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Vizio M Series 2018
TV REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.3
7.8
Mixed Usage
Value for price beaten by
: Vizio M Series Quantum 2019
7.6
Movies
7.5
TV Shows
7.7
Sports
8.6
Video Games
7.7
HDR Movies
8.2
HDR Gaming
8.3
PC Monitor
Type : LED
Sub-Type
:
VA
Resolution : 4k

The Vizio M Series 2018 is a good 4k TV for a wide range of usages. It has a high native contrast ratio so blacks appear deep in a dark room, but unfortunately, the local dimming doesn't work well to improve them further. It can also get bright to overcome glare but can't produce bright or saturated HDR highlights. Motion handling is also decent, but the image degrades when viewed at an angle. Unlike last year's Vizio M Series, the 2018 model includes a TV tuner.

Test Results
Design 7.5
Picture Quality 7.7
Motion 7.4
Inputs 8.8
Sound Quality 6.6
Smart Features 6.8
Pros
  • Deep and uniform blacks
  • Excellent low input lag
  • Fast response time
Cons
  • Image degrades when viewed at an angle
Update 2/28/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3. Learn more about our versioned test bench system here.
Update 8/15/2018: We have retested the SDR Peak Brightness on the latest firmware (1.0.18.4) and it remains the same.

Check Price

7.5

Design

Curved : No

The design of the Vizio M Series 2018 is good. It has a sleek look and feels sturdy. The new stand and the thin metallic borders give it a more premium look. It still lacks any planning for cable management, but the good news is that the inputs are very close to the side.

Stand

This year's Vizio M-series comes with a sleek and sturdy looking stand. This is quite an aesthetic change from the wire-like stand used in the M-Series 2017.

Footprint of the 65" TV stand: 50.7" x 10.9"

Back
Wall Mount : VESA 400x200

The back of the TV is plastic. It has been redesigned and has a more sleek look and although the inputs have changed sides, they are still split between the bottom and the side edge. There is no planning for cable management.

Borders
Borders : 0.39" (1.0 cm)

The borders of this year's Vizio M65-F0 are thin and metal. However, there is a thick bezel around the screen.

Thickness
Max Thickness : 2.40" (6.1 cm)

The maximum thickness of the Vizio M Series 65 does not differ much from the 2017 M series. In this year's model, the structure of the TV (screen and electronics' compartment) is more apparent when the TV is viewed from the side.

Temperature
Maximum Temperature
:
95 °F (35 °C)
Average Temperature
:
91 °F (33 °C)

The Vizio M Series 2018 has a very uniform and relatively cool temperature footprint.

7.5 Build Quality

The Build Quality is good for this Vizio M65-F. The TV feels solid and has no major gaps. The tiny gap shown in the picture is hardly noticeable in reality and should not cause any problems. The stand provides the TV with good stability.

7.7

Picture Quality

The picture quality of the Vizio M Series 2018 is good. It has an excellent contrast ratio that allows it to achieve deep blacks in dark scenes and the color accuracy is remarkable but it does not have a wide color gamut. The brightness levels are good and enough to overcome glare making it suitable for brighter rooms, but viewing angles are somewhat limited. Sports fans should know that some dirty screen effect is to be expected.  

8.6 Contrast
Native Contrast
:
4598 : 1
Contrast with local dimming
:
4616 : 1

The contrast ratio of the Vizio M 2018 Series is very good but slightly worse than last years' model. Dark scenes produce nice blacks even in low-light environments.

The contrast ratio does not improve with local dimming enabled.

5.5 Local Dimming
Local Dimming
:
Yes
Backlight
:
Full-Array

The Vizio M Series 2018 has a sub-standard Local Dimming. Clouding can be seen around moving objects and this might be more apparent when subtitled content is viewed.

The best results are obtained when local dimming (called Xtreme Black Engine Plus on this Vizio TV) is set to 'Medium'.

