Vizio M602i-B3 LCD/LED HDTV Page 2

The Vizio’s local-dimming backlight definitely worked magic with Blu-rays like 2001: A Space Odyssey and other reference-grade sci-fi space operas. In shots with starfields, pinpoints of light retained their brightness while the empty space beyond came across as a rich, inky black.

Another sorta sci-fi film, Her, provided many great examples of the Vizio’s black-level performance. As I watched the scene where Theodore first loads the OS1 operating system (his soon-to-be girlfriend) onto his computer, shadows in the dim apartment conveyed excellent depth, and there was plenty of detail in the futuristic furnishings. Lights from buildings in the background, seen through the apartment’s open windows, also helped give the Vizio’s picture a strong sense of 3D space.

One more thing that impressed me about the M602i-B3 as I watched Her was that even in dim light, colors like Theodore’s bright red-orange shirt and his pale magenta desk lamp came across realistically. The movie’s distinctive color scheme was definitely shown to advantage on the Vizio TV. For example, in a scene at Theodore’s workplace (, the wide range of hues lining the interior space gave it a vibrant, almost pulsing quality.

The M602i-B3 performed flawlessly on HD and SD video-processing tests. Its picture was also very uniform on both full-field test patterns and regular program material; during my time with the set, I didn’t encounter one instance of spotlights, screen clouding, or any other backlight-related issues. Off-axis screen uniformity was very good, with pictures retaining good contrast and color to around 20 degrees off from a center seat.

Zipping back to the question I posed at the beginning of this review: Does the M602i-B3’s 32 dimming zones make its black-level performance three times as good as that of Vizio’s 12-zone model? While I didn’t get a chance to do a direct comparison, that less expensive set was described in our review as having “impressive black level, excellent contrast, and good shadow detail.” All of those characterizations apply equally to the M602i-B3. Still, the E series set’s local dimming had an “oddity or two,” and I didn’t note anything odd about the M602i-B3’s performance. So maybe it’s not three times as good, but it’s definitely better.

To sum up, I’d say that at $1,250, Vizio’s 60-inch local-dimming LCD is an excellent HDTV for the money. Maybe not quite the bargain that the company’s 60-inch E series model represents at $900, but still damn good. And in a time when HDTVs are expected to do everything from search the Web via voice to let you Skype with relatives in other states, the M602i-B3’s simplicity and its focus on picture quality are a welcome change.

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gtgleeson's picture

I'm considering the 55-inch version for a kitchen area - the low-glare screen would be useful. How is the off-axis picture quality?

Al Griffin's picture
About average. You could sit about 20° off from center-screen before you'd notice contrast beginning to fade.
breakdancefightst's picture

How is the motion on this display. Since it employs a VA panel black levels and native contrast are normally impressive,but motion has never been a strong point. Did you notice any substantial overdrive trailing?

Al Griffin's picture
No, motion was fine.
notabadname's picture

I would be going Vizio had they not dropped 3D. I have a lot of 3D titles, and many continue to be released. Vizio is not for me now without that option. I understand why many dislike, but that doesn't change the fact many of us do, and there are many titles out there in 3D. I don't want my TV to dictate my choice, when Samsung, LG, Toshiba, Sharp and Sharp give the ability. Do I want to watch all my regular programing in 3D, heck no, but do I enjoy movie night, Like "Pacific Rim" in 3D? Oh yeah. Sorry Vizio, I've gotta buy somewhere else.

vgiovanniello's picture

I have read that 240 hz refresh rate for the M series is not accurate. Is there a lot of motion blur when watching fast action sports like football? Will the football flicker when it travels through the air? I am about ready to purchase this set in the 65" size but I am very concerned about the bad motion blur during football games. Thanks!!

EdL's picture

The perceived value (price) are enticing... This set was all good for about 6 months, then the intermittent freezing. Vizio replaced the main board, but a few months later it returned only to be followed by ghosting. Vizio required pictures that were hard to capture - because the problem is intermittent. Problems reported during the 1 year warranty period that are photographed 2 months after the warranty expired, are met with a we're sorry your warranty expired, but we can give you a good deal on another set or you can pay for your own repairs.

If you buy one please, please purchase an extended warranty.