If you’ve set your eyes on a Vizio model, you probably appreciate the level of quality that this brand delivers without breaking the bank. With Vizio being an extensive TV manufacturer, narrowing your choice to a specific mode can be challenging.
In this Vizio D Series vs V Series comparison article, we’ll focus on two of their popular TV lines to help you decide which one is the better choice for you.
Vizio D Series vs V Series
These series are relatively new in Vizio’s lineup, as the manufacturer only started producing them a couple of years ago. Although they lack some advanced features, they offer quality 1080p and 4K panels for buyers who don’t want to splurge on a big brand name.
The D Series and the V Series offer well-rounded features suitable for all-around entertainment, from watching movies, shows, and sports to playing video games. In terms of the quality of craftsmanship, both lines fall somewhere in the middle. Both of the series have more similarities than differences, but there are some features that can help you differentiate them and pick the most suitable model for you. To determine all of the nuances that set them apart, let’s dig deeper into their features, starting with the D Series.
Vizio D Series
Vizio D Series models are affordable and generally cheaper than most V Series models. You can find models from this lineup that cost around $300 or less. Considering the picture quality, connectivity, and Smart TV properties you’re getting, this price is hard to find with many other quality TV brands.
D Series TVs use standard LED VA panels. These panels offer great picture quality and excellent contrast ratio but tend to quickly lose image quality when viewing off-center. This makes them inferior to more modern panel types like QLED and OLED.
Vizio D Series models employ the IQ Active™ processor for all image processing tasks. While this processor certainly isn’t as capable as those from higher-end brands, it still delivers enough power for solid general usage.
Vizio D Series models have noticeably better motion technology and deliver faster response times than V Series TVs. While they might not offer near-instantaneous response times like some LG TVs, they can still fully transition between images in just twelve to sixteen milliseconds.
Contrast Ratio / Black Level
The native contrast ratio on most Vizio D Series TVs is impressive. When viewing dark scenes, especially if you’re in a dark environment, you can enjoy blacks that always appear deep and rich.
Vizio D Series TVs have a direct backlight and don’t possess local dimming features, neither in out-of-the-box configuration nor in game mode.
Depending on which D Series model you get, you can expect anywhere from disappointing to good SDR peak brightness. Additionally, most D Series models don’t support HDR, but the ones that do offer okay HDR peak brightness. Although they can’t get very bright, they can maintain steady brightness regardless of the window size.
Most sets from this lineup have an okay color gamut but can’t display an HDR color gamut. This is with the exception of the Vizio D Series 4K models, which offer decent coverage of the Rec 2020 color space. Unfortunately, when it comes to the color volume, the series is limited by the low peak brightness, so the colors are often not as rich as they should be.
D Series models have underwhelming viewing angles. This is no surprise, as all VA panels typically have poor viewing angles. While the exact numbers may vary from model to model, image quality in D Series TVs degrades rapidly and generally starts losing brightness even at angles under thirty degrees. Knowing this, Vizio D Series TVs are unsuitable for wide viewing arrangements.
Reflections / Anti-glare
Newer Vizio D Series models all have a semi-gloss finish. This type of screen coating is good at handling reflections but not as capable of handling ambient light like a glossy finish screen. Looking into the numbers, D Series TVs reflect about 5% of total light and between 0.5% and 1.5% of indirect light, depending on the model. With that in mind, visibility is not an issue even in slightly brighter rooms.
Most Vizio D Series TVs have subpar sound properties. They come with a mediocre frequency response and a fairly weak bass. They can deliver clear dialogue and a balanced sound but generally can’t get very loud, meaning that they’re not the best choice for noisy environments or large rooms.
For these reasons, if you’re planning on buying a D Series model, you should also consider pairing it with a budget-friendly soundbar.
Smart TV Platform (Operating System)
D Series TVs use the SmartCast TV platform like other Vizio models. This is a basic and easy-to-use Smart TV platform with many advanced options. SmartCast has an impressive selection of apps, but there’s no option allowing you to install additional apps of your choosing. Furthermore, it’s important to note that all Vizio D Series models don’t have any ads in the SmartCast app.
Modern Vizio D Series models include all of the fundamental connectivity properties you would look for in a Smart TV. For a more detailed rundown of these features, we’ll examine the three most important connectivity characteristics:
Vizio D Series models offer between two and three HDMI ports and just one USB port. Unfortunately, this series is a bit disappointing in terms of additional input specifications, as you can’t find any D Series models with Dolby Vision or HDR10+. Most D Series models don’t even support the basic HDR10 format.
Vizio D Series TVs use older-style remotes than the V Series models. Additionally, the D Series remote controllers don’t support any voice assistant functions. D Series TVs still offer some voice control properties like changing inputs or opening apps. However, this is only available through Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.
Vizio D Series models support Wi-Fi (2.4 GHz, 5 GHz) technology, while some models also support Bluetooth LE technology. Focusing on the latter means that you can only connect “low energy” devices like your phone or tablet to your D Series TV. However, you can’t pair up more power-demanding devices like Bluetooth speakers, as you can with other Smart TVs that support Bluetooth.
Most Vizio D Series models come without any gaming enhancements. That said, the new Vizio D3 model does include gaming-friendly features like VRR and FreeSync, although there’s still an absence of G-SYNC support. Still, having VRR and FreeSync gives the D Series an edge over the V Series in this category.
Recommended Vizio D Series Models
Vizio D3 Series 2021
The Vizio D3 Series is an excellent entry-level TV with a reasonable price tag. It’s a mediocre TV in the grand scheme of things but offers great value for its price. This is because the D3 delivers a superb contrast, low input lag, and good color gamut and color volume. It also includes a very intuitive Smart TV platform with various streaming apps.
