CES 2010: Vizio takes on high end with new XVT Pro LED-based HDTVs, including 3D models

Vizio has become the number-one shipper of HDTVs in the U.S.
Written by Sean Portnoy, Contributor

Vizio has become the number-one shipper of HDTVs in the U.S. thanks to lower prices for its sets than premium brands like Samsung and Sony, but it's planning a splash in the higher-price range with its new XVT Pro series of LED-backlit LCDs, several of which are 3D ready and each coming with built-in dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi—the latter feature almost unique among so-called connected TVs (which usually provide just an Ethernet port).

In addition, these sets will feature 480Hz refresh rates (a cool spec, but possibly of limited value for actual viewing conditions) and "smart dimming" of zones of the LED backlights. Sensio's 3D technology is supported, which will require XpanD active-shutter glasses, notable for connecting to the set via Bluetooth to synchronize the shutters with the image. They also come with a built-in Wireless HDMI receiver that can pick up cord-free high-def signals from the (optional) XVT Pro Wireless HDMI Adapter, which has four HDMI inputs and transmits on the 60GHz band to avoid interference with cordless phones and the like. No price or availability details have been announced about the adapter.

The most impressive of the 3D models is the huge 72-inch XVTPRO720SV (above), which offers 480 smart-dimming zones and will cost $3,499 when it's released in August. Less costly options include the $2,499 55-inch XVTPRO550SV (with 120 backlit zones) and the $1,999 47-inch XVTPRO470SV (with 160 backlit zones), both of which are also due in August.

The one XVT Pro set that eschews 3D has its own trick up its sleeve. Most notable about the 58-inch XVTPRO580CD (above) is its 21:9 aspect ratio (2,560x1,080 resolution), which is closer to the 2.35:1 ratio of many motion pictures than the 16:9 ratio of other HDTVs. It also sports a brushed aluminum bezel. It "only" offers a 120Hz refresh rate, but like its brethren, it comes with a Bluetooth remote with slide-out QWERTY keyboard. No pricing has been given for the XVTPRO580CD, and Vizio is promising only that it will be shipping "later this year."

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