Vizio M Series 2016 TV Review

Tested using Methodology v1.0
Reviewed Jul 15, 2016 at 01:30 pm
Vizio M Series 2016 Picture
7.9
Mixed Usage
Value for price beaten by
: Not at the latest test bench
8.2
Movies
7.1
TV Shows
7.4
Sports
8.8
Video Games
7.8
HDR Movies
8.1
HDR Gaming
7.9
PC Monitor
This TV was replaced by the Vizio M Series XLED 2017
Type LED
Resolution 4k
Refresh Rate 120 Hz (except 55" and smaller)

The Vizio M Series 2016 LED TV provides great picture quality and overall performance, excelling in motion performance for watching sports or playing video games. Unfortunately it can't get very bright and doesn't have good 4k HDR support. Overall it is an improvement on the Vizio M Series 2015, and the performance is close to the higher end Vizio P Series 2016.

Our Verdict

7.9 Mixed Usage

Good all-round TV. Excels in dark scene performance thanks to great picture quality. Great motion for sports and low input lag for video games.

Pros
  • Great picture quality, especially for watching movies in a dark room
  • Great motion handling and low input lag for sports and video games
Cons
  • Picture quality degrades from the side
  • Can't get very bright
  • Lacks TV tuner
  • Sub-par upscaling of lower resolutions
8.2 Movies

Very good for watching movies in a dark room. Local dimming works well, and native contrast ratio is high. Blu-rays play smoothly.

7.1 TV Shows

Average performance for TV shows in a bright living room. Can't get very bright to combat glare but deals with reflections well. Picture quality is great from in front, but deteriorates when viewed from the side. Lacks TV tuner.

7.4 Sports

Good TV for watching sports. Fast movement is handled very well with a minimum of motion blur. Average field uniformity.

8.8 Video Games

Excels in video game performance. Low input lag on HDMI 5 with game mode which is good. Great handling of fast camera movement with minimum motion blur.

7.8 HDR Movies

Good for HDR. Supports Dolby Vision and HDR10 but average peak brightness. Slightly above average colors but not enough to take full advantage of HDR.

8.1 HDR Gaming

Good for HDR gaming. Support HDR10 and Dolby Vision but doesn't really benefit from HDR signal. Picture quality is great, but can't get bright highlights or display a wide range of colors. Input lag for HDR is good for casual gaming.

7.9 PC Monitor

Good when use as a PC monitor. Supports a wide range of resolutions. Very good motion handling and feels responsive. Chroma subsampling is displayed correctly at many resolutions.

  • 7.9 Mixed Usage
  • 8.2 Movies
  • 7.1 TV Shows
  • 7.4 Sports
  • 8.8 Video Games
  • 7.8 HDR Movies
  • 8.1 HDR Gaming
  • 7.9 PC Monitor

Test Results

Design
7.5
Design
Style
Curved No

The design is quite similar to the Vizio M Series 2015. The front is plastic and appears more solid and higher end than that found on the Vizio E Series 2016, but doesn't look as good as the Vizio P Series 2016's metal finish. The most significant change from the 2015 model is the legs, which have a stylish new look.    

Design
Stand

Like other Vizio TVs, the stand is very wide so that we had to extend our test table to fit the 70". The TV is not as stable as some of the other models with sturdier stands.

Footprint of the 70" TV stand: 55" x 11"

Design
Back
Wall Mount VESA 400x400

The back of the TV is similar to the P Series 2016. All inputs and outputs are directed to the side of the back, providing easy access if wall mounted.

Design
Borders
Borders 0.63" (1.6 cm)

The borders feature metal sides with a nice textured finish and a plastic front.

Design
Thickness
Max Thickness 2.56" (6.5 cm)

Like other Vizio TVs, it is quite thick when viewed from the side. If wall mounted it will stick out quite obviously.

Design
Temperature
Maximum Temperature
38 °C
Average Temperature
33 °C

The full-array local dimming heats up the TV evenly. You do however see some hot spots where internal electronics are located.

