I gotta jump into this discussion here about biased reviews.
If what you are saying is that our reviews can't be trusted because we take ad dollars from Vizio - then why should we be in business? We don't charge readers for our content yet we pay the likes of Kevin Miller (No. 2 at the ISF) Mike Levy (former head tech at Vidikron) and Adrienne Maxwell (former managing editor at Home Theater Magazine) premium rates to write the reviews. We spend time sending the likes of Andrew Robinson, Bryan Southard and myself to ISF training sessions. I recently did a short course at the Runco event in Cabo just to keep my chops up - but to be clear I am NO professional calibrator. For that I fly Kevin Miller out.
The fact is - Vizio is the biggest story in video in the last 10 years. In three years they have gone from ZERO dollars in sales to 1 BILLION. They are likely to do 2 billion next year as they have opened even more new channels to sell flat HDTVs such as WalMart and Costco.
Most importantly, althought their margins threaten the ability of the traditional reseller to make a large profit margin, they are changing the way consumers thing about their chances of owning a flat HDTV. It wasn't 4 years ago when a 50 inch plasma cost $20,000. Today is is less than 10x the cost and it a better set.
In the end, Vizio makes the best affordable set on the market. It is bringing in MILLIONS of new consumers to the world of big-video based home theater which is truly exciting. The reason why the audiophile business ISN'T a business is because they are ALL SNOBS. Vizio is high powered, affordable HDTV for the masses. Because of this - they should be commended even by those that spend the extra money on Panasonic, Pioneer and even Runco.
Personally, I spent the extra money for a Panasonic Pro 50 inch plasma but ABSOLUTELY own a Vizio. I have seen them at Andrew's house and talked to Kevin about how good you can get them looking and I am confident about their performance.
Lastly, as for editorial credibility - I think it is safe to say we lead the pack. But don't just trust me (I still need to renew Vizio for ads for the fall) interact with our staff, other readers and spread the message everywhere. You will learn to see the Vizio value proposition is pretty damn strong.
Jerry Del Colliano