Vizio's 65-inch 4K OLED TV has unbeatable picture quality for $1,800, but HDMI issues and glitches could turn off some people
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- Vizio's first 4K OLED TV is a stunning display with truly high-end image quality for a very competitive price.
- Sadly, however, that impressive picture is sometimes dashed by glitches and HDMI signal issues.
- Buyers willing to accept occasional hiccups will find an incredible value, but others may want to pay extra for a less temperamental LG or Sony model.
- For more TV recommendations, check out our roundup of the best TV deals and our guide to the best 4K TVs.
When it comes to picture performance, no consumer display technology currently beats OLED. That acronym stands for Organic Light-Emitting Diode, and the technology is known for offering some big improvements over other types of TVs.
Unlike LED or QLED TVs, an OLED TV doesn't need to use a backlight to illuminate its images. OLED is an emissive display technology, which means that each pixel is capable of producing its own light or turning off completely. As a result, OLED TVs can provide an infinite contrast ratio with true black levels and wide viewing angles.
If you've ever turned off the lights to watch a movie on your TV and noticed how dark portions of the screen look uneven or more like a milky gray than black, then you know what OLED is designed to combat. Instead of a washed out image, you get deep, inky shadows with pixel-level highlights.
Up until recently, LG and Sony have been the only major players releasing OLED TVs in the US. But now, Vizio has entered the market with its own 4K OLED model, and it's done so at a very competitive price.
Vizio's 65-inch H1 OLED carries a full retail price of $2,000, which undercuts its closest rivals by a couple hundred bucks. Even better, the TV is frequently on sale for just $1,500, though it's available now for $1,800. For buyers who want a smaller display, there's also a 55-inch version that retails for $1,300, and it recently dropped to a discounted price of just $900.
With those prices, however, come some compromises — particularly when it relates to glitches. After spending a few weeks with Vizio's 65-inch 4K OLED, I've come away more impressed than frustrated, but some nagging issues are still a concern. Here's our full review with all the details.
Vizio 65-inch 4K OLED TV specifications
- 65-inch OLED panel
- 4K Ultra HD 3,840 x 2,160 resolution
- 120Hz native refresh rate
- HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision, and HLG support
- Wide color gamut
- Measures 57.03 x 35.52 x 11.29 inches with stand attached
- Weighs 70.99 pounds with stand attached
- Three HDMI 2.1 inputs (one eARC), one HDMI 2.0b input
- Vizio SmartCast OS
- Wi-Fi, Chromecast, Apple AirPlay 2, and Ethernet connectivity
- Built-in 30 watt speakers
- Vizio click-button remote
- Compatible with separate Alexa and Google Assistant devices
Setup and design
Getting Vizio's 65-inch H1 OLED unpacked and set up is a relatively painless process, but you'll definitely need another person to assist. You'll want to handle the screen with care while unpacking and be mindful of the included instructions which point out where you shouldn't place your hands while moving the panel.
The hefty pedestal stand is made up of three separate parts that have to be assembled first. Though more time consuming than simple left and right feet stands, it's not terribly complicated to put together.
Once assembled, the TV looks quite stylish, with a premium design that's on par with other high-end models. The screen's profile is only about 0.125 inches thick at its narrowest point, giving it that OLED wow factor. That said, the back of the panel does protrude out to about 2.17 inches at its thickest point in order to accommodate the TV's connections and hardware.
Four HDMI 2.1 ports are built-in (one eARC), and two of those ports are rated for full 4K HDR 120Hz support — which is something that next-gen gamers should appreciate. That said, there are some caveats in that department (more on that later).
All of the TV's video and audio connections are located on the back left of the panel, while the power port is on the right. Unfortunately, only one of the HDMI ports is side-facing. The others are upward-facing which makes them more difficult to connect to. Buyers who appreciate cable management will be pleased to see integrated grooves to feed your cables through on the back. Plastic panels are actually included that need to be removed to access the ports, and buyers can choose whether to snap them back on after setup for a clean look that hides the back inputs entirely.
Vizio originally announced plans to release a voice remote with this model, but the company ended up nixing that for this year's lineup. Vizio told me that it wants to ensure the best user experience, and it ultimately decided that the remote wasn't quite ready yet. The standard click-button remote that is included works well enough, but it's a shame that Vizio remains the only major TV brand that still doesn't have a voice remote.
Once powered on, setup is simple but I did encounter a minor snag. Though I'm used to being greeted by a helpful welcome menu when booting up a TV for the first time, the Vizio only displayed a logo and then a black screen. Since this is a review unit and not a retail model, it's possible that the TV had simply already been used and not reset.
After selecting factory reset in the menu and waiting a minute or two, the welcome screen finally showed up. Like most smart TVs, this process guides you through a typical set of housekeeping items, like Wi-Fi configuration and privacy policies.
For the most accurate out-of-box image, I recommend choosing the Calibrated Dark preset from the picture settings menu and then deactivating all of the TV's extra features, like motion smoothing, noise reduction, and edge enhancement. You should set the peak luminance setting to low for standard dynamic range (SDR) videos, or to high for high dynamic range (HDR) videos.
