Vizio M Series XLED 2017 TV Review

Tested using Methodology v1.2
Updated Jun 09, 2017 at 09:03 am
Vizio M Series XLED 2017 Picture
7.4
Mixed Usage
Value for price beaten by
: Not at the latest test bench
7.7
Movies
7.1
TV Shows
7.1
Sports
7.7
Video Games
7.8
HDR Movies
7.7
HDR Gaming
7.4
PC Monitor
This TV was replaced by the Vizio M Series 2018
Type LED
Sub-Type
VA
Resolution 4k

The Vizio M Series 2017 is a good 4k UHD LED TV that works best in a dark room. It produces deep and uniform blacks, and its great handling of motion and good input lag are a boon for gaming. Its local dimming feature isn't the best, but it still enhances the depth of the picture a good amount. Unfortunately, it isn't the best at handling reflections, and its viewing angle is quite narrow, making it less suitable for bright, wide living rooms.

Our Verdict

7.4 Mixed Usage

The M Series 2017 is a good TV for a mixed usage. It has good picture quality in a dark room, good handling of motion and features a nice set of HDR related features.

See our Mixed Usage recommendations
7.7 Movies

Great choice for movies in a dark room. The Vizio M produces deep and uniform blacks, and it sports a decent local dimming feature that enhances its contrast further.

See our Movies recommendations
7.1 TV Shows

The M Series 2017 does an ordinary job with TV shows. It gets decently bright, but it doesn't do a great job at handling reflections. Unfortunately, its upscaling capability is average as well.

See our TV Shows recommendations
7.1 Sports

Decent TV for watching live sports. The Vizio M series handles motion well, and it produces a uniform image free of major blotchiness. Unfortunately though, picture quality does degrade at an angle.

See our Sports recommendations
7.7 Video Games

Great TV for video games. The Vizio M 2017 has low input lag and motion blur. Games feel responsive, and its image flicker feature can greatly enhance the clarity of motion.

See our Video Games recommendations
7.8 HDR Movies

The Vizio M 2017 handles HDR movies well. It gets decently bright, and it can reproduce a slightly wider range of colors. It's not the best at handling gradients though.

See our HDR Movies recommendations
7.7 HDR Gaming

Very good HDR gaming performance. An HDR input doesn't affect the input lag of the M Series 2017, making it a good choice for HDR consoles.

See our HDR Gaming recommendations
7.4 PC Monitor

The M Series 2017 makes for an average PC monitor. While it supports the necessary resolutions for sharp text, the narrow viewing angle causes edges of the screen to darken from up-close. The input lag, while fine for more casual gaming, can also seem a bit sluggish for use with a mouse.

See our PC Monitor recommendations
  • 7.4 Mixed Usage
  • 7.7 Movies
  • 7.1 TV Shows
  • 7.1 Sports
  • 7.7 Video Games
  • 7.8 HDR Movies
  • 7.7 HDR Gaming
  • 7.4 PC Monitor
Pros
  • Great blacks
  • Low motion blur
  • Better than average local dimming
Cons
  • Image quality deteriorates at an angle
  • Handling of reflections is below average
  • Lacks a TV tuner
  1. Update 3/12/2018: Converted to Test Bench 1.2.
  2. Update 1/23/2018: Retested input lag with the latest firmware (3.4.8.15). Input lag is ~9 ms higher across the board; this is also the case with the E Series 2017 and HDMI port 1 on the P Series 2017.
  3. Update 8/10/2017: Converted to Test Bench 1.1.

Test Results

Design
7.5
Design
Style
Curved No

The design of the 2017 Vizio M Series is almost identical to the 2016 model. It has the same wide stand which looks quite good but may be difficult to fit on some tables. The borders are a bit thicker than average, but it still looks good overall and is a step up in design from the E Series 2017.  

Design
Stand

The stand is identical to the 2016 model and almost as wide as the TV. It supports the TV well but isn't quite as stable as some other TVs which use stronger or thicker materials.

Footprint of the 65" TV stand: 10.9" x 51.7"

Design
Back
Wall Mount VESA 400x400

The rear of the TV is quite basic but all of the inputs are accessible if placed close to a wall.

