Vizio Unveils 2012 TV Line, Including 21:9, Google TV SKUs

By Greg Tarr On Jan 30 2012 - 6:01am




LAS VEGAS — Vizio introduced at International CES its 2012 TV line, highlighted by three CinemaWide 21:9 ultra-widescreen FullHD sets and a range of Google TVenabled products.

The 21:9 sets, which present CinemaScope 2.35:1 movies from Blu-ray Discs and DVDs without the black bars at the top and bottom of the frame, will all include Vizio’s passive-glasses-based Theater 3D technology.

The widescreen sets will also use the company’s V.I.A. functionality to present apps and Internet content sideby- side with a full-size, FullHD 16:9 programming image.

Vizio also unveiled its VIA Plus system that integrates Google TV technology in select TVs, Blu-ray players, tablets and set-top boxes. The enhanced IP platform brings a unified user experience to a wide range of devices.

VIA Plus products include 65-inch, 55-inch and 47- inch Theater 3DTVs, the VBR430 Blu-ray player and the VAP430 set-top Stream Player.

Pricing and availability dates on all models will be announced later.

The Stream Player will fill a void in the market following Logitech’s decision to discontinue its Revue Google TV box, which failed to live up to expectations. Logitech said the Revue launched with what amounted to a beta version of the Google TV platform after it spent multiple millions on a product launch campaign.

The platform has since been updated and has an easierto- navigate interface and a wider range of apps and services than the Revue unit originally offered.

In Blu-ray, Vizio will offer a VIA Plus-enabled model in VBR430 with Google TV and a touchpad universal remote with a QWERTY keypad. The VBR430 also adds DLNA support to access audio, video and photo files stored on any DLNA-compatible computer, network-connected hard drive or cellphone connected to a home network. It also adds built-in Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth capability for streaming media from cellphones and computers.

Vizio showed two VIA Plus-enabled tablets — the current VTAB1008 and the new 10-inch VTAB3010.

Meanwhile, the three CinemaWide XVT-series models include the 50-inch XVT3D500CM, the 58-inch XVT3D580CM and the 71-inch XVT3D710CM. Pricing will be announced later.

The VIA ecosystem includes such services as Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, Facebook, Flickr, Netflix, Rhapsody, Pandora, Twitter, Vudu, Yahoo! TV Widgets and Fandango.

Also Vizio adds the Yahoo! Connected TV store, providing access to more than 180 free and paid TV apps from CBS, Showtime, Pandora, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, AT&T, iHeart-Radio, Fandago and QVC.

New addition iHeart is Clear Channel’s digital radio service with customizable listening to more than 800 popular live broadcast and digital-only radio stations from 150 cities, and user-created Custom Stations.

The WSJ Live app from The Wall Street Journal offers up to four total hours of live video programming each business day from across the Wall Street Journal Digital Network, including the Journal, Dow Jones Newswires, Barron’s, MarketWatch, SmartMoney and AllThingsD.com.

M-GO, offered on Vizio TVs and Blu-ray Disc players is an on-demand service from Technicolor that combines movies, music, apps, live TV and more. The app will help consumers find the content they’re looking for through an extensive content library and discovery engine, while also providing second-screen functionality for searching additional content.

To navigate the VIA platform Vizio includes a Bluetooth universal remote control with its integrated QWERTY keypad. The sets also include built-in 802.11n Wi-Fi access.

For 3D, the CinemaWide HDTVs ship with four pairs of battery-free passive 3D eyewear.

The 50- and 58-inch LCD models offer 120Hz refresh rates and Edge Lit Razor LED backlighting with Smart Dimming technology that produces a contrast ratio of up to 1,000,000:1.

The 71-inch XVT3D710CM offers a 240Hz refresh rate and full-array TruLED backlighting with Smart Dimming technology, providing more uniform brightness levels across the screen from 120 LED zones.

The dynamic contrast ratio is said to be 20,000,000:1.

Vizio is also showing a number of 16:9 models ranging in screen sizes from 32 to 71 inches in the E, M and R series. All offer the VIA system and come with either two or four pairs of passive-glasses 3D, depending on the model.

The new E-series lineup includes the 32-inch E3D320VX ($550 suggested retail), the 42- inch E3D420VX ($750) and the 47-inch E3D- 470VX ($900). M-series models include the 47-inch M3D470KD, the 55-inch M3D550KD and the 65-inch M3D650SV. Prices on those will be announced later.

The R series offers the 42-inch R3D420VS, 47-inch R3D470VS, 55-inch R3D550VS and 65-inch R3D650VS.

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