Vizio M-Series Quantum (2019) review: high-end HDR features and image quality at an affordable price – CNET

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Samsung has been selling TVs for years quantum dots – tiny molecules that improve color on LCD TV screens QLED brand, Now Vizio after being one single TV model with quantum dots in 2018 Quantum will be with all its might this year. Vizio's rush of 2019 points starts with the affordable M-Series Quantum, which costs hundreds less than any Samsung QLED.

The image of the M is excellent, in the same league with more expensive sets like that Samsung Q7 and Sony X950G in my side-by-side comparisons. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, but in terms of pure image quality, it is difficult to spend more on one of these sets on the Vizio.

But what about spending is about the same for one TCL 6 series? This Roku powered TCL is my current Editors' Choice TV, but it's more than a year old and has no quantum dots. In my comparisons, the Vizio was superior HDR Color on the TCL, but the TCL gained in other areas, especially brightness. I would still recommend the TCL to most buyers because of its superior smart TV system, but the Vizio is still an excellent choice. As long as you make sure that you get the right model of the M series Quantum.

Some 2019 M series TVs are worse than others

Unlike most TV manufacturers, Vizio often includes televisions with significant variations in the same series. Unfortunately, the differences between the models of the 2019 M-Series Quantum are so great that I had to exclude the majority of the 2019 TVs in the series from this test.

There are two separate subsets of Quantum 2019 M Series TVs, one with a "7" in the model name (which I'll call M7) and one with an "8" (M8). The M8 models cost more, have more local dimming zones and higher brightness. Otherwise, the M7 and M8 have essentially the same features and specifications, including quantum dots. Here's how they collapse.

Vizio M8 vs M7 2019 TV

model

Size (inch)

quantum dots

Local dimming zones

Peak light output (nits)

M658-G1

65

Yes

90

600

M558-G1

55

Yes

90

600

M657-G0

65

Yes

20

400

M557-G0

55

Yes

16

400

M507-G1

50

Yes

16

400

M437-G1

43

Yes

12

400

There are two M8 models (65 and 55 inches) and four M7 models (65, 55, 50 and 43 inches). I've tested a 65-inch M8 and am confident that the 55-inch M8 will perform similarly.

However, I have not rated any of the four M7 models, so they are not included in this test. I don't think they do as well as the M8 model I tested with significantly less local dimming zones and lower brightness, so they don't get the same reviews. When I review an M7 model, I update this section.

Many retailers, including Wal-Mart, Target, Sam & # 39; s Club, and Costco, have M7 and M8 models (from June 2019, Amazon and Best Buy will not sell M7 models, only M8 models). Currently, the M8 costs around $ 100 more than the M7. Reservation Emptor.

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Minimalist design, sparse elegance

The housing of the M series Quantum is usually minimalistic for today's TV sets – very small bezel around the screen, somewhat thicker at the bottom – but does not look cheap. The corners are rounded at the top and the legs are thin and matt black like the rest of the frame.

The Vizio remote control has remained unchanged for years and is still one of my favorites. Yes, it does the job, but compared to the simple remote controls from Roku and Samsung or the more advanced phones from LG and Sony, it's also a run.

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The same applies to the Vizio smart TV system. The Quantum has the latest version, "Smartcast 3.0", which loads faster than before, but is still sluggish compared to other systems, especially Roku. With the Vizio next to a Roku TV of the TCL 6 series, I went through menus, started apps and started streams from Netflix, Amazon and Hulu, and the Roku was much faster, especially when loading its homepage. Vizio added a few apps and now allows me to rearrange apps at the bottom, but the main screen with a random selection of TV shows and movies that I didn't care about is still worse than any other current TV.

The app selection lags behind other smart TVs, but the big names are all there. To view one of the hundreds of apps that do not belong to the Vizio screen system, use the Cast function on your phone to connect to the TV. The Vizio & # 39; s Chromecast built in This feature is not only suitable for phone-centric users, but is also less practical for users who are used to screen apps.

The ability to use your iPhone ($ 900 on Amazon) or iPad with Apple AirPlay on Vizio TVs is coming this summer but I didn't get it for this test. Vizio does not have a voice function in the remote control, but the TV works with Amazon Alexa and Google Home ($ 79 at Walmart) Speaker.

main features

Display Technology

LED LCD

LED backlight

Full array with local dimming

resolution

4K

HDR-compatible

HDR10 / Dolby Vision

Smart TV:

Smartcast 3.0

Remote control:

default

More zones, cheaper points

The biggest improvements in image quality over last year's M series are more zones of local dimming with full array (FALD) and the addition of quantum dots. FALD is my favorite addition to LCD image quality because it improves the important contrast and black levels. The number of dimmable zones is an important specification because it controls the accuracy of the dimming. More zones don't necessarily mean better picture quality, but it usually helps. Both sizes of the M8 series have an impressive 90 zones, which are ideal for a television in this price range.

With the help of quantum dots, the M series can achieve better HDR colors. In my measurements, the TV delivered a comparable color gamut for more expensive QD-equipped televisions like Samsung's QLEDs.

The M series has 60Hz refresh rate panel – Vizio's claim of "120Hz effective" is fake news, A setting to enable MEMC (motion estimation, motion compensation), also known as, is missing the soap opera effectlike the more expensive Vizio P and PX series as well as the TCL 6 series. All sizes of the M series use VA panels, not the IPS panels used in some sizes from previous years. Vizio supports both Major types of HDR, HDR10 and Dolby Vision in the M series. With the exception of Samsung, which is not supported by Dolby Vision, this is also the case with all other major TV manufacturers.

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  • 4 HDMI inputs (all version 2.0)
  • 1 analog composite video input
  • 1 USB port
  • HF antenna tuner input
  • Ethernet connection
  • Optical digital audio output
  • Stereo analog audio output

Unlike some TV producers from 2019, Vizio doesn't support any HDMI 2.1 functions Like automatic game mode and variable refresh rate, but most buyers won't miss it. Otherwise, the choice of connections matches that of the competition.

picture quality

picture-settings.jpg

Click on the image above to view the image settings for the Vizio M658-G1.

Sarah Tew / CNET

Overall, the Quantum of the M series offers excellent image quality, which is mainly due to the performance of local dimming with a full array. In dark scenes, depending on the content, the black levels were as good or better than the more expensive TVs from Samsung and Sony in my comparison and about the same or slightly worse than those from TCL and Vizio PQ. The other TVs got brighter than the Vizio in HDR, although the color of the TCL was not that good.