Picture Quality
8.7
Picture Quality
Contrast
Native Contrast
4781 : 1

The native contrast ratio is pretty good. It is not as good as this year's P series, but it is not far behind. This should provide dark scenes with rich details.

8.0
Picture Quality
Local Dimming
Local Dimming
Yes
Backlight
Full-Array

Like this year P Series 2016, the local dimming called 'Active LED Zones' works very well. In combination with the full-array backlight, it can provide very deep blacks when watching a movie and especially when watching HDR content. There is also no major blooming around the highlight in our video test when viewed straight in front. Unfortunately, like this years P Series, the local dimming did dim a bit of the white dot. Because there are fewer (and bigger) dimming zones than the P Series, it is more noticeable when they turn on and off.

7.1
Picture Quality
SDR Peak Brightness
SDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
324 cd/m2
SDR Peak 2% Window
109 cd/m2
SDR Peak 10% Window
205 cd/m2
SDR Peak 25% Window
254 cd/m2
SDR Peak 50% Window
298 cd/m2
SDR Peak 100% Window
321 cd/m2
SDR Sustained 2% Window
109 cd/m2
SDR Sustained 10% Window
205 cd/m2
SDR Sustained 25% Window
254 cd/m2
SDR Sustained 50% Window
298 cd/m2
SDR Sustained 100% Window
321 cd/m2

The SDR peak brightness of the Vizio M Series 2016 is bad. The maximum the TV can reach is around 320 on a 100% windows. The local dimming dim too much the small highlights, making the 2% windows only 1/3 of the brightness it can get. Since this TV can't get very bright, it will not be the best option for people that have a bright room.

7.2
Picture Quality
HDR Peak Brightness
HDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
310 cd/m2
HDR Peak 2% Window
195 cd/m2
HDR Peak 10% Window
317 cd/m2
HDR Peak 25% Window
413 cd/m2
HDR Peak 50% Window
345 cd/m2
HDR Peak 100% Window
241 cd/m2
HDR Sustained 2% Window
195 cd/m2
HDR Sustained 10% Window
317 cd/m2
HDR Sustained 25% Window
413 cd/m2
HDR Sustained 50% Window
345 cd/m2
HDR Sustained 100% Window
241 cd/m2

The Vizio M is not a very bright TV. The 2% window is only at 183 cd/m², which is less bright than the 2015 M series. The 100% peak windows is also not very bright at 232 cd/m² making the 2016 M series well under the 535 cd/m² of the P series 2016. We tested the peak brightness with a HDR10 signal.

Update 08/09/2016: Retested with newest firmware update, sending a HDR10 signal over HDMI. No improvement to peak brightness.

Update 10/14/2016: Retested with the newest 2.2.7.4 firmware update.

6.9
Picture Quality
Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
3.093 %
50% DSE
0.211 %
5% Std. Dev.
1.615 %
5% DSE
0.124 %

The gray uniformity of the Vizio M Series 2016 is average and when viewed from an angle, it looks worse. The LED of the full array backlight are visible and the corner are also more dark. Dirty screen effect will certainly displease sport fans, since it is in sport like football or hockey that you have more panning shots over uniform background.

4.3
Picture Quality
Viewing Angle
LCD Type
VA (except 60")
Color Shift
21 °
Brightness
29 °
Black Level
26 °

The viewing angle is good for a TV using a VA panel. In fact, when view side by side, the M Series 2016 actually give a better viewing experience than the more expensive P Series 2016.

8.8
Picture Quality
Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
1.048 %

The black uniformity is good, but there is definitely some clouding issues on our unit, and it is more visible at an angle. With local dimming enabled this is not an issue.

8.5
Picture Quality
Gradient
Color Depth
8 Bit

When sending a 10 bit signal, 8 bit gradations can be seen even though the panel is 10 bit. Despite this, the gradient performs pretty well, without any major color or banding issues.

