Getting people to buy new TVs is getting increasingly difficult because today’s TVs are just so good for the average consumer to the point that there is very little reason to consider upgrading to newer models several years down the line. This is why some TV manufacturers are trying to tempt potential buyers by applying all sorts of gimmicks. Some companies prefer the curved screen approach while others are throwing in new LED technologies or smart TV experiences. VIZIO is more focused on value and isn’t buying into the gimmick train and that could be good for people that can’t afford to buy a fairly futuristic TV. The VIZIO M65-C1 is just one of the TVs available that is making a futureproof value proposition.
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About the VIZIO M65-C1
The M65-C1 is one of the several 4K VIZIO TVs in the company’s new 2015 M-series. Their new lineup is simple as there is one size per member. Although the VIZIO M65-C1 is a direct successor to the M652i-B2 model, it shares a few characteristics with last year’s P652ui-B2 which belongs in the more premium and pricier P-series. The M65-C1 sticks to the cheap side with a $1,699 price which is pretty impressive for a modern 4K TV. Unlike its P-series cousin, the VIZIO M65-C1 has a more typical design with silver edges and two aluminum feet making the TV a bit more stable but requiring a much wider surface.
Comparison with the VIZIO M652i-B2
The biggest difference between the older M652i-B2 and the M65-C1 is the screen resolution and the difference is pretty massive depending on what you watch. With 4 times the resolution of Full HD, the VIZIO M65-C1 is in-line with the other mainstream 4K displays. Those 8 million pixels really put images to life on a 65-inch display although it might still be difficult to tell the difference between a 1080p movie and a 4K one. But 4K becomes more useful if you are into high-end gaming or simply want to connect your home theater PC or laptop and enjoy plenty of desktop real estate.
The number of HDMI ports goes a bit beyond the norm with 5 ports available. To save on costs, only one of these ports possess the HDMI 2.0 specification and that’s fine because not all components really need the extra 4K 60p streaming. Plus, three of these ports have HDCP 2.2 copy protection which is a requirement for future 4K media. It has the right degree of futureproof without the kitchen sink.
The M65-C1 doesn’t just get the P-series’ 4K characteristic but it also acquires its widely-praised VIZIO Spatial Scaling Engine. This is the engine that is in charge of upscaling 720p and 1080p material to 4K resolution and the results look pretty close to actual 4K footage.
Under the hood, there are a couple of hardware enhancements as well. The VIZIO M65-C1 is powered by a six-core processor that mainly powers the 4K smart TV experience. It only has two CPU cores but four GPU cores although the smart TV remains pretty basic. Fans of local network streaming over Wi-Fi will also like the improved wireless performance. It uses dual-band Wi-Fi and now supports all those high-speed 802.11ac wireless routers which can deliver 3 times the speed of 802.11n connections.
The M65-C1 has a pretty low form of a smart TV interface but it is refreshingly simple which makes it more inviting. The app selection is limited but the essential services like Netflix, Spotify and Hulu Plus are there along with dozens of other apps. Amazon, iHeartRadio and Netflix apps can even be launched right from the remote control. The remote is backlit making it nice to use with the lights off and retains the same look and feel as the remote included with the VIZIO P-series TVs. The front of the remote looks cluttered but the rear has a nice QWERTY keyboard making it easy to input search queries and fill up login forms. Given the VIZIO M65-C1 lacks fancy features like voice and motion control, the keyboard is a fine addition.
Like the previous model the VIZIO M65-C1 has 32 Active LED Zones. The P652ui-B2 has double the amount but this full-array LED backlight technology is what makes the M65-C1 so special. With the feature enabled, the contrast ratio goes as high as 20 million to 1 with great black levels and a very balanced overall picture. The backlight can intelligently dim certain areas to achieve this natural effect and the best thing is that it improves all kinds of media from SD sources to 4K imagery.
• Fantastic image quality.
• Very affordable for a 4K display.
• Fast wireless performance
• Simplified interface
• More HDMI ports than the average TV.
• Basic design.
• Limited app selection.
The M65-C1 is a value leader in the 4K 65-inch TV category. Other than a few of those extra gimmick features and 3D support, you won’t miss much from the VIZIO M65-C1 and you’ll gain more as 4K content becomes more mainstream.