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VIZIO at CES: 3D and portable TVs, apps, iPod audio

updated 08:40 pm EST, Sat January 9, 2010

VIZIO plans sweeping changes at CES

VIZIO at CES launched wide range of new TVs, including its first 3D and portable sets. The XVT Pro series now includes sets from 47 to 72 inches that support 3D from Blu-ray and TV. All of them also have extra-quick 480Hz panels as well as built-in wireless HDMI, 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and LED backlights with local dimming to improve contrast; a unique 58-inch model has a 21:9 aspect ratio (2560x1080) display that can show theatrical movies without black bars.

These sets are also home to a new set of VIZIO Internet Apps that include streaming movies from Amazon VOD, Netflix and VUDU as well as Flickr photos, Rhapsody music subscriptions, Twitter and Yahoo Widgets. VIZIO is revealing the sets early and won't deliver them until August, when they will cost between $1,999 and $3,499.

Less expensive sets are also being upgraded today and should see the 240Hz XVT TruLED line come in sizes between 42 and 55 inches; most have LED local dimming and the new Internet apps, and their prices will vary between $1,199 and $2,199. Most will be available in January, though some larger, higher-end versions won't ship until May.

Below this, the budget Razor LED line largely foregoes LED dimming, Internet apps and Bluetooth on all but the 47-inch to 55-inch models. Larger models are also the only ones to get 120Hz panels as the rest use traditional 60Hz screens. The total series starts with a $199 16-inch model and peaks at the $1,799 15-inch unit.

VIZIO's first portable sets are part of a separate Razor LED line and include 7-, 9- and 10-inch sets. All have three hours of battery life and can pick up fixed ATSC and NTSC signals, but the two larger models also support the new Mobile DTV standard for viewing in trains and otherwise while moving quickly. The two also have HDMI 1.4 inputs. The portables ship at an unmentioned time later this year and will cost $149, $199 and $229 at their respective sizes.

Rounding out the new series are audio devices that include five sound bars and an iPod headphone and dock combo. Fronting the group are the two-channel VHT200, 2.1-channel VHT212 and 5.1-channel VHT512 are designed for 32- and 37-inch TVs. The larger models use 2.4GHz RF wireless to not only talk to their subwoofers but also to an iPod dock that charges and plays most Apple devices when nearby. VIZIO expects them to cost $149, $249 and $399 respectively and to ship between April and May.

Upgrades have been given to two other sound bars, the 2-channel VSB200 and 2.1-channel VSB210WS, to add Dolby Digital processing. Both are meant for 40-inch and larger TVs and will ship this month for $199 and $349.

Lastly, the VHP100 headphones use 2.4GHz RF to pipe audio either from a home theater system's RCA and SPDIF jacks or else an iPod dock built into the necessary base station. The set lasts for 5 hours on battery, can charge through USB, and will be ready in May for $299.

2010 sets with sound bars and Internet apps: Rhapsody, Yahoo, VUDU

by MacNN Staff



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