8.3 SDR Peak Brightness
SDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
:
380 cd/m²
SDR Peak 2% Window
:
530 cd/m²
SDR Peak 10% Window
:
783 cd/m²
SDR Peak 25% Window
:
713 cd/m²
SDR Peak 50% Window
:
499 cd/m²
SDR Peak 100% Window
:
380 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 2% Window
:
522 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 10% Window
:
765 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 25% Window
:
703 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 50% Window
:
452 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 100% Window
:
378 cd/m²
SDR ABL
:
0.040

The SDR peak brightness of the Vizio M Series 2018 is very good. The TV reaches and maintains high brightness levels at most window sizes.

The testing was done with local dimming (called Xtreme Black Engine Plus on this Vizio TV) set to 'Medium'.

Update 08/15/2018: We have retested the SDR Peak Brightness on the latest firmware (1.0.18.4) and it remains the same.

7.1 HDR Peak Brightness
HDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
:
421 cd/m²
HDR Peak 2% Window
:
516 cd/m²
HDR Peak 10% Window
:
792 cd/m²
HDR Peak 25% Window
:
704 cd/m²
HDR Peak 50% Window
:
496 cd/m²
HDR Peak 100% Window
:
385 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 2% Window
:
509 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 10% Window
:
774 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 25% Window
:
697 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 50% Window
:
494 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 100% Window
:
383 cd/m²
HDR ABL
:
0.040

The HDR peak brightness of the Vizio M Series 2018 is okay. It is very similar to last year's model.

The TV displays small bright details well in dark HDR scenes but fails to reach the 1000 nits HDR content is targeting.

The testing was done with local dimming (called Xtreme Black Engine Plus on this Vizio TV) set to 'Medium'.

Update 08/15/2018: We have retested the HDR Peak Brightness on the latest firmware (1.0.18.4) and it remains the same.

6.8 Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
:
3.871 %
50% DSE
:
0.216 %
5% Std. Dev.
:
1.043 %
5% DSE
:
0.114 %

The gray uniformity of the Vizio M Series 65 is okay. At the 50% gray level, clouding is fairly noticeable in the center of the screen. Some dirty screen effect is visible during panning shots and sports viewing.

Results improve significantly at darker gray levels, where it gets hard to notice clouding.

5.2 Viewing Angle
Color Washout
:
24 °
Color Shift
:
24 °
Brightness Loss
:
34 °
Black Level Raise
:
15 °
Gamma Shift
:
15 °

The viewing angle is poor. Colors shift quickly and black washes out as soon as one moves away from the center, but the brightness stays at acceptable levels for bigger angles.

9.0 Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
:
0.522 %
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
:
1.076 %

The black uniformity of the Vizio M Series 2018 is remarkable. There is some slight clouding to the right, but in general, the screen is very uniform.

With local dimming turned on, the uniformity is a little worse, as some blooming is obvious around the middle white cross while the rest of the screen remains mostly black.

7.8 Reflections
Screen Finish
:
Semi-gloss
Total Reflections
:
5.2 %
Indirect Reflections
:
0.6 %

The Vizio M Series 2018 handles reflections very well. In bright environments, the TV is able to overcome glare. However, it cannot handle direct reflections with the same efficiency due to the lack of an anti-reflective coating.

8.1 Pre Calibration
White Balance dE
:
2.62
Color dE
:
2.34
Gamma
:
2.08
Color Temperature
:
6236 K
Picture Mode
:
Calibrated Dark
Color Temp Setting
:
Normal
Gamma Setting
:
2.2

The Vizio M65-F has impressive color accuracy. When the picture mode is set to Calibrated Dark, both the white balance dE and the color dE are below 3, most people will not notice any imperfections.

The gamma is at 2.08 and fairly consistently below our target of 2.2. This makes shadows look darker, but again it will pass unnoticed by most people.

