The 2011 NFL season is officially under way, which means one singular thing: it’s time to re-evaluate the current state of your home entertainment system; get off the fence as to whether or not you need a new HDTV; and cram the biggest possible flat panel into your preferred NFL viewing room of choice. Sure, there are some that prefer to wait until the Super Bowl to splurge on a new tv, but why limit the joy that a new high def tv brings to a single game, when you can instead be watching it all season long? My thoughts exactly, which is precisely why I splurged on a new VIZIO 65″ 3D LCD HDTV last month, just in time to get the picture precisely dialed so that I could watch the Packers beat the Saints in the season opener.
Before I go any further, let me officially state that the name of the VIZIO I purchased is nearly as big as the television itself: it’s called the VIZIO 65″ Class Theater 3D Edge Lit Razor LED LCD HDTV (model XVT3D650SV). It’s a gargantuan 65″ monster that has a whole slew of technology built into it, including cinema-style 3D technology, built-in 802.11n dual-band wi-fi, VIZIO Internet Apps (including Netflix, Amazon, Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, etc.), Edge lit Razor LED backlighting with Smart Dimming technology, and a whole bunch more (which I’ll discuss shortly). But to get straight to the point, after owning it for a month, I can tell you the VIZIO 3D Edge Lit Razor LED LCD HDTV is the best value on the planet right now if you’re looking to make the switch to a big LCD 3D tv, with current Amazon.com pricing coming in just under $2,500. It has a fantastic picture, it’s loaded with features, and it’s huge.
VIZIO 3D Edge Lit Razor LED LCD HDTV (XVT3D650SV) Design
Looking at the VIZIO 65″ Class Theater 3D Edge Lit Razor LED LCD HDTV, it’s massive size is without question the first thing you’ll notice. Measuring 5 feet wide by 40.9 inches tall, the VIZIO notes an exact viewing size of 64.5 inches, and it looks every bit as big as it sounds. Truthfully, big doesn’t do it justice – gargantuan is more appropriate. And it’s just beautiful. Thanks to its Edge Lit Razor LED technology, the XVT3D650SV is also remarkably thin – 2.2 inches, to be precise.
Like other members of the VIZIO family, the XVT3D650SV sports a sleek 2-inch black bezel, with additional 2-inch speakers along the front lower portion of the bezel. Also included is an oval, non-swiveling stand, with a gentle curve that extends up into the lower speaker section of the front bezel. On the left side of the television, there’s a single control wheel (called a jag wheel) that launches a Quick Menu featuring volume, channel, input choice, and power off controls.
Also included with the VIZIO XVT3D650SV is a bluetooth enabled remote, allowing non line-of-sight control of your television. The remote offers a full range of control functions, and is laid out well and easy to use. It’s greatest function, however, is its ability to interact online. The remote slides open to reveal a keyboard identical to that of a smartphone, allowing easy control of a wide variety of the VIZIO’s built-in web apps, including Netflix, Facebook and Twitter (which we’ll be discussing shortly). Following a quick initial setup the first time you use the XVT3D650SV, the remote automatically works with all apps, meaning Netflix is controlled via the remote’s play, fast forward, rewind buttons, the keyboard automatically works for all text inputs, etc. It’s a very cool remote that just works, and it’s about as intuitive and easy to use as it gets.
Overall, the VIZIO XVT3D650SV notes what I consider to be a clean, handsome design, and it compliments the massive screen real estate at your disposal nicely. Then again, chances are slim you’ll take the time to notice the design once you turn the television on – a beautiful 65-inch picture tends to make you forget there’s even a bezel there.
