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.
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.
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"
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.
The borders of this year's Vizio M65-F0 are thin and metal. However, there is a thick bezel around the screen.
The maximum thickness of the Vizio M65-F0 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.
The Vizio M Series 2018 has a very uniform and relatively cool temperature footprint.
The build quality is good for this Vizio M65-F0. 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.
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.
The contrast ratio of the Vizio M Series 2018 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.
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'.
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 (18.104.22.168) and it remains the same.
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 (22.214.171.124) and it remains the same.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The VVizio M65-F0 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
No image retention is present on the Vizio M65-F0. This is in line with TVs that use VA panels.
We don't expect VA panels to experience permanent image retention, as the VA panel in our long-term test appears immune.
The Vizio M Series 2018 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.
The Vizio M65-F0 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 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.
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 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.
The Vizio M65-F0 does not have a motion interpolation feature unlike most TVs we have reviewed.
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.
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
The Vizio M-Series 2018 does not support any of the variable refresh rate technologies, including AMD's Freesync 2.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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,
The distortion performance of the Vizio M65-F0 is decent. The overall amount of THD produced is within decent limits at 80dB SPL, and there is not a big jump in THD at maximum volume either. However, this TV doesn't get very loud.
The Vizio M Series 65 uses the Vizio SmartCast smart interface. The selection of smart features is very basic, the main attraction is the built-in Chromecast media streaming device, which allows you to stream files from just about anything. There is a small selection of built-in apps that cover the basics, but there is no app store and no way to add additional functionality.