Curiously, only the RGB input offers any control over color temperature, providing presets labeled STANDARD (6500K), COOL (9300K), WARM (5400K), and USER (adjustable with R, G, and B sliders). These settings had no effect on the other inputs, which seem to be fixed at the STANDARD color temperature.
Most people will be delighted with the Vizio’s color palette, especially when they pop a luminous title like Finding Nemo into the DVD player. From a purist’s perspective, the reds were a bit orangish and greens looked a bit hyped, but this is a common complaint with most of today’s plasma, LCD, and DLP displays, including plenty of models that cost a lot more than the Vizio.
The picture was by no means perfect: A noticeable amount of video noise was apparent, especially on dark scenes, and bands of false contouring occasionally appeared when a scene slowly faded in or out. But overall, these were minor complaints.
When the Vizio P50 HDM was introduced back in June 2005, it listed for $3299 and sold at some retail outlets for $2999. At its recently reduced list price of $2000, it is easily the best value going in the red-hot flat-panel display marketplace. You get a 50- inch plasma monitor for less than many 42-inch models, without sacrificing useful features, styling, or performance. The flat-panel Vizio even costs less than some DLP rear-projectors, and it doesn’t exhibit the dreaded “rainbows” that some viewers report when watching those sets. And in case you’re wondering, no LCD panel even comes close, since they are smaller, more expensive, and can’t do black worth a spit.
True bargains don’t come around often enough in this business; when they do, we want to shout it from the rooftops. If you’re thinking about getting a flat-panel TV, be sure to see the Vizio P50 HDM.