VIZIO PQ65-F1 LCD ULTRA HDTV
FOUNDED IN 2002, Vizio is an American company headquartered in California that aims to offer topquality TVS at prices that will appeal to a wide range of consumers. Vizio came close to being bought out by Chinese company Leeco in 2017, but that purchase fell through for a number of reasons and the company remains American-owned. HDTVS and UHDTVS are its primary focus, but Vizio also sells a competitively-priced lineup of soundbars.
OUT OF THE BOX
Vizio’s new PQ65-F1 P-series Quantum set is the company’s premier 2018 offering. Available only in a 65-inch size, it shouldn’t be confused with the Quantumless P-series, which comes in 55-, 65-, and 75-inch screen sizes and is spec’d for a wide color gamut that offers about 93% of P3 color space. P-series Quantum expands that range closer to 100% of P3 through the use of Quantum Dot backlight technology. The regular P-series models also offer less brightness (1,000 nits claimed maximum vs. the 2,000 nits peak claimed for the PQ65-F1) and fewer local dimming zones (up to 120 for the P-series vs. 192 for the PQ65-F1). As with most Vizio sets, the PQ65-F1 has full-array local dimming or, as Vizio calls it, Active Full Array Max.
The PQ65-F1’S sleek design features an inconspicuous, wafernarrow black bezel. Since its feet are located near the far sides, your TV stand needs to be a minimum of at least 56-inches wide for a table mount.
The PQ65-F1 is compatible with the three most common HDR (high dynamic range) formats: HDR10, Dolby Vision, and HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma). It can’t do HDR10+, a format that may end up being significant in the future but currently is vaporware.
The Vizio’s HDMI 2.0a inputs (numbered 1 through 4) offer upscaling of non-4k sources to fill the panel’s 4K resolution. HDMI input 5, limited to HDMI 1.4, is optimized for gaming but offers no scaling or HDR capability. HDMI ARC is available on input 1. Since the set’s HDMI inputs in
their default mode will not fully accommodate all the features of Ultra HD sources (4K, 60p, 4:2:2 subsampling, 10-bit color, HDR), you’ll need to go to Menu>input Settings>inputs and enable Full UHD Color.
The Vizio offers all of the smart features you could want from a modern UHDTV. These can all be controlled via the provided remote, Vizio’s SmartCast Mobile app, or by voice using either a Google Home or Amazon Echo (not included), both of which are compatible with the PQ65-F1. I used only the provided remote, which was non-illuminated and so thin that it was prone to make a dash for gaps in my seat cushions. Even so, it was easy to use by feel alone in total darkness— at least for frequently used functions.
There are six selectable picture modes on the PQ65-F1, all of which can be individually adjusted—sort of. Calibrated and Calibrated Dark appear to be linked via their Color Tuner settings, which offer 2-point and 11-point white balance plus full color management system (CMS) adjustments. In other words, color can’t be calibrated separately for those modes. The Standard picture mode’s Color Tuner can be set separately from Calibrated and Calibrated Dark, but its settings are linked with the Vivid mode. Ditto for another pair of modes: Game and Computer. Picture mode settings can be adjusted separately for HDR and SDR (standard dynamic range), however, so if you use the same mode for both the set will then automatically switch settings when it senses whether the source is HDR or SDR. The one variable is Gamma, which you’ll need to go into the menu and switch manually if your preferred gamma setting is different for HDR and SDR viewing (it was for me).
Got all of that? I imagine not. But the menu offers six picture memories in which you can save your desired settings. I recommend using these, and also avoiding all of the picture modes apart from Calibrated and Calibrated Dark (plus
Game for gaming). However, the Vizio’s picture memories aren’t separately configurable for each input under the same name: If you set one up for HDMI 1, then select it for Input 2 and make a change, that change will reflect back on the Input 1 settings as well. The set does have a lock feature, but enabling it didn’t appear to prevent this.
I used the PQ65-F1’S Calibrated Dark picture mode for both HDR and SDR, adjusted from their default settings as needed. Most of the control settings are self-explanatory, with the notable exception of Xtreme Black Engine Pro, which adjusts the full array local dimming. Black Detail is said to affect shadow detail, while the Normal color temperature setting is claimed to be closest to D6500 (see Test Bench). Motion Control offers several options. Clear Action adds black frame insertion to smooth motion, but significantly lowers picture brightness. There are separate blur and judder controls as well, but I left them both off to avoid any trace of “soap-opera” effect on filmbased sources. The Vizio produced considerable blooming when displaying bright white objects against a full black background. But that situation is relatively common with LCD TVS and blooming only rarely intruded on real program material (including the black bars on widescreen films). Screen uniformity was fair to good. Subtle vertical bars could be seen on full-field gray test patterns, but were hard to spot on actual program material. The right side of the screen was also a hair brighter than the center and left side, but again this was not an issue in normal use (such issues can also vary from sample to sample). Off-axis viewing was typical for most LCD displays, meaning that you’ll want a center seat for the best picture. An Enhanced Viewing Angle control in the Vizio’s menu made no visible improvement.
The set’s sound is adequate for casual viewing but uninspiring. The Toslink digital audio output will pass multichannel Dolby Digital to an optical digital input on your AVR. Dolby TRUHD, or any form of DTS, can only be passed as 2.1-channel stereo, however.
Before calibration in the Calibrated Dark mode, the set’s
The PQ65-F1 features an HDMI input optimized for gaming with less than 15 milliseconds latency.