Vizio 21:9 CinemaWide TV Finally Available

After what has seemed like an interminable wait, Vizio's 21:9 CinemaWide LED-LCD flat-panel TV is finally available to consumers at Vizio's website. With a native pixel resolution of 2560x1080, this XVT-series set is the first ultra-widescreen flat panel available in the US that displays 2.35:1 movies without black bars above and below the image.

In addition, it's fully 3D-capable using passive-polarized glasses rather than active-shutter glasses, which I'm starting to prefer, even though the vertical resolution presented to each eye is only 540 lines. Yes, I can see thin black horizontal lines under certain conditions—for example, light-colored letters on a dark background—but at the recommended seating distance, I don't normally notice these lines, and the overall detail is better than I would expect, probably because the brain combines both images into one stereoscopic image. And passive glasses are much lighter and less expensive than active-shutter glasses—in fact, the CinemaWide set ships with four pairs.

I'm more concerned that the set uses LED edgelighting rather than full-array backlighting, which typically results in poor uniformity in dark scenes. I only hope that there are LEDs along the top and bottom of the screen—I can't imagine how LEDs on the sides could fully illuminate the center of such a wide screen.

Of course, the CinemaWide set is also fully equipped with Vizio Internet Apps, which let you stream content from many different online providers as well as a variety of other applications such as Skype and Facebook. Plus, you can run apps next to a 16:9 image without intruding on that image as shown above. Built-in WiFi makes it easy to connect to the Internet—though I always prefer a wired connection if possible to eliminate any chance of interference—and the Bluetooth remote includes a full QWERTY keyboard.

The first CinemaWide set, dubbed XVT3D580CM, measures 58 inches diagonally and carries a list price of $2799, though that has been reduced to $2499 for a limited time. If you watch a lot of broadcast or streamed HDTV content, keep in mind that the 16:9 window is only 51 inches diagonally. Vizio plans to release a 71-inch version at some point in the future, and the 16:9 window on that set will measure 56 inches diagonally.

We expect to get the XVT3D580CM in for review very soon, and I recommend that potential buyers wait for that review before pulling the trigger. In particular, I'm eager to see how well the set scales 2.35:1 movies on Blu-ray, which have a native resolution of 1920x817. But if you're a cinephile who hates letterbox bars on a flat panel, CinemaWide could be the start of something big.

Boken's picture

Scaling the 1920x817 I think is the biggest issue here. Look forward to your review. I have been waiting for a TV like this. I much rather have black bars on the sides on non-cinemawide video than black bars on top and bottom for my movies.

Jarod's picture

Most agreed bout the black bars. Looking forward to the review. Like to see one in the wild too.

chilipalm's picture

Any update on a review yet?

Scott Wilkinson's picture
We were hoping to get this set in this week, but so far, it hasn't shown up.
maj0crk's picture

I'm REALLY surprised neither you nor Sound&Vision nor WideScreen Review haven't reviewed it. I, for one, am tired of countless 3D reviews, but each issue contains at least 1 such. Hey, CinemaWide is also 3d, ya know. If it's 3D you MUST have in order to review any set, CinemaWide has it. Lets get with it, HT guys!!!

stephenix1015's picture

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