The Via line of HDTVs from Vizio, due this January, promises the most comprehensive suite of interactive features yet seen on any HDTV, including a Bluetooth remote control with a keyboard. The two largest models will also pack LED backlighting with local dimming, the holy grail of LCD picture quality. These highly desirable features, combined with Vizio's customarily aggressive pricing, propel the flagship Vizio TVs past their counterparts from major brands like Samsung, Panasonic, and Sony--at least on paper.
Designed foremost to compete against current Internet-enabled HDTVs, the three "Via" (Vizio Interactive Apps) models are available in 42-inch, 47-inch, and 55-inch varieties. Here's a quick rundown:
Key features of the Vizio Via 2XVT series:LED backlight with local dimming (47- and 55-inch models only) 240Hz processing Bluetooth remote with full QWERTY keyboard Integrated 802.11(n) Wi-Fi Support for Adobe Flash for the Digital Home Yahoo widgets engine 42-inch SV422XVT: $1,199 MSRP | 47-inch SV472XVT: $1,699 | 55-inch XV552XVT: $2,199 Available in January
As CNET noted earlier, the Bluetooth keyboard remote and built-in Wi-fi will be firsts among interactive TVs, which typically require cumbersome virtual keyboards for text entry and expensive extra dongles or third-party solutions for wireless connectivity. Since few people have an Ethernet cable next to their televisions, Wi-fi makes setup much more convenient, while the keyboard on the remote should make accessing and using the TV's "Apps" as easy as sending an e-mail on a BlackBerry.
Vizio promises to have more such applications on the Via platform than any other current maker, and the list is impressive indeed.… Read more