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Vizio E600i-B3 Review

60" 1080p Full-Array LED Smart TV

by , Senior Reviewer

Vizio E600i-B3 LED TVVizio's 60-inch entry into the basic lineup of LED TVs has seen some attractive upgrades for 2014. The price is certainly one of those attractive features. The E600i-B3 features full-array LED backlighting instead of the edge-lit variety we have seen in the past. The 60 inch size has 16 zones of Active dimming with the aim of increasing contrast. That's more zones than the smaller sizes, but we don't see much of a difference with this feature. The 55-inch size only has 12 zones. Vizio Internet Apps Plus is also included in the E series for the first time. The E600i-B3 will sell for a price of around $899.99.

“I was surprised by a couple of no-brainers that we have not seen from a branded TV in some years: noise from the TV and aspect ratio problems”

Strengths

  • 10mm thin bezels look really nice
  • Once the calibration is dialed in the picture is great, not counting aspect ratio issues for SD content
  • Plent of different picture modes that have their own strong suits
  • Speakers are plenty loud to fill a room
  • The Black Detail feature increases black saturation and boosts contrast

Weaknesses

  • Clicking fan noise when the TV is off and a high pitched sound when on
  • Aspect ratio issues with standard def programming could not be properly addressed with all the different picture size modes
  • Side angle viewing isn't great, but on par with other LED TVs
Vizio E600i-B3 LED TV
The E600i-B3 has a good quality picture after calibration. This still House of Cards shows good picture depth and detail. Color reproduction is on the weak side, but not terrible

Picture and Viewing Features

The Vizio E600i-B3 is an excellent choice for the entery level E series thanks to more zones for the Active LED Local Dimming. The 60 inch features 16 active zones while the 55 inch only has 12. More zones are going to result in a better picture because divisions become less noticable to a watchful eye. The full-array LED backlighting achieves much better peak whites and deeper blacks than seen on previous versions of the E series. Also, the 120Hz refresh rate improves issues with judder and motion blur.

Picture Quality Rating: 84/100

The E600i-B3 doesn't trump the benefits of a plasma display in terms of picture depth and color, but it is one solid budget option for the picture quality and screen space. Darker scenes end up looking a bit flat and blacks can look as if there is a haze over them. Colors also seem a tad bit washed out and leave a little more to be desired.

Black levels end up being somewhat flexible thanks to the Black Detail option in the Advanced Picture Settings menu. It provides a much needed contrast boost which gives the picture a more three dimensional quality. Colors pop a bit more too. This is a case where I made a rare exception and use the Black Detail on the high setting. We normally stray away from settings like this since they typically don't benefit the overall picture quality. That's not the case here.

Vizio E600i-B3 LED TV
This is a shot from an HD broadcast. Detail and sharpness are high points here while color seems a bit lacking

The Film Mode does cut down slightly on judder from movie-source programming with no noted side effects. We're typically sceptical of this type of de-judder feature but on the Vizio e-series the effects are subtle enough to be of good use.

Side Angle Viewing, better than expected especially with the Black Detail setting on high. Nevertheless , there is contrast reduction starting at around 20 degrees off center, but becoming pronounced at 30.

Picture Modes and Calibration

Choosing the best picture mode for the E600i-B3 is extremely important and Vizio provides some strong choices: Standard (energy saving mode), Calibrated, Calibrated Dark, Game, Computer, and Vivid. The calibrated and calibrated dark modes are the best choices with only the backlight strength being the difference between the two. I think that Calibrated mode will probably be the choice mode for most situations. Here I saw plenty of dark shadow detail combined with a full backlight setting to give the picture a needed punch. Try the others out if you need to push the brightness a bit more depending on the room the TV is located in. When in Calibrated Mode use the following settings:

Picture Settings

Advanced Picture

Backlight: 90 Auto Brightness: Off
Brightness: 54 Black Detail: High
Contrast: 91 Smart Dimming: On
Color: 54 Reduce Signal Noise: Low
Tint: -1 Reduce Block Noise: Low
Sharpness: 30 Film Mode: Off

