If you’re in the market for a 55-inch HDTV, you might want to wait until summer. Around that time, Vizio Inc. plans to start selling its latest top-of-the-line TV, the VF551XVT.
Why wait? The new XVT is stuffed with the latest techologies, like 240 Hz refresh speeds for extra smooth viewing of fast-moving video. It’ll have a USB port, 5 HDMI ports and SRS TruSurround HD and SRS TruVolume technology, so TV volume doesn’t get annoyingly louder during commercials. And it’ll be Vizio’s first TV with LED back lighting, making it brighter than other Vizio TVs, yet with deeper blacks. But most impressive, Vizio plans to charge $1,999.
Vizio had the TV in its CES suite and the picture color really popped when compared to other Vizio TVs placed right next to it (although you probably can’t tell from the above photo I snapped).
For years, movie-loving videophiles have preferred plasma TVs over LCDs because the colors are richer and blacks are blacker. But with LED back lighting, LCDs now offer a similar viewing experience. The black bars that straddle DVD movies above and below were, in the demo I saw, nearly as black as the TV’s frame. Comparably, a Vizio TV right next to the VF551XVT were just a dark shade of gray. A lot of TV manufacturers announced new LED TVs, but their prices tend to be hundreds to thousands of dollars more.
Beyond the LED technology, Vizio plans to add an Ethernet port to the back of TVs so viewers can see view web-based “widgets,” like stock prices, sports scores or instant messages, plus access to movies from sites like Netflix. Internet TVs are definitely a big trend at this year’s CES. If manufacturers don’t already offer a version, they announced one.
Vizio’s Internet TVs will be more of a feature offered across the line, rather than limited to one or two TVs. Models with the service should start appearing in the fall, in time for the holiday shopping season.
The TV also has a cool remote with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard to text friends or just type in commands. No need to buy a wireless keyboard.
Earlier reports from CES 2009: