VIZIO Hitting the High-Def Notes

VIZIO is known for affordable televisions, but they're adding features and specs to a newly announced product line that should start the big name brands to take a look. Three new sets were introduced, all 1080p resolution and 120 Hz processing. Two are LCD, one is plasma, and all have a new stylish look with piano-black bezels.

The two LCD models are the SV470XVT, which is the 47-inch model, and the 42-inch SV420VXT. Both have 1080p resolution and 120Hz refresh rates. They have SRS Labs' TruSurround XT audio processing, and are compatible with VIZIO's SV5.1 surround sound upgrade package. They come with a good universal remote with picture-in-picture keys. Both have two HDMI v1.3 inputs including an HD Game Port access on the side panel in addition to two more HDMI inputs on the back.

Vp505 The VP505XVT is the plasma model. It has full 1080p resolution on its 50-inch screen. VIZIO claims it has superior color, higher contrast ratios, longer panel life, and fast refresh rates. The VP505XVT uses Silicon Optix's REON HQV processing for noise reduction, and it allows for full HD picture-in-picture. Panel life is listed at 60,000 - 100,000 hours and the contrast ratio is 30,000:1. It has the same SRS Lab's sound processing and it's compatible with the 5.1 upgrade package. It has a total of four HDMI inputs: two on the side, two on the rear panel. It will be for sale beginning in July for $1699.99.

All three are available at club stores such as Costco and Sam's Club in addition to the more traditional Circuit City, Sears, and Wal-Mart.

When looking for a value system, VIZIO's three new options are worth a second look. -Leslie Shapiro