At CES this week, Vizio is throwing its hat into the Ultra HD TV arena with 65- and 70-inch sets in its XVT series. The company is also offering a glimpse of its vision of 3D that doesn't require special glasses.
Vizio's Ultra HD TVs will have all the company's latest features, including passive 3D, which—because of the higher pixel count, four times that of a regular 1090p set—will be able to present full-resolution 3D images. The TVs will include HDMI inputs that support native 4K content (the inference is that some sets have to down-convert 4K to 1080p before up-converting it back to 4K resolution). The TVs, which also have the smart TV features and an updated universal remote, won't arrive until the third quarter, at a yet-undisclosed price.
The company is also showing technology demos of glasses-free 3D technology, though there's no timetable for bringing the technology to market. The demo TV is has a 55-inch 4K panel that can produce up to nine views, which should help address one issue we've seen with other glasses-free prototypes: very narrow viewing angles.
Vizio is also taking the wraps off a new M-series line of 1080p LCD TVs that sport a stylized, ultra-thin industrial design, passive 3D technology, an enhanced smart TV Internet platform, support for Flash and HTML, and larger 70- and 80-inch screen sizes. The company says it will continue offering the more value-oriented E-series sets it first debuted late in 2012. The line will bring smart TV services to TVs with screens as small as 24 inches.
Vizio says that it is not expanding its offering of 21:9 ultra-widescreen sets this year. Last year the company launched a 58-inch model, which was favorably reviewed by Consumer Reports, though we felt it was a niche product mainly targeting videophiles.
Check out the rest of our CES 2013 coverage.
—James K. Willcox