Bargain HD: Vizio or Olevia?

Adam -- Mon, 06/23/2008 - 09:10

My friend is pricing out HDTVs in the 32inch range and has concluded that Vizio and Olevia offer the most bang for the buck. I've had no problems with my Olevia 27inch LCD, but have also read good things about Vizio. Which make would you suggest?

Tom Martin -- Mon, 06/23/2008 - 09:48

Olevias test very well, see page 149 of Playback, here:

Still, sometimes I think Olevias tend to look a bit dull. Have your friend look at the set (and ideally check whether the settings are normal or "sear your eyeballs). If the image seems dull, I'd go with Vizio, all other things being equal.

CEO and Editorial Director, Nextscreen LLC

Jim Hannon -- Mon, 06/23/2008 - 18:25

Here's a vote for the Vizio (I don't know who makes it, but LG makes at least some of the Vizio plasmas---I know because I opened up the back of mine and checked out the boards and parts. All were labeled LG except for two Vizio processors, if my memory is correct)

The 32" inch LCD streets out for ~$550 and that's quite a bargain (before Xmas it wouldn't surprise me to be $450) for an LCD of that size.

In his follow-up in Playback, David Birch-Jones gives the Vizio kudos for very good color picture quality/contrast, intuitive remote, off-axis viewing, and lots of inputs, but make sure you check out his "cons" and see if they make a difference to you.

Good luck!

gb -- Sat, 06/28/2008 - 23:10

Mine does, which surprised me, given how clear it was in BJs. I got it home, let it run through its scans, plugged it in to the cable box and was unexaggeratedly horrified by the amount of pixelixation. It was like putting an image into Photoshop and using the Curves format and pixelizing the daylights out of it.
I KNOW it can't be well tuned if this is what it looks like. It's a 22" HDTV LCD, and if it's only good for DVDs, then I dont' want it. It has to be able to work with television. Not asking for the world, just wanted to replace the 13" CRT I had in the bedroom. Even after tech support's help, and a couple of hours of working on it, I saw grayish "trails" in actor's eyebrows when they'd move.
I don't think I should need a technician for a simple LCD. CNN's panel on sub-prime rates today (Saturday June 28) looked awful: one panelist's blond hair looked like straw with all sorts of moire/pixeilation problems and whenever anyone moved right or left, there was a sort of "trail" to their movement.
What does it all mean, luv?

Tom Martin -- Sun, 06/29/2008 - 08:26

I think you're talking about how standard definition TV (eg SDTV from cable, but not an HD signal) looks on an HDTV. While different HDTVs do better and worse jobs with standard def, they all look in some major way smeared or pixelated compared with HD. You could say that this is simply the result of using a bad signal, but frankly SD looked better on old low definition sets. That is mostly because to turn an SD signal into a resolution that matches an HDTV screen, you have to do interpolation (ie guess what the missing pixels would have been if they had been there). There are different ways to do this, but none are perfect. The trails you see are, I believe, a product of this interpolation process.

Some sets will do this better than yours I would venture, but you may have to pay more for a better interpolation engine.

CEO and Editorial Director, Nextscreen LLC

sheepherder -- Sun, 06/29/2008 - 08:37

Before buying either one check the and read the warranty. 2nd tier TVs do not have the same warranty coverage as Sony. Toshiba, Samsung etc.

What happens after the warranty expires? Are there local service centers? Are parts available?Do you have to ship the TV to get it repaired?

Do they reapir the TV after the warranty expires or are you left with a dead YV?

Keep the box. Many 2nd tier Tvs do not have parts available, some dont repair after the warranty runs out or thy will not sell parts to local repair centers. Often you have to ship the Tv which along with cost of repairs eats the pric differential up.

Read the warranty never believe the sales fool.

Conisder Crutchfield they have great deals on Sony's latest model 32 and 37" LCDs.

Playback should publish this info with each review of any lectronics!!!!


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