Are 1080p TVs on their way out? Apparently not and there are more than just a couple of reasons too. Head to your favorite movie streaming website or online Blu-ray store and you will see the latest and greatest movie titles available in glorious 1080p. Content providers are looking to bring 4K to the mainstream in the upcoming years but this move will only push the prices of 1080p displays down even further. As impressive as 4K displays and content are, it doesn’t make 1080p look awful and outdated. In fact, some people may have a hard time telling the difference between the two resolutions. This puts VIZIO at a huge advantage because the California-based company makes a living selling ridiculously cheap TVs that ticks all the essential boxes. The VIZIO E70-C3 and the rest of the E-series displays are proof that this trend isn’t slowing down.
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About the VIZIO E70-C3
The E70-C3 is the company’s largest 1080p TV in the 2015 E-series. Although VIZIO doesn’t explain outright what “E” means, it has a lot of traits that begin with the letter. It the entry-level model, it is easy to use and it is priced low enough for virtually everybody on a tight budget. This isn’t the first 70-inch E-series model as the VIZIO E70-C3 effectively replaces the VIZIO E700i-B3 and it actually has a couple of notable improvements. It also a bit more advanced than the smaller TVs. For instance, local dimming is only exclusive to the 40-inch models and above.
The TV is black all around with no accents and the bezel is quite thin. From the side, the TV looks pretty thick and while it shouldn’t be noticeable since you’ll be watching TV from the center, this particular model isn’t exactly centerpiece material in the living room.
Comparison with the VIZIO E700i-B3
VIZIO simplified its model scheme making it more obvious that the E70-C3 is an entry-level 70-inch VIZIO TV. It also looks different than the previous model as the VIZIO E70-C3 now has a more minimalistic design with two stands on the sides. This arrangement makes the TV look more like a whiteboard and it adds stability but you will need a surface around the same width as the TV itself.
While the smart TV interface hasn’t changed, the performance is a bit better thanks to the new V6 processor which has dual-core CPU and quad-core GPU. This is the same processor used in the current M-series and is only exclusive to the E65-C3 and E70-C3 so going big on the entry-level is worthwhile. Other than that, the VIZIO E70-C3 has some minor picture quality improvements.
The E70-C3 features a relatively simple smart TV interface. Press the VIZIO logo button conveniently positioned at the center of the remote and you will see a basic navigational strip filled with tiles representing apps. It is nice to see the VIZIO E70-C3 employing the same interface as the pricier models so you don’t really miss out on online streaming. There are apps available from Hulu to Spotify and many popular services in-between. It is easy to use and easy to find more apps from the full screen interface. Fans of Amazon, Netflix and iHeartRadio can also use the dedicated buttons on the top of the remote to launch these apps without going through menus. If you have a smartphone, you can also browse content on YouTube or Netflix and use the second-screen feature to play the content directly to the TV wirelessly.
The E70-C3 has outstanding 1080p picture quality for the price with good contrast and decent overall visibility regardless of the ambient lighting. The Active LED Zones remain as the key ingredient to achieving really good picture quality and it is best to leave it on as there are 16 of these zones that independently dim to create a more realistic picture. Highlights are not as bright compared to an M-series TV since those TVs have more local dimming zones but for the price, the picture still looks very impressive. The VIZIO E70-C3 even managed to get the color accuracy right. Movie fantastic and gamers will definitely appreciate this TV and it comes complete with 240 Hz refresh rate. Although the V6 processor does help with the performance, the M-series and P-series TVs still perform faster and feel smoother.
• Great picture quality.
• LED local dimming really pushes the contrast boundaries.
• Same basic and simple smart TV interface as the pricier models.
• Ridiculously inexpensive.
• No longer a single-stand design making it impossible to place on narrow cabinets.
• TV looks thick from the side.
If you don’t care about 4K and you are sure you won’t in the next couple of years, the E70-C3 is the best choice especially if it fits in your living room. It represents the very best of the E-series and possibly the best of 1080p TVs in general if you don’t care about extra features.