What About Vizio’s Plasma Alternative?
Blacks and shadow details are two areas where plasma sets have the advantage over LCD sets (not even factoring in plasma’s far superior usable viewing angle), as Vizio’s VP505VXT 50-inch plasma model, reviewed in Playback 13, clearly demonstrates. At this stage, the difference in suggested retail price between the VP505VXT and SV470VXT has narrowed to a paltry $100. That small extra investment not only buys you the 50-inch plasma set’s superior picture quality, but also its roughly 13-percent larger picture area (if you do the math, the 50-inch plasma costs less per square inch than the 47-inch LCD model does). And, for the “greenies” out there that get all huffy about plasma’s supposedly thirstier power consumption compared to LCD, Vizio’s own specs show their larger 50-inch plasma set to be the slightly stingier of the two once you factor in the screen area size difference. Add it all up and to me it’s a no-brainer as to which way to go.
The main thing going for the VIZIO is its relatively low price, which ups the value quotient compared to other 120Hz LCD HDTV sets in its size range. It has HD and SD connectivity that’s superior to some other sets that are more than twice its price, and when adjusted to our recommendations, puts out a mostly good picture overall. The VIZIO’S main weakness, and it’s a trait shared with many other LCD sets, is crunched deep blacks and dark grays during darker scenes.