Review: Vizio 26″ LCD HDTV

I’ve been shopping around for what has now been a pretty long time for a good quality HDTV to replace my ancient tube TV that has been sitting in the living room for over a year now. My previous set was a flat screen Sanyo that was nice enough for a time, but developed problems throughout its lifetime. At any instance in which a lot of white was displayed on the screen, mysterious green spots would develop and stick around for about five to ten minutes. It wasn’t that bad at first, but got worse over time and got really frustrating when playing video games or watching certain DVD’s.

While looking around for a new one, I knew for certain that I wanted an HD set. They’ve come down in price enough that I could justify the purchase. Plus, the fact of the matter is that I have at least two devices that utilize HD or widescreen formats and I weren’t using them the way they were intended. Size was also an issue, though not a big one. I don’t have to have a screen as big as the wall, but I still wanted a clearer and bigger picture than I was used to.

After playing around with it for a few days, I’m pretty confident that I made the right call in picking this Vizio. Other reviews I had read of their product line had bragged about the picture quality in such a relatively budget priced brand, and they aren’t kidding. When you are watching high resolution content, it really shines. Luckily, I had gotten this just in time for some of the college bowl games, which really made me realize how great it is.

With component cables for my DVD player, it also makes me so glad I bought it. Of course on close inspection, it’s a bit pixelated, but from twelve feet across the living room, you can tell no difference between it and regular HD programming. Speaking of which, you might have noticed a twitter update from me yesterday berating a Knology employee for slightly misleading me about their services. Even though you have to subscribe to digital cable and pay around another thirty dollars a month for full HD service, they still provide over the air HD signals over the regular cable service. Which is where I got the HD signals for those football games, which again, are freaking awesome. I sort of suspect I would get a better signal if I were to buy and use any HD antenna as opposed to coaxial, but I’ll save that for another day. (If anyone has an idea if that would be the case, please leave me a comment and let me know.)

I only have one gripe about the Vizio, which isn’t really a dealbreaker but more of a slight annoyance. It only has one set of component inputs, which puts me into a bit of a bind if I want to get some component cables for my Wii. I’d really like some because the old RCA A/V inputs really show their age on such a TV, but of course my DVD player is already using my existing component inputs. It puzzles me as to why only one set would be included, as component is sort of a good standard below HDMI for getting a quality input signal. I’m not sure if a splitter exists for such a problem, but it would be nice if I didn’t have to deal with it anyways.

All in all, if you are in the position I am and want a good HD set for a good price, I can’t say enough good things about it. If you are a hardcore quality junkie, it probably won’t be “good enough” for you, as it outputs in 720p instead of 1080p. But at this size, that difference is really nonexistent. And honestly, I don’t mind at all. If you don’t either, I think you’d be really happy with this one too.

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3 responses to “Review: Vizio 26″ LCD HDTV

  • Chad

    I almost went with a Vizio, until I saw mine on sale for a little less. Glad you like it!

    Yeah, legally cable providers have to give you any stations that are broadcast in your area on every cable package. This includes HD stations, which can be picked up by any TV with a QAM tuner. The cable companies really don’t like to publicize it though, and often put the channels in really weird places. Knology was pretty good in Huntsville though, at least for me they were on channels 901-905. Right now I pay $10 a month for cable for Time Warner’s bare bones package and get all the networks in HD, which is really all I care about. It would be nice to have Discovery HD and a couple of others, but the limited use I’d get out of them isn’t worth the extra $70-$80 per month.

    Using an antenna is theoretically higher quality than the QAM cable stations, but I never noticed a difference. I used an antenna in Huntsville to record HD stuff on my PC, since there is no stable QAM tuner for computers yet that I know of. I had REALLY good luck with this antenna: http://tinyurl.com/ytf5te

    I reviewed it here: http://www.hiddenpeanuts.com/archives/2007/06/01/review-philips-phdtv1-indoor-antenna/

    If I hadn’t moved away from Huntsville, I was going to cancel my cable and just go with the antenna – reception was perfect. Here I’m not quite so lucky, our NBC station is underpowered and I can’t pick it up without a more expensive antenna. So cheap cable fills in.

    And yup, component switchers do exist – cheap unpowered ones and more expensive powered ones. You’ll lose a bit of signal with the unpowered, but without a super giant screen you probably won’t notice. I used this one for a while pretty happily:
    http://www.gamestop.com/product.asp?product%5Fid=801888

    I put way too much research time into all this, if you can’t tell…

  • nage

    Hey, you have a great blog here! I’m definitely going to bookmark you! Thank you for your info.And this is **Vizio HDTVs** site/blog. It pretty much covers ###Vizio HDTVs## related stuff.

  • Hand Car Wash :

    Cable companies are already offering bundled internet and cable tv services at a cheap price “

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