updated 10:35 am EST, Wed January 7, 2009
VIZIO at CES 2009
VIZIO today launched itself into the high-end TV sphere in earnest with a CES lineup that includes features still rare among higher-end brands. The 55-inch VF551XVT is the HDTV maker's first set to carry an LED backlight and uses the technology's local dimming to produce an effective 1,000,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, giving it deeper blacks closer to better plasma TVs. It also uses a 120Hz panel that maintains detail in fast movement and has five HDMI ports. VIZIO expects a release during the summer for $2,000.
Also new are two additional XVT models that have even faster 240Hz panels. The 42-inch SV421XVT and the 47-inch SV471XVT both use the technology to further improve moving images. These use conventional cold-cathode fluorescent backlights but manage 50,000:1 contrast and fit four HDMI connectors. Both should arrive in the summer at prices of $1,100 for the smaller set and $1,400 for the larger screen.
Two smaller 120Hz sets join the lineup and include the 32-inch SV320XVT, which despite its size still maintains a 1080p resolution and 50,000:1 contrast, and the 37-inch SV370XVT that provides the same features. Either has three HDMI inputs and should ship in the fall at prices of $750 for the 32-inch version and $1,000 for the 37-inch display.
Rounding out the updates are six updates to VIZIO's mainstream Java line. Besides the bronze look, all but the 32-inch VL320M ($600) and 37-inch VL370M ($700) now have 120Hz refresh rates; certain models also have a unique pseudo-DVR mode that lets users pause but not record live TV without a set-top box. Others also bring support for music, photo and video playback from USB drives. The series is headlined by the 42-inch VL420M and 47-inch VL470M, which add an SRS TruVolume feature that keeps the sound levels consistent regardless of the source. These ship in the summer for $900 and $1,100 and are joined by the same-size VT420M and VT470M at similar prices. The 32- and 37-inch sets are due in spring.