New York — Vizio has begun rolling out its new 2014 M-series FullHD smart LCD TVs with full-array LED backlighting, pricing seven full-array models from a suggested $329 for a 32-inch model to $1,899 for a 70-inch model.
An 80-inch model retails for a suggested $3,199 and continues to offer edge-lit display.
Most feature 32 active LED zones, with the 70-inch model featuring 36 zones and one featuring 14 zones compared to the 2013 line, which topped out at 16 zones..
With the launch, the M series also moves from edge-lit LED backlighting to full-array LED backlighting in all models to 70 inches, a spokesman said. The 80-inch model at $3,199 continues to use edge-lit technology and 16 active zones but, like the other new models, adds such enhancements compared to last year as an improved local-dimming algorithm, 240Hz Effective Refresh, and Clear action image processing.
The products have begun rolling out to such retailers as Amazon, Best Buy, Costco, Sam’s Club, Target, Vizio.com and Walmart.
Separately, the company said all of its 2014 TVs, including still-to-ship Ultra HD TVs, will lack 3D capability because of low consumer interest. The company is repurposing the money used to pay for 3D into picture-enhancing technologies and reducing prices for consumers, said product marketing manager Carlos Angulo.
The M series is a step up from the 21-SKU opening-price E series of FullHD TVs, which shipped earlier this year at suggested retails from $159 to $1,599 with screen sizes of 23 to 70 inches.
In the M series of TVs, Vizio said its full-array backlight technology evenly distributes LEDs across entire screen to deliver a more evenly lit picture. With up to 36 active LED zones, the TVs deliver higher contrast in conjunction with LED backlighting that dynamically adjusts to match onscreen content, the company said.
Active pixel tuning delivers “intelligent” luminance adjustments that further increase contrast and detail accuracy, the company said.
On most models, Vizio enhanced its Clear Action Rate technology, which uses a 240Hz effective refresh rate and image processing to deliver “incredibly crisp” fast-action scenes, the company said.
On most models, the frames measure less than 0.3 inches in depth, and their 8mm bezels are up to 20 percent slimmer than the previous models.
Each model comes with built-in Wi-Fi 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 YouTube. Users send content from their mobile device to the TV.
Apps can be controlled from a smart remote with backlit QWERTY keyboard.
Suggested retail pricing is 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.
In offering more details about two active soundbars unveiled during International CES, the company priced the flagship S5451w-C2 with 8-inch wireless subwoofer and included surround speakers at a suggested $499. The surround speakers connect via cables to the subwoofer.
The S5451w-C2 is available at Amazon and Vizio.com and will be available in the coming weeks at BestBuy.com, Sam’s Club, SamsClub.com, and Walmart.com.
The flagship is a 54-inch-wide model that joins a three-channel 54-inch model shipped in December at $299. Both are the company’s widest bars to date, and they match the width of Vizio TVs that measure 60 inches diagonally. The 54-inch soundbars are also designed for use with any TV measuring 55 inches and larger.
The new 54-inch bar features Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 decoding and 5.1 discrete speaker channels via a wireless subwoofer that in turn drives two surround speakers wired to it. The system delivers bass to 35Hz and 104dB output with less than 1 percent THD. The bar also features Vizio Surround Matrix technology, which converts two channel audio into matrixed surround sound.
Other features of the 54-inch bar include LCD display remote, one HDMI input, one HDMI output with audio return channel, two analog audio ins, one coaxial in and one optical in.
The new model’s DTS audio-enhancement technologies extend bass, improve detail, clarify vocals, and level out abrupt volume changes when audio sources or channels are changed or when programs transition to commercials.
Both 54-inch models are equipped with Bluetooth and AptX streaming over Bluetooth.
The second soundbar, the S3851w-C2, is the company’s first 5.1-channel 38-inch model, which is equipped with wireless subwoofer and included surround speakers that connect to it via cables.
It will be available in late July at a suggested $279 at Amazon, Costco, Costco.com, Walmart.com and Vizio.com.
The 38-inch bar is designed for TVs with screen sizes of at least 42 inches. It features 5.1-channel Dolby Digital, no HDMI input, 100dB output, Bluetooth and DTS Circle Surround to convert mono and stereo sources to matrixed surround sound.
It also features the DTS audio-enhancement technologies.
Additional details were unavailable.