"Not Quite Ready for Prime Time"3.0 starson by pmd_123
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