be experiencing. Is there a lot of light washing the image out from either behind your viewing chair or perhaps to the sides of the display? I'm sorry but it really is difficult for me to help in this instance. Are you seated too far off axis?
Andrew, Great review. Just purchased one for under $700 at pre Black Friday sale. I notice the picture looks very flat like there is no depth of field compared to my other big screen LCDs. It reminds me of video shows in the early days of video. This is my first ultra thin and LED. Is this picture a result of those features?
Does Vizio have Google
Where are you sitting relative to the center of the screen? The viewing angle of this particular display is not amazing as I pointed out in my review, which may or may not account for what you're experiencing. Thanks for reading and for sharing your thoughts.
It may be semi-gloss or what Vizio is calling semi-gloss. It's not high gloss or highly reflective, which is most important; providing better imaging under ambient or direct lighting conditions than all the displays I had on hand during my review. Sorry for any confusion. Thanks for reading!
Me to James. I was wandering the same thing? Vizio told me they're all semi-gloss. I just bought the M3D651SV
I so wish someone would review the M650VSE and compare it to this model you reviewed here. There is not a single decent pro review on the M650VSE
Are you sure these have a "matte" finish screen? That's not what I've been told. Because the 70in became available for per order today and I plan on getting one. I already own the xvt55inch full array led 3d 480hz and just bought the M-series M3D651SV.
$688 for this bad boy on Black Friday at Wal Mart!!
I just bought this set and I will take it back. The narrow viewing angle makes the picture look washed out with a slightly grayish hue.
if you secribe to Time warner and bundle,,,your caller ID will display on the screen without having to connect a phone jack to your tv,,,,,,
Hello Andrew, I want to thank you for the review of the TV. I want to ask if you know if the E601-A3 is comparable to the M series tv's, more specifically the M650VSE. If not are you, or anybody else reviewing this TV or its 3-D counterpart. Please let us know. Thank you
Yes, I purchased this recently at a Sams store and so far not overly impressed. I do share your observations about the "in store" settings. I have been fiddling more than I'd like to with it to dial it in. I shouldn't have to do this. In the end though, I just can't seem to make the picture satisfactory. It seems to be for a lack of better term, "muddy" or "gray" not vibrant. The colors though look like they CAN be amazing. Maybe it's me... I will try to give it some more time, but at the moment I feel like bringing it back. Even for it's reasonable price, it's still a large purchase. I was originally looking at the Samsung, and I'm surprised some comments state this outperforms it.
Awesome review! Thanks! Does this set come with QAM tuner? I know that many cheaper Vizio HDTV simply skipped that feature...
I'd say it is better than the Samsung 8000. I reviewed the 8000s earlier in the year (or was it late last year) and found them to be as you describe -disappointing. I'd try the Vizio before selling your 8000 but I feel you're going to be happier with it than with the Samsung. IMHO.
Andrew, Is this set better than the Samsung ES8000 as far as performance? I currently have the ES8000 and I am not happy with it at all. It has very bad uniformity and the contrast is just horrible unless you turn on all of the dynamic stuff that crushes blacks and shadow detail. How does this set stack up to the ES8000? I want to return my 8000 and get something else. Thanks.
Thanks! I appreciate the support. We do our best to bring you the most comprehensive (but not too boring or overly technical) reviews we can. I would strongly recommend checking the Vizio out. Get it from Sams or Costco and it's like having a 90-day in-home trial should you find that you don't fancy its picture -but I think you'll dig it. Thanks again for the kind words and for reading!
Thanks Andrew for the quick reply. I've been saving for the Sammy es8000 model but after seeing it in store, reading reviews, and looking at the price tag I think this vizio will be my best bet for a while after reading your review and cnet's. Just noticed someone else asked the same question below - guess I was to anxious before I posted my comment. I have an old panny pz85u plasma that I calibrated myself with an i1pro meter and calman -- so if I jump on this set here it will definitely be fun doing that all again. Always looking for a reference point with someone else's success but I understand your your response. Keep up the good work! Book marking your site ;)
We don't publish our calibration settings as no two displays, even if they're the same make and model, are alike. I do not wish to lead anyone astray by telling them the contrast setting should be ____ when on their display that figure is clearly not right. I would also be weary of sites who DO publish these figures as a sort of "follow my lead" or "I'm saving you money" as they're not nor should you follow them. Thanks for reading and for your question, my apologies for not giving you the answer(s) you were after.