VIZIO 3D Edge Lit Razor LED LCD HDTV (XVT3D650SV) Inputs and Connectivity
From an input standpoint, adding your home entertainment devices to the XVT3D650SV is a breeze thanks to an abundance of input options. There’s a total of five HDMI ports, three USB ports, an optical audio output, and a pair of analog stereo output jacks, all mounted vertically along the rear of the television (on the left side). From there, there’s an ethernet port, PC audio jacks, a 15-pin VGA (PC) port, a single set of component A/V inputs, and a coaxial cable/antenna jack, all of which are located horizontally below the vertical ports (picture a reverse L-shape with ports running vertically and horizontally). I’m fortunate to have an ethernet connection for my television, but for those that aren’t, there’s also 802.11n Wi-Fi built into the XVT3D650SV, avoiding the hassle of having to use an ethernet connection in hard to reach mounting locations. Needless to say, you’ll be hard pressed to max out the amount of ports at your disposal.
As for connecting to the Internet, the XVT3D650SV features the fantastic VIZIO Internet Apps functionality, which offers a tremendous amount of web and streaming content directly on your tv, with no extra hardware required. Some of the apps currently available include Netflix, Blockbuster, Amazon Instant Video, Vudu, Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo, Flickr, QVC, Fandango, Pandora, and many more. While I won’t go into in-depth reviews of the different apps, all the apps I’ve tried work exactly as you’d expect. I stream Netflix and Amazon almost every day, I stream Flickr slideshows, I listen to internet radio, and all work flawlessly. Another awesome feature is the ability to run multiple apps simultaneously, meaning for example, that you can check into Twitter while streaming Netflix, and so on.
In truth, the XVT3D650SV is like having a media hub inside your television, and it works fantastically well. You can literally plug in your television, hook up either an ethernet cable or set up a wireless connection, and a world of content is instantly available – all in a single tv, all with a single remote. It’s truly the best connectivity I’ve ever seen in a television.
VIZIO 3D Edge Lit Razor LED LCD HDTV (XVT3D650SV) 2D Performance
Like all televisions, the true test of the VIZIO 3D Edge Lit Razor LED LCD HDTV lies in its picture quality, and the XVT3D650SV doesn’t disappoint. Because it’s a 3D television, there are two elements to consider – it’s 2D picture quality and it’s 3D picture quality – so I’ll split them into two parts.
From a 2D standpoint, the XVT3D650SV offers full 1080p quality along with a lengthy list of picture modes and customization options. Picture modes available include Standard, Movie, Game, Vivid, Football, Golf, Basketball, Baseball and Custom, each of which are individually customizable, meaning you can save different picture settings for different viewing environments. In terms of the actual picture control options, you can adjust the more basic backlight, brightness, contrast, color, tint and sharpness settings, and from there, you can delve into the color temperature options and advance picture settings. Some of the various advanced picture settings available include Smart Dimming, and Ambient Light Sensor, Film Mode, Real Cinema Mode, Smooth Motion Effect, and so on. Furthermore, all of the picture options are available on an individual input basis, allowing you tweak different devices separately from one another.
If it sounds like there’s plenty of picture options to choose from, there are, and deciding which settings to use is going to vary depending on your personal preferences. I tend to favor a more conventional theater-style picture, so I turned almost all of the advanced control features off, and I love the results (I’ll include my picture settings at the end of the review). One exception, however, is Smart Dimming, which automatically adjusts backlighting to product optimal blacks.
In terms of colors, the XVT3D650SV boasts incredibly good color accuracy, as measured by the HQV high definition Blu-ray disc. Without getting overly technical, the color reproduction is fantastic across the board – flesh tones are natural, and there’s no annoying bluing in dark areas. Blacks aren’t the darkest available, but shadow detail is very good, as is the overall picture. Because it uses edge-lit technology instead of direct-lit (due to its larger size), you will notice some hot spots on the screen at startup, when the screen is all black. During regular viewing, however, hot spots disappear, and the lighting is uniform across the image. Off angle viewing is good, with colors just slightly less vibrant when viewing off axis. Lastly, ghosting and judder are non-existent, meaning watching fast moving sports is a thing of beauty.
In the real world, the picture quality is fantastic. Once you get past scrutinizing its color accuracy and black levels (as I did for the sake of this article), you quickly realize that VIZIO has done an absolutely incredible job at providing awesome picture quality in a huge size at a remarkably low price. Colors look great, sports look great, movies look great – there just isn’t anything not to like about the XVT3D650SV. It’s amazing how much performance VIZIO has managed to pack into a sub-$3,000 television.