Vizio D Series 4K
If you want a 4K Vizio set without too many advanced features, the D Series 4K model is a perfect choice. It has fast response times with very low input lag and offers great HDR performance for its price tag. Additionally, it can also serve as a 4K gaming monitor, as there’s almost no risk of a permanent burn-in with this model.
Vizio V Series
The Vizio V Series TVs possess some features that you can’t find in D Series models, so it’s understandable that they also come with a slightly higher price tag. Still, these TVs are very affordable and cost between $300 and $900, depending on the specific model and screen size you opt for.
Vizio V Series TVs use the same LED VA panel technology as D Series models, meaning that they come with the same advantages and disadvantages that mark this panel technology.
V Series models use the same IQ Active™ image processor as D Series TVs, so they offer identical performance capabilities on this front. The IQ Active™ processor offers decent processing speed and upscaling capabilities on 4K Vizio V Series models.
Most Vizio V Series TVs have mediocre response times and are considerably slower in transitioning between images than D Series TVs. More specifically, depending on which V Series model you choose, you can expect full scene transition times between eighteen and twenty-two milliseconds.
Contrast Ratio / Black Level
Vizio V Series TVs have an excellent native contrast ratio. While the contrast can vary between units, TVs from this lineup offer a native contrast ratio very similar to Vizio D Series models.
Identical to D Series models, Vizio V Series TVs don’t have any local dimming features, so there’s no way to compare the two series through this characteristic. If you’re looking for strong local dimming properties, we recommend considering Sony or Samsung TVs.
Vizio V Series sets have sub-par to decent SDR brightness. They can produce enough brightness for an average lit room but not enough to overcome glare in slightly brighter rooms. HDR brightness is even worse, as HDR images often appear flat when displaying bright content. With that in mind, they offer equally inadequate peak brightness values as D Series TVs.
The Vizio V Series has a solid color gamut but one that’s not wide enough to display a full range of any of the primary colors in HDR. Just like the D Series, this lineup is limited by its relatively low brightness, which sometimes results in less than impressive color saturation. Still, it offers slightly better color properties than the D Series.
V Series models offer similarly disappointing viewing angles like D Series TVs. They quickly start losing brightness as you move even slightly off-center. However, you can find some V Series models, like the 2019 V Series lineup, which offer solid viewing angles that start losing brightness only after viewing angles of forty or more degrees.
Reflections / Anti-glare
Like D Series models, Vizio V Series sets also come with a semi-gloss screen finish. Simply put, they have nearly identical reflection handling properties as D Series TVs. Unless you’re planning on watching TV in a very bright room or setting your TV opposite a direct light source, D Series and V Series models are equally suitable.
Vizio V Series TVs have marginally better sound quality than D Series TVs, mainly because they deliver better LFE (Low-frequency extension) values. Models from this lineup have an okay frequency response and deliver fairly clear dialogues even at higher volume levels. Still, all V Series models noticeably lack bass, so you shouldn’t expect them to produce any room-shaking rumble.
Smart TV Platform (Operating System)
The Vizio V Series uses the same SmartCast TV operating system. This is a relatively smooth Smart TV platform, easy to use, and has many advanced options. It doesn’t feature any ads and has a great selection of apps, including HDR Netflix and HDR YouTube. Considering all of this, the V Series has equally decent Smart TV properties as the D Series.
Regarding connectivity traits and capabilities, V Series models have relatively the same properties as Vizio D TVs. For a closer examination of how the two lineups fare, let’s see the V Series’ supported input, voice assistant, and wireless technologies features:
Vizio V Series models generally include three HDMI ports and at least one USB port. Input lag times can vary significantly between models, as older V Series sets deliver slightly above average input lag numbers, while newer models offer outstanding input lag values.
Most V Series TVs also support the Dolby Vision and HDR10 inputs, while newer models from this lineup also support HDR10+. This makes them far superior to D Series models in this category.
While most Vizio V Series come with a newer Smart TV remote control, this is still a reasonably basic remote without a microphone, so there aren’t any voice control options. Still identical to the D Series, V Series models allow you to interact with the TV through Google Home or Amazon Alexa by linking a smart speaker to the TV.
Vizio V Series TVs support Wi-Fi (2.4 GHz, 5 GHz) technology like the D Series models. Moreover, they employ the same Bluetooth technology, meaning they’re only compatible with Bluetooth LE devices.
Unfortunately, Vizio V Series TVs don’t have any gaming enhancements like FreeSync and G-SYNC. Since they feature a native refresh rate of 60 Hz, which is fixed at this value, V Series also doesn’t support VRR.
Recommended Vizio V Series Models
Vizio V Series 2020
The Vizio V Series 2020 model is a solid TV for most general uses. While it can’t get very bright, this TV offers an exceptional native contrast ratio and great black uniformity. It can upscale content very well and serve as a PC monitor, even for HDR gaming. Compared to most other Vizio sets, this model also has very good reflection handling properties
Vizio V5 Series 2021
Vizio V5 Series 2021 TV is one of the better Vizio models in its price range. It performs exceptionally well for watching movies and TV shows in dark environments because it has a great native contrast ratio and impressive black uniformity.
Although it can’t get very bright, this TV excels at removing judder from native 24p sources and has very accurate colors out of the box. It also boasts good reflection handling and low input lag.
After this thorough Vizio D Series vs V Series comparison, we can say that the two lineups are much more similar than they are different. Still, there are some characteristics that can help you differentiate them and pick the most suitable model.
D Series TVs are primarily better for gaming, as they have better motion technology and include some gaming features. On the other hand, the V Series offers slightly better viewing angles, color accuracy, sound quality and has superior input features. Of course, the V Series is also slightly more expensive than the D Series because of all of this.
Related Read: Vizio M Series vs V Series: Which Smart TV is best?