Vizio TVs often do well in CNET reviews, but I’m not a big fan of the company’s SmartCast function, aka “Chromecast built-in.”
Unlike the Vizio E series, the D series doesn’t use SmartCast. Instead there’s a standard on-screen smart TV interface, which you’ll use to launch and control apps such as Netflix. In general I find that a lot more convenient than using your phone, which SmartCast requires.
The best built-in smart TV system is found on Roku TVs, however, and they provide the D series’ chief competition. Roku’s app coverage is second to none and they’re super simple to use.
But what about picture quality? Although I haven’t tested one yet, I don’t expect much difference between most sizes in the Vizio D series and basic Roku TVs from makers such as TCL. That’s because most of these Vizios lack local dimming, which has the biggest impact on LCD picture quality.
Let’s take a closer look.
The gaggle of models in Vizio’s budget lineups can be really confusing, and the 2017 D is no exception. There’s a wide range of screen sizes, many available in both 4K and 1080p resolution, and the biggest sets also have local dimming. And the models above aren’t everything; I saw a handful on Vizio.com that aren’t listed here.
I plan to review one or two models in the D series soon, which could help cut down on the confusion. In the meantime I’ll default to my takeaway from the 2016 E series review: Not every TV in this series is created equal.
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