VIZIO 3D Edge Lit Razor LED LCD HDTV (XVT3D650SV) 3D Performance
Before purchasing the VIZIO 3D Edge Lit Razor LED LCD HDTV, I wasn’t that familiar with 3D technology, or whether or not it was worth upgrading to a new 3D television. Now that I own one, I have to admit that the XVT3D650SV has exceeded my expectations. Sort of like when the iPhone first came out, and I felt like I was living in an episode of the Jetsons, the XVT3D650SV provides the same effect. Watching it, I feel like I’m living in the future.
Making the magic happen, the XVT3D650SV utilizes passive 3D technology. It’s the same technology used by most movie theaters, meaning the polarized theater glasses work on the XVT3D650SV as well. Whereas some 3D televisions use active shutter technology to create the same 3D effect, I opted for VIZIO’s passive technology for two key reasons. Firstly, whereas, glasses for active shutter 3D are heavy, battery operated and can exceed $100 per pair, polarized glasses for passive 3D are lightweight, non-battery operated and can be picked up in a 10-pack for $30 (or in lesser quantities for about $5 a pair). This is in addition to the 4 pairs already included with the XVT3D650SV. A big reason this matters is because anytime I have guests over, or anytime my son has his friends spend the night, it’s significantly cheaper having ten pairs of polarized glasses than having ten pairs of the active shutter variety. Secondly, during extended viewing (such as a movie), it’s been stated that passive 3D is more comfortable than active shutter 3D, due to the flicker created by active shutter. I personally can’t attest to this fact, as I haven’t watched active shutter 3D for an extended period of time, but for me it wasn’t worth the chance of discomfort and extra costs, considering both produce a nearly identical 3D picture.
So how does the XVT3D650SV’s 3D picture look? In a word: awesome. It’s quite literally like having a 3D movie theater in your home – a fact further emphasized by the enormousness of the screen. Watching Tron 3D is a thing of beauty. IMAX: Under the Sea 3D is mesmerizing. Alice in Wonderland 3D looks fantastic. I’ve really been blown away by how good 3D on the XVT3D650SV looks.
From a color standpoint, the XVT3D650SV maintains its color accuracy very well. Wearing the polarized glasses is like wearing a lightweight pair of sunglasses, and the VIZIO does a great job maintaining a bright picture while wearing them, even in a well-lit room. The glasses are also extremely comfortable, even when wearing prescription eyeglasses underneath. In viewing the XVT3D650SV off-angle, 3D still looks great, although it does start deteriorating the further off angle you get. Of course, with a television of this size, it’s vital to remember adequate viewing distances. Sitting five feet away or extremely off-angle from any 65-inch television isn’t going to look good, and the XVT3D650SV is no exception. But with the proper viewing distances and any normal angles of viewing, the XVT3D650SV delivers a stunning 3D experience.
Another common problem you’ll hear associated with 3D televisions is crosstalk – a ghosting effect in which you see a double image or blurred image. Crosstalk on the VIZIO XVT3D650SV is non-existent on everything I’ve watched. The XVT3D650SV handles 3D beautifully, and it has without question alleviated any questions I had as to whether it was worth making the switch to 3D. The picture is bright, the depth is fantastic, and in truth, the XVT3D650SV immerses you in a way that’s simply amazing.
VIZIO 3D Edge Lit Razor LED LCD HDTV (XVT3D650SV) Energy Efficiency
Lastly, the final thing that is worth noting on the VIZIO XVT3D650SV is its impressive energy efficiency. LED technology is significantly more energy efficient, and the VIZIO XVT3D650SV is no exception. Compared to a plasma television of the same size, the XVT3D650SV uses roughly one-third of the power.
At its standard settings, the yearly cost to run the VIZIO XVT3D650SV for 5 hours a day comes out to a little under $50 a year, assuming a cost of 11.55 cents per kw/Hr. Once calibrated with settings similar to the ones I’m using, the cost drops even further, coming in just under the $30 mark. Considering the monstrous size of the XVT3D650SV, you really have to applaud VIZIO for implementing such energy efficiency in such a large television.