8.2
Picture Quality
Pre Calibration
White Balance dE
3.26
Color dE
3.3492
Gamma
2.18

Out of the box, the pre-calibration of this TV was pretty great. There were some issues with the reds being too high and the blues being too low in the white balance. As for the colors, it too had it's share of issues, with some colors being too saturated.

9.5
Picture Quality
Post Calibration
White Balance dE
0.38
Color dE
1.5297
Gamma
2.21

Most of the issues that were present in the pre-calibration were fixed using a handheld device. By downloading the 'Vizio SmartCast' application that is available for both Android and Apple we were able to adjust the 2 point and 11 point.

7.0
Picture Quality
480p Input

DVDs or standard TV channels upscaling is not as good as other TV. You can see on the picture that the sail boat ropes looks choppy.

7.0
Picture Quality
720p Input

Small details are a bit lost and the general rendering is a bit soft.

9.0
Picture Quality
1080p Input

Blu-rays upscaling looks very good and details are very sharps.

10
Picture Quality
4k Input

4k content looks very good without any image problems.

6.7
Picture Quality
Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
No
DCI P3 xy
74.50 %
DCI P3 uv
81.03 %
Rec 2020 xy
53.45 %
Rec 2020 uv
59.07 %

We measured the color gamut coverage in the Dolby Vision mode (via the metadata tunneling of Spectracal's Calman software). It doesn't have a wide color gamut for HDR, but it is enough for Rec 709 content.
Update 08/09/2016: Retested with newest firmware update, sending a HDR10 signal over HDMI. No improvement to color gamut.

6.0
Picture Quality
Color Volume
Normalized DCI P3 Coverage
68.697 %
10,000 cd/m² DCI P3 Coverage
36.663 %
Normalized Rec 2020 Coverage
48.788 %
10,000 cd/m² Rec 2020 Coverage
23.200 %

10
Picture Quality
Image Retention
IR after 0 min recovery
0.000 %
IR after 2 min recovery
0.000 %
IR after 4 min recovery
0.000 %
IR after 6 min recovery
0.000 %
IR after 8 min recovery
0.000 %
IR after 10 min recovery
0.000 %

8.0
Picture Quality
Reflections
Reflection
2.0 %
Screen Finish
Semi-gloss

Reflections on the Vizio M Series 2016 appear large and diffused. This helps to combat bright glare. It is similar to the Vizio M Series 2015.

0
Picture Quality
3D
3D
No
3D Type
No
2D to 3D
No

There is no 3D functionality on the Vizio M Series 2016.

Picture Quality
Pixels

Motion
9.2
Motion
Motion Blur
Response Time
10.4 ms
Overshoot
0.0 ms

The response time of this TV is excellent. No trail can be seen following the Rtings logo. This means that fast moving objects on this TV will be quite clear. This TV uses PWM flickering to adjust the luminosity of the backlight.

6.8
Motion
Image Flicker
PWM Dimming Frequency
120 Hz
BFI
Yes
BFI Frequency
60 Hz
BFI In Game Mode
Yes

The Vizio M Series 2016 is able to reduce the backlight frequency to 60Hz, which helps to clear up motion.

7.1
Motion
24p Playback
Judder-free 24p
Yes
Judder-free 24p via 60p
No
Judder-free 24p via 60i
No

The Vizio M Series 2016 is judder free only for 24p sources like movies on Blu-ray, DVD and from streaming apps. On other movie sources which play at 60Hz such as from a cable/satellite box, judder does occur, but not consistently. We were able to eliminate this completely when setting 'Reduce Judder' function to 1, however this does add a little of the Soap Opera Effect.

10
Motion
Motion Interpolation
Motion Interpolation (30 fps)
Yes
Motion Interpolation (60 fps)
Yes

'Reduce Judder' is the setting that turns on motion interpolation for 30 fps (and lower) content. For 60 fps to be interpolated to 120, you will need to use the 'Reduce Motion Blur' slider (but there is currently a bug; in order for RMB to work, you also need to set 'Reduce Judder' to at least 1 as well).

Update 05/30/2017: The M50-D1 and M55-D0 cannot perform motion interpolation.