Design
Borders
Borders 0.71" (1.8 cm)

The borders are a bit thicker than average, but still look quite good with the metal side. The rest of the border is plastic.

Design
Thickness
Max Thickness 2.56" (6.5 cm)

The thickness is exactly the same as the M Series 2016. It is a bit thicker than average, so will stick out somewhat if mounted on a wall.

Design
Temperature
Maximum Temperature
99 °F (37 °C)
Average Temperature
93 °F (34 °C)

The TV runs fairly cool, never getting more than slightly warm to the touch. The whole bottom edge is a big vent and there are multiple vents along the back. The heat is fairly even across the screen due to its full array backlight.

7.0
Design
Build Quality

The build quality is a step up from the slightly lower end E Series 2017. The TV is still almost completely made of plastic, but the metal edges on the border is a nice touch.

Picture Quality
9.0
Picture Quality
Contrast
Native Contrast
5606 : 1
Contrast with local dimming
5861 : 1

The contrast ratio is excellent on the 2017 M Series, even better than last year's M Series 2016. This high contrast ratio can provide excellent dark scenes performance with deep blacks, especially when the TV is set in a dark room.

When the local dimming is turned on, the contrast ratio goes up a little bit, but not by that much. This is a sign that the local dimming feature on the 2017 M Series is not as good as seen on other higher end LED TV, like the Sony X900E.

5.5
Picture Quality
Local Dimming
Local Dimming
Yes
Backlight
Full-Array

The local dimming feature on the 2017 M Series is not as efficient as that on the M Series 2016 since it has less dimming zones, but it still procures some benefit, as seen on our contrast ratio test and also looking at our black uniformity picture. While turned on, the local dimming helps to produce deeper blacks, especially if the TV is set in a dark room.

On the downside, like both the M Series and P Series 2016, the local dimming darkens the moving highlight too much. This is more visible when the highlight moves to a different dimming zone, and since the zones are even bigger than on the 2016 M Series, this is even more obvious.

7.5
Picture Quality
SDR Peak Brightness
SDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
316 cd/m²
SDR Peak 2% Window
178 cd/m²
SDR Peak 10% Window
272 cd/m²
SDR Peak 25% Window
269 cd/m²
SDR Peak 50% Window
302 cd/m²
SDR Peak 100% Window
321 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 2% Window
178 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 10% Window
270 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 25% Window
268 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 50% Window
301 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 100% Window
320 cd/m²
SDR ABL
0.035

Good SDR peak brightness. The TV's local dimming dims highlights in dark scenes, as shown by our smaller window tests, which is not a good thing. This is the opposite of its HDR behavior, which brightens the small windows. The real scene brightness is close to the best case, but even it isn't very bright. This local dimming behavior is similar to the M Series 2016, but is a little better because the small windows aren't dimmed as much. A plot of brightness over time is shown here.

7.1
Picture Quality
HDR Peak Brightness
HDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
407 cd/m²
HDR Peak 2% Window
628 cd/m²
HDR Peak 10% Window
793 cd/m²
HDR Peak 25% Window
774 cd/m²
HDR Peak 50% Window
431 cd/m²
HDR Peak 100% Window
353 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 2% Window
615 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 10% Window
774 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 25% Window
760 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 50% Window
425 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 100% Window
350 cd/m²
HDR ABL
0.050

Decent HDR peak brightness, though not as bright as high end TVs. The TV's local dimming effectively brightens highlights in dark scenes, as shown by our smaller window tests, yet its worst case brightness is still fairly bright. A plot of brightness over time is shown here. This brightness is a massive improvement over the M Series 2016, and though it is similar overall to the P Series 2016 the local dimming behavior is very different; the P Series dimmed the smaller windows rather than brightening them.

If you find HDR content too dim you can lower the TV's 'Gamma' setting. This doesn't affect bright white but will brighten everything else.

