The Vizio P Series 2017 is a mid-range LED TV with excellent picture quality in a dark room. It's exactly the same as the P Series 2016, but it comes with a standard remote instead of an android tablet. Mostly thanks to its great local dimming, the P Series can produce very deep blacks. It's a great gaming TV too thanks to its low input lag and motion blur. Unfortunately, though, its picture quality degrades when viewed from an angle, and its input lag is a bit high with HDR content.
The design of the P Series 2017 is simple, and the same as the previous year's P Series 2016. It has a wide metal stand, which supports the TV well but requires a large table. It is stable, and most of the inputs can be easily accessed if wall mounted. It looks quite good, but won't stand out as much as some other high-end TVs such as the MU9000 or SJ8500.
The TV gets a little warm to the touch along the top edge and in a few places on the back, but this isn't a problem. There are air vents along the top and bottom of the TV that keep it cool.
The Vizio P 2017 LED TV has a good picture quality. The impressive contrast ratio and outstanding black uniformity make for a great dark room performance and with its deep blacks, dark scenes reproduction is excellent. When set in a bright room, the very good SDR peak brightness and its great capacity to deal with reflection mean that the Vizio P 2017 is also a very good option. The gray uniformity could be better though and those who are sensitive to dirty screen effect might notice it, especially in a sport like ice hockey. The viewing angle is poor and relegates the best picture quality to a narrow zone right in front of the TV. Finally, HDR looks great on the 2017 Vizio P thanks to the wide color gamut, high HDR peak brightness, and great local dimming.
Great native contrast ratio for the 2017 Vizio P TV. This high native contrast ratio means that dark scenes will be displayed really well and with really deep blacks, especially when the TV is set in a dark room.
When the local dimming is turned on, the contrast ratio nearly doubles, which is even better. This is a clear sign that the local dimming is very effective. The black level is literally cut in half, which is great for HDR content, especially HDR movies.
The Vizio P 2017 has a great local dimming. In fact, it is the same as the 2016 Vizio P, since the TV is essentially the same. Overall, the local dimming does a good job limiting the blooming around our moving highlight, but similarly, as the 2016 version, it still dims the moving highlight too much, especially when transiting from one dimming zone to another. Fortunately, this is less obvious when watching movies and we recommend to turn on the local dimming feature, named 'Active LED Zones' on this Vizio TV.
Great SDR peak brightness. The TV's great ~500 cd/m² brightness is only marred by how its local dimming dims the smaller white windows. This means darker scenes will be more dim than intended.
Because of this local dimming behavior the overall brightness is less than the Sony X900E, which has similar real scene brightness. The P Series 2016 has similar brightness and behavior to the 2017; even though the 2017 is a little dimmer in every test, this is within panel variation between units of the same TV, and isn't noticeable in person.
Decent HDR peak brightness, but not as good as it could be because of the TV's local dimming behavior. Most TVs with local dimming make highlights brighter than their full screen white brightness, however the Vizio P dims highlights in even normal scenes, so its full screen white is its highest brightness. Because of this highlights in dim scenes will be much less bright than intended.
Because of this behavior the overall brightness is less than the X900E, which has a similar full screen white brightness. The P Series 2016 has similar brightness and behavior to the 2017 model; though the 2017 is a little less bright in every test, this is within unit variation for the same TV, and isn't noticeable in person.
Update 08/01/2017: In HDR the 'Backlight' setting doesn't change the peak brightness, but changes the brightness of everything else, as explained in the Color Gamut section of the review. Backlight 50 is recommended for a dark room and Backlight 100 is recommended for a bright room.
The Vizio P 2017 gray uniformity could be better. The corners and sides are all a bit darker than the center, with some faint darker vertical band also visible in the center. Luckily, the vertical bands in the center are not very visible while watching normal content since they are just a bit darker than the average of the screen. Dirty screen effect is visible very slightly and not very annoying.
Looking at our 5% gray uniformity test picture, you can see that both sides are slightly brighter, but this is only a result of the narrow viewing angle.
Poor viewing angle, though average for a TV with a VA panel. Blacks turn grey and colors shift when the TV is viewed from a small angle, while brightness decreases at a more moderate angle. This TV isn't well suited for a room where people often view the TV from the side.
The 55" Vizio P uses an IPS panel with a much better viewing angle, but worse picture quality when viewed from straight in front.
Outstanding black uniformity for the Vizio P Series 2017. The native black uniformity (when the local dimming is turned off) is very good and the overall screen blacks are very uniform. There is not any visible clouding or flashlighting near the corners or sides, which is very good.
