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Vizio M65-C1 4K Ultra HD TV review: Great basics, a good picture, and some minor peccadilloes

Jon L. Jacobi | March 2, 2016
When it comes to the basics, and we mean the basic functionality that will cover most users, this 4K Ultra HD TV has great chops. The only area it's lacking in is direct playback from USB media and support for peripherals such as mice and keyboards.

It took us a while to get a Vizio in house for our rebooted TV coverage, and we were shooting for a quantum-dot R-Series set. But the TV we received, a far less-expensive 65-inch class (64.5-inch) M-series still showed why the company is a regular in the top-five sales club. Priced at $1499, the M65-C1 is rock-solid in nearly every aspect, and considering its very good picture quality, it’s a bargain.

Numbers

The M65-C1 offers Ultra HD/2160p resolution (3840x2160) and has a 32-zone LED backlight array. There are five HDMI ports, four of which are 30Hz and the fifth is 60Hz at full 2160p. Two of the 30Hz ports support the older HDCP 2.0, while the other two, as well as the 60Hz port support the HDCP 2.2 required for any copy-protected 2160p (UHD or 4K) content. There are also component and composite video inputs as well as analog and digital audio outputs. The TV can be connected to the Internet via either its ethernet port or its integrated 802.11ac Wi-Fi adapter.

The port selection on the M65-C1 includes five HDMI ports, one of which is 60Hz. There’s also a USB 3.0 port that supports playback from mass storage devices, but you can’t connect a keyboards or mouse to it.

There’s also a single USB 3.0 port that’s used for playing back content from USB mass storage devices. More on that later. The folks at Vizio reported tales of users getting USB peripherals to work, but none of the USB peripherals I tried were recognized.

You don’t really need USB peripherals, but a real keyboard can be handy when you’re surfing the Web or entering passwords. Which brings me to Vizio’s remote, which attempts to solve the keyboard issue by putting one on the back of the remote.

I had high expectations for said keyboard, but apparently the implementation varies from app to app, and I did not like the way it interacted with the on-screen keyboard. For instance, hitting the Enter key on the remote selects the character under the on-screen cursor rather than issuing a carriage return. It’s annoying when things are non-standard. Kind of the reason we have standards, you know? Other than the disappointing keyboard, the remote is nicely designed. My only other extremely minor issue was spotting the rather tiny input button the first time out. 

Picture

With no quantum dots, OLEDs, or other color-enhancing tricks in play, the M65-C1 has the slightly cold color palette that accompanies a straight LED backlighting system. That’s no knock on Vizio, it’s simply what the technology delivers. Beyond that, the picture is very, very good. The screen uniformity (no dark or bright areas) exceeds that of any TV in TechHIve’s recent roundup outside of the much smaller 50-inch class Samsung UF-9500. Contrast is good if not great, and there are tweaks for the image up the wazoo, including a calibration grid if you want to go whole hog. I pretty much set it on vivid and left it there.

 

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