Vizio P-Series Quantum TV Review (2019): The Best for Less

[Original Post] There’s nothing subtle about a 65-inch TV. By virtue of its size it’s going to command attention from the moment it arrives on your doorstep. When I went down to help the delivery guy bring the Vizio P-Series Quantum up to my apartment, a stranger in the lobby congratulated me like I was […]

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[Original Post]

There’s nothing subtle about a 65-inch TV. By virtue of its size it’s going to command attention from the moment it arrives on your doorstep. When I went down to help the delivery guy bring the Vizio P-Series Quantum up to my apartment, a stranger in the lobby congratulated me like I was bringing home a newborn. “Wow. Congratulations! It’s beautiful.” He wasn’t wrong.

The P-Series Quantum is a lot of TV, with a 65-inch or 75-inch display, 4K pixel resolution, quantum dot tech (more on that soon), and a $1,400 price tag. After watching everything on it, it’s hard not to be impressed—despite some sticker shock.

Size Matters

Unless you already have one of these TVs in your living room, office, or lair, you’re probably going to have to play a bit of furniture Tetris to make room. Any 65-inch TV is enormous, and Vizio’s four aluminum support legs require a very wide surface to stand on. They have a number of advantages I’ll get into a little later, but unlike smaller TVs with center-mounted pedestal stands, they’re too wide for many TV stands, tables, and shelves.

Since it was wider than my dining-room table, I ended up pushing two Ikea bookshelves together as a makeshift TV stand.

It is stunningly large and quite thin for an LCD TV: half an inch at its thinnest point and just over 2 inches at its thickest. If this were an LG OLED TV, I’d expect a thin profile. Because of their display technology, OLEDs can get mere millimeters thin, but the P-Series Quantum is an LCD TV with a grid of LED backlights behind it. Its profile and razor-thin bezels make it seem much thinner than it is, but it is thicker than a competitive OLED would be. Still, it’s surprisingly svelte for its size. I own a Sony Bravia that’s just a few years old and much thicker.

Vizio

The Quantum Realm

Quantum is in the name of this TV, so let’s talk about quantum dots. That’s the display technology pushes this TV ahead of its more affordable siblings. Quantum dots are basically an additional filter layer inside an LED-backlit LCD TV, these filters are comprised of nano-scale semiconductors that can produce vivid red, blue, or green light. Without getting too into the weeds, quantum dots help TVs produce sharp, vibrant, and cinematic colors—the best and brightest you can get with LED-backlit LCD displays. At the moment, the only thing better is an OLED TV.

Chiefly manufactured by LG, OLED TVs use a wholly different display technology responsible for both their razor-thin form factors, and impossibly crisp and vivid displays. These displays are literally made out of millions of microscopic LEDs that turn on and off independently. Instead of having a panel of backlights, every pixel lights itself up, producing richer colors and inky blacks. But they’re very expensive, especially at large sizes like 65 inches. OLED TVs start at nearly $3,000 and eventually get down to $1,700 or so toward the end of each year.

Spectacular Spider-Man

It’s no OLED, but to the naked eye the P-Series Quantum comes close. Vizio’s marketing materials promise “cinematic intensity” and the Quantum delivers exactly that. Every TV manufacturer promises their latest and greatest will turn any room into a home theater, but the P-Series Quantum actually delivers on that promise, and then some. Turn out the lights and the bright, vibrant display will light up a room. With the right snacks and a comfy couch, you really do feel like you’re in a movie theater. As soon as I finished re-re-re-watching Spider-Man: Homecoming in 4K, I started hunting through my YouTube and Amazon video libraries for anything else I could throw at this TV.

The P-Series Quantum turns any wall into a window. I even had fun watching simple videos, like rain sheeting off a forest canopy during a thunderstorm or blades of grass swaying in the gentle summer wind. With the right TV, these kinds of 4K demonstrations are as riveting as The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi. (At least, for a while.)

Dark content also really pops on the Quantum, in part because of the 200 local dimming zones on the 65-inch model (the gargantuan 75-inch model boasts 240 local dimming zones), which help darken parts of the screen to squeeze out more contrast between bright and dark areas. Even pitch-dark images, like high resolution video of the night sky are rendered beautifully. There was never any noticeable color bleed, or blooming, even when vibrant colors were contrasted against pitch dark backgrounds. Sound is passable as well. Like almost all TVs though, you should invest in a soundbar for this model.

Traditionally, I wait till the sun goes down to watch visually dark shows and movies. Not even my blinds can contend with the sunlight pouring into my west-facing windows. But this is the final season of Game of Thrones and waiting until nightfall gives social media (and way too many groupchats) too much time to accidentally drop spoilers on me. The P-Series gets bright enough that I could watch the dimly-lit Battle of Winterfell live, in broad daylight. I got to see everything fresh, before Twitter could spoil any of it.

One More Thing(s)

If the P-Series Quantum was just an incredibly sharp, vivid TV, that would be enough to justify its sticker price. But it has built-in apps for most major streaming services, and with Chromecast and Apple AirPlay functionality you can use your phone, laptop, or tablet as a TV remote control too. You can even link the Quantum to your Google Assistant or Alexa devices, so you can talk to your TV like you’re Captain Picard—which is good because the menus for all those streaming services are sometimes less-than-intuitive, and the TV doesn’t list each and every one it’s compatible with. You’re going to have to use your phone or an external device to get it to open up HBO Now, for example. Or you can buy one of our recommended streaming devices.

The Vizio P-Series Quantum is a stellar TV, media device, and multi-purpose display. The price is competitive given the picture quality, but it’s always hard to swallow paying more than $1,000 for a television. Vizio sells a Quantum X TV that’s more expensive, and models that are cheaper, but the Quantum is a good mix of value and quality. If you want a display that’s up there with the best, this may be the most affordable amazing TV you can buy.

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