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Vizio E321VL Review - 32" LCD TV

Model: Vizio E321VL
Description: 32" LCD TV
Resolution: 1366 X 768 (720p)
Panel Life: 50,000 hours to half life
Reviewer: Robert Wiley
Date: Summer 2011

Vizio sells more small LCD TVs in the U.S. than any other manufacturer so it's worth putting one of these hot sellers which can be found at Costco, Sams Club or Target through some testing to find out what the consumer is getting.

This standard definition shot from the DVD of The Truman Show shows good definition.

Sources from non-HD programming look a bit dim with our calibrated picture settings. In Movie Picture mode we lost a lot of color and the picture appeared too dim and lifeless, however when switching to Standard Picture mode, the color saturation improved significantly but we sacrificed dark shadow detail. Dark shadows detail is nearly completely lost. So I recommend using both our settings and the Standard Picture Mode setting depending upon what type of programming your watching. HD programming seems fine with our Movie Mode settings. So that's one of my main complaints with this TVs picture quality – inconsistency. There is some judder, jerkiness during slow pannning from the 60Hz LCD panel.

A bright shot from the Blu Ray of Alexander.

HD picture was of course much better. Color information was more saturated and the edges of images clean and sharp. The LCD panel is good with glare but also provides a flat picture appearance compared to better plasma and LED-LCD TVs. Viewing angles are a very pleasant surprise. There was very slight degradation of black levels and contrast from side views but not extreme at all. This is very impressive result for an LCD TV especially in this size category.

Black levels in the 321VL are slightly below average, but good for a 32" TV. Post calibration contrast measured 1021:1 with the backlight set to 45- a below average result. With the backlight set higher to 60 contrast ratio dropped to 973:1.

The 32D450's LCD Panel has an inherent antiglare effect which will work well in rooms with lots of surrounding light.

The Vizio E321VL does not have Internet feature functionality. It does have USB inputs for picture viewing on the screen.

The input selection of the 321VL includes 2 HDMI inputs, VGA computer, composite video, component video, USB (which allows video viewing).

Appearance: The E321VL is not bad looking with a black gloss frame that triangulates in the front as in bevels. It adds a little touch of design to what would otherwise be an overly boring layout. The TV comes with a black gloss plastic rectangle table stand which the TV must be screwed into. Vizio includes the screws and screwdriver in the box.

Remote Control and Menu: The remote control is of average size, gloss black and not back lit. It lacks an aspect ratio key as mentioned below as well as a Picture Mode key for quick toggling. The Menu controls are easy to use and flow down the left hand side of the screen with your viewing content still showing on the larger right portion of the screen. The menu is fairly complete with even some advanced picture settings for ambient light sensors, backlight control and advanced black level. We recommend keeping these controls off for most viewing.

Vizio's menu system is fairly complete for a TV of this size and cost.

(Note: The large included manual is very complete and colorful – a nice touch from Vizio)

There is a Media button in the center of the remote control for access to the USB drive to view stored pictures.

Picture Size Control: Aspect ratio sizing is present on the TV but not as a direct access button on the remote control. I have not seen a remote control without an aspect ratio sizing button in years so this was an oversight by Vizio. So after accessing through the main menu button on the remote the offerings are Normal (4:3), Wide, Zoom, Panoramic – all of which seemed to do a fine job.

Audio Output Quality: There was plent of volume from the 10W X 10W speakers. The TV comes with SRS TruSurround feature on. It usually helps. Sound quality is not a strength of the Vizio E321VL. Voice is overwhelmed by surround sound. The end result is a voluminous undefined muddy sound quality.

see Value Rating and Overall Score on Page 2

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