Pros Very Good Picture
Cons Only one RF Input; Poor User Interface (old style looking); Poor channel list feature
Summary Some of the following categories may not be of interest to you, but, these are my observations after a few days of having this set and comparing it to a good friend who has the Vizio GV46L set that he bought from Sam's Club.
Picture - the VIZIO GV47LF provides excellent picture quality. Comparing it to the GV46L, the 47" unit provides a slightly less grainy picture since it is a 1080p set (high resolution). A 1080i broadcast (such as CBS HD) is close to the same on both units and the 720p broadcasts (like Fox HD) appear a little nicer on the 47" than the 46" unit. Like most digital TVs, the analog broadcasts are not as clear as displayed on an old-style analog TV. But, hopefully analog broadcasts will become history soon.
Sound - the sound quality on the VIZIO GV47LF is very good as well. Again comparing it to the 46" Vizio GV46L unit, I think the 47" set has a slight edge, but, both are very good.
Volume Control - This may seem petty, but, the volume control on the 47" 1080p unit is much better than that on the 46" 1080i unit. My friend complains that the lowest level on the 46" can be too high and the only setting lower than the lowest level is of course muted. The 47" GV47LF has an acceptable volume control that you would expect on any TV.
Sleep Timer - The Vizio GV46L unit wins in this category. This feature may not be important to you unless your unit is located in the bedroom as is the case for us. The Vizio 46" unit includes a "15 minute" sleep timer setting. The Vizio 47" unit starts at "30 minutes". This is a disappointing feature to us and hopefully this will be corrected in a future firmware update.
Screen Interface - Once again, the Vizio GV46L unit wins in this category. The 46" unit has a very modern screen interface for channel info and list features. In comparison, the 47" newer model uses a somewhat archaic, old-style interface which of course has no impact on the programming being watched, but, does give the 47" unit a dated look.
Inputs (generally) - the two units have the same number of inputs with one exception. The older 46" unit segregates digital channels from analog channels. Thus, it has one additional input. The newer 47" model integrates the two. Which is better? For mom and dad, I think the newer setup is better since it is easier to simply scroll up and down the channels on a single input than to understand that some the channels are split on two different inputs (called "TV"-analog and "DTV"-digital on the 46 in. unit). For me, I simply no longer watch anything that is broadcast on analog TV. So, having the analog channels mixed in with the digital channels just means there are that many more channels to surf past. But, in the long run, the analog stations should cease to exist anyway, so I give the nod to the 47" channel input configuration.
RF / Coax Inputs - Vizio fell short in this area. Although both the 46" and 47" sets can accept both cable and over-the-air (OTA) broadcasts, the problem is that it can only do one or the other. This was an oversight on the part of Vizio. Cable operators do not always carry all local OTA broadcasts on their feed to households. Therefore, it would have been nice if Vizio offered two RF inputs; one for cable and the other for OTA. I circumvented this problem by buying a separate OTA tuner and connecting it to the one of the TV's HDMI input. But, this came at unnecessary expense and complexity. Hopefully Vizio will correct this deficiency in future sets.
HDMI Inputs - Vizio provides two. With the ease of connecting components using and HDMI cable and the cost of HDMI cables now well under $10, it only stands to reason that this will become the future standard. Two HDMI inputs is simply not enough and within the next few years, this will likely become a limiting factor for many owners of this set.
Channel List Feature - Vizio's Channel List feature displays a menu of channels that your unit has scanned (if you are new to digital TV, note that you must perform a channel scan before you can view digital channels). This feature allows you to change channels without having to channel up or down to get to the intended channel (which can be a lengthy ordeal in the digital world). This feature appears to work well on the older 46" unit. However, it has a glitch on the newer 47" unit where it does not display all of the programmed digital channels. If you scroll backward through the Channel List, the missing channels will eventually appear (scrolling forward does not produce the same results). Hopefully, Vizio will correct this glitch in a future firmware update. Also, give the number of channels that are programmed, it would be nice if the Channel List feature supported a multiple column format that could be traversed using the remote's four directional arrow keys. Again, maybe a firmware update could add this needed feature.
Final Thoughts - For the money, the VIZIO GV47LF 47" LCD is a good unit. It has some deficiencies, but, they are not deal breakers for most. The fact that it supports the 1080p format will not make much of a difference for most unless you use the TV as an LCD monitor as well (by the way, it's pretty awesome - I have mine set up as a dual monitor using the VIZIO GV47LF as the 2nd monitor). Of course once broadcasters begin transmitting in the 1080p format, you'll be glad you have this set (or until the next format comes out like the 2160p). I'm sure some will feel that my "6" rating is low, but, I think there are a few hurdles that Vizio needs to cross (like the need for multiple RF/coax inputs) before I can rate their units in the Very Good to Excellent range. The picture quality, which should be your primary consideration, is as good as any on the market right now. If you buy this unit at Costco, look for a $250 off coupon. On the East Coast, this coupon is good for the week beginning Jan 15th making the price $1,649 before tax; not bad in today's market. But, in fairness to many hard-working individuals, this is simply still a lot of money. Kudos to Vizio for leading the effort to drive the price down. I have watched Vizio's product line over the last few years and am impressed with the progress made. I expect Vizio to become a major competitor (if they haven't already) in the very near future. Keep up the good work.Updated
As I mentioned, I have this set set up as a computer monitor (works awesome). I'm using an older, inexpensive GeForce4 Ti4200 video card that includes both RGB and DVI out. Using a DVI to HDMI cable, this is connected to one of my TV's HDMI inputs.
