The quest for a great and highly affordable TV is a difficult one because in addition to the many highly advanced HDTVs and 4K displays that manufacturers make, there is a growing sea of budget 1080p models across a wide spectrum of sizes. Prices of 4K TVs are falling and 1080p models are dropping even further. It is a great year to be in the Blu-ray age and even though 4K content is on the rise, it will take several years before 1080p feels old and obsolete. Any casual movie or gaming lover should settle on a 1080p display especially if you want to go for a big screen without spending far too much. VIZIO is making the 1080p realm even more attractive by undercutting the competition with displays like the VIZIO E65-C3.
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About the VIZIO E65-C3
The E65-C3 is one of the several members of the E-series family of VIZIO TVs for 2015. VIZIO’s TV families are pretty easy to understand as it currently consists of the E-series, M-series and P-series with the E-series being the entry-level family. There is a similar 65-inch model in that series known as the VIZIO M652i-B2 but it is the older model. If “best bang for your buck” is what you are looking for, it is important to look at the VIZIO E65-C3 before any other member of the current E-series as it possesses some very unique characteristics.
First, the E65-C3 is the second largest display of the family and the big 65-inch screen is definitely bigger than your average 55-inch LCD display and the bezels are pretty thin making the TV look bigger. The design doesn’t say much and lacks premium flair but the 1080p more than makes up for it.
Second, the VIZIO E65-C3 is the smallest and cheapest display in the E-series with the best that the E-series has to offer. It has the most active dimming zones and a 120 Hz panel refresh rate with the latter being required if you want to enable the “soap opera effect”. Unlike the smaller models which have 2 or 3 HDMI inputs, the E65-C3 has 4 HDMI inputs and that is normally the standard allowing you to set up a fairly beefy home theater system.
Comparison with the VIZIO M652i-B2
The most noticeable difference between the VIZIO E65-C3 and its predecessor is the stand. The previous model had a basic horizontal stand that wasn’t the most stable. The E65-C3 opts for two stands on the sides making the display look more like a big bulletin board. These two stands do add stability but you need to make sure the table or cabinet is long enough to support the TV.
Inside the VIZIO E65-C3 is a new V6 processor which makes the smart TV interface a little bit faster. It surprisingly has 6 cores although 4 of the cores are for the GPU while the remaining 2 are for the CPU. It doesn’t directly affect the picture quality but the VIZIO E65-C3 does have slightly better quality than the older E-series model.
The remote control and smart TV interface remains unchanged and that’s fine because the interface is simple enough for just about everyone to understand. The VIZIO logo button found on the remote brings up a simple app bar where you can pick apps like Netflix, YouTube and Hulu and launch them. There are a few other free apps you can download although the selection isn’t as great as other TVs running real operating systems. There is this neat second-screen feature that lets you beam content to the TV from a smartphone. Few apps including YouTube and Netflix support this feature.
The more active dimming zones a VIZIO TV has, the more precise is the TV’s ability to optimize the contrast based on the content. This means that the M-series and P-series still produce better picture quality since there are 32 or more active dimming zones, but the 16 zones found in the E65-C3 isn’t bad and far better than the fewer dimming zones found in smaller TVs. Contrast levels, blacks and color accuracy look considerably better than other 65-inch displays in the same price range. Its main weakness is the poor speakers.
• Great contrast levels and color accuracy.
• More HDMI ports and better refresh rate than the smaller E-series models.
• Simple bloat-free smart TV interface.
• Priced at under $1,000
• Smart TV interface might be too basic and slow for some.
• Poor audio quality.
The VIZIO E65-C3 is simply one of the best smart TVs ever made. You could go for a 55-inch VIZIO M-series model and save a bit while getting the 4K benefits and other extra features but a 65-inch TV will impress bigger audiences and families. Even if you can afford a bigger model, a 65-inch is the sweet spot for large displays and you can use the savings to buy a nice sound bar and/or set-top box so you have a great all-around home entertainment system.