It’s a common refrain: give any technology long enough, and it’ll become affordable for the masses. But 4K felt like it might follow a similar trajectory as OLED — in other words, never truly affordable. But just in time for the holidays, Vizio has somehow managed to work its patented magic once more: the company known for living on the margin and putting every other television maker on notice is now shipping 4K sets for as low as $999. In other words, watching the next Super Bowl on a 4K screen is suddenly feasible. As a matter of comparison, most everyone else (Toshiba, Sony, Samsung, etc.) has 4K 50-inch starter sets at $1,400 and up. Vizio’s cost of entry is on an entirely different level.
The P-Series 4K LED HDTV isn’t the snazziest-looking set you’ll ever see — but that chassis takes a backseat to pixel density. Vizo’s Ultra HD offers four times the pixel count of standard HD. Astonishingly, Vizio didn’t cut too many corners behind the scenes, either; each set uses backlights that are uniformly distributed across the panel (as opposed to only being embedded along the edges), and they’re also capable of local dimming (adjusting things dynamically to expose even deeper blacks).
You won’t find 3D support here, but that’s probably only a deal breaker for a select few. The 50-incher is the one blessed with a three-digit price tag, but even the flagship 70-inch model is selling for under $2,500. Keep in mind, however, that all of those pixels need to be fed; if you have an Internet connection strong enough to stream Netflix’s (presently limited) library of 4K material, you’ll have quite the showcase. Watching 720p and 1080i material on this won’t look as great when viewed up close; but if you’re serious enough about home entertainment to consider this behemoth, your living room is probably spaced out enough to accommodate a TV this size. To put it another way: stream Ghostbusters in 4k, and the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man will be stomping through your living room.
Screen Sizes: 50, 55, 60, 65, 70 inches
Contrast Ratio: 50,000,000 to 1
Processor: V6 six-core processor: quad-core GPU + dual-core CPU
Inputs: 5 HDMI (4 version 1.4b, 1 version 2.0), 1 USB
Backlighting: full-array LED w/ 64-72 zones