Well, while surfing the net on your big screen TV, you might as well take advantage of the fact that it is a TV by using the Picture-in-Picture (PIP) mode. Works great except for one major glitch. The PIP window will NOT display a digital channel; only analog. So, if you wanted to watch ESPN-HD in the smaller PIP window; you're out of luck.
I have a suspicion that this bug is related to the Channel List glitch that I mentioned in my main post. Once again, hopefully, Vizio will correct this with a firmware update.
Pros Price, picture quality, lots of connections
Cons Currently no 1080p using the Xbox360 HD-DVD
Summary Impression: This LCD is AWESOME!!! You can't beat the price and both the picture and the physical appearance of this unit are excellent.
Pros: Price is of course the biggest advantage when buying a Vizio TV. The 1080p picture on this set looks great. The number of inputs on the rear are more than I can fill at the moment. The OTA ATSC tuner works beautifully and is very sensitive.
Cons: According to Vizio, you can do 1080p using the VGA port if you set your video cards' color space to "video." Sadly, this means that at the time of this writing, using a VGA cable with the Xbox 360 will not give you 1080p when using the HD-DVD add-on. 1080p game play does work fine however. Some users have also reported an audio hum when lowering the backlight on other forums. My set does not seem to have this problem at all. Blacks also will not be as deep as you may see on a plasma set, but this is a disadvantage to LCD in general and is seen on many sets. Blacks happen to look great on this set with a little tweaking.
***TIP***: If you experience "backlight leakage" or "cloudiness" when viewing all-black scenes upon first using the set, give it a few days. It seems that possibly the foam packaging causes some pressure buildup on the glass that settles within the first few days and clears up any backlight leakage. Not everyone has this problem, but it does seem that those who experience this see the issue clear over a day or two of use.
Summary: I would buy this TV again in a second. I previously had the Vizio GV46L TV and this thing blows that set away. It's about the same form-factor except that Vizio has given this set another inch of screen, a metal back, and a TON of more settings to tweak your picture than on the GV46L. None of the other problems I had with the 46 exist. No backlight leakage, no popping on startup.
Bottom line, buy it if you're looking for a great set at an awesome price. If you have money to burn, get a "higher end" brand for a lot more money.Updated
I have used both AVIA and the THX Optimizer DVD to tweak this set. Interestingly enough, each time I spend almost an hour tweaking this set and I end up arriving at settings that look exactly the same(or darn close) to me as the "standard" preset from the factory. It looks like maybe Vizio got a preset right this time around!Updated
I'm not sure I completely understand why the disparity between Cnet's rating (6.6) and the users rating (8.6) is so great.
I think that anyone who seriously puts these types of devices through a serious super-difficult scientific ringer will find a ton of flaws.
I think that for the "average Joe-User," this set rocks. I have not had one person that has come to my home, seen my Vizio GV47L and said "Wow....oh, yup...I saw those false-contouring lines on that one scene ten minutes ago." Or, "Gee- that really has poor defeatable edge enhancement." I've never once heard a complaint about the black levels from any guest or family member.
Bottom Line (AGAIN): Don't freak out by reading the lab-review of sets like these. Go take a look at the set. If you like it and enjoy the picture BUY IT and forget about what the "TVophiles say." That stands for any LCD/Plasma manufacturer. It is unlikely that any of them would be happy spending less than $5000 on any set.
Again, the price and performance along with the "It looks excellent to me" factor make this a set worth checking out for the money.
Pros 2 HDMI inputs, true 1080P (I called their tech support), 1920 resolution, slick modern set design, backlit remote, excellent Costco warranty, fantastic price (even better this week w/coupon)
Cons Not quite as good as the top brand - Sony
Summary I am a Cnet junkie and I every time I make an electronics purchase, I check here first. I strongly believe that Cnet is being coerced somehow into not giving Vizio its due credit with these TV sets. I will say that the LCDs look much better in the store than the plasmas (haven't bought a Vizio plasma).
