Viewing the Vizio M series XLED 2017 TV with 4K and HDR (review)

It’s never a dull moment in the land of television sets, as technology gets bigger and better. Consumers have been adapting to 1080 HDTVs, and the next step is, of course, 4K HDR TVs. I was able to check out the Vizio M series XLED 2017 display (M50-E1) with 4K and HDR, courtesy of Vizio. After testing this out, I can say that once you go 4K and HDR, it will be hard to go back. And with Smartcast and Chromecast already built-in, there is plenty of 4K/HDR content for you to play with.

Vizio SmartCast

Vizio SmartCast has been updated yet again this year, and out of the box, we get apps that are available via the cloud. That means you don’t have to worry about out-of-date streaming apps and Vizio can work on adding, changing and improving content without the need for updating them inside the TV. Out-of-the-box apps include Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Crackle, iHeart Radio, Xumo, Vudu, and more. I’m sad that YouTube isn’t available out of the box, but thanks to Chromcast being built-in, you can stream your favorite apps via your smartphone, tablet or even your PC. These apps include Spotify, YouTube, HBO Now, Pandora and more, so you’re pretty much covered in that department.

4K

Scene from Netflix’s Narcos Season 3

There are those that say that 4K only makes a difference for TVs larger than 60 inches, but if you’re a hardcore or casual videophile, you’ll notice the improvement.

There’s plenty of 4K content available via 4K Blu-ray, Netflix, Amazon, and YouTube. I had the chance to check out some 4K content via Netflix and YouTube, and they look amazing on the Vizio M series. I’ve tested some shows like Daredevil and Jessica Jones, but since the show is dark in general, you really can’t appreciate them. One of my favorite series is Moving Art (nature videos shot in 4K), and they are absolutely stunning. Whether you’re staring at the waves of the ocean or a panoramic view of the forest, they really jump out at you. Narcos Season 3 also looks great in 4K; for example, there’s a grand shot of Mexico with planes and trees that feel like they go on and on. And if you jump over to YouTube, there are loads of 4K content including island drone shots, space exploration, fireworks and other random videos.

HDR

Scene from Netflix’s Meridian

The Vizio M series’ HDR is breathtaking, as it truly does a wonderful job of showing off bright whites and dark blacks, with colors that really blow you away. Netflix has some HDR content in the form of Dolby Vision, but the big shows like Daredevil, Luke Cage, and Jessica Jones aren’t that impressive. (These shows generally have darker pictures with a dull look.) I do recommend Girlboss (opening scene in San Francisco), the short Meridian (the most impressive one I’ve seen), Chef’s Table, The Do-Over‘s many exterior scenes, and Sandy Wexler’s aurora borealis scene (gorgeous colors despite it looking fake).

Audio

The display’s speaker is serviceable, but if you’re already upgrading to 4K and HDR, you’re likely going to do the same with audio. Nevertheless, we’re here for the TV audio, and it’s nothing to brag about. It sounds tinny, so you’ll definitely want to set up the surround sound setup or soundbar.

The Display

The Vizio M50-E1 looks very sleek with a thin bezel that measures half an inch. The screen isn’t as reflective, so watching a program with the lights on isn’t a huge issue. It comes with 4 HDMI inputs, component input, Ethernet input, USB input, optical output, and an analog audio output. There are three buttons (power, volume, and input selection) on the backside at the bottom-left and a sensor for the remote at the very bottom toward the very left.

When turning on the TV with the remote, there’s a very tiny light indicator near the sensor to let you know that the display is turning on. The remote sensor isn’t as responsive as your typical remote, so you will have to aim directly at the sensor to make it work. (In my case, the remote has to be pointed 30% within the field of view of the sensor.)

There was one incident where programs with Dolby Vision wasn’t working correctly. It would just display a dark and faint image or show nothing at all. But I was able to fix this issue by simply changing the picture presets back and forth. Since then Dolby Vision shows have been working fine so far. [crosses fingers]

Final Reaction

You really can’t go wrong with choosing Vizio for 4K and HDR, and I am pleasantly surprised at the quality where the picture is sharp, rich and eye-popping. Plus, you can’t beat the pricing on these since a 50-inch display has a $599.99 MSRP.

Rating: 4/5 Atoms

You can purchase the Vizio M series XLED 4K HDR 2017 display at the following retailers: Best Buy, Walmart

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John 'Spartan' Nguyen
John 'Spartan' Nguyen 9051 posts

Assassin, scoundrel, editor-in-chief.