The Vizio D Series 4k UHD LED TV is a good budget TV that delivers better than average picture quality. Its aesthetic won't win anyone over, but it handles motion very well and is very responsive. It lacks some of the features found on higher end TVs but performs quite well - as long as it is viewed from directly in front. In a room setup where you will be viewing the TV from the side, the Vizio D loses a lot of its appeal. Note: this review is for the 4k UHD variant of the D Series. We reviewed the 1080p version separately here.
The Vizio D Series 4k won't impress with its looks or thinness. In fact, it might remind you of the look of old LCD TVs, minus the very large borders. Before you buy, make sure you have a table that is broad enough to accommodate the wide stand.
The Vizio D 4k 2016 delivers above average picture quality. Even in a totally dark room, dark scenes look great and uniform. Unfortunately, the picture is a little soft when watching DVDs and cable TV. It lacks many of the features found on higher end TVs such as local dimming. Unfortunately it doesn't get very bright and the picture quality diminishes when viewed from the side.
The deep blacks the Vizio D has make for a high contrast ratio and good picture quality.
Local dimming really didn't work well on this TV, even though it has a full-array backlight. You don't see any blooming, even though the zones are really big, because the overall picture darkens too much.
The SDR peak brightness was tested with local dimming on, and this has the effect of reducing the peak brightness on the smaller sized windows. Turn off the local dimming if you want to have the same brightness on all window sizes.
This TV does not support HDR.
Like most LED TVs, the uniformity of the screen isn't good and dark patches can be seen whenever the camera pans over playing surfaces like ice or grass. The small number of LEDs in the full-array backlight doesn't help here.
If you don't sit directly in front of the TV, colors appear washed out and black appears grayish. If you sit too close to the TV, even the right and left edges will appear whitish.
Our black pattern is free from any obvious clouding or light bleed, which is great.
The Vizio D Series uses an 8-bit panel. We could clearly see the 8-bit gradation in our gradient pattern, even when the TV was fed with a 10-bit signal.
White balance was good out of the box. Color was ok.
White balance could be fixed correctly with calibration, but we couldn't get individual colors much better without applying extreme values that worsened other colors.
The Vizio D displays 480p softer than most other TVs do. Increasing Sharpness to 20 and activating the 'Reduce Noise' setting fixed most of this problem. It looks softer than even the 1080p equivalent of the D Series (see review).
The Vizio D that we reviewed can display 4k resolution (some other Vizio Ds can do a maximum of 1080p, see our separate review for them)
The Vizio D 4k doesn't have a wide color gamut option. Its color output is limited, but this won't be an issue with normal, non-HDR content.
Similar to other SDR TVs, the D Series 4k 2016 can't produce very saturated colors at any luminance level.
The semi-gloss finish does a good job of minimizing reflections without adding rainbows. The Vizio D will be fine in a room with a few windows.
The Vizio D Series 4k LED is a good TV for content with fast motion. It is able to produce clear picture even when there is very fast movement. Movies play smoothly via a blu-ray player or with the in-built apps. It is a 60Hz panel and so can only interpolate 30Hz content.
The response time is good and the result is clear fast motion. The trail following the moving logo in our test is short. The down transitions are a bit slower than the up transitions, which results in an orange tone between the letters of our logo.
The Vizio D Series 4k uses PWM to dim the backlight, which can be seen in duplications following the motion blur logo. It is possible to reduce this frequency to 60Hz to clear up motion.
This TV isn't able to completely remove judder. 'Reduce Judder' does reduce the amount of judder on 24p content, but still couldn't remove it completely.
Update: Enabling 'Game Low Latency' solved the 24p issue, but still not over 60p or 60i.
Vizio advertise this TV as a '120Hz Effective Refresh Rate' which is more of a marketing term. The Vizio D 4k 2016 is in fact a 60Hz TV and as such, can only interpolate content with a refresh rate of 30Hz and lower, using the 'Reduce Judder' setting. Cable TV and streaming services that run at 60Hz won't be able to use the soap opera effect.
