Pros Great Picture - absolutely the most bang for the $$$ of any 50in+ LCD
Easy Device and Network Setup
Friendly Knowledgeable Tech Support (save some time and ask for a Level 3 tech)
Cons In its current form, a step down from the Vizio 551
Non-functional USB ports ? ! ?
Cheesy Remote Control
Cannot turn-off the distracting backlit Tech Logo on the front of the TV
Summary First (before I get flayed by the readership) I love Vizio products. S'matter of fact, I sold my Vizio 551 after only 4 months of owning it to purchase this unit in the hopes of getting the "latest and greatest". Sadly, outside of picture quality, it was a step down in almost every other regard.ADDENDUM: After three weeks of runtime with the 552, let me reiterate that despite some replies to the contrary, you *cannot* turn off the Tech Logo on the front of the set (in fairness, the manual SAYS that you can by navigating to the 'Help' portion of the menu system, but the choice does NOT show up on the screen in the list of Help options).
First the Remote. Maybe I was spoiled by the beautifully designed remote from the 551. Great looks, backlit keys, good tactile feedback...it had everything that the remote on the 552 lacks. Start with appearance: it literally looks like a prototype. Cheap black plastic with tiny black rubber keys...I have remotes from $29 DVD players that are better looking. And from a functional standpoint, it commits the 3 cardinal sins of bad remote control design: 1) no backlighting of any of the keys...forget about using it without lights blazing. Kinda ruins the theater experience 2) keys provides tactile feedback without executing their function...this means you'll press the Chnl Up key, feel the indent beneath your finger and you'll still be watching the same channel you were. 3) tiny tiny keys...unless you're an elf, you'll be fat-fingering. It's just a bad design. I sincerely hope Vizio provides all of their early-adopters (like me) with a free replacement of the newly designed remote when it's available (and they WILL redesign this, as this device has no place with their flagship set).
Next, the USB ports...they don't work! It says so right in the manual (though not in any of Vizio's promotional literature). I LOVED the single USB port on my 551...plug in a thumbdrive with pictures and music and you had your own custom Slideshow. Can't do it on my new TV. Tech support says they'll be a future firmware upgrade to fix 'em...I ain't holding my breath.
Another item that'll be "fixed with a future firmware upgrade" is the ability to turn off the backlighting behind the annoying Tech Logo on the bottom left-hand corner of the set beneath the screen (another menu function my 551 was able to perform that the 552 can't). Here you have a six inch long, 1 inch tall feature list (i.e. VIA LED LCD 240 HZ 1080P and other stuff) backlit by bright white LEDs...again really annoying when in a darkened setting. Until the "fix" comes in, I have a piece of black electrical tape covering them up on the front of my $2000 TV...irritating.
Onto the newtwork connectivity, the reason I bought the set: at this point, I'd say it's working to Vizio's advantage more than mine. It gives them a method to 'upgrade' the product with automatic firmware updates, which is great. But it also gave them latitude to introduce something that clearly ain't quite "baked" yet. The Widgets are 'cute', but (at this stage) they're nothing that you can't get from a feature-laden BluRay player with networking.
You may think this critique is nitpicking, but keep in mind that i was expecting an "upgrade" from my 551.
Having said all that, it's still the best bang for your LCD buck. But if you're a current owner of a 551, there's no compelling reason to make the switch just yet. I rated this TV (the 552 in its current state) a 3 outta 5 stars. If Vizio fixes these issues and brings it up to par with the 551 it replaced, it'll be a solid 4.
Hope this helps in your buying decision (and in getting me a new remote...anyone from Vizio reading this? ; )
Updated on Apr 20, 2010
More importantly (and more annoyingly), I've found that while exploring / navigating some of the Widgets, they will actually make the 552 'reboot' (i.e. shut itself off, then (sometimes) turn itself back on. Other times it just remains 'off' and you have to hit the Power button). I can only imagine that the app itself crashed and that the reboot is the equivalent of the old 'blue screen of death' in Windows.
