If you’ve been waiting for Vizio to announce its 2021 4K TV and soundbar lineup, it’s your lucky day.
Vizio’s latest 4K UHD TVs, updates to its SmartCast platform, and the completely redesigned V-Series soundbars are available from a wide range of retailers, including Amazon, BestBuy and Sam’s Club.
Vizio’s entry-level V-Series, mid-range M-Series, and a portion of the high-end P-Series TVs and audio models are available now. Additionally, Vizio’s M-Series all-in-one soundbar will begin shipping in a couple of weeks. Later this year, we can expect to see the company’s first OLED V-Series 75-inch TV, along with the P-Series Quantum X 85-inch model and the Elevate Sound Bar, make their debut.
There’s a lot to cover with Vizio’s latest announcements, but let’s start with updates to SmartCast, the software that powers Vizio products.
SmartCast is getting a speed and performance increase, partly thanks to the updated hardware, and through software improvements. Older model TVs dating to 2016 have received the same software upgrade, which should improve their performance as well.
Movies Anywhere is now available for SmartCast TV owners, and Apple TV, as well as NBC’s Peacock streaming service, will be added to the app lineup later this summer.
The SmartCast mobile app is getting a new look, with the goal of making it easier for users to control their TVs from mobile phones.
V-, M- and P-Series TVs
As for hardware, well, that’s where things become more interesting.
Vizio has IQ Ultra and IQ Active processors that power the TVs. The processors join a new ProGaming Engine, aimed at improving graphics for gamers with support for 4K resolution at up to a refresh rate of 120Hz. That should lead to clearer and crisper images during intense gaming sessions, all of which is automatically turned on, thanks to Auto Game Mode.
The V-Series, Vizio’s value-focused 4K HDR product lineup, features screen sizes from 40 to 75 inches and prices spanning from $229.99 to $799.99. The V-Series includes Dolby Vision, HDR10+, HDR10 and HLG — all of which are fancy terms that basically mean the V-Series will support various video formats, providing bright and vivid colors.
The M-Series Quantum is Vizio’s midrange lineup and adds high-end features into the mix, while keeping the prices lower than the P-Series. The M-Series ranges from $399.99 for a 50-inch model, to $749.99 for a 65-inch model. The MQ8-Series Quantum models will be exclusive to Amazon and $50 more expensive than the MQ7-Series Quantum models, due to having 90 local dimming zones compared to 30, as well as 800 nits of peak brightness compared to 600 and 85% color volume compared to 75%.
In other words, you’re going to pay more for a brighter and more colorful picture on the MQ8-Series.
The M-Series has a variable refresh rate that ranges from 48 to 60Hz, so you won’t be able to take advantage of full 120Hz gaming. For that, you’ll need to look at the P-Series Quantum and P-Series Quantum X.
Both P-Series lines switch to Vizio’s IQ Ultra processor and have a 120Hz refresh rate, and the 85-inch model tops out at 3,000 nits of peak brightness. That model costs $2,999.99 and won’t launch until this fall.
The 65-inch and 75-inch versions of the standard P-Series Quantum and the P-Series Quantum X are available now, with prices ranging from $1,499.99 for the 65-inch Quantum to $1,999.99 for the larger P-Series Quantum X. With the P-Series, you’re getting more local dimming zones, which make blacks appear darker and truer to life, and a range of peak brightness and color volume — all of which provide a better overall experience compared with the M-Series and V-Series.
If you’re willing to be patient, Vizio’s 55-inch and 65-inch OLED TVs will be available this fall. Most major smartphone makers use OLED displays in their high-end phones, like the iPhone 11 Pro or Galaxy S20, because they’re energy-efficient and provide brighter, more vivid colors while also showing truer blacks because each pixel can be turned off.
Vizio’s OLED models will cost $1,299.99 for the 55-inch model or $1,999.99 for the 65-inch model. Both will boast 800 nits of peak brightness, use the company’s IQ Ultra processor, and have a variable refresh rate of up to 120Hz.
All right, ready to talk sound? Vizio is launching two soundbar lines: M-Series and V-Series. Both products are designed for specific price categories with varying features to match.
The V-Series starts at $179.99 for a 2.1 system, with a 5-inch wireless subwoofer and Dolby Audio and DTS Virtual:X sound. The 5.1 V-Series, which is $249.99, has 5.1 audio and a 5-inch subwoofer. Both models have an output of 96dB.
There’s only one M-Series model, priced at $149.99 with 2.1 audio. It’s an all-in-one setup, so you don’t have to worry about where to place wireless speakers or subwoofers.
The V21 is available now, while the V51 and M-Series 2.1 will launch on July 5 and July 26, respectively.
Oh, and we can’t forget about the new Elevate 5.1.4 soundbar.
What makes it so special are its rotating drivers, which have the ability to change their angle to add height to the overall sound when using Dolby Atmos or when DTS:X content is detected.
The Elevate soundbar will cost $999.99, with its full launch expected later this year.
Vizio’s 2021 lineup sure has a lot to offer, with price points and performance options for anyone. We can’t wait to check all of it out, especially that OLED TV and Elevate soundbar combination. That’s going to be a fine-looking and impressive-sounding setup.
Note: The prices above reflect the retailer’s listed price at the time of publication.