Inputs
8.5
Inputs
Input Lag
1080p @ 60Hz
17.1 ms
1080p With Interpolation
79.2 ms
1080p @ 60Hz Outside Game Mode
83.8 ms
1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
16.9 ms
4k @ 60Hz
16.7 ms
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
43.8 ms
4k @ 60Hz + HDR
43.8 ms
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4 + 8 bit HDR
43.8 ms

Input lag is great. For best results, use HDMI5 with 'Game Low Latency' on for both 1080p and 4k resolutions. Note that HDR is only possible for HDMI 1, and so the input lag is higher. It is still playable for casual gamers. Shown below are the results for combinations of HDMI ports, HDR vs SDR, with different signal formats.

FormatHDRHDMIInput lag
1080p@60HzSDR517.1ms
1080p With InterpolationSDR579.2ms
1080p @ 60Hz Outside Game ModeSDR583.8ms
1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4SDR516.9ms
4k @ 60HzSDR516.7ms
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4SDR5n/a
4k @ 60Hz + HDRHDR5n/a
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4 + HDRHDR5n/a
1080p@60HzSDR151.5ms
1080p With InterpolationSDR1122.7ms
1080p @ 60Hz Outside Game ModeSDR1126.8ms
1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4SDR151.5ms
4k @ 60HzSDR143.8ms
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4SDR143.8ms
4k @ 60Hz + HDRHDR143.8ms
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4 + HDRSDR143.8ms

Update 01/24/2017: Retested with the newest firmware (3.0.12.2) and now the Vizio M Series 2016 can now display the chroma subsampling correctly when set in 'Computer' picture mode. The input lag has also been reduced.

10
Inputs
Supported Resolutions
1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
Yes
1080p @ 120Hz
Yes (except 50", 55")
4k @ 30Hz @ 4:4:4
Yes
4k @ 60Hz
Yes
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
Yes

Update 01/24/2017: Retested with the newest firmware (3.0.12.2) and now the Vizio M Series 2016 can now display the chroma subsampling correctly when set in the 'Computer' picture mode. Note that it can also correctly display chroma subsampling at 1080p @ 120Hz.

Inputs
Side Inputs

Inputs
Rear Inputs

Inputs
Total Inputs
HDMI 5
USB 2
Digital Optical Audio Out 1
Analog Audio Out 3.5mm 0
Analog Audio Out RCA 1
Component In 1
Composite In 0
Tuner (Cable/Ant) 0
Ethernet 1
DisplayPort 0
IR In 0
SD/SDHC 0

Inputs
Inputs Specifications
HDR10
Yes
Dolby Vision
Yes
5.1 Passthrough ARC Dolby Digital
Yes
5.1 Passthrough ARC DTS
Yes
5.1 Passthrough Optical Dolby Digital
Yes
5.1 Passthrough Optical DTS
Yes
HDMI 2.0 Full Bandwidth Yes
ARC Yes (HDMI 1)
USB 3 Yes (1)
HDCP 2.2 Yes
CEC Yes
MHL No
Variable Analog Audio Out Yes

HDR10 is supported only on HDMI1. Despite what is mentioned on Vizio website, HDCP 2.2 protected content can play on all HDMI ports.

Sound Quality
4.5
Sound Quality
Frequency Response
Std. Dev. @ 70
4.95 dB SPL
Std. Dev. @ 80
4.85 dB SPL
Std. Dev. @ Max
5.23 dB SPL
Max
91.2 dB SPL
Low-end Cutoff
302 Hz

Poor overall response. The frequency response is poor. The low-end cutoff, at 302Hz, is the worst we have measured so far. This TV doesn't produce any bass. On the other hand, we didn't notice many compression/pumping artifacts and the maximum loudness is good too. But it's not difficult to make a TV loud when it's not producing much bass.

