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Review: Vizio 65-in 4K UHD XLED Home Theater Display (E65-E1)

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There is nothing like watching a full truck pull up to the front of the building because what they have won’t fit in a normal delivery vehicle. Even better when one of those items is a brand new TV/display to play with. Thankfully this week, we had both. 

Now we have been playing with the Vizio 65-inch E-Series 4K XLED Home Theater Display (model E65-E1) for the last so many days to get a feel for it, and have came up with our verdict (which makes it a hot buy in our eyes).

Now, before I go any deeper into this, I do have to point out that some of these models have been getting a little scrutiny from consumers. This is due to two very dangerous things. For one, people tend to forget how to read when they are looking at buying something in store or online. They don’t bother looking at the specs or sometimes the title of the product itself. Second, horrible sales people that have the same issue, thus they don’t warn the shopper about anything before they buy. I point these both out because this is not a normal TV. In fact, it isn’t a TV–it is a display. This is why the title of the product states “4K Home Theater Display” instead of “4K TV”. The magic term is “TV”, because it does not have a tuner built into it. That means no coaxial connection. So if you want it to get TV channels in, you will have to connect an external box. Thankfully, most cable/satellite providers will give you this by default, but it does leave out the OTA (over the air) fans–unless they buy an external OTA box, which doesn’t cost much.

Whew, now that I got that out of the way. The bulk of the complaints on this unit are from customers who don’t read and aren’t educated properly by the sales guy. They complain that you can get TV with it unless you hook up another box. This is true and it states that just about everywhere (“Tuner-Free home theater display”). For example, Best Buy’s website states this near the beginning of the feature list and continues to say: Play content from cable, satellite set-top boxes, game consoles, Blu-ray players and more. If an external antenna is used to watch local over-the-air broadcast TV, a TV tuner is required (sold separately).

That’s it. This is a “display”, just like a monitor on a PC. Only it does have some streaming capabilities built right into it, including Netflix. The rest interacts with your iOS or Android device where you have the option of using ChromeCast to stream pretty much whatever you want to it (ie, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video, YouTube and so much more). You can use your device to control it like a remote, access its settings and everything. It also seems quite responsive to this which is nice.

So there you have it–a very large “monitor” for your home theater system. Anything the app can’t deliver requires you hooking stuff up to it. Gaming systems, audio receivers, cable boxes, Blu-ray players and so forth. A sign that the demand for cutting the cord has gotten larger than ever.

Design

So let’s talk about what it looks like. The display features an all black design including the two optional feet. that act as a stand. It feels quite sturdy with the feet installed and even stands up on its own without them (although I wouldn’t rely on balance alone like that if I were you). It weighs around 50lbs, making it quite easy for a team of two people to carry it around and place it (or hang it). In fact, until we were ready to hang it, it only had one person at a time lugging it around. Hanging it required the second set of hands in order not to make a mess of things.

It is a thick display, so you will have to take that into account when hanging it (in case you require something to be as flat against the wall as possible for whatever reason). Front to back it stretches to just under 3.5 inches. It doesn’t seem like much compared to screens of the past, however times have changed and we have come very far. Consider the new LG W-Series TVs that are about 0.15 inches thick (the W stands for wallpaper). Of course, there is a VERY large difference in price as well.

The screen looks great hanging on the wall and doesn’t have any noticeable glare once it is turned on. We have it installed in a demo room we use for testing things in, so there’s no sunlight running about, however we are pretty good at creating light where needed for camera. When the unit is turned off, you can see a good reflection, but once you power it on, the only thing your eyes can see is that beautiful picture.

Picture

Which leads us to picture quality! The image looks fantastic on this model. Although we have seen better, you don’t get that far with the price it’s at right now. Before you even find any 4K content to throw at it, you can already tell what you are in for, as 1080p content looks great. The initial setup does walk you through a few picture settings that are crucial to user preference, and it does come with a “calibrated” setting. This setting isn’t too bad and I can easily see many users immediately defaulting to it. Of course if you are OCD like we are, you will find yourself tinkering with a few things to really even things out with.

One of the settings we found ourselves making sure was turned off was “Clear Action”, which tries to bring the refresh rate to 180Hz from the natural 120Hz. Although the idea sounds great, we found it to result in a rapid flicker effect that is noticeable to the eyes and quite annoying. Turned off results in a calm picture and no stress on the eyes.

