NEW YORK — Vizio will step up its TV assortment later this year with the debut of a brand new highend series that will take the company to higher price points and reproduce 4K Ultra HD content incorporating Dolby Vision.
The company’s first-ever Reference series will consist of the 65-inch RS 65 and 120-inch 365-pound RS 120. They’ll ship sometime later this year at prices that weren’t revealed. The smart TVs will play back 4K Dolby Vision titles streamed through their Vudu app.
Vudu announced plans to offer multiple Dolby Vision titles from Warner Bros. later this year. For its part, Warner in January announced several 4K Ultra HD Dolby Vision titles. They were “Edge of Tomorrow,” “Into the Storm” and “The Lego Movie.” Since then, Warner Bros. committed itself to “a steady pipeline of new and remastered 4K Ultra HD Dolby Vision titles.” They include such titles as “Man of Steel,” “Sherlock Holmes” and “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.”
Although the TVs were demonstrated at 2014’s International CES, the company waited until this year to roll them out to coincide with the launch of “a lot of Dolby Vision content,” said Vizio product management director John Hwang.
While the TVs will launch with Dolby Vision, “We are not linked to only this type of [HDR] decoder,” he noted. Vizio “is very nimble” but “won’t leave existing customers out to dry,” he added.
The Vizio TVs are not designed to enhance non- Dolby Vision content to approach Dolby Vision’s dynamic range. “That’s a separate decision by TV makers,” he explained, but Vizio has no plans to do that because “in our opinion, it does not look very impressive.” When a new technology is introduced, he said, “we should come out with it in its purest form.”
The TVs feature 10-bit panels, a full-array 800-nit LED direct backlighting, and 384 active LED zones, up from 64 and 72 zones in P-series models, which constituted the company’s highest-end line before the debut of the Reference series.
Vizio’s Ultra-Color Spectrum technology uses RG phosphor LEDs with blue LEDs to widen the color gamut similar to quantum-dot technology, Hwang said. Vizio will launch quantum-dot technology in LCD TVs as its color capabilities improve, he noted. Ultra-Color Spectrum is said to render a range of colors closer to the full range of colors that the human eye can see.