Vizio TV Reviews: The White VECO320L1A 32 Inch LCD TV
It all started with a dream ...
… no, not the kind of dream where you close your eyes and see things that aren't really there, but rather, the kind where you long to own something but realize it's beyond your financial grasp.
To understand my quandary, you need to know how I operate. I'm not one of those people that just go out and buy something. If I was, my girlfriend would threaten to kill me a lot less, but I hate wasting money on things that don't work, so I research them to death before making a decision.
That's where I was last Christmas … looking over pages of reviews (like you are right now) and trying to find an HDTV I could afford that I wouldn't regret later. And I searched … and searched … finding everything I liked to be out of my price range. *sigh* No HD TV for Christmas, nor did it seem like it would happen anytime soon.
Of course, my luck changed, or I wouldn't be writing this article. You see, my boss found a sweet HD TV deal on the internet and decided to purchase it. I remember the day well, as I told him he would get what he paid for. Well … I was wrong, and several weeks later I was plunking some cash down for my own … a decision I have yet to regret or reconsider.
Vizio? Who are they?
Vizio is a company based in Irvine, California that used to make monitor for PCs. In fact, I believe they still do. I remember selling their monitor in the computer store and they were always high quality products. In fact, they sold better than ice cream on a hot August day.
So, you might ask, how does that make them qualified to manufacture HD TVs? Interestingly enough, I asked myself the same question. The answer? Well, it all goes back to understanding what a computer monitor is – a high resolution monitor that displays only a single channel – the one sent to it by your PC. So, that should make them experts, provided they mastered the art of creating a tuner to switch channels (after all, they only dealt with one channel before – this could pose a major hurdle in technology for them). Either they borrowed from the Japanese or learned their lesson elsewhere, as they did indeed master the tuner … and everything else they packed inside this wondrous white box.
Care to see it? I included a picture below.
Visio VECO320L-1A 32 Inch LCD TV
What I like about this HDTV
I want to say *everything*, but my rules won't permit that. You see, the responsibility of a reviewer is to point out the good – and the bad. Now, I do set the odds in my favor by reviewing only those products that outperformed my expectations, but even those have a few foibles.
To start with, the picture is very clear; however, the audio needed some tweaking to arrive at my liking. It seems they overdid it on the bass. I had to turn it nearly off to remove distortion, but once I did, I was very pleased with the audio quality. It's also not a very loud TV (compared to others I have owned) but it is definitely capable of throwing off enough volume to please my hearing-impaired children (they aren't truly hearing-impaired – they just like everything extremely loud – their music, their TV, etc.)
Next, we look at the features. I won't go into explaining them all. It's enough to say that the TV is highly customizable, which means anyone can change the settings to their liking. The remote is simple to use and easily allows armchair bandits (such as myself) to fully control everything from the reclined position.
Finally, we arrive at connectivity. After all, my family likes to connect everything they can to a TV, making it more an entertainment superhub than the original plain TV it was inside the box. To date, we have connected an XBOX, a Tivo, an HDMI DVD player, and there is still room for more in the back. To be precise, the TV has two HDMI inputs, an RGP PC input (I want to hook my PC to this monitor, but the girlfriend frowns on encroachment of the PC into her TV viewing), two component video inputs, 1 S-Video input, 1 digital cable input, and an RCA audio output. Now that's a lot of possibilities! I haven't used them all up yet, but give me some time – I'm still trying.
Oh, and I forget to throw in the bonus … you can use the remote to switch between the devices. Of course, one would expect that, but it's nice to know the capability is there. The remote even has a button that let's you go back to the last viewed channel … commercials begone!
The best part? You can mount it to the wall! As my kids like to bounce off the walls (sometimes literally) I chose to place mine on the included stand, but when they all eventually move out, I have a spot reserved on the wall where it will hang. And as the input panel is recessed in the back, I can still connect everything to it, though I'm not certain how I would conceal all the unsightly cables that would be hanging down. Ideas, anyone?
You get what you pay for
I remember telling my boss this, but in this product I believe I have found an exception. That happens from time to time, and those are the products I chose to review – as I prefer to share my good experiences with others, rather than go on about how I was tricked into buying a certain really expensive washer that turned out to be junk a year later (It all worked out for the best in the end, but I'll allow that story for another time).
In this, the product exceeded my expectations, and I feel confident recommending it to anyone. However, I will throw in a caveat. This is not a high-end HD TV. As such, if you are looking for a Cadillac, I recommend looking at a different model. This TV is geared to the person who wants a good quality HD TV and can't afford to pay $1000. In that respect, I rate it top of the line, as it's worth ever penny I paid for it.
And how much did I pay? Well, my boss allowed me to buy it at cost, so I only paid about $400. I checked online, and found them for about $50 more, so it's still a great deal for anyone in the market for such a fine TV. Just remember to tone down that base when you first turn it on – you'll thank me for that advice later on.
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