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Vizio, Vudu To Offer Dolby Vision

Irvine, Calif. — Vizio will step up its TV assortment later this year with the debut of a brand new high-end series that will take the company to higher price points and reproduce 4K Ultra HD content incorporating Dolby Vision high dynamic range (HDR) technology.

“It’s nothing that we’ve done before,” said director of product management John Hwang.

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 will offer multiple Dolby Vision titles from Warner later this year, having announced six titles so far but planning to offer more than that.

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 Hwang.

Dolby Vision HDR decoders and Dolby Vision content widen the contrast range between the brightest highlights and the deepest blacks, delivering picture details within the contrast extremes. It also supports a wider color gamut, he said.

Although the TVs will launch with Dolby Vision, Hwang noted, “We are not linked to only this type of [HDR] decoder.” Vizio “is very nimble,” he said, but “won’t leave existing customers out to dry.”

He added that the TVs were 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.

The full-array 800-Nit LED backlighting enables a wider range of luminance, the company said, and 384 active LED zones deliver “precise contrast control,” the company said.

The TVs also feature Clear Action 1800, which enhances motion clarity by delivering a240Hz effective refresh rate.

Both models will feature 802.11ac dual-band Wi-Fi, Vizio Internet Apps Plus smart-TV platform that includes Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, UltraFlix and Toon Goggles.

They feature five HDMI 2.0 ports with HDCP 2.2 copy protection. The HDMI ports are upgradable to HDMI 2.0a, a pokesman said. The 65-inch model comes with integrated, but detachable, soundbar with surround speakers that connect via cable to an included 10-inch wireless subwoofer.

In January, Warner Bros. announced several 4K Ultra HD Dolby Vision titles. They were Edge of Tomorrow,Into the Storm, and The Lego Movie. Since then, Warner Bros. said it committed itself to “a steady pipeline of new and remastered 4K Ultra HD Dolby Vision titles.” They will include such titles as Man of Steel, Sherlock Holmes, and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.