When the local dimming is turned on, there is some blooming around the center white cross, but once again, it is very limited and we can clearly see that the local dimming implementation is very good on the 2017 Vizio P.
The reflection handling of the P Series 2017 is good. It has a semi-gloss finish which reduces the intensity of reflection by diffusing them across the screen, but also causes ambient glare to raise the perceived black level. This should be fine for most rooms but may be an issue in an especially bright living room.
The Vizio P 2017 has a great accuracy out of the box when the TV is set to the 'Calibrated Dark' picture mode and with the 'Normal' color temperature. It is still a bit warm on the 'Normal' color temperature, but it is far more accurate than the 2 other color temperature available ('Computer' and 'Cool'). As is, this TV could be used by almost anyone without the need to do a calibration
Overall, the white balance dE is not bad as it is just a bit over the 3.0 mark, which is where enthusiasts would begin to notice the inaccuracy. As for the gamma, it is tracking very closely our 2.2 target, which is great. Finally, the color dE is very reasonable and should not really be a problem as is, unless you are a professional who has already worked with other calibrated monitors or TVs.
After calibration, the Vizio P Series 2017 is very accurate and if not almost perfect. The white balance control works well and is accurate and precise, as each IRE control points does not affect the adjacent points. which can happen on some TV and make the whole calibration process a pain to do. The color space management ('Color Tuner') is also very effective and the whole color dE was brought down to 0.97, which at this level, any inaccuracies are almost unnoticeable. Finally, the gamma curve was flattened to track our 2.2 target almost right on.
You can find our calibration settings here.
Upscaling of low-quality content such as DVDs is a bit more blocky than other TVs, similar to the Vizio P Series 2016.
Wide HDR color gamut, though not as wide as the Sony X900E and many high end TVs. Our color gamut tests are done at a 75% stimulus brightness; at this high brightness the Vizio P sacrifices color saturation in order to make colors brighter. This is visible as terrible color accuracy in both color gamut images. The same P3 and 2020 tests done at a 50% stimulus brightness show much better color accuracy, because the TV can easily reach this brightness.
Update 08/01/2017: It was found that changing the 'Backlight' setting in HDR changes the EOTF and doesn't actually change the peak brightness. At Backlight 100 (shown here with local dimming on and off) the EOTF is much brighter than the PQ curve, which is good for bright rooms. At Backlight 50 (local dimming on, off) the EOTF follows the PQ curve very well, which is good for dark rooms. At Backlight 50 the 'Game' and 'Computer' picture mode EOTFs (local dimming on) follow the PQ curve very well.
Okay color volume, but mostly limited by the color gamut and black level. The TV's great local dimming lets it extend its wide color gamut to a large range of brightnesses. One problem though is how the DCI P3 color gamut narrows drastically at very high brightness values, as the TV sacrifices color saturation to make them brighter. This is most visible in the P3 image in our Color Gamut section. This will mean that the colors of very bright highlights will look a little washed out.
The gradient is very smooth with only some small imperfection in the darker shades of colors, but this is nothing really problematic overall. 8-bit banding is not visible since this is a 10-bit panel. The performance is almost the same as the Vizio P Series 2016.
Perfect result four our image retention test for the 2017 Vizio P. This result is in line with most LED TVs that use a VA panel.
We don't expect VA panels to experience permanent image retention, as the VA panel in our long-term test appears immune.
The pixel structure looks identical to the P Series 2016.
The motion handling of the Vizio P Series 2017 is great. The response time is very fast, so only a short trail of blur can be seen following moving objects. The TV uses PWM flicker at 120 Hz to dim, which reduces the smoothness of motion compared to TVs that reduce backlight intensity to dim, but most people won't notice it. The P Series 2017 can play movies at 24p from a DVD or BluRay player without judder, but some minor judder is present from other 60Hz sources. The TV uses a 120 Hz panel and is able to interpolate lower frame rate content.
The response time of the P Series 2017 is very good, resulting in a short trail following moving objects. This is great when watching fast-moving content. This result is very similar to the P Series 2016.
The TV uses PWM at 120Hz to dim the backlight, starting at 99/100 backlight setting. Lowering the setting shortens the duty cycle, while amplitude remains constant. Backlight that uses PWM results in duplications following moving objects, but it does help to clear up motion slightly.
It is possible to reduce the flicker frequency to 60 Hz by enabling the 'Clear Action' setting. If you don't mind the visible flicker produced by this option, it helps to clear up fast moving content. The Vizio P 2017 increases backlight amplitude when Clear Action is enabled, which helps keep screen brightness constant even while using Black Frame Insertion.