9.7 Post Calibration
White Balance dE
:
0.11
Color dE
:
0.93
Gamma
:
2.20
Color Temperature
:
6500 K
White Balance Calibration
:
11 point
Color Calibration
:
Yes
Auto-Calibration Function
:
No

Colors and shadows of the Vizio M65-F0 after calibration are amazing. The already great accuracy becomes almost perfect in all aspects of our measurements. color dE and white balance dE are very small, whereas the gamma curve is followed perfectly at 2.2. Finally, the color temperature is spot on at 6500K

Note: Calibration can be performed very easily with the help of the 'Smartcast' app, as no on-screen menu is necessary.

You can see our recommended settings here.

7.0 480p Input

Upscaling of low-quality content such as DVDs is a bit more blocky than other TVs and there is more noise, similar to the Vizio M Series 2017. This is visible when viewing DVDs.

TCL 6 Series vs Vizio M Series 2018
Close-up comparison

7.0 720p Input

Upscaling of 720p content such as cable is a bit softer than most other TVs.

9.0 1080p Input

1080p content such as Blu-rays look good. The image remains clear and sharp.

10 4k Input

No issues can be seen with native 4k content.

6.8 Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
:
No
DCI P3 xy
:
76.53 %
DCI P3 uv
:
81.31 %
Rec 2020 xy
:
54.91 %
Rec 2020 uv
:
59.25 %

The color gamut is okay for the Vizio M65-F0. It fails to cover either of the color spaces measured adequately and certainly falls below the threshold to be classified as having a wide color gamut.

In the Calibrated Dark picture mode, the HDR EOTF follows the target PQ curve fairly well, but with a bit of over-brightening in dark shades and an early roll-off of bright shades. The EOTFs in Calibrated Dark with Game Low Latency enabled and in the Computer picture mode are very similar to that of Calibrated Dark.

6.4 Color Volume
Normalized DCI P3 Coverage ITP
:
73.9 %
10,000 cd/m² DCI P3 Coverage ITP
:
34.8 %
Normalized Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
:
54.0 %
10,000 cd/m² Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
:
25.4 %

Mediocre color volume. The narrow color gamut prevents the TV from achieving a satisfying color volume. It has difficulty displaying deep, dark colors and does not cover either color space very well, although in the Rec.2020 it performs slightly better than the 2017 model.

8.5 Gradient
Color Depth
:
10 Bit
Red (Std. Dev.)
:
0.100 dE
Green (Std. Dev.)
:
0.111 dE
Blue (Std. Dev.)
:
0.086 dE
Gray (Std. Dev.)
:
0.083 dE

The gradient performance is very good for this Vizio M Series 2018. It can display our gradient test image almost perfectly, with only small visible imperfections in dark green bands.

The TV has a Reduce Noise feature that may help reduce banding when banding is present in the content itself with the possible trade-off of some loss of fine detail. The Reduce Noise option, however, can not improve any banding that is added to the content, by the TV itself.

10 Temporary Image Retention
IR after 0 min recovery
:
0.00 %
IR after 2 min recovery
:
0.00 %
IR after 4 min recovery
:
0.00 %
IR after 6 min recovery
:
0.00 %
IR after 8 min recovery
:
0.00 %
IR after 10 min recovery
:
0.00 %

No image retention is present on the Vizio M65-F0. This is in line with TVs that use VA panels.

10 Permanent Burn-In Risk
Permanent Burn-In Risk
:
No

We don't expect VA panels to experience permanent image retention, as the VA panel in our long-term test appears immune.

Pixels
7.4

Motion

The Vizio 2018 M-Series has decent motion handling. The response time is excellent and there is very little motion blur. The backlight uses PWM to dim and there is some flicker but it is at a high frequency and shouldn't be noticeable to most people. The backlight can reduce the flicker frequency to help motion appear more fluid, and unlike most TVs, there is very little decrease in brightness. It does not support any motion interpolation.

8.6 Response Time
80% Response Time
:
5.6 ms
100% Response Time
:
12.6 ms

The 2018 M-Series has an excellent fast response time. There is very little motion trail behind fast moving objects, most of the blur in the photo is due to persistence. There is a tiny bit of overshoot in some transitions, but these are too minor to cause any overshoot artifacts.