We also found ourselves switching the profiles between standard and computer depending on the content we were testing against it. Both seem just fine if you know what you want, but most users will more than likely default to standard.

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Xtreme Black Engine isn’t perfect, but the image does look much better with it enabled. The settings for black detail (off/low/medium/high) we found was best kept to low. Anything higher causes a gray-muddy effect in the darkest areas of the picture. The settings tries to lighten these dark areas and draw out whatever missing details that you might not normally see, but the effect isn’t as noteworthy.

There doesn’t seem to be able issue with bleed or ghosting in the screen that we can see. Really, the blacks are the only thing this screen doesn’t hit perfectly with image-wise (all based on the price at least) Activating the low gaming latency option in the menu helps to guarantee a smooth experience playing online games and of course you will be blown away if you have an Xbox One S or the new Xbox One X.

It also upscales automatically using its “Spatial Scaling Engine”. There are no settings to play with to accomplish this with.

Setup

Setup is a breeze. You can do it with either the remote or the app. We had chosen to use the app and it walks you through everything including the firmware update and getting you connected to WiFi. Within no time, your display is rebooted and ready for use.

Smart Features (Apps)

As mentioned, it has an army of apps that it can stream video or audio from. A few of which are built directly into the display itself. The majority of your options though will take you to your mobile device to “cast” the content from the device to the display with.

We have seen a small number of stories out there where users had issues streaming content from their device to the display and called the whole system flawed. In our experience with it thus far, we couldn’t replicate any of these issues which lead us to assume that as long as 1) you have a decent internet package and 2) a good router, there doesn’t seem to be any issues. We even dialed our bandwidth all the way down to 50Mbps and still couldn’t experience any issues with the cast.

Moving around the apps is quite speedy thanks to the V8 Octa-Core CPU inside. This also makes menus and everything else a breeze.

Connectivity/Internet

The display has the ability for both wireless (built in WiFi) and wired (ethernet). Both of which work fantastically. Now, we do have a pretty fancy connection here. However, as I just mentioned above–even dialing it back down closer to the nation consumer average for high speed internet accounts didn’t cause any issues. We found the WiFi range of the display to be about average. It won’t stretch clear across a show floor, but it should operate just fine as long as it is within 50ft of your router (with or without walls).

Connectivity/Inputs

The back of the display features all of your typical inputs to work with. You have a combined component/RCA input for analog devices and four HDMI ports.

  • HDMI 1 Tech Spec: 600MHz pixel clock rate: 2160p@60fps, 4:4:4, 8-bit | 2160p@60fps, 4:2:2, 12-bit  2160p@60fps, 4:2:0, 12-bit
  • HDMI 2-4 Tech Specs: 340MHz pixel clock rate: 2160@60fps 4:2:0 8 bit

The first port supports HDMI 2.0 and ARC and the others HDMI 1.4. They are support HDCP 2.2.

You have three forms of sending audio out from the display (four if you include the built-in speakers). The back contains an RCA analog out, as well as an optical out for digital. As I just mentioned, the HDMI 1 port supports ARC (audio return channel) which allows it to send audio backwards back to the device connected to it (which means you want this to be a home AVR/receiver).

Sound

If you have read any of our stories covering a TV (or display), you would know we never brag about the audio of the built-in speakers. The sound from the speakers is good when it comes to a flat screen unit, however it is poor if compared to a soundbar or other external speaker solution. We always advise using a receiver (home AVR) with any TV/display if sound is of any importance to you.

The ARC support in HDMI 1 does seem to only support stereo on the return. We couldn’t get it to send back multi-channel digital, so it looks like you are stuck with stereo or 2.1 if you are using a soundbar. If you are using anything else external other than a basic stereo or 2.1 soundbar solution, we’d advise using the optical out for sound coming from the display instead of ARC (assuming you do use any of the apps/cast with the display directly).

 

Remote

The remote is quite basic. It is small on the hand and features only what you need for the display itself. It won’t control any of your other devices with, so if you’re looking to cut down on your remotes lying around, we’d recommend something like Logitech’s Harmony remotes. The remote doesn’t light up or anything, so finding the button in the dark might be an issue for some.