The P Series 2017 can interpolate lower frame rate content using its 120 Hz panel. To add the soap opera effect to 60 fps content, increase the 'Reduce Motion Blur' slider. The 'Reduce Judder' slider is used to interpolate 30 fps content. Note that any motion interpolation will introduce artifacts, so use a small value unless you really like the soap opera effect.
The Vizio P Series 2017 can display 60fps content without stutter, but stutter may be visible with 24p movies - especially if they have wide panning shots. This is a result of the fast response time, which results in very little blur to smooth between frames.
The Vizio P Series 2017 can display 24p movies without judder when movies are played from 24p sources, like DVD and Blu-ray players, or from the native apps, and this without the need to turn on any related option. When 24p movies are played either from a 60p or 60i sources (like cable or satellite boxes), The TV can't remove completely judder as seen in this picture even when 'Pure Cinema' is turned on. This is a bit odd, as the 2016 Vizio P Series was able to remove judder without issues with the previous firmware. This may be a firmware issue and we will keep track of it and update the results of the test if it is fixed in the future.
Update 10/31/2017: With the latest firmware (22.214.171.124) judder is still present from 60Hz signals, even with 'Pure Cinema' enabled.
Update 01/17/2018: Judder has been retested with the latest firmware (126.96.36.199), and remains unchanged.
The Vizio P Series 2017 has a 120Hz panel without support for more advanced features such as FreeSync.
The Vizio P can play almost any content, including HDR. It has excellent low input lag for SDR content, but only okay input lag for HDR content. It doesn't have an internal tuner, so cord cutters will need to buy an external tuner like this one to connect an antenna.
Excellent low input lag for SDR content, but only okay input lag for HDR content. HDMI port 5 is a low bandwidth port that doesn't support HDR, but has much lower input lag than the other ports, making it excellent for SDR gaming. We conducted all tests on HDMI ports 1, 2 and 5: ports 1 and 2 have identical input lag within variance, but port 5 has much lower lag for all resolutions that it can support, including 4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:2:0. These results are almost identical to last year's P Series 2016.
|1080p @ 60 Hz||46.0||45.3||16.0|
|out of game mode||129.3||128.6||82.6|
|4k @ 60 Hz||44.0||43.3||15.9|
|+ 4:4:4 + 8 bit HDR||43.7||43.2||N/A|
|out of game mode||127.3||126.5||82.6|
Update 09/20/2017: Tested 1080p @ 120 Hz input lag using our new input lag tool on HDMI port 5. It is ~4 ms faster than the 1080p @ 60 Hz input lag, which is due to the faster scan time of a 120 Hz signal.
Update 01/23/2018: Retested input lag with the latest firmware (188.8.131.52). HDMI port 5 is unaffected, but the input lag of HDMI port 1 is ~9 ms higher across the board when 'Game Low Latency' is enabled. This was also the case with the M Series 2017 and the E Series 2017 on the same firmware.
All common resolutions are supported on HDMI ports 1-4, and most on port 5.
Port 5: 4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4 or 4:2:2 color is not supported (not enough bandwidth). HDR is also not supported. 4:4:4 color is shown properly in any picture mode.
Ports 1-4: 4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4 or 4:2:2 is only supported when 'Full UHD Color' is enabled for the port being used. 4:4:4 color is only shown properly in the 'Computer' picture mode.
HDMI port 5 does not support HDR or HDMI 2.0 full bandwidth. To passthrough DTS or Dolby Digital depending on the content, set 'Digital Audio Out' to 'Bitstream' in the sound options.
The Vizio P Series 2017 like most TVs available today sounds mediocre. Intelligibility is not an issue, but a set of speakers or even a soundbar will be an improvement to the audio experience.
Average frequency response. Bass extension is quite poor, and the response is a bit uneven overall. At Barely 89dB SPL, it isn't a very loud TV either.
Subpar distortion levels. Across all volumes, the Vizio P Series shows more distortion than average. They skyrocket at maximum volume with a noticeable peak at 1.5KHz.
The P Series 2017 runs Vizio's SmartCast platform, which has an amazing phone and tablet app with full control over the TV, and great app casting support, but still nascent built-in app support. The highlight of the platform is the SmartCast app for phones and tablets, which has full control over the TV: the app can change all settings, switch inputs, and act as the TV's remote. Phones and tablets can also cast content from nearly any app to the TV. In addition to app casting support, SmartCast was recently updated to add built-in app support, but currently very few apps are supported and all animations are choppy. The update also added proper USB drive support, so files can be browsed and played like on other smart platforms, but HDR files are still not displayed properly. Cable and antenna channels can't be viewed without using an external tuner like this one, because the TV lacks a built-in tuner. Despite these limitations the TV is still very usable as a smart TV, especially when used with a smartphone or tablet.