You can read more about fake refresh rate here.
The Vizio D Series 4k has exceptional input lag. Unfortunately if it supported more resolutions and frame rates as inputs, it would get a better result. It has a variety of inputs though which should be enough for most people.
This is the lowest input lag we have measured on a TV so far. The time it takes for the TV to respond to a controller input is extremely low. Any serious gamers, even those playing competitively, should be pleased with the Vizio D. To get the input lag to a minimum, we had to use the 'Game' picture mode and the HDMI 5 input. For the HDMI 1, the 1080p input lag under game mode (with 'Game Low Latency' on) is 42.2ms.
For 4k @ 60Hz support, use the labelled HDMI port (HDMI5).
Update: 4k @ 60Hz is limited to 4:2:0. 4k @ 30Hz supports 4:2:2.
The Vizio D Series UHD TV doesn't get very loud. It is also lacking in terms of bass. Overall, it does a decent job, but you will definitely need to buy an external sound system if you care about sound.
Note: Sound Quality test for TVs reviewed before 2017 was performed at 75dB, 85dB, and Max SPL. Starting 2017, the target SPL levels have been changed to 70dB, 80dB, and Max dB SPL.
Poor low-end cutoff and low maximum loudness. The frequency response (tonal balance), however, is decent. The major issue here is the total lack of bass.
High distortion. Even though the TV doesn't get loud (barely reaching 85dB SPL), the distortion level is quite high. It should also be noted that the plasticky frame of the TV shakes and rattles quite noticeably under loud and full-range content.
The smart features of the Vizio D Series aren't that advanced, but cover the basics. Although functional, there is no fancy remote that comes with the TV, either. There is a good number of inputs, though.
The Vizio D Series 4K TV that we bought is the 50" with SKU D50u-D1. We expect our review to be valid for the 40" (D40u-D1), 55" (D55u-D1), 58" (D58u-D3) and 65" (D65u-D2). It is not valid for the 1080p variations of the Vizio D Series which we reviewed separately here.
If someone comes across a different type of panel or if their Vizio D Series doesn't correspond to our review, let us know and we will update the review.
|Size||Model||Effective Refresh Rate||Real Refresh Rate||HDMI #||Speakers||Local Dimming Zones|
|40"||D40u-D1||120 Hz||60 Hz||5||10W x 2||8|
|50"||D50u-D1||120 Hz||60 Hz||5||10W x 2||12|
|55"||D55u-D1||120 Hz||60 Hz||5||10W x 2||14|
|58"||D58u-D3||120 Hz||60 Hz||5||10W x 2||10|
|65"||D65u-D2||120 Hz||60 Hz||5||15W x 2||16|
The Vizio D Series 4k 2016 performs quite well across the board and excels in gaming performance for those after a 4k TV on a budget. For those that don't require a 4k TV, it is very similar to the Vizio D Series 1080p 2016 which is available at a lower price.
The Vizio E Series 4k 2016 we reviewed has similar performance for watching movies, however doesn't perform as well for sports and video games due to the higher motion blur and input lag. If you're choosing between these two then go with the Vizio D Series 4k 2016.
The Samsung KU6300 is a bit more pricey, but can achieve a brighter image especially with highlights. For video games however, the Vizio D Series 4k 2016 series is a clear winner and the picture quality of the Samsung KU6300 isn't enough of an improvement to justify the higher price.
Although the TCL US5800 lacks some features such as local dimming and motion interpolation, the Roku smart interface is more intuitive and feature-packed. For movies and TV the picture quality is quite similar, however gamers should stick to the Vizio D Series 4k 2016 for the lower input lag and motion blur.
The Vizio D Series 1080p 2016 performs very similarly to the 4k model, just with a lower resolution panel. It has slightly higher input lag so more serious gamers may prefer the Vizio D Series 4k 2016. For those that don't watch 4k content or use the TV as a PC monitor, the Vizio D Series 1080p 2016 provides the same experience at a lower price, with a huge range of TV sizes to choose from.