Vizio is currently one of the top-selling TV brands in North America. Founded in 2002, they started out supplying cheap plasma and LCD TVs exclusively to big-box retailers and discount clubs like Costco and WalMart. Since then, they’ve grown into a major player, flip-flopping with Samsung as the top-selling brand every quarter or so.
Unlike the Sonys, Samsungs, and Panasonic of the world, Vizio is predominantly a TV manufacturer, rather than an arm of a pan-electronics conglomerate. Their focus has paid off, as they’re able to offer top-of-the-line TVs at significant discounts compared to their major-label competitors. Even with the discounts, their sets perform as well, if not better than most of the competition. In 2011, they dropped conventional LCD TVs from their lineup so that they’re an LED-exclusive company, and they adopted passive, polarized 3D technology to replace the iffy active-shutter technology.
NewsVizio leads LCD sales in 2010
Vizio sold the most LCD TVs in the US in 2010, ahead of Samsung, Sony, LG, and Toshiba. In the fourth quarter, they made up 28 percent of all LCD sales, and 50 percent of all LED sales. That's a strong showing by any measurement.
Product LinesAs of 2011, Vizio is focusing solely on LED TVs and have completely cut out conventional LCDs from their product lineup.
- The XVT3D TruLED series is the latest iteration of the successful XVT line, praised for beautiful picture quality at a deep discount compared to competing brands. CNet even named last year’s XVT3 line the best LCD TVs of the year, beyond much more expensive models from Samsung and Sony. This year’s XVT3D line uses Vizio’s TruLED technology -- a fancy way of saying a local-dimming LED array, with 120 zones to be exact. They come with other high-end trappings like internet connectivity through Vizio’s VIA interface (one of the most nimble on the market) and a 240Hz refresh rate. Like any high-end sets these days, the XVT3Ds are 3D-ready, and they’re the passive, polarized type at that, which is preferable to active-type 3D. It looks like, once again, Vizio’s XVT series will be one of the best bets in LED TV.
- The mid-range M series touts the Razor LED tag -- code for edge lighting. Decidedly more modest than the XVT3D series, these sets still manage to churn out nice pictures too, with at least 120Hz refresh rates. They're bright, they're affordable, and they look pretty good in your living room too.
- The E series has been a favorite of bargain-hunting TV shoppers for a few years. That’s still the case in 2011, though they all get an edge-lit LED upgrade (Vizio calls it "Razor LED" -- an edgy name for edge-LED lighting, get it?). They’re available in sizes from 16 to 42 inches, available in both 1080p and 720p configurations, with 60Hz refresh rates across the board. They aren’t meant to be top-of-the-line TVs, but they’ll still look good in your living room (or bedroom, or kitchen, or man-cave) for a chunk of change less than similar models from bigger brands.