IRVINE, CALIF. – Vizio used its offsite suite during International CES to bring in dealers and press to see its significantly up-scaled 2014 TV lineup, featuring its first two Ultra HD LED TV lines, and two revamped series of FullHD LCD models.
In Ultra HD, the company is planning to offer two series in 2014, the P series and step-up Reference series. P-series models will see value price points starting at $999 for a 50-inch P502UI-B1. The flagship Reference series, which is due for a more formal introduction later in the year, will be distinguished by state-of-the-art picture-quality advancements and very large screen sizes, including the highlighted 120-inch monster.
In total, the P series will include five screen-size models led by the aforementioned 50-inch P502UI-B1, a 55-inch unit for $1,399, a 60-inch unit for $1,799, a 65-inch for $2,199 and a 70-inch unit for $2,599.
All use full-array LED backlighting technology with advanced local dimming techniques across 64 active LED zones. This deepens black levels and contrast ratios while enriching color performance by controlling the amount of light output at the zone level of the LCD back plane, as required by the image onscreen.
Advanced Color Management and Active Pixel Tuning technologies further enhance color accuracy and sharpness.
Vizio actually showed prototype Ultra HD models last year, but the company warned that they would not come to market before a number of key input standards had arrived to avoid early product obsolescence.
Those areas apparently have been addressed to Vizio’s satisfaction. The company said the P-series sets all employ support for the HEVC compression codec that will enable viewing future streamed Ultra HD encoded to the standard; the latest HDMI spec with 4K/60p support; and HDCP 2.2 content management, which will be used to secure Ultra HD content.
Vizio will also add its V6 six-core processor that combines a quad-core GPU and a dual-core CPU for maximum speed.
For Ultra HD up-conversion in the P-series units, Vizio will employ its VM50 Ultra HD motion and picture- processing engine. This is said to enhance image detail down to the pixel level working in tandem with a Pure Pixel Processing Engine (P3E), all of which will also improve gamma control, and reduce noise and artifacts caused by scaling, compression and video devices.
Vizio this is year is also pushing its new and improved Vizio Internet Apps Plus smart TV platform, which will be found in the P-series, and other models in the Vizio line, adding dual-screen functionality with support for YouTube, Netflix and other services as well as Androidand Apple iOS-based mobile devices.
Vizio is also adding the new 802.11ac dual-band MIMO wireless compatibility to the sets.
With the Apps Plus platform, viewers will be able to search for content using a smartphone app or stream content from a tablet to the big screen.
Vizio also added to P-series models a new Wi-Fi Direct Universal Smart Remote.
Meanwhile, the forthcoming Reference Ultra HD TV series will employ a more advanced full-array LED backlighting system and enhanced smart functionality.
Full array LED backlighting is also employed in Vizio’s new E- and M-series FullHD LCD TVs for 2014, although with fewer (up to 16 for the E series) local LED zones than the more advanced Ultra HD lines.
The entry E-series line also extends Vizio Internet Apps Plus to some of the 21 SKUs in total with screen sizes ranging from 23 to 70 inches. The E series features a sleeker design for 2014, with a thinner profile and 10mm frame on most models. When compared with 2013 models, the latest offerings feature an up to 33 percent narrower frame and up to 30 percent thinner profile.
For consumers interested in stepping up to a higher grade of picture quality, Vizio’s 2014 M-series offers enhanced picture quality with screen sizes ranging from 32 to 80 inches.
Suggested retails for each model is as follows: E231 ($159), E231i ($179), E241 ($179), E241i ($199), E280 ($199), E280i ($299), E320 ($239), E320i ($269), E320fi ($299), E390 ($329), E390i ($369), E400i ($399), E420 ($399), E420i ($429), E480 ($499), E480i ($569), E500i ($599), E550i ($699), E600i ($899), E650i ($1,199), and the E700i ($1,599).
The full-array LED backlighting system in the M-series models uses 32 active LED zones, while cosmetics step up to a metallic finish and ultra-narrow 8mm bezels.
Many M-series models will include Vizio Internet Apps Plus, with additional new apps including Spotify, Lyve, Plex and AirCastLive.
The step-up nine-model M series will also feature FullHD full-array backlit LED LCD smart TVs in screen sizes from 32 to 80 inches.
The series will offer more local dimming LED zones for enhanced black-level and color performance and improved overall picture quality from the E series.
Models include the M322i ($329), M422i ($529), M492i ($699), M502i ($729), M552i ($899), M602i ($1,199), M652i ($1,499), M702i ($1,899) and M801i ($3,299).