7.2
Picture Quality
Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
4.099 %
50% DSE
0.184 %
5% Std. Dev.
0.938 %
5% DSE
0.109 %

The gray uniformity is above average for this Vizio TV and is in the same ballpark as the 2016 M Series. Most of the issues come from the standard deviation being quite high and this is caused mostly from the sides and corners of the TV being darker than the rest of the screen. The 50% dirty screen effect test results is a bit higher than our good value number (0.165%), but dirty screen effect is minimal and is not too distracting.

When it comes to the 5% gray uniformity test, not many uniformity issues can be noticed besides a bit of a brighter edge at the bottom, but this is really not a problem at all since it is not noticeable while watching normal content.

4.2
Picture Quality
Viewing Angle
Color Shift
18 °
Brightness
30 °
Black Level
18 °

Bad viewing angle. Blacks turn grey and colors shift when the TV is viewed from even a small angle, while the brightness decreases at a more moderate angle. This is fairly typical of a VA panel, and is very similar to the M Series 2016.

8.7
Picture Quality
Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
0.625 %
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
0.928 %

The black uniformity of the 2017 M Series is excellent and it is an upgrade when compared to the 2016 models. Besides a bit of clouding in the bottom right and the top left corners, the rest of the screen is very even, which is great especially for dark scenes in movies.

With local dimming turned on, the uniformity is a bit worse since there is blooming around the middle white cross while the rest of the screen is mostly black. Note that in this test, we don't measure the black level of the screen, but rather the whole uniformity of the black. So even if the overall picture taken for the black uniformity with local dimming seems to have deeper black, the central blooming affects the final result.

7.1
Picture Quality
Reflections
Screen Finish
Semi-gloss
Total Reflections
6.3 %
Indirect Reflections
0.9 %

The M Series 2017 is good at handling reflections. The semi-gloss finish diffuses reflections across the screen, reducing their intensity. This is very similar to the 2016 Vizio M Series and should be fine for an average room. In a bright room, reflections may be distracting though.

8.4
Picture Quality
Pre Calibration
Picture Mode
Calibrated Dark
White Balance dE
2.14
Color dE
2.02
Gamma
2.20
Color Temperature
6167 K

Out of the box, the Vizio M Series 2017 has a great accuracy. The white balance dE is under 3, which very good since most people would not even notice it. The gamma is on our 2.2 target, but the overall gamma curve has some imperfections, but once again this would not be very problematic.

When it comes to the color accuracy, once again, the color dE is under 3, which is very good and most people could use the TV as-is and would not notice the little imperfections. Most of the issues here are because of the white points being a bit off and as a result of this, the overall dE of all the other colors are affected.

9.6
Picture Quality
Post Calibration
Picture Mode
Calibrated Dark
White Balance dE
0.13
Color dE
1.08
Gamma
2.20
Color Temperature
6502 K

The calibration of the Vizio M Series 2017 was very easy to do and the whole process did not take very long. The 2 and 10 points white balance calibration is fairly responsive. The use of the smartcast remote app is a big plus when it comes to the calibration and it makes the whole process much faster.

After calibration the white balance dE is only of 0.13, which is almost perfect. With the color space management system provided by this Vizio TV, the color dE was cut in half, which is a really good result. The blue imperfections are very minimal and will not affect normal content.

Looking at the gamma, the curve was flattened to track more closely our target, which in the end is excellent.

Note: At the beginning of the calibration process, we encountered a bug that makes the 10 point white balance calibration inaccessible. A firmware update occurred during the review process and seems to have taken care of this bug and as a result, we could finalize the calibration process without any problems.

You can see our calibration settings here

7.0
Picture Quality
480p Input

Low-quality content such as DVDs look a bit worse than most other TVs. Some straight lines appear choppy.

7.0
Picture Quality
720p Input

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

9.0
Picture Quality
1080p Input

Upscaling of 1080p content such as Blu-rays is good. Details remain clear and the image is sharp.

10
Picture Quality
4k Input

No issues can be seen with native 4k content.

Update 03/12/2018: We have received reports of different panels in the 50" Model (M50-E1). One reader has an offset sub-pixel arrangement which can result in a less-accurate 4k image, especially when used as a PC monitor as the sub-pixels are nonstandard. For another reader the same model of TV has a regular sub-pixel arrangement, which is unlikely to have these issues. There may be a panel lottery in this size.