There is some dark haloing visible around the logo. This is likely due to the down transitions being much faster than the up transitions. In this case, the the blue and green pixels of the background go dark before the red pixels in the logo can turn on. This is noticeable in most of the motion blur photos, but is especially noticeable on this TV.

7.9 Flicker-Free
Flicker-Free
:
No
PWM Dimming Frequency
:
480 Hz

There is backlight flicker at all backlight settings below 100. The flicker frequency is very high at 480 Hz, and most people won't notice it. At low backlight settings there is some decrease in amplitude as well as duty cycle. The backlight is identical to last year's M-Series.

The backlight of the Vizio M 2018 is much better than TVs with lower flicker frequencies like the LG SK9000, and very similar to the TCL R617.

10 Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
Optional BFI
:
Yes
Min Flicker for 60 fps
:
60 Hz
60 Hz for 60 fps
:
Yes
120 Hz for 120 fps
:
N/A
Min Flicker for 60 fps in Game Mode
:
60 Hz

The BFI mode on the M-Series 2018 is activated by setting Clear Action to On. Unlike most TVs, when BFI is enabled the perceived screen brightness is not reduced, as the brightness spikes higher than before to compensate for the off cycles. With BFI enabled the backlight can only flicker at 60 Hz.

0 Motion Interpolation
Motion Interpolation (30 fps)
:
No
Motion Interpolation (60 fps)
:
No

The Vizio M65-F0 does not have a motion interpolation feature unlike most TVs we have reviewed.

7.3 Stutter
Frame Hold Time @ 24 fps
:
29.1 ms
Frame Hold Time @ 60 fps
:
4.1 ms

There is some 24p stutter that is especially noticeable with wide panning shots. Unlike many other TVs, this cannot be reduced by enabling motion interpolation, as the M-Series does not have this feature.

7.8 24p Judder
Judder-Free 24p
:
Yes
Judder-Free 24p via 60p
:
No
Judder-Free 24p via 60i
:
No
Judder-Free 24p via Native Apps
:
Yes

Similar to the 2017 M-Series, the 2018 Vizio M65-F0 can play 24p content without judder, but only when played from a native 24p source like a Blu-ray player or from the native apps. To remove judder set Film mode to on

0 Variable Refresh Rate
Native Refresh Rate
:
60 Hz
Variable Refresh Rate
:
No
4k VRR Maximum
:
N/A
4k VRR Minimum
:
N/A
1080p VRR Maximum
:
N/A
1080p VRR Minimum
:
N/A
1440p VRR Maximum
:
N/A
1440p VRR Minimum
:
N/A
VRR Supported Connectors
:
N/A

The Vizio M-Series 2018 does not support any of the variable refresh rate technologies, including AMD's Freesync 2.

8.8

Inputs

The Vizio M Series 2018 can play almost any content including HDR. It has excellent low input lag both for SDR and HDR content and it is definitely an improvement with regards to inputs from last years model. Appart from the input lag that has almost halved, the TV supports 4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:2:2 or 4:4:4 color on all ports, as long as you set it to 'Full UHD Color'. This year's M-Series also has a tuner, unlike the previous two years' models.

9.1 Input Lag
1080p @ 60 Hz
:
22.0 ms
1080p @ 60 Hz Outside Game Mode
:
65.7 ms
1440p @ 60 Hz
:
N/A
4k @ 60 Hz
:
22.0 ms
4k @ 60 Hz + 10 bit HDR
:
22.1 ms
4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4
:
21.9 ms
4k @ 60 Hz Outside Game Mode
:
65.7 ms
4k @ 60 Hz With Interpolation
:
N/A
8k @ 60 Hz
:
N/A
1080p @ 120 Hz
:
N/A
1440p @ 120 Hz
:
N/A
4k @ 120 Hz
:
N/A
1080p with Variable Refresh Rate
:
N/A
1440p with VRR
:
N/A
4k with VRR
:
N/A
8k with VRR
:
N/A
Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM)
:
No

The input lag is superb and almost half of last year's model. To achieve low input lag you must set the 'Game Low Latency' to on as its is the only setting that matters for input lag. All picture modes can have low input lag, however only the 'Computer' mode can show proper 4:4:4 color.