I just bought the 47" Gallevia at Costco late last week. I'm not an expert on LCDs by any stretch, but I did see the Sony Bravia KDL-46V2500 (not their top Bravia, which is the best picture I've ever seen) and this Vizio 47" Gallevia side by side at Costco. I will be the first to tell you that the KDL-46V2500 has the better picture. The problem is that it's $1,000 more. I could not justify $1,000 of difference between the pictures - the Vizio was just too good to pass up. I bought it with the coupon ($1750 compared to $3000 for the KDL-46V2500), brought it home and I have not one regret.
Sony needs to start paying attention to this brand and make their prices more competitive, because Vizio is gaining on them. You simply cannot find a better LCD flat panel for the money. Take my word for it, I spend way too much time in the stores comparing them all. If money is no object I understand getting the KDL-46V2500 or a better Bravia, but that should be your only reason not to get the Gallevia.
Side note: I bought the Vizio 32 inch LCD for my bedroom 6 months ago figuring with Costco's warranty I could take it back if I didn't like it. I have already thrown both boxes away and would never take either one back unless they became defective.
Vizio's HD picture is stellar and this brand is the first I would recommend to any smart shopper.
Pros Picture quality, number of inputs, 1080P, bright screen, solid base
Cons Speaker quality low (buzzing), small onscreen text size
Summary First I'm hard to impress with a TV - I purchased this to replace my 65-inch DLP screen which I grew to dislike the picture quality of. I only wanted a 1080P screen, and needed something bright. I was ready to spend over $4000 when I was told about the new Vizio 47-inch LCD coming out. I tested the LCD and was impressed, and at less then $1900 I figured it could always go into the master bedroom if I wasn't fully happy.
To saw the least, I would rate the image quality of this LCD screen as "OUTSTANDING". Not only is it bright, but it's extremely sharp and responsive. I first tested digital cable HD (vid HDMI input) and it looked "Very Good" - the cable company over compresses the HD channels, so they can not be as good as they should. I then tested an upconverting DVD player video HDMI and it looked OUTSTANDING - almost as good as the Blueray disk in my next test. Since the TV only has 2 HDMI inputs, I then tested the DVD player via component and it looked just amazing. The blacks where blacks, the letters onscreen popped right out - I couldn't believe the DVD looked so good, it was almost as good as my Blueray. My last test was basic Playstation 2 & Gamecube via the S-Video - both looked great for being displayed on a 1920x1080 resolution LCD screen. No ghosting, no blurry edges, just sharp, clear, bright images.
In summary you can't go wrong with this screen. Mine does have a problem with the internal speakers buzzing, but I've contacted tech support to find a way to replace the removable speakers without replacing the entire screen. For anyone on a budget, you'll get high quality for a budget price. I selected this over much more costly choices, and not because of cost, but because of the picture quality!
Pros The size of the screem, the sound and ESPN HD look fantastic!
Cons The flesh tones look uneven, pasty even.
Summary I researched HD for years, it seems.
Read the consumer magazines, went to the big electronic stores many, many times, compared pictures, and waited for the prices to drop.
Finally decided that the technology dust had settled and went with LCD, but then 1080i reared it ugly, expensive head. I wanted the latest technology, but did not want the expense.
I went to Costco to see the Vizio, and was not immediately impressed with the image.
Due to my previous explorations, I tried to adjust the picture, and couldn’t find the knobs for the picture or volume adjust. I was pleasantly surprised they were in a touch panel in front of the set.
I made some adjustment, and could not distinguish between the Vizio and the named (and more expensive) brands that were a few feet away.
These sets were flying out of the store so I made my wife hold one while I looked for the flat truck and coupon to purchase the set.
I was a bit concerned as I walked out the door because the set is supposedly damaged if laid on its back. I was able to fit it into my jeep, but at an angle. Concerned I called Vizio: the reason they suggest carrying it on its base is to avoid cracking the screen. I powered up my set, and had no problems.
The picture image is stunning in high def especially ESPNHD. I am using the component cables provided by Cablevision, and can’t imagine what the picture will be like when I get the HDMI cable.
I have spent as much time looking at ESPN's colorful set as the personalities because the flesh tones seem pasty. Perhaps this is how they actually look with make up.
The sound is great and I haven’t even hooked it into my surround sound yet.
Likewise, I haven’t hooked up my TIVO, DVD player, etc. but I am confident that the multitude of idiot proof inputs will accommodate all of my components.
AMAZING PICTURE, THOUGH PASTY FACES AT TIMES. WORTH EVERY PENNY!Updated
I felt really stupid when after connecting the other components to the Vizio, I turned the TV on and found everyone looking like the Hulk. Tried for hours to get the colors right, and then happened to think the cable may be loose. In deed the green cable was almost completely out of its socket. Instantly, not only were the colors normalized, but that pasty look I complained about was gone too! This set allows you to customize the level of green, blue and red independently, so there's virtually no way to get the colors wrong.
The only drawback is that there are only two composite inputs, and only one of the RCA's has an S-Video input. Not to worry, the two HDMI will work better and I can always use my ABCD Switch to add in the other components.