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Vizio Provides More Details On M-Series TVs

NEW YORK – Vizio said its new M-series 1080p LED-backlit LCD TVs will deliver deeper blacks and better color accuracy, definition and clarity than higher-priced same-size models from leading brands, thanks to the addition of full-array LED backlighting, more active LED zones, an improved localdimming algorithm and other technologies.

Full-array backlight technology also evenly distributes LEDs across the entire screen to deliver a more evenly lit picture compared to edge-lit LCD displays, which were used in the 2013’s M series, the company said.

Besides shifting to full-array LED illumination in all but one M-series TV, the new series also adds Clear Action imaging processor and native 120Hz LCD panels that use scanning-backlight technology to deliver an effective 240Hz refresh rate. The technologies, not available in the 2013 M series, reproduce fine details without flicker or bleeding during fast-motion scenes, said product marketing manager Carlos Angulo.

Seven models with full-array LED backlighting are priced from a suggested $329 for a 32-inch model to $1,899 for a 70-inch model. An 80-inch model retailing for a suggested $3,199 continues to offer edge-lit display, but it adopts the other pictureenhancing technologies offered by the other new models.

The M-series TVs, all with Wi-Fi and Vizio Internet Apps Plus smart-TV technology, have begun rolling out to such retailers as Amazon, Best Buy, Costco, Sam’s Club, Target, and Walmart.

Separately, Vizio said all of its 2014 TVs, including still-to-ship Ultra HDTVs, will lack 3D capability because of low consumer interest. The company is repurposing the money previously to pay for 3D to offer delivering picture-enhancing technologies and reduce prices for consumers, said Angulo.

He also said the Ultra HD TVs that Vizio rolls out sometime later this year will offer up to 72 active LED-backlight zones.

Vizio also unveiled the pricing and availability dates of two new 5.1-channel soundbars, which expand the 5.1 soundbar selection to three. The soundbars are dubbed 5.1 because they feature a wireless back-of-the-room subwoofer and a pair of surround speakers that connect to the subwoofer via cables.

The price and ship date of the company’s first under-TV speaker, called the Soundstand, wasn’t revealed during a press briefing, nor were the prices and ship dates of the company’s first Ultra HD TVs. Those were shown in Las Vegas during International CES along with the M series.

Suggested retails for the M-series TVs are as follows: 32-inch, $329; 42-inch, $529; 49-inch, $699; 50- inch, $699; 55-inch, $899; 60-inch, $1,249; 65-inch, $1,499; 70-inch, $1,899; and 80-inch, $3,199.

Most M-series models feature 32 active LED zones, with the 70-inch model featuring 36 zones, up from 16 in its 2013 predecessor. The five 49- to 65-inch models feature 32 zones compared with 16; the 42-inch model comes with 14 zones compared with five; and the 32-inch model features five zones, up from four.

The 80-inch edge-lit model features 16 zones like last year but, like the other new models, adds such enhancements over last year’s model as an improved local-dimming algorithm, 240Hz effective refresh and Clear Action image processing.

Each model comes with built-in Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n and Vizio Internet Apps Plus smart-TV platform, enabling users to stream movies and music via such apps as Netflix, Hulu Plus, iHeartRadio, Vudu, YouTube and, for the first time, Spotify.

Internet Apps Plus also supports a second-screen experience with smartphones and tablets and supported apps such as Netflix and You- Tube. Users select movies or videos from the app running on their mobile device, and the TV goes out to the cloud to stream the content.