7.5
Picture Quality
Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
Yes
DCI P3 xy
81.60 %
DCI P3 uv
88.29 %
Rec 2020 xy
60.45 %
Rec 2020 uv
70.01 %

Wide color gamut, much wider than the M Series 2016 and very similar to the P Series 2016, but not as wide as many other high end TVs. Saturated red, blue and green all fall short of their targets, with green being the worst which is typical for modern TVs. The accuracy of the colors the TV can produce is not very good, as it severely undersaturates the lighter shades.

The TV's HDR EOTF most closely follows the PQ curve when the 'Gamma' setting is 2.4. This isn't actually gamma 2.4 as gamma is meaningless in HDR, but the 'Gamma' setting in HDR does raise and lower the EOTF. At the default 'Gamma' of 2.2 everything is brightened too much, as seen in this plot. However because HDR content is mastered for a dark room, you should lower the gamma (making the picture brighter) to suit the brightness of your room. The above two EOTFs were measured in the accurate 'Calibrated Dark' picture mode; the EOTF for the Computer picture mode with 'Gamma' 2.4 is here, and is identical to that of 'Calibrated Dark.

6.1
Picture Quality
Color Volume
Normalized DCI P3 Coverage ITP
77.9 %
10,000 cd/m² DCI P3 Coverage ITP
40.7 %
Normalized Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
43.1 %
10,000 cd/m² Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
22.6 %

Mediocre color volume. The P3 volume is good, only really limited by the TV's color gamut and black level. The test was done with local dimming enabled, but still the black level never reached true black on our black-with-white-border slide. The P3 volume is fairly similar to that of the P Series 2016.

Looking at the Rec 2020 volume, fully saturated blues and reds are nowhere near as bright as they should be, blues especially. The E Series 2017 has a similar problem with saturated blue, but not red, and the M Series 2016 had no such issue.

8.4
Picture Quality
Gradient
Color Depth
10 Bit
Red (Std. Dev.)
0.096 dE
Green (Std. Dev.)
0.107 dE
Blue (Std. Dev.)
0.086 dE
Gray (Std. Dev.)
0.094 dE

The Vizio M Series 2017 performs similarly as the 2016 version with the exception that we did not notice any banding normally seen on 8-bit panel. Comparing to other 10-bit TVs tested before, there are more issues is the shades, even in the lighter color, which usually are free of banding. Luckily, we did not notice too many issues while watching normal content during the review process.

10
Picture Quality
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 %

The Vizio M Series 2017 does not have any image retention. Looking at our test picture taken right after the 10 minutes burn-in scene, no retention could be seen with the naked eye and detected by the computer analysis. This is a perfect result and it is in line with other VA panel TVs.

10
Picture Quality
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.

Picture Quality
Pixels

Update 03/12/2018: We have received reports of different panels in the 50" Model (M50-E1). One reader has an offset sub-pixel arrangement which can result in a less-accurate 4k image, especially when used as a PC monitor as the sub-pixels are nonstandard. For another reader the same model of TV has a regular sub-pixel arrangement, which is unlikely to have these issues. There may be a panel lottery in this size.

Motion
7.8
Motion
Response Time
80% Response Time
6.6 ms
100% Response Time
18.3 ms

The response time of the M Series 2017 is good, which results in great motion blur performance. Only a short trail can be seen following moving objects.

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

The M Series 2017 uses PWM at 480Hz to dim the backlight, starting at 99/100 backlight setting, but at that frequency it isn't really noticeable. Lowering the setting shortens the duty cycle, while amplitude remains constant until very low backlight settings.

9.2
Motion
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

It is possible to enable 'Clear Action' to reduce the PWM frequency to 60Hz, and this helps to clear-up eye tracking persistence blur significantly, but produces a visible flicker. Note that the BFI option isn't available for HDR content as it reduces the brightness of the screen significantly.

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

This TV has a 60Hz panel and is unable to interpolate lower frame rate content. Fans of the soap opera effect may be disappointed. During testing, the option did appear in the 'Smartcast' app but is not selectable, the presence of this option is likely a bug as it doesn't appear on the on-screen menu.

