Vizio M Series vs V Series: Which Smart TV is best?

Vizio has only been in the industry since 2002. But, in the short time, it has been around, it has made a significant impact on the consumer market with its terrific, dependable, and very reasonably priced TVs. Looking into the manufacturer’s lineup, the current M Series and V Series models offer these attributes and much more.

Of course, the two lineups also have some distinct differences. Read this detailed Vizio M Series vs V Series comparison article to learn all of the critical strengths and weaknesses worth knowing about both lineups before purchasing your new Vizio TV.

Vizio M Series vs V Series

The M Series and the V Series target the same consumer audience, offering a mid-range product with well-rounded performance features. Both series offer basic attributes, although the M Series can boast a few more advanced settings and performance characteristics.

They’re similar in design, cost, and hardware. The two lineups don’t have the premium feel of high-end TVs but are sleek and modern enough to fit in almost any environment. They also come in sizes ranging from 43’’ to 75’’, although the V Series offers more options within this range. 

Vizio M Series

Price 

Vizio M Series TVs are more expensive on average across all supported screen sizes. Nonetheless, with their prices maxing out at just under a thousand dollars, Vizio M Series models are still significantly cheaper than similarly-sized TVs from other big-name brands.

Panel Technology

Vizio’s M Series panels feature quantum dot-wide color technology. Although Vizio doesn’t brand this technology as QLED, this is exactly what other brands refer to this panel type as. This technology delivers a wider spectrum of colors and higher peak brightness than regular LED VA panels.

Image Processor

TVs from this lineup use the  IQ Active™ processor. This is a respectable TV processor with solid picture processing abilities and intelligent 4K upscaling features. It uses multi-step algorithms to enhance details, contrast, and reduce noise artifacts.

Motion Technology

M Series TVs offer decent response times, which can vary a bit depending on the specific unit. Most models from this lineup take thirteen to eighteen seconds to transition between scenes fully.

These times are slightly above the preferred values, and you might notice some blur when watching fast-moving scenes. Still, M Series TVs have slightly better motion technology capabilities than V Series models.

Picture Quality

Contrast Ratio / Black Level

Most Vizio M Series TVs deliver impressive native contrast ratios. While the exact numbers can vary between units, blacks are always inky and resonant, especially when you’re watching content in a dark environment. Additionally, you can slightly improve the black levels by utilizing local dimming settings.

Local Dimming

M Series models have the edge over V Series models in this category, as the latter lineup doesn’t come with local dimming. Although M Series TVs have mediocre local dimming options, most models have full-array local dimming, which allows them to deliver a slightly better contrast ratio and reduce blooming.

Peak Brightness

M Series TVs offer noticeably better peak brightness values than V Series models. These TVs deliver good SDR peak brightness and decent HDR brightness. They can get bright enough to combat some glare but not enough to overcome brighter lighting conditions. Considering this, these numbers are pretty average and can’t compete with what TVs like the Samsung Q80T or Q90T can provide.

Color

Newer Vizio M Series models provide impressive color gamut and color volume performances. They have nearly full coverage of the DCI P3 color space and remarkable Rec. 2020 color space coverage. 

They excel at displaying dark and saturated colors, although they struggle with very bright colors. That said, this problem is common for most LCD TVs, so it’s not a notch against the M Series. Considering all of this, the M Series has a huge advantage over the V Series in this department.

Viewing Angle

Vizio V Series TVs have poor viewing angles. Unfortunately, even the Enhanced Viewing Angle feature that some V Series models have doesn’t help resolve this issue. This is because lousy viewing angles are an inherent trait of LED VA panels. In this case, V Series TVs quickly lose image accuracy and image vibrance as soon as you move a few degrees off-center.

Reflections / Anti-glare

All M Series TVs have a semi-gloss screen finish, which is the less preferred finish but still offers decent reflection handling. More precisely, M Series TVs with this finish reflect about five percent of the total light that hits the screen. They work fine in a room with a couple of lights but disappoint in well-lit environments.

Sound Quality

The sound quality on M Series models is mediocre to average, depending on the specific model. Some models can’t get very loud, while all M Series TVs fail to produce any substantial amount of bass. 

While there’s no compression at higher volumes, and the sound is pretty well-balanced in most units, you’ll still need a subwoofer or soundbar if you want a more immersive audio performance.