Aside: The TV treated the Leo Bodnar tool differently than the Leo Bodnar + HDFury chain, in a similar way as last year's M Series 2017, but on the M Series 2018 the input lag didn't change as a result. See the Additional Review Notes for more detail.

7.5 Supported Resolutions
1080p @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4
:
Yes
1080p @ 120 Hz
:
No
1440p @ 60 Hz
:
No
1440p @ 120 Hz
:
No
4k @ 60 Hz
:
Yes
4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4
:
Yes
4k @ 120 Hz
:
No
8k @ 30 Hz or 24 Hz
:
No
8k @ 60 Hz
:
No

Most common resolutions are supported at 60Hz except 1440p. However, this TV does not support 120 Hz.

Only in 'Computer' picture mode can 4:4:4 color be displayed properly. This years' model can support 4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:2:2 or 4:4:4 color on all ports, but it works only when 'Full UHD Color' is enabled for that port.

4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4 + HDR is also supported.

Input Photos
Total Inputs
HDMI : 4
USB : 1
Digital Optical Audio Out : 1
Analog Audio Out 3.5mm : 0
Analog Audio Out RCA : 1
Component In : 1 (shared)
Composite In : 1 (shared)
Tuner (Cable/Ant) : 1
Ethernet : 1
DisplayPort : 0
IR In : 0
SD/SDHC : 0

The inputs on the side include sockets for Component input which is rare for a TV.

The rear inputs include an 'analog audio out' so you can use wireless headphones with no need for adaptors. Also, a 'Cable/Antenna' input is present to accommodate the TV tuner that is included in this year's model.

Inputs Specifications
HDR10
:
Yes
HDR10+
:
No
Dolby Vision
:
Yes
HLG
:
Yes
3D
:
No
HDMI 2.0 Full Bandwidth
:
Yes (HDMI 1,2,3,4)
HDMI 2.1
:
No
CEC : Yes
HDCP 2.2 : Yes (HDMI 1,2,3,4)
USB 3.0
:
No
Variable Analog Audio Out : Yes
Wi-Fi Support : Yes (2.4 GHz, 5 GHz)
Audio Passthrough
ARC
:
Yes (HDMI 1)
eARC support
:
No
Dolby Atmos via TrueHD via eARC
:
No
DTS:X via DTS-HD MA via eARC
:
No
5.1 Dolby Digital via ARC
:
Yes
5.1 DTS via ARC
:
Yes
5.1 Dolby Digital via Optical
:
Yes
5.1 DTS via Optical
:
Yes
6.6

Sound Quality

The sound quality of the Vizio M Series 2018 is ordinary. This TV gets decently loud, but it may not be loud enough for large and noisy environments. It also lacks a lot of bass and doesn't produce much thump or punch. However, it produces clear dialogs and has relatively low distortion. For a better sound, dedicated speakers or a soundbar is recommended.

6.4 Frequency Response
Low-Frequency Extension
:
106.79 Hz
Std. Dev. @ 70
:
4.05 dB
Std. Dev. @ 80
:
4.06 dB
Std. Dev. @ Max
:
5.41 dB
Max
:
86.4 dB SPL
Dynamic Range Compression
:
3.71 dB

The frequency response is mediocre. Low-frequency extension (LFE) is at 107Hz, which means this TV doesn't produce a lot of thump or punch in the bass range. The response above the TV's LFE point is good, suggesting clear dialog reproduction. However, there is significant pumping and compression at louder volumes, and since this TV doesn't have a room correction system, it wasn't able to remove the modes of our test room around 200Hz. Additionally, this TV gets decently loud, but it may not be loud enough for large and noisy environments,

7.3 Distortion
Weighted THD @ 80
:
0.343
Weighted THD @ Max
:
1.066
IMD @ 80