Vizio VO47LF 47-Inch LCD HDTV
At a Glance
Vizio VO47LF FHDTV
Great image quality and a fantastic price make this set impossible to overlook.
This 47-inch model delivers a fantastic picture, and yet Vizio still manages to undercut the competition on price ($1400, as of November 4, 2008--the same price that its newer sibling, the Vizio SV470XVT goes for). In stark contrast, the 46-inch Panasonic TH-46PZ800U sells for $800 more. The V047LF, however, lacks design elegance and such extras as a swiveling stand and multimedia-capable USB ports. On top of that, the model is needlessly difficult to set up and use.
One design flaw is that all of the VO47LF's inputs are on the back of the set, facing downward, which makes them hard to access. Once you've plugged everything in and turned on the TV, you can bring up the small on-screen menu, which is marred by hard-to-read blue-on-blue text. As you make necessary adjustments, you'll encounter little annoyances such as a slider bar for setting the tint that doesn't show the colors you're going between.
You won't plug devices in or fiddle with the set's color every day, but you will change inputs regularly--switching between your DVD player, your cable connection, and possibly your VCR. The hard-to-find input button on the VO47LF's remote brings up a list of available sources, including sources that have nothing plugged into them; these you must bypass each time. Vizio does provide buttons that jump you directly to particular input types (component, HDMI, and so on), but not to specific inputs.
Aside from the input button issue, the remote isn't bad, and backlighting makes it relatively easy to use in the dark. But the remote isn't programmable, and it controls only the set itself.
Vizio's top-notch documentation helps ease you into the VO47LF experience. The quick-start guide is a big fold-out poster with useful information on both sides. The 76-page manual (all in English) is well designed and easy to read.
For extra features, the VO47LF delivers picture-in-picture, a free HDMI cable--and that's about it. But this model's picture quality is about as good as you'll find anywhere; the Vizio tied the Samsung LN46A550 for top performance honors in this category. It even garnered some Superiors--a grade we tend to be parsimonious about awarding. The television's sound was excellent (by HDTV standards), with crisp dialogue and decent punch for loud music.
Its great picture and great price make Vizio's VO47LF the ultimate bargain.