Smart TV Platform (Operating System)

Vizio M Series TVs use the SmartCast operating system. This is a relatively average Smart TV platform that’s very easy to use but not as smooth as some other Smart TV platforms out there. Depending on which SmartCast version you use, the interface can be slow and laggy. That said, newer OS versions are pretty fast and can load up apps in around three seconds.

Connectivity

For budget-minded smart TVs, M Series models offer impressive connectivity properties. Here’s a more thorough look into what you can expect from this lineup in terms of connectivity support:

Inputs

M Series TVs have an incredibly low input lag of around eleven milliseconds across all supported resolutions. Plus, with the Game Low Latency feature available in most M Series units, gamers can rely on the lowest input lag possible.

It’s also worth mentioning that M Series models generally have more HDMI inputs than V Series TVs. You can count on four inputs across most units compared to three HDMI inputs available in most V Series models. These TVs also have one USB input port.

Voice Assistants

Voice assistant properties in M Series models will depend on the manufacturing year. More precisely, models from 2021 use the newer remote, which has a built-in microphone for voice control support. Utilizing this modern Smart TV remote, you can issue basic voice commands to open apps, change inputs, or ask for the time and weather. You can also set up voice control through a Google Home or Amazon Alexa device. 

Wireless Technologies

Vizio TVs from this series offer pretty basic and standard wireless technology. This includes Wi-Fi (2.4 GHz, 5 GHz) technology and Bluetooth LE. The latter technology is unremarkable, as it doesn’t offer full Bluetooth support. Instead, it only allows you to connect low-energy devices through Bluetooth.

Gaming Enhancements

M Series TVs include a couple of gaming enhancements that contribute to a smoother gaming experience. Most notably, these include FreeSync and VRR, which help reduce stuttering and screen tearing when playing video games. These features give the M Series an advantage in this category and make this lineup a better choice for gamers looking for a good gaming TV.

Vizio M7 Series Quantum 2021

Vizio M7 Series
Vizio M7 Series

The Vizio M7 model is a solid mid-range TV suitable for all-around use. It has an excellent native contrast ratio and good SDR peak brightness. With good black uniformity and full-array local dimming, it’s great for delivering high-impact images in a dark environment. It even supports gaming features like FreeSync, making it a suitable choice for gaming.

Vizio M6 Series Quantum 2021

Vizio M6 Series
Vizio M6 Series

The latest Vizio M6 serves best as a home entertainment piece for watching movies and TV shows. Thanks to its outstanding native contrast ratio and impressive black uniformity, it performs best when you’re watching content in a dark viewing environment. It also has impressively low input lag and supports FreeSync and Auto Low Latency Mode, so it’s a very good budget TV for gaming.

Vizio V Series

Price 

V Series TVs are the more budget-friendly option in this Vizio M Series vs V Series comparison. To be more exact, V Series models cost between fifty and a hundred dollars less than M Series TVs across respective supported screen sizes. So, if the price is one of your biggest considerations, V Series TVs are a better choice.

Panel Technology

Vizio V Series models have a classic LED VA panel, which offers well-balanced features, but falls behind more advanced panel types like OLED and QLED. With this in mind, the M Series comes with better panel technology than the V Series.

Image Processor

V Series TVs use the same  IQ Active™ image processor as M Series sets. To put it differently, they have the same image processing and upscaling abilities, providing enough processing power for average TV enthusiasts.

Motion Technology

V Series TVs take between fifteen milliseconds to twenty-something milliseconds to fully transition between scenes. This translates to a mediocre motion technology that gets the job done most of the time but can fail at more demanding tasks. For example, motion blur behind fast-moving objects is almost guaranteed, especially in darker scenes.

Picture Quality

Contrast Ratio / Black Level

V Series models have an outstanding native contrast ratio similar to what you can expect from an M Series model. Although these TVs don’t include a local dimming feature that would allow you to improve the contrast ratio, the native contrast ratio delivers deep and immersive blacks.

Local Dimming

Unfortunately, you can’t find any Vizio V Series with local dimming properties. If this is a crucial category for you, M Series models are a better choice. Additionally, if you’re willing to step out of the context of this Vizio M Series vs V Series comparison and consider other models, Sony or Samsung TVs can deliver significantly better local dimming properties than M Series TVs.

Peak Brightness

Vizio V Series TVs generally have disappointing peak brightness in SDR and HDR. SDR brightness can vary a bit between units. That said, in most sets, it’s simply not bright enough to overcome almost any amount of glare. This is even worse with HDR brightness, as most images won’t be bright as they should be.

