Vizio SV470XVT 47-Inch HDTV
At a Glance
A low price and appealing image quality make this model a standout.
The Vizio SV470XVT produces good (albeit at times dark) images, but it lacks some of the design conveniences of certain other HDTVs in its category, such as the Samsung LN46A650, the Samsung LN46A550, and the Panasonic TH-46PZ800U.
Surprisingly, the SV470XVT occasionally struggled to keep moving objects clear. Two jurors noted slight vibrations in the Vatican wall's bricks in our Mission: Impossible III Blu-ray test. And though it showed no jaggies in the HD HQV Benchmark test, we saw horrible pixelation in the corners.
On the other hand, this model did far better on our NASCAR test than any other new TV we tested. Because it is fast-moving and was shot in 60-Hz high definition, the NASCAR test tends to show a well-executed 120-Hz set's refresh rate to advantage.
The SV470XVT performed well in my hands-on audio tests. At full volume, it was distorted and too loud; but at 60 percent, it delivered everything a listener could reasonably expect. Quiet audio sounded crisp, surround sounds seemed to enfold me, and the soundtrack's organ blast had the requisite oomph. You won't get much better sound unless you invest in a separate surround stereo system.
Like many other Vizio models, the SV470XVT was a challenge to set up. Most of the connectors are poorly placed and difficult to reach, though a few on the side are convenient enough. And the unit's setup wizard fails to provide automatic optimization for playback in a home environment.
Once set up, the TV was easy to use: The on-screen menu is intuitive and doesn't obstruct much of the picture. Even better, all items on the menu have an on-screen explanations, and most of which are easy to understand.
Unfortunately, there's no abbreviated, quick-access menu (like the one on the Samsung LN46A650) for settings that get adjusted frequently. Dedicated buttons on the remote provide access to 20 of those options, but collectively they make the remote cumbersome to deal with. The clumsily designed backlighting doesn't help, either.
The SV470XVT comes with picture-in-picture and freeze-frame features, but no multimedia capabilities. The absence of a USB port or SD Card slot means that you can't look at your photos or listen to your music through the TV. Still, this 47-inch HDTV costs only $1400 (as of November 4, 2008) and produces images rivaling the best we've seen in this size class.