8.2
Motion
Stutter
Frame Hold Time @ 24 fps
23.4 ms
Frame Hold Time @ 60 fps
0.0 ms

The Vizio M Series 2017 is great at displaying all types of content without stutter. The response time of the display helps to smooth the transition between frames, which produces a smoother overall image. This is true for movies, video games and sports.

7.8
Motion
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 2016 M Series, only 24p movies playing from 24p sources like DVD and Blu-ray players are judder free on the M series 2017. Judder is present in 24p movies playing via 60p/60i sources like cable/satellite boxes.

To remove judder from 24p movies playing from 24p sources, simply turn on the 'Pure Cinema' option from the picture setting menu.

0
Motion
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
VRR Supported Connectors
N/A

The Vizio M Series 2017 has a 60Hz panel, and doesn't support any variable refresh rate implementation. This is normal behavior for 2017 TVs.

Inputs
7.0
Inputs
Input Lag
1080p @ 60Hz
49.3 ms
1080p @ 60Hz + HDR
49.4 ms
1080p @ 60Hz Outside Game Mode
66.0 ms
1080p @ 120Hz
N/A
4k @ 60Hz
47.3 ms
4k @ 60Hz + HDR
47.8 ms
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
47.3 ms
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4 + 8 bit HDR
47.1 ms
4k @ 60Hz Outside Game Mode
63.9 ms
4k With Interpolation
N/A
4k @ 120 Hz
N/A
4k with Variable Refresh Rate
N/A
1080p with Variable Refresh Rate
N/A

Low input lag, which should be good enough for most people but competitive gamers may be disappointed. Unlike the 2016 M series this TV doesn't have a low latency port, so all ports measured the same for input lag. The picture mode doesn't matter for input lag, only the 'Game Low Latency' toggle matters, which can be activated in any picture mode. This input lag is nearly identical to that of the E Series 2017.

Aside: We measure input lag using the industry standard Leo Bodnar tool, connected to an HDFury Linker and Integral to change the resolution of the signal for the different tests. However when we tested using the Leo Bodnar tool alone, we measured ~29 ms, which is much lower than was measured using the HDFury chain. This is the only TV we've measured where the input lag from the tool was different than the input lag from the whole chain, because the Linker and Integral add less than 0.1 ms of lag each. To confirm our results we tested the input lag several times using the two screen method and TVs whose input lag was already known. All these tests measured an input lag between 40 and 43 ms, confirming our previous result of ~40 ms. This shows that our input lag results are valid for typical sources like game consoles and PCs.

Update 01/23/2018: Retested input lag with the latest firmware (3.4.8.15). Input lag is ~9 ms higher across the board; this is also the case with the E Series 2017 and HDMI port 1 on the P Series 2017. The review has been updated.

6.7
Inputs
Supported Resolutions
1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
Yes
1080p @ 120Hz
No
1440p @ 60Hz
No
4k @ 30Hz @ 4:4:4
Yes
4k @ 60Hz
Yes
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
Yes
4k @ 120Hz
No

Most of the common resolutions are supported, except 120 Hz because this is a 60 Hz panel. 4:4:4 color is only displayed properly in the Computer picture mode. Only HDMI port 1 supports 4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:2:2 or 4:4:4 color, and only when 'Full UHD Color' is enabled for that port.

Inputs
Side Inputs
Inputs
Rear Inputs
Inputs
Total Inputs
HDMI 4
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

Like the 2016 model, the Vizio M Series 2017 doesn't have a TV tuner.

Inputs
Inputs Specifications
HDR10
Yes
Dolby Vision
Yes
HLG
Yes
3D
No
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 (HDMI 1)
HDMI 2.1 Full Bandwidth
No
ARC
Yes (HDMI 1)
USB 3.0
No
HDCP 2.2 Yes (HDMI 1,2,3,4)
CEC Yes
MHL No
Variable Analog Audio Out Yes
Wi-Fi Support Yes (2.4 GHz, 5 GHz)

Update 07/14/2017: Variable analog audio out is supported, there was an error in the review.

Sound Quality
6.3
Sound Quality
Frequency Response
Low-Frequency Extension