Color

The color gamut and overall color volume in Vizio V Series TVs are okay. These TVs have excellent DCI P3 color space coverage but limited Rec. 2020 color space coverage. 

In other words, they can display dark colors but can’t produce a full display of any of the primary colors, and the tone mapping is off more often than not. With this in mind, they can’t get close to what M Series models can deliver in this category.

Viewing Angle

Vizio V Series models offer very narrow viewing angles. While reasonably mediocre viewing angles are normal for standard LED VA panels, it’s even worse than this when it comes to V Series TVs. So if you’re looking for a TV suitable for a wider seating arrangement, we recommend checking out an OLED panel TV, like the LG C1 or the LG CX.

Reflections / Anti-glare

All V Series models have a semi-gloss screen finish, meaning they have decent anti-flare properties. These TVs offer solid visibility even in brighter rooms and have good ambient light handling capabilities but underperform when placed directly opposite a window or other source of bright light. Overall, they have nearly identical reflection-handling abilities as M Series TVs.

Sound Quality

Vizio V Series TVs offer very similar sound quality as M Series models, meaning that they deliver an okay frequency response with a fairly well-balanced sound profile. Likewise, they have identical strengths and weaknesses, as they can get reasonably loud but lack a powerful bass that would provide any noticeable rumble.

Smart TV Platform (Operating System)

Vizio V Series models have indistinguishable Smart TV properties compared to M Series TVs. Considering this, you can’t use the Smart TV platform as a comparison tool, as everything we’ve mentioned about the M Series’ operating system applies for TVs from the V Series lineup as well.

Connectivity

There’s not much difference between M Series and V Series models regarding connectivity properties, although the latter lineup slightly lags in some categories. Here’s a more direct M Series vs V Series comparison through three key parameters:

Inputs

V Series TVs have equally remarkable input lag times as M Series sets. They come with a Game Low Latency feature, which lowers the input response times to around eleven milliseconds, a fantastic value for gaming. 

Most V Series models possess three HDMI input ports and at least one USB port. Equally as important, V Series models maintain consistent numbers across all supported resolutions, from 1080p to 4K. 

Voice Assistants

This is the only significant connectivity aspect in which the V Series falls slightly behind the M Series. Still, the same applies to the M Series, as different V Series models come with different remotes. More precisely, the 2021 lineup features a redesigned smart remote, including a built-in mic, so you don’t have to set up voice control through your smartphone.

Wireless Technologies

All newer V Series TVs include the same wireless technologies, Wi-Fi (2.4 GHz, 5 GHz), and Bluetooth LE. In this sense, V Series models come with matching traits for the supported wireless technologies.

Gaming Enhancements

Unlike the M Series, TVs from the V Series don’t have any gaming enhancements, nor do they support a variable refresh rate. The manufacturer announced that the V6 model will have some gaming features. However, there currently aren’t any specific characteristics in any model that would make any V Series TV stand out as a good choice for gaming.

Vizio V5 Series 2021

Vizio V5 Series
Vizio V5 Series

The V5 Series 2021 model is a fantastic 4K TV that doesn’t break the bank. This TV comes with a long list of excellent features, namely Dolby Vision, HLG, and HDR10+. It also delivers a decent Smart TV platform without any ads. Lastly, the V5 Series model comes with integrated support for almost every major streaming service, including both Chromecast and AirPlay.

Vizio V Series 2020

Vizio V Series
Vizio V Series

Vizio V Series is a very solid TV for mixed usage. It provides superb black uniformity and an impressive contrast ratio for its price point. That aside, it perhaps best serves as a budget-friendly gaming TV. Although it can’t get very bright, its exceptionally low input lag and good reflection handling make this model a great option for both PC and console gaming.

Conclusion

To sum up this thorough Vizio M Series vs V Series comparison post, we’d say that the M Series is a better choice for your money. With a slightly higher price tag, the M Series offers superior color properties, higher peak brightness, local dimming settings, and even a few gaming enhancements.

This isn’t to say that the V Series isn’t worth your attention. It’s an excellent basic Smart TV that delivers great value for its price. If you’re looking for a reliable TV with a decent picture and want to ensure you don’t overspend, you won’t find a better-valued basic mid-range TV than the V Series.

Related Read: Vizio D Series vs V Series: Which Smart TV is better?

About Jon

Hey, I'm Jon. I'm an engineer by trade, so it makes sense that I'm obsessed with anything technology related! On the weekends, you can find me playing around with my computers or fixing something around the house. Feel free to leave a comment if you want to get in touch.

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