Picture settings: The selection here is very good for an entry-level TV, including a two-point grayscale control and plenty of picture presets -- nine in all, a few with names like "football" and "basketball" that don't really make such footage look any better. The only missing item is a selection of gamma presets, which might have helped the TV's performance a bit. I appreciated that the picture controls are available when watching streaming video.
Connectivity: Aside from the presence of an Ethernet jack and the absence of an analog VGA-style computer input, the E320i-A0's back panel is standard for the breed: two HDMI ports, one USB port, one combination component/composite video input.
While not quite as good overall as the picture quality of the Toshiba 32C120U or the Samsung UN32EH4000, the Vizio deserves the same 6 that they got in this category, and is third-best among the 32-inch sets we've tested. Strengths include the second-deepest black levels of the bunch and highly accurate color in bright areas. Its picture takes a turn for the worse when dark scenes appear, however, caused by somewhat murky shadow detail and bluish color.
Click the image at the right to see the picture settings used in the review and to read more about how this TV's picture controls worked during calibration.
|Comparison models (details)|
|LG 32CS460||32-inch LCD|
|Samsung UN32EH4000||32-inch LED|
|Sony KDL-32BX330||32-inch LCD|
|Toshiba 32C120U||32-inch LCD|
|TCL L40FHDP60||40-inch LCD|
|Samsung LN46D630||46-inch LCD|
|Panasonic TC-P65VT50 (reference)||65-inch plasma|
Black level: The ability to produce a relatively deep shade of black is a strength for the Vizio, although it's not without its issues. In chapter 11 of "The Hunger Games," the bad guys camped under Katniss' tree were surrounded by darker shadows and letterbox bars than on any of the other 32-inch sets aside from the Toshiba.
On the other hand, the Vizio's shadow detail was among the worst in the comparison; the face of Peeta as he stares up the tree (1:22:20) and the bark of the tree itself looked more obscured than on the Samsung EH4000 and Toshiba especially. That said, the Vizio wasn't too bad, and I'll take some loss in shadow detail to avoid the kind of washed-out dark areas seen on the LG and Sony 32-inchers, for example.
Color accuracy: In bright scenes the color of the Vizio looked closer to our reference than any of the other LCDs, including even the Samsung D630. When dawn breaks over the tree the next day the tones in Katniss' face looked great (1:25:05), without the rosier look of the Toshiba 32C120U or the slightly less saturated appearance of the Samsung EH4000. I also appreciated the accuracy of the green behind her head.
During darker shots, however, the Vizio's color fell visibly short of many of its competitors'. At 18:23, Katniss' face looked a bit too blue and unnatural compared with how it looked on the Samsung and even the Toshiba. Even darker areas, like the radiator and even her shirt, were worse, with the blue tinge being even more obvious.
Video processing: Like the other 32-inch sets in my lineup the E320i-A0 failed to properly handle 1080p/24 material -- not surprising since it's a 60Hz TV. Instead the flyover of the Intrepid from "I Am Legend" chugged along haltingly without the film-correct smoothness of, for example, the D630. Also as you'd expect from a 60Hz TV, according to test patterns the Panasonic failed to deliver much in the motion-resolution department, although as usual I found blurring difficult to detect in program material.
Uniformity: The Vizio outperformed the other 32-inchers in our lineup at maintaining black-level fidelity and preventing wash-out when seen from off-angle. It did show some color shift toward blue, which was more noticeable than on the LG or the Samsung, for example. I also appreciated the lack of blotchy, brighter areas on the screen; the set maintained its brightness consistency well from edge to edge.
Bright lighting: As I'd expect from a matte TV the Vizio was a very good performer in bright rooms, although not quite the equal of most of the others. Its screen showed slightly brighter reflections than the rest of the LCDs, even the Samsung EH4000 -- it appears Vizio used a less matte finish. On the other hand it maintained black levels just as well as any of them, and better than some.
|Geek box: Test||Result||Score|
|Black luminance (0%)||0.0079||Good|
|Near-black x/y (5%)||0.2594/0.264||Poor|
|Dark gray x/y (20%)||0.3126/0.3314||Good|
|Bright gray x/y (70%)||0.3119/0.3276||Good|
|Before avg. color temp.||6946||Poor|
|After avg. color temp.||6511||Good|
|Red lum. error (de94_L)||0.729||Good|
|Green lum. error (de94_L)||2.0224||Average|
|Blue lum. error (de94_L)||3.2799||Poor|
|Cyan hue x/y||0.2325/0.3329||Average|
|Magenta hue x/y||0.3044/0.1356||Poor|
|Yellow hue x/y||0.4246/0.514||Average|
|1080p/24 Cadence (IAL)||Fail||Poor|
|1080i Deinterlacing (film)||Pass||Good|
|Motion resolution (max)||300||Poor|
|Motion resolution (dejudder off)||300||Poor|