I have a history with Vizio TVs. I saw my first one in a Sears store in 2006, and purchased it based on a side-by-side comparison with three other popular brands. That was a 37" model, and we just replaced it with this E552VLE. (The 5 1/2 year old 37" set, still in perfect condition, is being passed along to my daughter and her new husband). In addition, I have purchased two other Vizios in recent years, a 32" and a 26". All three have been absolutely perfect performers.
So when we started shopping for a bigger set, my wife and I were naturally drawn to the Vizio models at Walmart. We looked carefully at the other larger screen brands, and once again, decided to go with this Vizio model. Knowing the reputation Walmart has for exchanging products, we didn't worry about the purchase or what to do if we encountered any issues. Frankly, we never expected to have any, based on our experiences with this brand in the past.
All I can say is that the E552VLE has really exceeded our expectations. The HD image from all sources is spectacular, actually eye-popping in some cases. I don't think you really appreciate the great resolution of high def until you have a large-screen unit like this.
The setup was very easy. I connected to three sources, a DirecTV HD receiver, a Samsung Blu-Ray player and a Wii game console. The Wii only provides an SD (480i) Image, so you can expand the image using the TV's Wide remote button to provide a full-screen image of your games. With the satellite receiver and blu-ray, the image size and resolutions are all detected automatically. I connected to the Internet using an Ethernet cable into a wireless repeater router set right behind the TV. The network detection was automatic, and I was able to immediately connect to the streaming apps, which include Amazon and Netflix. I pulled down a movie from Netflix and the image was in perfect high definition. (One thing users should be aware of using streaming apps: the first couple of moments of streaming content usually show up on screen in standard definition, as the device buffers the data streaming from the source. I've also experienced this with Roku streaming media devices. Once the stream gets rolling, the HD picture is outstanding).
The color contrast and movement in images if really excellent, far better then I imagined. Blacks are deep and colors are rendered well across the spectrum, both for warmth and brightness. There are pre-set video modes for various situations (movies, sports, etc), but I haven't looked at them as the default setup is very satisfactory. I've noticed that some have complained about the quality of the sound reproduction of this and other big screen models. Frankly, I don't hear any issues with the sound out of the box. I'm not trying to fill a big room with sound, but even pushed 1/3 up the volume scale, the sound is full and vibrant. I will eventually reconnect my home theater speakers, but unless you're filling a really large room, you should have no issues with the sound as is.
My only grips is with the interface of the Amazon streaming app. Unlike the one on my Roku, you get a very limited set of selections on screen, though you can search their offerings pretty easily.
In conclusion, you probably read mixed reviews of Vizio products when compared to higher priced TVs by other manufacturers. I tend to prefer to let my eyes tell me what I like. All I can say that, if you are looking for a large LCD set with a remarkably clear image, lots of features and a price that won't bankrupt you, you cannot go wrong with this Vizio model. If you must have LED technology, 3-D and a "name" on the front panel, go elsewhere. (You can get Vizio models with those features, as well). But you won't go wrong with this E552VLE.
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