VIZIO 3D Edge Lit Razor LED LCD HDTV (XVT3D650SV) Conclusion
In the end, I’ve been exceptionally happy with my purchase of the VIZIO 65″ Class Theater 3D Edge Lit Razor LED LCD HDTV. While die-hard videophiles seeking KURO-level blacks will likely look elsewhere (if you’re a videophile you’ll know what I’m talking about), for everyday home and family use, the VIZIO XVT3D650SV has to be at the top of your list. It offers a huge image; fantastic picture quality; tons of web and connectivity options built-in; and an immersive, theater-replicating 3D experience. Best of all, it’s priced below $2,500, making it the best value on the planet if you’re looking for a large 3D-equipped HDTV. For the price and feature set, there’s simply nothing that can come close.
For more information on the VIZIO XVT3D650SV 3D Edge Lit Razor LED LCD HDTV, you can get more information from the official VIZIO website, or you can purchase your own from Amazon.com right now for $2,498. I’ve also included the VIZIO XVT3D650SV’s full list of tech specs and my personal picture settings below, along with a photo gallery showcasing the XVT3D650SV in all its 65-inch glory.
VIZIO 3D Edge Lit Razor LED LCD HDTV (XVT3D650SV) Tech Specs
|Backlight Type:||Edge Lit Razor LED™|
|Resolution:||1920 x 1080|
|Dynamic Contrast Ratio:||1,000,000：1|
|Response Time:||5 ms|
|SRS TruSurround HD™:||Yes|
|Channels/Speaker Output:||2 x 15W|
|Connections – Inputs (REAR)|
|Composite:||1 (shared with component)|
|RF Connector for Internal Tuner:||1|
|Connections – Inputs (SIDE)|
|HDMI with HDCP:||5|
|USB 2.0:||3 – service only (multimedia support via future firmware update)|
|Connections – Outputs|
|Optical Digital Out (SPDIF):||5.1|
|Analog Audio Out:||Yes|
|Music (MP3):||Future feature via firmware upgrade|
|Photo (JPEG):||Future feature via firmware upgrade|
|Video (MPEG):||Future feature via firmware upgrade|
|Smart Dimming:||Yes, 32 zones – Only active in 2D|
|HDMI CEC:||Future feature via firmware upgrade|
|HDMI ARC:||Future feature via firmware upgrade|
|Ambient Light Sensor:||Yes|
|Bluetooth:||HID (remote), A2DP/AVRCP (headset) HFP (voip)|
|Wireless (WiFi):||802.11n Dual Band|
|Type of 3D:||VIZIO Theater 3D™|
|3D Formats Supported:||Frame Packing, SENSIO® Hi-Fi 3D, RealD, Top/Bottom and Side-by-Side|
|Glasses:||4 polarized glasses included|
|Remote Control:||VUR10 3D|
|Net With Stand:||104.94lbs|
|With Stand:||60.9″W x 40.9″H x 16″D|
|Without Stand:||60.9″W x 38.46″H x 2.25″D|
|Packaging Dimensions:||71.69″W x 44.49″H x 19.45″D|
|Certifications||CSA, CSA-US, FCC Class B, BQB, HDMI 1.4 3D|
|Compliances||Energy Star 4.1, ATSC Spec A/65, EIA/CEA-766-A|
|Wall Mount Specifications|
|Hole Pattern:||400mm(vertical) X 600mm(horizontal)|
|Screw Length:||23mm (max)|
|VIZIO Warranty||One Year Parts & Labor; Free Lifetime Technical Support|
VIZIO 3D Edge Lit Razor LED LCD HDTV (XVT3D650SV) Picture Settings (will vary based on your specific tv)
|Picture Settings Main Menu|
|Color Temperature Menu|
|Advanced Picture Menu|
|Smooth Motion Effect||Off|
|Real Cinema Mode||Precision|
|Ambient Light Sensor||Off|