Any chance the Andrew would be kind enough to share the calibrated settings?
Much better set than Samsung's ES8000 that's for sure! I had that set before this and this set is Much better! Great Review!
I meant to say based on CNET review, it's not a bluetooth reomote. You have to keep your remote in front of the tv.. Amazon seems to be included as the icon appears on the app list. https://store.vizio.com/led-lcd-hdtvs/e601ia3.html
Based on CNET review, it's not.
thanks Andrew. I ordered mine. Lets hope it works. I'll update the outcome
Can I call shenanigans on this?
Only one thing... Wish it had a telephone jack to plug into, so that I can use the Caller ID displayed on the screen. Someone dropped the ball on this one. Just received it today, and was looking for the jack. Other than that...PERFECT IN EVERY WAY!
Andrew, Two questions here: Along with Netflix and Hulu Plus, is Amazon included with the Smart TV feature? Second, the M3D550KD has a blutooth remote with a slide our QWERTY keyboard. I understand this model has a keyboard on the back, but is the remote blutooth as well?
Really? Good story.
My older vizio model does when using the Logitech Harmony 900, I would assume this will have it as well. The provided remote does not have discrete commands though.
You sent your E601i-A3 back!? You must have been the first to get one the display is only days old. As for the lack of legacy inputs I don't consider it a downside at this point in the game. Sorry you didn't like it. I hope your HDTV search goes better in the future.
Does anyone know if this set has discreet commands for power and all the inputs?
Not said is that you can have component inputs but not composite at the same time. No s-video.So no S-Vhs, no VHS, no analog Camcorder...this is the cheap way out.+ the remote has such small buttons U need a magnifying glass to use it and the input select give u less than a second to make a selection. I sent mine back.
Great question. I can say that it has no built-in camera and that I don't recall Skype being in the App menu. That being said, according to Vizio's website, the E601i does appear to be compatible with their Internet App camera ($69) that would give you Skype functionality. I'm not 100-percent certain on this but Vizio is selling the camera along side the E601i so I have to imagine they would only do so if the two were compatible.
Does any one know if its skype compatible or any video chat compatible? thanks for ur help
Great review Andrew. Can't wait to see one of these at my local Costco, although I'm still a plasma fan at heart.
Oh Mark it is. Arguably the best deal available today. I don't much care for edge lit LED displays but I would personally own this set. I tried to buy the review unit but there are only so many to go around so I to unfortunately pack it up and send it to another publication. But believe me when this baby hits my local Vizio retailer I'm most likely buying one or maybe even two.
I just thought about it with your comment about 4K. I think 1080P is going to be around for quite some time till they figure out the bandwidth issue. This TV seems to be a heck of a great deal for the money.
Great review Andrew. It's nice to see a display this size come in with the performance and price point you have stated. You mention the narrow viewing angle. Would you consider it to be less than other LEDs on the market?
Don, My apologies but we do not list our calibration settings. The reason for this is we do not wish to mislead anyone for no two displays, even if they're the same make and model, are the same. So, if I listed them and the image you saw didn't appear to match up with my description you'd be upset at either me or the manufacturer, and no one wants that. I can say that in the Vizio's case the Standard image mode was closest to calibrated (not calibrated but closest to) out of the box. From there I would recommend you shop around and find a capable THX or ISF calibrator, for at less than a grand retail the Vizio should be less expensive than its next nearest competitor even AFTER the cost of calibration. Thanks for reading!
Andrew: Would it be possible for you to list your calibration settings?
Astute observation but I'm not certain what your comment has to do with the Vizio reviewed above. The Vizio is an HD display not a 4K one. Plus it's far more affordable than many available "4K solutions". Thanks for reading and for your comment.
Mind if I ask a question... So DirecTV has been launching satellites to expand their bandwidth. Dish has been compressing to add more channels. Cable is not ready to dig everything up to add more fiber or wires. So where is all this bandwidth going to come from to provide media to our new 4K or 8K TV's? I would not spend the kind of cash they are asking, to just watch disks. Are local stations ready to add more antenna's, equipment, etc? I don't think so, this one will be a much harder sell.