Geeks.com, known for their cheap televisions, sent us in the 22″ Vizio VO22LFHDTV model for a review. This full 1080p has the size of a PC monitor, so it was tested as both a TV and a PC monitor, and as a hybrid: external TV monitor for video editing while connected to a PC. Its size makes it ideal for such a scenario, but is it really the ideal product for this kind of usage?
This traditional technologically-speaking LCD HDTV, sports a full 1920×1080 progressive resolution, a dot pitch of 0.248 mm, an integrated NTSC/ATSC/QAM tuner, 5 ms response time, 16.7 Million colors, 300 cd/m2 brightness, a contrast ratio of 1000:1 that can be boosted to 5000:1 when in the dynamic mode, and a respectable viewable angle at 170 degree horizontally & 160 degree vertically. It has a removable and adjustable base and it’s wall-mountable. The TV can operate both at 50 (PAL) and 60 Hz (NTSC). Other hardware features include two 3 Watt speakers, one RF input, two HDMI with HDCP ports, 1 component YPbPr port, 1 composite port, 1 S-Video port, and a 15-pin VGA port with a 3.5mm stereo port (only works when the VGA port is connected). It also has an SPDIF digital optical audio and a Stereo Mini Jack for headphone operations.
The remote control is very simple to use, it has much fewer buttons on it compared to other TVs, and that’s a good thing. All operations can be carried out with this uncongested remote, so this is a job well done by Vizio. The on-TV controls are located on the right side of the device, vertically. When the TV is on stand-by the word “Vizio” is illuminated in a nice yellow color on the front of display.
I was positively surprised to see the amount of options the user can play with: backlight, brightness, contrast, color saturation, tint, sharpness, color temperature, black level extension on/off, white peak limiter, CTI on/off, flesh tone on/off, adaptive luma on/off (to automatically change the settings depending on how much light is in the room), volume, bass, treble, audio balance, surround audio on/off, sleep timer, H/V picture position, English, Spanish and French languages. The TV has only two picture modes though, Wide and 4:3 (most TVs have more settings, e.g. panorama, cinema, smart stretch etc).
The picture mode has four presets: Movie (low contrast, more natural look), Game (for gaming, to help with burn in), Custom, and Standard (super-saturated and contrasty). Each one of these are customizable with the above mentioned settings. Thankfully, the Movie mode was the default setting. I played with all the settings and tried to create an even more natural look: lower contrast, lower sharpness and color, a look that I absolutely love as it’s more “filmic”, and more in line with what plasma TVs do. The angle of viewing was pretty good, and the black levels were considerably better than the previous TV I reviewed last year, so for a cheap LCD, these aspects were very acceptable. Of course, quality-wise this TV can not compete with our $3600 Pioneer Kuro plasma TV, but I didn’t expect it to anyway.
However, what I did expect it to do correctly was its PC support. Unfortunately, the monitor adds a sharpen filter internally, after it receives the signal, and so even if you cram all the way down to 0 the “sharpness” setting, it will still be over-sharpened, making it impossible to view your footage or your operating system’s GUI as it’s supposed to be. Therefore, graphics or video work becomes too imprecise with this model. Only movie viewing and PC gaming doesn’t seem that much of a big deal with this flaw. When I googled about it, I found that other Vizio models suffer from the same problem.
The positive surprise was the quality of the sound out of these small speakers. Definitely better than what I expected, and better than my PC speakers.
Overall, this is a good product though, with enough settings and picture quality compared to most cheap TVs out there, it’s just that there are 2-3 things that could have been done better, especially its PC support.