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The Vizio GV42L 42" LCD HDTV: Modest Price, Great Picture

Holding true to the company's "Where Vision Meets Value" motto, the Vizio 42" GV42L's $1,699 price tag is lower than that of most other 42" LCDs. Its image quality and design aren't bad, either.
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  1. Unfortunately TV manufacturers are blatantly misleading the public by labelling something able to receive an HDTV signal as an HDTV.

    The fact that nearly all so-called HDTV's on sale today scale the picture down to fit a cheap LCD monitor resolution (some even as low as 800x600) does not currently stop it from being marketed as an HDTV, even though the HD image you actually see is absolutely nothing like full high-def.

    This fact seems to be lost on most consumers though. Most posted questions seem to go like "which is clearer, LCD or Plasma" as though there is some mystical image improvement through a particular display technology without ever considering the native resolution of the device itself.

    Its my contention that any TV that can't receive and display an image at full high-def resolution (i.e. 1920x1080) should not be allowed to be sold as an HDTV, otherwise its false advertising.
  2. I would to see a similarly detailed review of the Westinghouse 37" 1080p LCD HD Monitor. It seem to be the only mid-size 1080p product on the market, and it has a DVI connector for use as a monitor. The biggest drawback that I can see is that it doesn't have a built in tuner. I'm very curious how it stacks up against 720p/1080i displays with a similar price or size.

    Is there a place to officially request reviews?

    - the Hun
  3. Are you serious?

    That pictures SUCKS!!!!

    I can not believe your review called it a "natural image".
    All of the images were crappy, but that 5th Element comparison was REDICULOUS!!! A picture with vivid oranges, and high detail was turned into a black and blue image.

    One of the reasons that I started reading Toms Hardware was becuase the reviews USED to tell it like it is, not caring if the suppliers of product liked the review.

    If I were to drop $1500 on this, I would be pissed.

    How can something lean to both the red and blue sides of the scale at the same time???
  4. Quote:
    ...

    How can something lean to both the red and blue sides of the scale at the same time???


    I think they might be triyng to say its output is weak in the middle of the spectrum perhaps?

    I jsut saw that this thing has 8 bit native color.

    My 24" Dell monitor has 24 bit native color, a resolution of 1920x1200 and a price of about $750 currently.

    OK its half the width but it seems that consumer TV's are way overpriced if you compare them spec-for-spec to computer monitors, which probably use exactly the same or better components anyway.

    I just get the feeling the manufacturers are making a LOT higher profit margin by basically selling low-spec monitors as HDTVs.

    To me it makes much more sense to buy a big HDCP-compatable computer monitor and a tuner. You save money, and get a real HD display with much better color response and definition. Of course you also need your own audio solution too, but from the article it doesn't sound like you'd want to use this TV's speakers anyway.
  5. Yeah, the current crop of "mainstream" HDTV LCD monitors are pretty weak.

    I was just really dissapointed that Toms Hardware would start a review of a product this bad(no matter how cheap) as " Modest Price, Great Picture" I did not see anything acceptable, let alone Great in the review.
  6. Costco sales the Sceptre 42" LCD HDTV -- which is a TRUE HDTV for its 1080P native resolution. And one more thing is that the price is $1,599 -- lower that the Vizio. I hope people are aware that there are better HDTV out there before praising whatever just happend to be reviewed.
  7. Zapper,

    The reference images used are from Computer Video files, so there are not even photographs, but 1080p quality hi-res image files. The Television images are taken from a digital camera. The reference image will always looks A LOT better then the television image, no matter what television it is. The reference image's purpose is to see how close the television gets in color, saturation, and detail compared to what is intended. As for the DVD comparision, you have to keep in mind the DVD is 480p material, and the DVD reference image is 1080p, and as I mentioned in the review:

    "...While there appears to be a drastic difference between the Vizio screenshot and the reference image, don't panic as this is true with most DVD testing I've experienced..."

    So my main point is that, yes, some of the pictures will look bad compared to the reference image, but as you will see in the near future, my other reviews will have similar photos and you can compare the 'television' photos to each other to see which one is closer to the reference image.

    ***

    As for caring what the suppliers of the product liked, I'm here to tell you that I'm an independent reviewer that has no bias or vested interest in pleasing any supplier. I have conducted reviews on other websites for many different brands and I have no affiliation and no preference toward any company or any individual. I stand by my word and I'm telling you that my opnion is that this television produces an overall pleasing image within the LCD realm.

    ***

    Your final question was "how can something lean to both red and blue sides at the same time." My answer would be that during my review, I found some sources to have some slight reddish fleshtones, like the Korean broadcast and the snapshot of the move 'Departed'. Other sources got it just right, like the Pirates of the Carribean image, and others had significant blue color-temperature cast, like the 'Invincible' image. Thee red-push was primarily a tint issue and the blue-cast was more of a color-temperature issue.

    Some televisions are consistent in the color accuracy flaws, always leaning to one side or the other, while some vary by source and content, which I found to be the case with the Vizio.

    ***

    Finally, my judgements about how good the picture is on the Vizio are in comparision to all the other LCDS I've tested, which have all been 766p so far. I will be reviewing a 1080p Westinghouse in the next month.

    More importantly, my judgements are based on sitting down and turning it on and watching. The photos are only to highlight what the primary weaknesses are, but they should not be used as the only criteria as you cannot really capture all aspects of a television image with a digital camera.

    The tag, 'modest price' is based on the fact that most 766p LCD 42" displays are priced higher than the Vizio. I am not comparing it to 1080p prices because I have yet to review any so I cannot speak to the relative pros and cons of each type of display. From what I have heard, 1080p is great with really good HD sources, and worse with 480p, 480i, etc. I'm looking forward to more 1080p reviews.

    I'm sorry you are dissatisfied with the review and I will try and answer any additional questions if you have any.

    Thanks,

    Chris Iannicello
  8. Hey, Chris...thanks for your review, some of us appreciate what your doing, I think the photo/reference image is a great way to compare a display's quality against reference. My only question, is can you give us your photography conditions? What type of camera, what type of lighting, shutter speeds/F-stop/ISO settings, etc...are these takes with a digital camera, or with film, etc... Thanks!
  9. Miahallen,

    I will post a 'How we test' article soon, going into detail, but I can tell you the following about my test conditions:

    Camera:
    Canon A610 5 Megapixel Digital Camera

    Settings:
    ISO 50
    Lights are OFF
    No Flash, Tripod
    F-Stop - 2.8
    Shutter Speed - 1/4 sec to 1/50 sec, depending on each image requirements
    Distance - I usually take the photo from the same distance as normal viewing (7-11 ft)

    By the way, I will be changing my reference image in my next review to a closeup photo of each image on a Dell 1905FP 19" LCD Monitor, which has produced very good images that are more similar in characteristics to other photographed images while retaining color, contrast, and overal image composition characteristics as my previously used computer screenshots.

    Thanks,

    Chris
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