Using the app on your phone can help eliminate any troubles of seeing in the dark and offers everything the remote can do and more since you can stream (cast) things from it as well. The app is really quite useful but you would have to have it pulled up and ready whenever you sit down in front of the screen, else you may find yourself fumbling around with trying to find/open the app at crucial moments (like when you need to pause something). Although apps are becoming a nice touch for TVs (or displays), we still find that it’s hard to replace a physical controller in your hand.

Our Conclusion

This screen is fantastic. The picture is great (although not perfect like a $1500+ display/TV might be. The price is also fantastic as it allows someone to add a 65-inch 4K screen to their home for less than $1000, which is great. These prices are getting better each day and this places this display within the realm of Black Friday pricing (assuming you get it before the $849 price tag comes to an end). It provides you with everything you need if you already use your TV as a monitor more than a TV. If you have an external cable/satellite box, then you are also ready to go with this one. Just make sure you understand that it doesn’t have a built-in tuner. You can always add an external solution if you ever need to.

Buy from Best Buy

Our Rating

8 / 10 stars           

Average Price*

$849.99

*Average price is based on the time this article was published

Additional Images:

Key Specs

  • Class Size: 65″
  • Screen Size (Diag.): 64.5″
  • Panel Type: VA
  • Smart Platform: VIZIO SmartCast™ w/ Chromecast™ Built-in
  • High Dynamic Range: Yes, HDR10
  • Resolution: Ultra HD – 3840×2160
  • UHD Upscale Engine: Spatial Scaling Engine™
  • Display Processor: V8 Octa-Core
  • Backlight Type: Full-Array LED
  • Local Dimming Zones: Yes, Active LED Zones® x12
  • Clear Action™: 180
  • Built-in Wi-Fi: Yes, 802.11ac Dual Band
  • UHD Codec Support: HEVC (H.265), VP9
  • Bluetooth: 4.1 LE

HDMI Inputs

  • HDMI Ports: 4 (1 side; 3 bottom)
  • HDMI Version: Port 1 supports: v.2.0; Ports 2-4 supports: v1.4
  • HDMI 1 Tech Spec: 600MHz pixel clock rate: 2160p@60fps, 4:4:4, 8-bit | 2160p@60fps, 4:2:2, 12-bit  2160p@60fps, 4:2:0, 12-bit
  • HDMI 2-4 Tech Specs: 340MHz pixel clock rate: 2160@60fps 4:2:0 8 bit

Additional Inputs

  • Component: 1 (side)
  • Ethernet: 1 (bottom)
  • USB Ports: 1 (side)
  • TV Tuner: No, Note: If you use an external antenna to watch local over-the-air broadcast TV signals, a TV tuner is required and sold separately.

Outputs

  • ARC: Yes
  • Analog Audio Out: 1 (bottom)
  • Digital Audio Out (SPDIF): 1 (bottom)

Display

  • Effective Refresh Rate: 120Hz
  • Dynamic Contrast Ratio: 5M: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • Viewable Angle (H/V): 176°/176°
  • OSD Language: English, Spanish, French

Audio

  • Speakers/Power Output: 10W x 2
  • DTS StudioSound™: Yes
  • DTS TruSurround: Yes
  • DTS TruVolume™: Yes

Energy Savings

  • Energy Compliance: No
  • Power Consumption: 120.36W
  • Standby Power Consumption: <0.5W
  • Ambient Light Sensor: Yes

Wall Mount Specifications

  • VESA Compliance: Yes
  • Mount Pattern: 400mm x400mm
  • Screw Size: M6
  • Hole Depth: 14mm

Stand Assembly

  • Screw Size: M4
  • Screw Length: 22mm

Included Accessories

  • Remote Control: XRT135
  • Battery Type: AAA x2

Size and Weight

  • Product with Stand Dimensions: 57.64”W x 35.66”H x 11.42”D
  • Product with Stand Weight: 51.15 lbs
  • Product without Stand Dimensions: 57.64”W x 33.10”H x 3.11”D
  • Product without Stand Weight: 50.04 lbs
  • Product Packaging Dimensions: 63.86”W x 39.21”H x 8.94”D
  • Product Packaging Weight: 70.99 lbs

VIZIO Warranty

  • Warranty: One Year Parts & Labor. Free Lifetime Technical Support.

 


Are you a manufacturer or distributor that would like us to test something out for review? Contact us and we can let you know where to send the product and we will try it out.

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JeffreyB

Designer, Editor and Product Review Lead

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