3.3
Sound Quality
Total Harmonic Distortion
Distortion @ 70
0.201
Distortion @ 80
0.496
Distortion @ Max
1.802

Poor distortion results. The overall amount of harmonic distortion is elevated, even at low volumes. As the volume increases, the harmonic distortion increases with it. At 85dB and especially Max dB, the rise in harmonic distortion is significant and could be audible.

Smart Features
Smart Features
Apps

This TV uses SmartCast, and as such, there is no applications on the actual TV itself. However, using the tablet provided with this TV, or any other handheld device, you will have many applications to choose from that supports casting services. There are already many major applications that do so such as Youtube, Netflix, and Spotify. Amazon Prime isn't supported at the moment.

7.0
Smart Features
Interface
Smart OS SmartCast

The Vizio M Series 2016 shares the same smart operating system as the Vizio P Series 2016 and the Vizio E Series 4k 2016 from past reviews we have done. While some may enjoy the simplicity of the SmartCast smart interface, which is similar to a chrome cast experience, depending on the quality of your wireless network there may be disconnections with the tablet. While having a tablet that comes with a TV is great included gift, some people may find it less intuitive than a traditional smart remote. For basic functions, you can use the included traditional remote control but for adjusting picture settings or to control the smart features a tablet or smartphone is required. In terms of inputs, there are 5 HDMI ports which is great for anyone who wants to connect all their devices. You can learn more about Smartcast and its app here.

Keep in mind that it is lacking a TV tuner, which means you cannot connect an antenna or cable directly to the TV. You will need to buy a separate tuner like this one.

10
Smart Features
Ads
Ad-free
Yes
Opt-out
N/A

Smart Features
TV Controls

The TV controls are located behind the TV on the left side.

Smart Features
Remote
Remote Tablet

The Vizio TV comes with both a 8-inch tablet and a basic remote. You will most likely be using the tablet more often than the remote itself though as that's how you can adjust all the settings of the TV. You can also download the 'Vizio SmartCast' application on any handheld device. It's available for Android and Apple.

Smart Features
In The Box

  • 8-Inch Tablet (XR6M)
  • Tablet Manual
  • Wireless charging Dock
  • Charging block
  • Charging cable
  • Remote
  • Batteries
  • HDMI cable
  • Quick start guide

Smart Features
Misc
Power Consumption 154 W
Power Consumption (Max) 248 W
Firmware 1.1.14.4

Differences Between Sizes and Variants

The Vizio M Series TV that we bought is the 70" with SKU M70-D3. Note that the M60-D1 has an IPS panel. This means we expect it to have a worse contrast ratio, and wider viewing angle. 

The 50" and 55" models  have 60Hz panels so some of the motion interpolation options are not available (i.e. 'Reduce Judder' and 'Reduce Motion Blur'). For those who like the soap opera effect, it is maybe better to get an 120Hz version of the M series 2016.

Update 05/30/2017: The M50-D1 and M55-D0 cannot perform motion interpolation at all.

Different sizes have different panel provenances, so it is possible our review doesn't represent exactly all sizes. If someone's Vizio M 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 Panel Local Dimming Zones
50" M50-D1 120 Hz 60 Hz 4 10W x 2 VA 32
55" M55-D0 120 Hz 60 Hz 4 15W x 2 VA 64
60" M60-D1 240 Hz 120 Hz 5 10W x 2 IPS 64
65" M65-D0 240 Hz 120 Hz 5 15W x 2 VA 64
70" M70-D3 240 Hz 120 Hz 5 10W x 2 VA 64
80" M80-D3 240 Hz 120 Hz 5 10W x 2 VA 64

Compared to other TVs

Comparison picture

Top left: Vizio M Series 2015 (M60-C3). Bottom left: Sony X850D (XBR55X850D). Middle: Vizio M Series 2016 (M70-D3). Top right: Vizio P Series 2016 (P65-C1). Bottom right: Samsung KU6300 (UN55KU6300).  Unlike our other photographs, this picture wasn't taken under a controlled environment, so do not draw conclusions from it.

The Vizio M Series 2016 provides great movie and TV watching performance, especially for the price.  

 

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