Again, nothing that a firmware update (or tighter quality control on Widgets) won't fix, but this thing definitely ain't ready for prime time...it performs more like a Beta unit
"A great product!"on by murlinm
Pros The VF522 does everything as advertised! It has a bright, sharp picture that practically jumps out at you. The set up was flawless; even the wireless internet connection worked on the first try.
Cons It seems like most of the web-based services involve fees. (Not the tv's fault!)
Summary I bought my first HDTV nearly ten years ago. It was a pain to hook up with a mass of wires and complex antenna adjustment for broadcast reception. Took hours to set up. The Vizio VF552 was unpacked, put on the stand and hooked up in about ten minutes. I have three Direct DVRs and a blueray DVD player. Just plugged in the HDMI cable and went through the simple start up process. Even the wireless hookup to my secure router worked the first time. I think the remote is reasonably sturdy. The remote is light and easy to use. I like the input button on the opposite side of the remote from the tv on/off button. On an older Visio tv, the input button was next to the main on/off switch and I was forever turning the tv off when I wanted to switch inputs.
One problem with the sharp, bright picture is that you can see set lighting. Programs such as "Chuck" are so realistic you can tell when they are on a set.
My wife told me not to mess with the color adjustments. I think the as-receive adjustments are a bit too bright with over saturated colors. I backed off the settings slightly and I think it looks better. Trouble is that programs seem to have drastically different color values and saturation (e.g. "Miami CSI" seems to be grossly saturated.) Not the tv's fault.
The web materials seem to work okay, but I've only gone superficially into them. Most seem to want to set up subscriptions. Since I have a Direct package, it remains to be seen if any of the web services will be of value to me. But if and when something I like is available, this set should have that functionality.
All in all, I think the Vizio VF552 is a great value!
Pros Via Apps
802.11n dual-band networking
QWERTY keyboard Bluetooth remote
Cons Having to wait to get mine :)
Summary I contacted Vizio last week about the availability of the VF552XVT and was told at that time by the sales rep that they were expecting to release it first quarter. He encouraged me to sign up for their VIA VIP program online and submit a form for the possiblity to be accepted into their "Early Adopters" program.
I was contacted yesterday and informed that I had, in fact, been selected and that this model had just been released. I was offered some very nice discounts as well as an offer for some free merchandise for my participation. My tele is scheduled to be shipped this week and I should receive it sometime next week.
So far, I'm very pleased with Vizio's customer service so I'm hoping it continues this way.
Keep a lookout for an updated review in the near future.
Pros LED Backlighting
Cons Delayed Release Date.
Summary I just spoke with Vizio today 11/13/09 and they said the release date got pushed back to the 1st or 2nd week in January.
I'm really disappointed. I was looking to make this a fantastic Christmas Gift...looks like plan B is in order.
Pros Great picture, wifi works great, bluetooth universal remote works very well, local dimming leds wow, Netflix is awesome to stream, for a flat panel tv speakers are pretty good.
Cons Thicker than the samsungs and sonys, Remote could be backlit. Needs a CNET review to get an accurate calibration. the VF551xvt is not the same.
Summary First I traded in a samsung pb58550 for this TV. The picture on the Samsung was amazing but I have a PS3 and image retention was an issue even after 300 hours of break in time. I would have to run the scrolling at night for two hours for the picture to be perfect the following day. So I found this Vizio with locally dimming LEDs, built in WIFI, 240hz, 2000000to 1 contrast ratio, and bluetooth/IR universal remote for $1999 and I was done. Its a good $1500 less than a comprably equipped sony or samsung. The Picture on it is great all the features work without a hitch and blurring is not an issue to my surprise. I am not to fond of the smooth motion however and as I mentioned it could use a calibration from a pro. Love the TV. If you cant do a plasma for its image retention issues but still want an awesome picture this is your TV.