Though enthusiasts can fiddle with settings even more for a full calibration, these basic adjustments will give you an image that closely resembles how content creators intend for their movies and shows to look.
Vizio's OLED TV is about as good as it gets for 4K picture quality. Seriously, there's almost nothing to complain about or nitpick.
Though Sony and LG's flagship OLEDs may be capable of slightly more accurate settings and advanced processing, the difference to most viewers will be negligible. In fact, all three TVs use similar, if not identical, OLED panels manufactured by LG Display.
Thanks to that OLED panel, the TV is capable of an infinite contrast ratio with pixel-level blacks and highlights. The display supports all of the major HDR formats, including HDR10, Dolby Vision, and even HDR10+. HDR10+ is especially noteworthy since LG and Sony OLEDs don't support that format.
Peak brightness hovers around the 700 nit mark using the Calibrated Dark preset with a 2% test pattern, though that number drops to around 570 nits with a 10% pattern. This means that small highlights can get pretty intense, but performance isn't as punchy when larger bright elements are on the screen. Though those numbers can't match the 1,000+ nits that flagship QLED TVs are capable of, the OLED's HDR effect is actually more impressive because the TV can control its contrast on a pixel level.
Sure, the brightest highlights don't shine quite as intensely as they do on a QLED TV like Samsung's Q90T, but the actual range between brightest whites and darkest blacks is wider. What this all translates to when watching actual movies and shows is nothing short of stunning. Detail is sharp, colors are vibrant, and viewing angles are very wide, allowing you to get a good view even if you sit off to the side.
Dark scenes in 4K HDR movies, like the opening fight sequence of "The Matrix," carry inky black levels that completely disappear into a dark room while still maintaining detail in shadows. Bright elements, like lightsabers and laser blasts in "The Mandalorian," glow from the screen with precise highlights and no blooming.
Reviewing TVs always gives me the perfect excuse to pick up a few new 4K Blu-rays for demo material — yes, I still buy discs — and for the Vizio OLED I grabbed the Alfred Hitchcock 4K Blu-ray Collection. Watching restored classic films on a high-end display like this demonstrates what an incredible difference a proper 4K master can make for older movies, enabling a 70-year-old film to look brand-new.
The Spears and Munsil Benchmark disc is also an essential tool in any reviewer's arsenal, as it includes a wealth of test patterns and a beautiful reel of 4K footage designed to push a TV to its limits. One test pattern of a star field in space is used to evaluate how well local dimming works on an LED or QLED. Even the best models fall victim to some artifacts, like blooming and vignetting, resulting in elevated blacks, crushed detail, or patchy brightness. Since this TV uses an OLED panel, however, this test pattern essentially looks flawless.
LCD-based TVs can offer similar highlight and black level performance in certain situations, but not as consistently and uniformly across the screen as Vizio's OLED. Of course, as beautiful as the picture is, it's not totally perfect. Some dark scenes can look a little too dim, which is an issue for some HDR TVs that can't reach 1,000 nits. On that note, buyers who watch TV in rooms that let in a lot of ambient light may prefer the higher brightness that LCDs offer, but I think the Vizio can get bright enough for most needs.
Finally, OLED TVs are prone to very faint vertical banding lines when displaying dark gray colors. This means that you may be able to see slight streaks across the screen during panning motions in some dark scenes. I've seen this on LG and Sony models, and Vizio's is no different. This is rarely ever visible when watching actual shows or movies, however.
Should you worry about burn-in on an OLED TV?
Unlike LED and QLED TVs, which use LCD panels, OLED TVs are susceptible to a problem known as burn-in. Burn-in can occur in extreme cases when you leave a static image on the screen for hours on end. A ghost image can then become permanently stuck on the display.
Though OLED owners should be mindful of this risk, OLED TVs feature special measures to help prevent it, including pixel-refreshers and pixel-shift modes. Websites like Rtings have conducted long-term tests with OLEDs, and though their results do prove that burn-in is possible, their conclusions show that buyers with regular viewing habits really shouldn't worry about it.
You're more likely to notice temporary image retention, which is when a ghost image faintly lingers on the screen and then fades away. I only ever notice temporary image retention when navigating through streaming app menus on high brightness. Outlines of some icons can remain faintly visible when opening new menus, but they always quickly disappear.
Smart TV features
Vizio's SmartCast platform isn't exactly known for being one of the best smart TV systems, but the company has made some improvements this year. Navigation is snappier and more responsive, and there's a larger assortment of on-screen apps to choose from.
The selection is still limited compared to competitors, like Roku and Android TV, but you do get access to many popular services, including Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu, Disney Plus, Apple TV Plus, Vudu, and Peacock. 4K HDR and Dolby Vision support are included for all the apps that should have them, but Dolby Atmos is missing from some platforms, like Disney Plus.
The only major app missing from the on-screen interface is HBO Max, but you can still cast HBO Max to the TV using a mobile device. Casting and AirPlay 2 support are also available for a host of other apps that aren't on the TV. Though I think having a larger library accessible from the TV's OS would be more convenient, it's nice to know you can still play other services from your phone.
