When our 36-inch standard television went on the fritz, I knew it was time to replace the 8-year-old behemoth with a flat screen. I’m not enough of a TV fanatic to go super-high-end, but I definitely wanted a flat-screen, high-def television that I could afford. The Vizio Class Eco 42-inch HD LCD was the answer to my problem.
The Vizio 1080p HD LCD we bought had a screen diameter of 42 inches, which was plenty enough viewing space for my family and any other guests. I was surprised that it was relatively light and I could carry it over head, unlike my 36-inch television that gave me a hernia every time I moved it more than an inch. In the store the Vizio seemed to operate like all the other High-Definition televisions, but how would it fare in my home?
Picture Quality. I do like the picture quality. Maybe it’s because I’m used to a standard 490 pixels-per-inch display, but a high-def LCD is leaps and bounds beyond that- IF you get high definition television. Otherwise, the picture quality doesn’t change much. In fact, it may look worse because the screen is so large. Just imagine blowing up a photo ten times its size and then covering it up with clear tape. That’s what standard television looks like on a High-Def screen. Pony up the extra five bucks a month to get your money’s worth from the Vizio. The only issues I have are when the sun hits right on the screen. It gets darker than it should. A little repositioning and closing of the blinds made everything better. There is also a myriad of options for the Vizio 42″ LCD picture, to include two widescreen modes.
Sound. This is where I have issues. The standard sound is very clear. However, there isn’t much work put into those variable volume levels that some shows have. I’m not sure if it’s my television or my service provider (AT&T U-Verse) but the sound differentials weren’t a big issue on my old television. I’ve run it through the built-in equalizer options and I still get the same bothersome results. The biggest difference is when watching concert videos or music videos. Sometimes I can’t hear the singer but the horrible bass player is turned up way high, or the high-hat is stinging my ears. Overall it isn’t a horrible, but for a high-def television I expected better.
Controls. The Vizio Class Eco LCD’s manual controls are on the left side. The back panel has easy access for all your connection needs, like when you want to hook up your DVD player or attach an HDMI cable. There are three HDMI outputs as well as other outputs for S-Video, Optical sound and your standard yellow-red-white connectors. You aren’t lacking in options for connectivity.
Value. I must confess, I got the Vizio 42″ Class Eco LCD on a deal. It was a returned product with the packaging tape still on it and nary a scratch. We suspect the owner found it to not be the right size once he got home. I still get the full warranty and return policy that originally came with it. But for the going price of $643 at Wal-Mart, the Vizio 42″ LCD was heads above its competitors if you’re looking for a quality upgrade from standard to high-def. I saw smaller-sized screens selling for at least $100 more just because of what name they were attached to. But Vizio is no slouch as the largest LCD TV seller in America. They’ve also expanded to selling sound products for their TVs. So if you don’t recognize the name, this television is a good start.