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Cryptocurrency Bitcoin Vizio’s M-Series Quantum Is Our Favorite TV for Under $500


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Cryptocurrency Bitcoin Vizio’s M-Series Quantum Is Our Favorite TV for Under $500

These days, not even a wad of much-needed stimulus cash could persuade most people to fork over a ton of money for a new television.Why bother? 4K TVs with good interfaces, sleek looks, and great picture are now easy to find for around $500. Case in point: Vizio’s late-2020 M-Series Quantum boasts many of the…

Cryptocurrency  Bitcoin Vizio’s M-Series Quantum Is Our Favorite TV for Under $500

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These days, not even a wad of much-needed stimulus cash could persuade most people to fork over a ton of money for a new television.

Why bother? 4K TVs with good interfaces, sleek looks, and great picture are now easy to find for around $500. Case in point: Vizio’s late-2020 M-Series Quantum boasts many of the same features as premium models from Samsung, LG, and Sony, but at a fraction of the price.

It’s not as stunning to look at as the current TCL 6-Series, but it’s also less expensive. If you want to get the absolute most out of every buck, the M-Series Quantum is the best sub-$500 TV you can buy right now.

Small Price, Big Features

Photograph: Vizio

It wasn’t long ago that a TV with quantum color and local dimming—in which groups of LEDs behind the screen selectively backlight certain regions differently than other regions to create better contrast—cost thousands of dollars.

Over the past several years, companies like Vizio and TCL have pioneered making that tech accessible to the masses, and with it the associated leaps in color accuracy and contrast. Today, any quality TV that’s over $500 and 55 inches has both. In 2021, we could all have (maybe) enjoyed that heinously dark Game of Thrones episode, before David and David ran the series into a wall.

Vizio’s local dimming processing has always been some of the best. Even the 90 zones on our 65-inch review model always seemed to react perfectly to what was occurring onscreen.

The M-Series Quantum also includes variable refresh rate (VRR) for gaming, which allows the TV to sync up better with game consoles and PC graphics cards (AMD Freesync is also supported). It doesn’t harness the full 120 frames per second, like the Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5, but it does give you a smooth 60 frames per second. That’s pretty good!

The M-Series also isn’t as bright as some other LED models, but it still supports contrast and color standards with HDR10 and Dolby Vision. The colors aren’t as vivid as the TCL 6-Series, but the TV did highlight the bright Ferrari Red onscreen during Netflix’s Formula One: Drive To Survive.

The colors also seemed accurate, especially in the TV’s Calibrated mode, which is where I’d keep it in all viewing environments except for gaming. A lot of TVs don’t always look ideal right out of the box, but Vizio did a great job.

Looks Like a TV

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Physically, there’s not much to talk about. The M-Series Quantum has slim, black bezels and is just a couple inches thick. Like most of Vizio’s modern models, it has sleek pedestal feet that stick out to the edge of the TV, which means you’ll want to either wall-mount it or make sure that your TV console is beefy enough.

I actually like that the M-Series doesn’t feel as thin as some other modern TVs. In my opinion, the only time you notice a TV’s thickness is when you’re mounting it. I like being able to get a good grip on the sides of the M-Series.

The remote is equally utilitarian, a rounded candy bar with easy shortcuts to Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Redbox, and two other services you’ll probably never use. Like many remotes, it has more buttons than it needs. Conveniently, of the TV’s four HDMI ports, one is an HDMI eARC port, where I plugged in a Vizio Elevate soundbar. That makes the TV’s controller instantly capable of adjusting the volume, so you don’t need a remote for your sound system.

Vizio’s Smartcast interface has grown into a pretty great ecosystem over recent years, thanks in large part to wide integration with Google Chromecast and Apple Airplay. Everything you can’t find in Vizio’s app store you can nearly always cast to the TV from an app or browser using these systems.

I couldn’t find an app for HBO Max when I wanted to try and watch Zak Snyder’s Justice League cut recently, so I just cast it from my phone in high quality. Now that Netflix has converted me, I plan to do the same with this year’s Formula One season via the Formula One TV app.

TCL uses Roku OS, which gives it the leg up overall in the TV operating system race. Roku is equally easy to stream and has better (and more expansive) apps and voice integration. Built-in Chromecast does give some flexibility, though you’ll still likely want a Roku, Google TV, or another of our favorite TV streaming devices at some point.

Affordable Luxury

Photograph: Vizio

There are very few TVs that look so much better than the M-Series Quantum that are worth the extra money. You can spend a couple hundred more dollars on a TCL 6-Series. That gets you backlighting in more zones via Micro LED technology news. Or you can spend a thousand bucks on a Vizio OLED, in which each pixel is its own backlight. 

Those fancier Micro LED or OLED TV will look a bit better, but you may not notice enough to justify the cost. Unless you’re buying 4K Blu-Rays, own a brand new game console, or are planning to build out a real home theater, you may just want to get a Vizio like this.

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