Update 06/18/2018: Removed the SmartCast version number, as it was discovered that the previous version number (3.3) was in fact the version of the TV's own firmware, and not the version of the SmartCast platform.
There is a side menu that can be accessed in any input, that contains all the TV's settings. It's fairly responsive and easy to use. There is also the app screen, accessed through the 'SmartCast' input, that only contains a few apps and has very choppy animations. Because the app screen is treated as another input and has no dedicated remote button, clicking through all the other input to get to it takes a bit of time.
Neither the TV's interface or the phone and tablet app have ads. The TV's main app page does have a scrolling banner for suggested content, which can be a little annoying.
The TV can play content cast from most popular apps on a smartphone or tablet. In addition SmartCast was recently updated to support built-in apps, but currently on our unit only Netflix, Amazon Video, Hulu, Crackle, iHeartRadio, Xumo, Vudu and PlutoTV are available (not YouTube). More apps are expected to be added soon. Animations in apps and when browsing the interface are very choppy or have low frame rate, but the actions themselves don't have much lag.
Instead of the tablet remote of the Vizio P 2016, the 2017 P series has a full basic remote that can navigate the TV's new on screen interface. However the remote is very basic, offering only buttons and has no smart features at all.
The highlight of the SmartCast platform is the amazing phone and tablet app, which can do everything the physical remote can do and more. All the TV's settings can be changed in the app itself, inputs can be switched, the phone or tablet's keyboard can be used for text entry on the TV, and the app can serve as either a touchpad remote or button remote for the TV.
We tested the 65" (P65-E1). For the most part, we expect our review to be valid for the 75" (P75-E1) variant of the Vizio P Series 2017, but the 55" (P55-E1) has a few differences:
|Size||Model||LCD Type||Effective Refresh Rate||Real Refresh Rate||Local Dimming Zones|
|55"||P55-E1||IPS||240 Hz||120 Hz||126|
|65"||P65-E1||VA||240 Hz||120 Hz||128|
|75"||P75-E1||VA||240 Hz||120 Hz||128|
The P Series offers great picture quality at a competitive price, but it faces tough competition in its price. For a larger size though, it is a pretty good choice.
The Vizio P Series 2018 is somewhat better than the Vizio P Series 2017 in almost every usage. The P Series 2018 has lower input lag, which is great if you play video games or HDR games. It also has better reflection handling so you can place it in a room with many light sources without any issue. Finally, the Vizio P Series 2018 has a faster response time, thus you will notice only a small blur trail in the image when you watch fast action sports.
The Sony X900E is somewhat better than the Vizio P Series 2017. The Sony X900E has better upscaling which is important if you watch a lot of cable, and better gray uniformity. The Vizio P Series 2017, on the other hand, has a better input lag and a faster response time, which are important to those who play a lot of games. Finally, the Vizio P Series 2017 has better black frame insertion (BFI) which can result in a clearer image for gamers.
The Vizio P Series 2017 is significantly better than the Vizio M Series 2017. The P Series has lower input lag and lower response time, which is great if you play video games. The P Series has better local dimming and is equipped with motion interpolation for those who like the soap opera effect. Finally, the P Series is better suited for watching TV Shows in brighter rooms as it has higher brightness to fight glare and slightly better reflection handling.
The Vizio P Series 2017 is slightly better than the TCL 6 Series R617. The Vizio P Series 2017 is much better for watching movies as it has better local dimming and better black uniformity and also has better motion interpolation. The TCL R617 has better input lag which is great if you play video games or use the TV as a PC monitor. If you watch a lot of TV shows, the TCL has better upscaling and can handle reflections slightly better.
The TCL P607 is the highest performing model in TCL's range of products. Its picture quality isn't quite as good as the Vizio P Series 2017, but it is pretty close. It's brighter than the Vizio though, which is useful for HDR, and its input lag is significantly better with an HDR input. It's a few hundred dollars cheaper, so if you're looking for a more gaming oriented TV, the TCL P607 is a better choice over the P Series.
The Samsung MU9000 is a midrange model just under the QLED line from the Korean manufacturer. It features a great screen finish that helps make it a better pick over the Vizio P in brighter environmnents. Overall though, the Vizio P Series 2017 offers better picture quality in a dark room thanks to its local dimming and is generally better priced, so it's the better choice of the two.