PROS / A very well-designed apps platform, deep blacks and overall high-quality image make this LED TV worth every penny.
CONS / A lack of picture controls and a few 1080p content issues bring the performance down a little.
VERDICT / If you want an LED TV that delivers on picture quality, has some fun extras and is way cheaper than most, the Vizio M3D550KD is the one for you.
Editor’s Note: This product has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it is no longer available. You can still read our original review below, but Top Ten Reviews is no longer updating this product’s information.
Vizio has come a long way over the past century and has finally stepped up to the plate with an amazing LED TV that competes with the best with its overall high picture quality and affordable price. We were actually a bit surprised to see the brand name Vizio come out on top when it came to decision time. While the Vizio M3D550KD LED TV may not be the sleekest TV in terms of design, it makes up for it with outstanding picture quality and overall ease of use. It is one of the first TVs from this company to really compare to other large companies such as Samsung, Sony and LG.
Having a lot of extras has become a standard for any type of electronic device these days. A TV can no longer just be a simple TV – it must be able to access Facebook , play YouTube videos and keep you entertained for hours on end. Good thing most companies understand this and have implemented a ton of extras to keep people happy. The M3D550KD offers a very unique and quite handy feature known as the VIA (Vizio Internet Apps system) which includes Netflix, videos on demand, Vudu and a handful of other apps. There is also a Wikipedia search, Facebook, eBay and many other online features. All of these new apps and features can be accessed on an easy-to-use navigation bar that will appear on the bottom of the LED TV screen. If you want internet access but don't like the thought of running cords all over your house, the M3D550KD also has Wi-Fi for wireless browsing and downloading.
One of the other standout features found on this TV is its matte, or semi-gloss, screen, which is quite rare among leading LED TVs today. This type of screen allows for superior image quality in well-lit rooms, which is ideal for those wanting a large TV in their living room or other room with large windows or bright lights.
The TV comes with a remote control that has a built-in keyboard for quick searching or writing a Tweet. The remote also has Bluetooth so you don’t have to aim the remote directly at the TV. While these small additions may not make or break your decision on what LED TV to purchase, they are nice extras that do make things easier.
The Vizio M3D550KD compares to and exceeds the overall picture quality of black levels and color performance found on other high-end LED TVs on the market. That being said, the picture settings on the TV are quite minimal and could use a little help to compete in this area with other high-end LED TVs. While the two point gray scale is a little below par, there are nine different preset picture settings that will allow you to get the most out of this amazing device without spending hours playing with picture settings.
When it comes time to find a TV that has the most amazing picture there are a few things you will want to look for before making any final decisions. The refresh rate, contrast ratio and response time are some of the big players in the display world. With an impressive contrast ratio of 10,000,000:1, this TV has deep blacks and brilliant whites. The 240Hz refresh rate is about par for LED TVs, but that is all you need for a clear, crisp picture with virtually no blurring. One of the more disappointing features on this LED TV is the response time of 6ms, which is below par when compared to other sets on the list, some of which have a 1ms response time.
Overall, the Vizio M3D550KD LED TV has a high quality picture in light and dark settings. There were some issues with blooming where light colors bled into blacks, but for the most part this was either nonexistent or just unnoticeable. As always, the matte screen is perfect for those who want to keep that amazing picture even when there is an excessive amount of light in the room. It also reduces the amount of glare you would typically get on glass screens.
The Vizio M3D550KD has all of the basic connections found on any high-end LED TV; these include five HDMI ports (four on the back and one on the side). An Ethernet port, PC port and your basic component input can all be found on the backside of the TV and are all very easy to access. There are also two USB ports, which make viewing pictures or watching video from your camcorder or camera quick and painless. Overall, you should be able to find any of the basic ports needed to get your LED TV up and running; however, if you really want to enjoy your viewing experience, we would suggest you look into purchasing an AV receiver so you can connect all your extra toys.
Help & Support
Vizio has one of the best help and support found on any of the online companies selling electronics today. Having someone at your side throughout the deciding and purchasing process is a must when it comes to online shopping. Once you have purchased an item it is a huge comfort to know that if something goes wrong you will be able to find the answers you need to get you on your way again. Vizio understands this concept very well and has designed a help and support structure to prove it.
In today’s competitive world of electronics it can be tough to know which products really offer high quality for a decent price. Lucky for you, Vizio's true colors come out when they're put to the test. The Vizio M3D550KD has by far the best picture and is one of the easiest LED TVs to set up and use.