Considering where Vizio started as a large screen TV manufacturer, the company’s ability to move up the chart in terms of notoriety and unit quality during the past several years is amazing. And as my Vizio D55U-D1 TV review shows, the company continues to develop low priced, good quality models.
The Vizio D55U-D1 isn’t a perfect TV. It has some problems with motion blur, and its 4K image quality isn’t quite as good as some models with higher price points. But the D55U-D1 Vizio model fits into a price segment of the market that few other models can reach, offering 4K resolution in a 55-inch television for less than $750.
(Even though this review specifically deals with the 55-inch D55U-D1, the feature set and display quality of this model are similar to the other screen sizes in the Vizio D1 family. However, the 32-inch and 28-inch units are limited to HD resolution.)
Summary: For those who want a large screen TV on a budget, the Vizio D55U-D1 model is a strong contender in the 55-inch 4K TV segment. While this Vizio unit doesn’t quite have the screen quality of some more expensive units, it’s definitely good enough for most viewing situations.
WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: Very desirable price point for 4K resolution screen
What We Liked
- Fast input lag, especially for the smaller screen sizes
- Very inexpensive versus the best 4K TV for 2018
- Smart TV features are pretty easy to use
- This model has a good contrast ratio and deep blacks versus similarly priced units
- TV makes use of full-array backlight
What We Didn’t
- TV is thicker than most others at this screen size
- Screen clarity and display quality can’t quite match more expensive models
- Some problems with judder on fast moving 24 fps movie scenes
- No HDR compliance
Vizio D55U-D1 Specs
|Screen Size||55 inches (50, 40, 32, and 28 inches also available)|
|Screen Resolution||4K/Ultra HD|
|120Hz Refresh Rate|
|Smart TV Interface||Vizio Internet Apps Plus|
|Input Lag||20 to 25 ms|
|Connectivity||5 HDMI, 1 USB, Ethernet, WiFi|
|Size||48.8 x 2.5 x 28.4 inches|
Compared to other large screen TVs, the Vizio D55U-D1 can’t be considered thin, measuring 2.5 inches in depth. The thicker portion of the back panel that contains the ports occupies nearly the entire back panel, so this model is only thin at the top and left and right edges. However, the placement of the ports does allow you to place the TV flat to the wall when mounted.
Vizio gave this model a dual stand configuration, and the legs are extremely wide — about 40 inches apart — meaning you’ll need a wide stand or cabinet top if you choose not to wall mount this model.
The D55U-D1 has a 0.55-inch black border, which is a bit wider than other 55-inch TVs.
Vizio D55U-D1 Features
The Vizio D55U-D1 settings reflect a model that offers quite a few features that are significantly better than what you might expect to find in a TV at this screen size and price point.
Starting with the D55U-D1 input lag, you’ll find that this television is a good gaming machine, as its input lag typically is between 20 and 25 milliseconds. The smaller screen sizes in the Vizio D1 family of TVs will have faster input lag times than the larger screens, so they’re potentially even stronger gaming options. Now, 25 ms might be not be quite fast enough for those who are playing enthusiast, first-person shooter games, but it’s a plenty suitable input lag for most games.
Read: Best 55 Inch TV
Vizio Internet Apps Plus represents the Smart TV functionality, and the six-core processor with this model provides fast performance. The Smart TV interface is easy to use. You’ll find many popular apps in this unit’s Smart TV service, including Netflix, YouTube, Spotify, Hulu, and Facebook, although it does not offer a Web browser or HBOGo. This design offers more options than previous Smart TV offerings from Vizio, making the D55U-D1 one of the best 55 inch Smart TV 2018 models. Some newer Vizio TVs are using Vizio SmartCast with Google Cast built in, but the D55U-D1 does not offer this feature.
Vizio always includes an above average number of HDMI ports with its large screen TVs, and this model is no exception with five HDMI ports. You are limited to one USB port, though.
The Vizio D55U-D1 unit does suffer from some problems with audio quality, so we’d recommend a sound bar if you’re looking for high-end audio performance.
While the D55U-D1 does provide 4K resolution, it is not HDR compliant, which is a feature currently found in more expensive 4K models. There isn’t a lot of HDR-enabled content on the market yet, but it would be nice to have this capability in a 4K TV.
When compared to TVs with a similar price point, the D55U-D1 has above average contrast levels, while screen uniformity is about average. These are areas where higher-end models tend to excel though.
As shown in our TV buying guide, the backlight in an LED-LCD television can be a full-array backlight that spans the entire screen or just the edges of the screen. The Vizio D55U-D1 is a full array backlit TV.
Full array backlit TVs make use of what’s called local dimming, where areas of the backlight dim behind an area of the screen that’s displaying mostly black, allowing the blacks to appear deeper. Vizio calls these areas Active LED Zones, and it offers different numbers of zones in various models. The Vizio D55U-D1 has fewer zones that it dims versus other models, such as the M55-C2 and the P602ui-B3. The sizes of these zones of dimming help to determine the quality of local dimming results, as a larger zone likely will dim an area that contains more colors than black.
The small number of local dimming zones is a primary reason the D55U-D1 lags behind some more expensive options in terms of display quality.
Vizio claims that the D55U-D1 has a viewing angle of 178 degrees, meaning you can see the image on the screen clearly from a wide angle. However, the test unit wasn’t clear when viewed from more than several feet off center, which equates to a much narrower viewing angle than 178 degrees. Reaffirming our experience is Rtings, who specifically measured the viewing angle of its model at a paltry 15 degrees.
When looking at various sizes of Vizio D1 TVs, I noticed the viewing angle varied widely from screen to screen. Some models in this range have a very poor viewing angle, while others perform better. So if you have a living room with wide seating, make sure to test the widest viewing angle before you select this television.
Movie Quality and 3D
Vizio claims that this TV offers a 120Hz effective refresh rate with Clear Action 240, both of which would make it ideal for sports and movies. However, with further investigation, the native refresh rate panel of this model is 60Hz, according to Rtings and our tests with movie playback at 24 fps. At a 60Hz refresh rate, 24 fps content has a hard time fitting and causes a slight juddering effect. Vizio tried to address this with a Reduce Judder setting, which helps, but doesn’t completely eliminate the problem.
This model doesn’t have 3D capabilities, which will disappoint some movie enthusiasts. But these are common caveats with lower priced televisions.
Vizio D vs. M Series Comparison
The Vizio D series models have a lower cost while still providing decent display quality. The M series on the other hand, is a little more expensive, while offering more local dimming zones than the D series to provide deeper blacks. Specifically, in the Vizio D55U-D1 vs M55-C2 comparison, the M55-C2 includes a greater audio output (15 watts to 10) than the D55U-D1.
Vizio’s D55U-D1 4K TV is a model that provides a good value in the 55-inch screen size. It has many more features than you’d expect to find at this price point for 55-inch models, and its display quality — while not perfect — is pretty good.
Vizio, which made our list as a best TV brand name, has also seen fit to give this model a full-array LED backlight, which provides better image quality than an edge-lit LED unit with deeper blacks and greater uniform color accuracy. A fast input lag is one of the strongest aspects of TVs in the D1 set of models from Vizio, which is helpful for gaming. But it does suffer from judder with some fast moving movies.
If you have a living room with a wide seating area, you will want to test the viewing angle of this TV before you buy it, as the ability to see the screen clearly varies quite a bit between display sizes in the Vizio D1 family.
The D55U-D1 certainly isn’t the best 55-inch TV on the market, but it’s a good unit that will make you rethink your perception of budget TVs.