General navigation is solid, with less lag compared to older versions of the software. That said, performance can be a bit sluggish when initially booting up the TV. The home screen itself is nicely organized with easy access to available apps and content recommendations. The platform also does a good job aggregating search results from various streaming services. A free selection of ad-supported live streaming channels, called WatchFree, is provided as well.
Though there is no voice remote, you can pair the TV with an Alexa or Google Assistant device for hands-free control. With my Echo Dot, I'm able to turn the TV on/off, adjust volume, switch inputs, launch apps, and even search for content with my voice. This all works well most of the time, but there have been instances when Alexa and the Vizio skill seem to be at odds.
Problems with the Vizio 4K OLED TV
While I have virtually no complaints about the TV's picture quality, there are other issues to address.
First off, there are problems with the TV's HDMI 2.1 ports. This is a new specification so it's understandable that there will be some kinks that need to be worked out, and Vizio products are far from the only devices having early compatibility issues with this new standard. Still, the results are frustrating.
My Onkyo TX-NR555 AV receiver plays audio from the TV's HDMI eARC port with no issues, but the TV's HDMI connection is unable to receive video from any of the devices I have connected to the receiver. That is, unless I set the TV's input to HDMI 1.4 mode. Unfortunately, this mode prevents 4K HDR playback. Since I have several 4K components hooked up through my receiver, this is a problem.
I haven't had issues with this receiver on any other TVs I've reviewed this year, including HDMI 2.1 models, like the LG NanoCell 90. I spoke to Vizio about the problem and the company is aware that some AV receivers are having trouble with this HDMI port. Though it's looking into a fix, Vizio doesn't have a release window for an update yet.
Similarly, the TV's HDMI 2 and HDMI 3 ports are currently unable to receive signals from my PlayStation 5. The screen just shows a connection error message. Thankfully, the PlayStation 5 does work using the TV's HDMI 4 port, and this enables 4K HDR gaming at 60Hz. That should be fine for the vast majority of players, but the only way to get 4K 120Hz support is through one of the other ports.
Vizio has addressed this problem on its website, and when I spoke to the company, the representative made it clear that fixing this issue is a priority and it's looking into a firmware update to address it.
Outside of HDMI issues, I encountered a few other glitches. The luminance setting in the TV's picture options menu resets to the default every time you switch inputs or reboot the display. I find the default setting to be too bright for SDR videos so I prefer to turn it down. Having to do this every time I turn the TV on or switch sources is annoying. Vizio is also aware of this problem so it's possible it could be addressed in a future firmware update.
Finally, there was also one instance when the TV simply would not turn on. After unplugging the power cable and then plugging it back in, the TV booted up. This is an isolated issue, but still weird nonetheless.
Should you buy it?
Vizio's 65-inch 4K OLED TV is so close to being a home run. The picture performance rivals more expensive OLED models from LG and Sony, which puts it on par with the very best 4K TVs on the market. On the downside, glitches and HDMI compatibility problems make it hard to recommend without reservations.
Ultimately, I'll say this: Despite the issues I've outlined in this review, I'm still strongly considering purchasing this TV the next time it's on sale. That said, I'm a buyer who prioritizes bang-for-your-buck image quality over all else.
If you're someone with less patience for glitches, I'd recommend holding off until Vizio is able to patch up some of these issues with firmware updates.
What are your alternatives?
When it comes to other 65-inch OLED TVs, Vizio's main competitors are the more expensive LG BX, LG CX, and Sony A8H.
All of these TVs offer very similar picture quality, but there are some slight differences. The BX has the lowest peak brightness of the bunch, while the CX has the highest. Meanwhile, the Sony can offer slightly more accurate colors. At the end of the day, though, image quality really shouldn't be a defining factor for choosing between these OLEDs.
Price, connectivity, and general ease of use are bigger things to consider. The LG models both feature HDMI 2.1 connections and voice remotes with Alexa and Google Assistant. The Sony lacks HDMI 2.1 ports and only offers Google Assistant built-in.
The Vizio lacks a voice remote entirely, but does offer HDMI 2.1. It's full retail price is also cheaper than the retail price of those other options. Though Sony and LG OLEDs have been on sale for under $2,000, they typically sell for more. The price difference is even more dramatic when the Vizio is on sale for $1,500.
That said, the LG and Sony are known for better stability, and have fewer reported glitches and HDMI problems. That could be enough for some buyers to justify paying more — even if picture performance will be nearly the same.
The bottom line
Vizio's 65-inch 4K OLED TV has unbeatable picture performance for the price — especially when it's on sale for $1,500. On the downside, HDMI issues and glitches could lead to a frustrating experience for some buyers depending on what other devices you own. These are problems that could be solved with future firmware, but it's not clear when such updates will be released.
For now, I think the TV still offers a lot of value when it's on sale, but I'm more hesitant to recommend it at its full price of $2,000 until some of these problems are solved.
Pros: Unbeatable image quality for the price, only OLED model in the US with both Dolby Vision and HDR10+ support, HDMI 2.1 ports, attractive design, wide viewing angles, 120Hz panel
Cons: Glitches, HDMI 2.1 signal problems, limited selection of on-screen apps, no voice remote
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