|Vizio VP3222 32-inch Plasma HDTV|
|Home Theater Flat Panel HDTVs Plasma HDTVs|
|Written by Andrew Robinson|
|Monday, 01 September 2008|
The VP322 reviewed here is a 32-inch design, with a maximum resolution of 1080i, retailing for $649.99 through Vizio directly or Wal-Mart. The VP322 is an attractive design with a smooth gloss piano bezel and amber illuminated Vizio logo on its face. All manual controls are located on the side of the display itself, with the inputs and outputs recessed in a large but organized panel ‘round back. The VP322 features three HDMI inputs, as well as a PC monitor in, one component video in, one composite video in, one RF antenna in and a single S-Video input. The VP322 has two 10-watt speakers internally, which provide way more volume output then they should, although at high volumes or with action films, they do fall apart like a Fiat in the summertime. All of the VP322’s video connections are accompanied by pairs of analog audio inputs, as well as audio outs. The VP322 has an integrated NTSC/ATSC/QAM HDTV tuner and can support all resolutions up to 1080i. You can still plug your Blu-ray player into the VP322, but you’ll have to set the player’s scaling to either 1080i or 720p.
Behind the scenes, the VP322 boasts a (reported) 30,000:1 contrast ratio, though I’m sure that figure is inflated a bit. Vizio states that the VP322 can display up to 16 million colors and has a life expectancy of 60,000 hours or 27 years. Plasmas of yore used to be rated between five and 10,000 hours, so its clear to see how far we’ve come in such a short amount of time.
The remote that comes packaged with the VP322 is simple, straightforward and very easy to use. Vizio is geared more toward the average consumer, who’s more inclined to set it and forget it, then a true videophile. This is more than evident in the VP322 remote and picture controls.
- Attractive design and sleek finish make the VP322 one of the more visually appealing designs on the market today.
- There is more connectivity then you’re likely to need if you’re using the VP322 in a small bedroom or den-based home theater with a modest receiver.
- Picture quality is good and becomes a bit better when you remember how much you paid for the VP322.
- The VP322’s black levels are good, not reference-level by any means, but on par with the competition and perhaps a step or two ahead. This said, the black levels are better than on most budget LCDs on the market today.
- Colors are rich and vibrant, albeit a bit hyper-real, and the screen is bright enough for full daytime viewing.
- Motion is relatively smooth and artifact-free, again, in line with much of the VP322’s competition.
- The VP322 is one of the easiest, most practical smaller displays you can own and live with in the market today.
- The VP322’s lack of resolution, mainly 1080p, may deter potential customers, but the screen isn’t large enough for it to make that big of a difference.
- The VP322’s picture overall is slightly noisy, with a hint of excessive grain in the middle values and lighter regions. However, this is easily combated by maintaining a proper viewing distance.
- Calibrating the VP322 is a bit tedious and there doesn’t seem to be an iron grip with the various picture controls, meaning calibration is more of a compromise between good and bad, as opposed to total satisfaction.
Vizio’s new VP322 32-inch plasma display is nothing if not good fun. It’s not the greatest display in the world, but it’s far from the worst. Moreover, it’s so damn affordable, and such a perfect size for a small bedroom or office system, that once you fire it up, you begin to dream about other rooms in your home that may require one. (I instantly thought of my bathroom.) While the rest of the flat panel marketplace goes towards LCD or the like, producing TVs in excess of 200 inches, Vizio has taken the opposite approach and made a TV that consumers may actually care to own. I dig it.