OPC Control Setting

The OPC (Optimum Power Control) control is very hidden in the menu of the E-series Vizio TV, but it can and should be turned off due to the distracting influx and outflow of light/brightness produced by the backlight. Out of the box, it will be set to On position for any of the preset picture settings. When I recently retested the e-series from Vizio I found it added unnecessary picture noise when light flow moved up or down lagging the picture image. The OPC's purpose is to save energy by manipulating the backlight through the 18 backlight zones, or probably more accurately to lower the Energy rating for Vizio's TVs. But at less than $1 a month total, and just a few cents per month for the OPC feature, you probably prefer a better picture. To turn it off: Go to Picture Settings, scroll down to More, Scroll down and click Advanced Picture at he bottom of the menu, this will finally bring up the Backlight Control as the very last setting. Turn Off.

Features Rating: 83/100

Vizio Internet Apps Plus

The Vizio E600i has the Vizio Internet Apps Plus platform included. The built-in wifi allows for instant access and plenty of speed for HD content streaming. The 'Plus' in the name means the interface is much more user friendly and the overall performance is faster than before. Some of the most useful apps included are Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, VUDU, MGO, Hulu Plus, YouTube, Pandora, iHeartRadio, and Facebook. There are plenty more too.

Some notable apps included this time around are:

Baeble Music: This is another music app. It brings you high quality HD streaming music videos of the newest bands. Specifically focuses on recordings of live performances.
Lyve: LyveHome gives the TV the ability to compile all of your content from Android, Apple, and Windows devices and access them from one place. Vizio Internet Apps Plus users can easily sort, view, share and their photos and videos right on the big screen.

Vizio E600i-B3 Streaming Netflix
The Netflix app works wonderfully on the Vizio Internet Apps Plus platform

The Smart TV gets good marks as far as performance goes. There were a few initial hiccups in the set up process, but all was smooth once we got past those and connected to our wifi network. Streaming content loaded up quickly and provided a high quality image over wifi. This is a big plus since not all smart TV platforms handle streaming so well.

Vizio E600i-B3 Streaming Netflix
This still from House of Cards displays decent picture depth and contrast levels. Getting to the Netflix app only involves a single button press

Appearance and Design

Vizio E600i-B3 LED TV Design

The E600i-B3 has also recieved some upgrades to the appearance. The bezels are now slimmer than they were last year, at a mere 10mm thin. Not bad for an entry level set. The profile has also seen a reduction of 30%. These aren't nearly as bulky as they have been in the past. The black plastic square stand is nothing special, but it doesn't take away from the sleek look here. All in all, this is an average looking value LED TV.

Value Rating: 93/100

The Vizio E600i-B2 presents a strong value on all fronts. The $899 retail price tag isn't too shabby when you consider the screen space here. Similar TV's from major brands sell for a few hundred dollars more. Strong contrast and picture depth from front and center is the highlight in the picture quality realm. Vizio Internet Apps Plus don't do anything new for the platform, but everything works well and doesn't leave much to be desired. Some downsides are a non-backlit remote, 2-point white balance, and a non-swivel stand. But these are dealbreakers by any means. Large format LED TVs like this one are getting more popular every year. There is going to be a lot of competition for this budget Vizio, but it will be hard to beat the value.

Overall Rating: 87/100

Quick Specs

  • With Stand: 53.26”W x 32.85”H x 8.66”D
  • Without Stand: 53.26”W x 30.96”H x 2.53”D
  • Full HD 1080p
  • Diagonal Screen Measurement: 60.10"
  • 120Hz Full Array LED Backlit
  • 16 Zones of Active LED Dimming
  • Speaker output: 10W x 2
  • 802.11n wifi built in
  • 10mm thin bezel for frameless appearance
  • 3 HDMI, 1 USB inputs


Jack Burden Jack Burden has been reviewing and writing reviews in the consumer electronics category for 7 years with CEAG. He considers grayscale gradation, film patterned retarders, and focus field drives to be fun topics. Read more about Jack
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