Having guests?  You might want to upgrade that TV situation…

Having guests? You might want to upgrade that TV situation…

This is something I’m keenly aware of, giving my aging (and at this point, positively puny) set – it works, it’s just small. If you’re in that same boat as me, and you want to have some solid family movie time, Vizio has some interesting options available.

To that end, we’ve gone through the catalog, and we’ve picked out both a television and a sound bar that could work across three different budgets. Maybe you want both, or just need a bigger screen (or bigger boom) – you make the call. Without further ado, here we go.

The Budget Bracket

What absolutely blows me away is, that even at this price point (under $300 depending on discounts), you can pick up a 50” 4K TV with an impressive set of specs. The budget bracket is where we find the Vizio V-Series lineup hanging out (one can only assume V stands for Value). Even at this more affordable price-point, you can get things like VIZIO SmartCast which packs in Apple Airplay and Google Chromecast, as well as support for your voice assistant of choice (yes, you can yell at your TV and actually effect change. Local change, but still).

Now, if you’ve got that big screen, but you’re wanting to amp the sound levels up a bit (or even just boost your existing setup) on a budget, you’ve got the Vizio 20” 2.0 Sound Bar to the rescue. It used to be, if you wanted more immersive sound, you had to do things like run speaker wires all over a room. With a sound bar, they can play tricks with the processing to make it sound like it’s more than a set of speakers in front of you. Not only that, with this particular $70 example, it’s got a bluetooth receiver in it as well, so you can stream tunes from your phone right to it as well.

The Midrange Medley

Now, if you’ve got a little more room in your year-end budget, well, you can step it up a couple of notches. Taking everything we saw in the in the V Series, and add in some very clever light processing, and you’ve got the Vizio M Series. With that, you’ve got a brighter screen (up to 600 nits) with 90 zones for dimming, which means it can drop those dark parts of the scene into very crisp black tones. In this range, things start out at a 55” set (for $400) and range up to the 70” set. As to whether or not your eye can pick up the wider spectrum of colors that this set can produce, I’m not sure – but it should be one impressive way to watch things like Planet Earth.

Just like with the budget range, there is a step-up sound bar available as well. For this, we’ve got the Vizio 36” 2.1 Sound Bar which comes in at $150. Not only does this give you a wider bar (for a more balanced look under the TV) with more sound coming from it, the ‘.1’ in the name is important. In sound systems, that designates the presence of a extra piece of equipment, the subwoofer. If you want to be all about that bass in the movies you’re watching, a sub is a must. This is pretty small, so it’s not like it’ll rattle your teeth, but I’m sure they’ve packed as much in there as they can. Additionally, with the more compact size (and it’s wireless connection to the soundbar) you can tuck this one in a lot more places (in the corner or even under a couch, say). And again here, you’ve got the bluetooth connection, so you can spin up those sweet, sweet jams.

The Ludicrous Speed Level

Me, I’m generally content to live in the budget realm, or stretch up into the midrange if the price-per-performance makes sense. It’s not that I don’t appreciate the higher-end equipment – it’s just (generally) overkill for my admittedly humble setup in a smaller room. If you, on the other hand, need the biggest and baddest, then the Vizio P-Series sets are what you want to check out. Here, the 75” set starts off at $2,300 (though I found some discounts down to $1,500) . Once again, take all of the connectivity (AirPlay, ChromeCast, voice control) and resolution (4K) and amp it up once more. Here, the brightness doubles to 1200 nits, and the dimming zones jump up to 240. Resolution-wise, you’ve gone from “standard” 4K to 4K UHD, which means you’ve got about a gazillion (it’s a technical term) of tiny, tiny dots doing all the work of throwing photons at your eyes.

Now, if you’re going for a gigantor set like that, you don’t want just any puny little sound bar in the mix. No sir, you want to go right for the Vizio 46” 5.1.4 Home Theater Sound System with Dolby Atmos. Now, as you learned from the last section, those decimal points are important. Not only do you have the larger sound bar (with three front-firing speakers and two upward-firing speakers), you’ve got a big 10” subwoofer to drop those low tones (also wireless connection, so placement is a breeze) and two satellite boxes (which also have front- and upward-firing speakers). In other words, you’re replicating the higher-end surround sound speaker setups of a decade plus ago, but with smaller cabinets and fewer wires. Not only that, you’ve got Dolby certification, and other fun things like multi-room streaming capability (to play those tunes for the house party) and bluetooth connectivity. This setup carries an MSRP of $1000 but I’m seeing discounts for about $700, to save you some coin.

Whatever it is you’re looking for, Vizio has you covered. Whether you’ve got an aging TV (like me) or you just want to boost the sound on your existing set, they can cover you. The Midrange Medley is I think what I’d lean towards checking out for my own house. Sure, the high-end sound bar would be delicious to experience, but given that we watch most of our stuff after the kids are asleep, all those sound waves would have to be tamped down. So, think about that sort of thing – when you listen, how much you can crank, and what size of room you’re packing the TV into. vizio.com

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