1 Store200 Reviews
Pros: Great off-axis viewing, very good sound
Cons: Buttons on remote are a bit small
I was in the market for an under $300, 720p HDTV and the only other requirements were that it have a couple HDMI inputs as well as an audio out in case I ever wanted to add a better speaker. My search began and my first TV purchased was a refurbished Philips HDTV 32PFL3506/F7. My brief experience with the Philips was not very good so I returned it and purchased this Vizio E321VL.
For the $60 difference in price between the refurbished Philips and this brand new Vizio, the Vizio was heads and shoulders above the Philips in every aspect of performance, operation and aesthetics.
Once you open the box you only have a few things to do before connecting the HDTV to your cable or antenna. You need to attach the base to the stand neck with a thumbscrew. You then attach the HDTV to the base with 4-screws. Vizio even includes a decent quality philips head screwdriver for this task. The base does not swivel or tilt. You need to insert the provided batteries into the remote unit and you attach the AC power cable to the back of the HDTV. The last thing you need to do is to hook up your antenna/cable connection and you're ready to turn the HDTV on and begin the setup process.
The setup takes just a few minutes and you are walked through the steps. Essentially you simply need to select your timezone, whether you want daylight savings time on or off and finally you are walked through the channel scan.
The HDTV has a good variety of inputs and outputs, particularly for the price point. You have 2-HDMI inputs, a composite video input, PC input if you wish to use the HDTV as a PC Monitor, stereo RCA input for hooking up an external audio device, stereo RCA audio out, optical/SPDIF audio out, and a USB port to enable USB stick photo slideshows. That's a pretty decent set of inputs and outputs.
Compared to the Philips HDTV that I returned, the sound from the Vizio's built-in speakers was surprisingly good. Much better than the Panasonic TC-L32X1 32" HDTV that I currently own, and better than the Samsung LN22A450C1D that I have in my bedroom. All of those TV's I mention have bottom/rear firing speakers that just don't get the sound out to the viewer very well. The Vizio has front facing speakers that not only sound good but project the sound so much better. It's almost like having a soundbar under the HDTV. The sound does lack bass but that's pretty much the way it goes with these built-in speakers. But still, the sound is quite good and I'm pretty picky about sound. You can easily hook up an external speaker if you wish using either the stereo RCA audio out or the optical/SPDIF output.
The brightness of the screen is fine and the viewing angle is quite good. Some TV's really suffer in this area. As soon as you move off axis just a little bit the screen brightness and sharpness just drops off dramatically... not so with the Vizio.
The remote control is not too bad although the buttons are a bit on the small size.
It is quite amazing to me how much quality you can not get in a 32" HDTV for under $300. I am very pleased with my purchase