Vizio M70-C3 4K Ultra HD TV Review

m series UHD

70″ M70-C3 120Hz (240Hz effective) Smart LED TV

Vizio’s new M-Series has made the transition from last year’s 1080p models to 4K UHD TVs for 2015, and initial reports on performance from consumers have been, overall, very positive with the exception of a few performance/technical issues. This is good news considering how Vizio’s P-Series 4K TVs got off to a very shaky start last year.

Vizio’s latest M-Series features 9 models with screen sizes from 43″ to 80″. See here for more info. This review can also be applied to the 60″, 65″,75″ and 80″ models since they all share the same technical specs and features to the best of my knowledge.

I’ve also heard that the 49-inch model (M49-C1) uses an IPS panel, while the other M-Series models use VA panels. I could not confirm this at the time of releasing this article.

In this review I will cover my own evaluation experience with the M70-C3 as well as reports on performance from *consumers who have purchased this TV.

Design/Features

While viewing the M70-C3 “head-on” I couldn’t help but notice how strikingly handsome this display really is, and in my opinion is the most attractive Vizio display panel to date.

Vizio 4K M-Series

Vizio UHD M Series side view

The TV’s screen contains a semi-mate finish and is surrounded by a slim black bezel, that is accented with a very thin gray trim. The bezel is slightly thicker along the bottom edge of the display. The depth of this set isn’t the thinnest I’ve seen, measuring approximately 2.7″.

Vizio has changed the stand design on it new M-Series to cast aluminum metallic A-frame corner feet. I prefer this design much better than last years, and in my opinion gives the set a more elegant appearance.

Just like the P-Series, the new M-Series features full-array LED backlighting with local dimming, which enhances contrast and black level reproduction. However, the number of active LED zones total 32 vs. the P-Series’ maximum of 72 active LED zones.

Other features include:

  • 120Hz refresh rate (240Hz effective refresh rate) 60″ 65″ 70″ 75″ 80″ models
  • HD to UHD Upscale Engine: Spatial Scaling Engine
  • V6 Six-Core processor: Quad-core GPU + Dual-core CPU
  • 4K UHD video streaming support (HEVC H.265) for Netflix, Amazon Plus and UltraFlix, etc.
  • Premium Smart TV platform featuring Vizio Internet Apps Plus
  • 802.11ac Dual-band Wi-Fi
  • Two sided remote with backlit QWERTY keyboard
  • Will accept and display a true 120Hz signal – for PC use
  • Clear Action 720 – Motion blur reduction

Connectivity

5 HDMI inputs:

M70-C3 Rear Panel

M70-C3 Side Ports

  • HDMI Port 1 – UHD Video @30Hz, HDCP 2.2 support
  • HDMI Port 2 – UHD Video @30Hz, HDCP 2.2 support
  • HDMI Port 3 – UHD Video @30Hz, HDCP 2.0 support
  • HDMI Port 4 – UHD Video @30Hz, HDCP 2.0 support
  • HDMI Port 5 – UHD Video @60Hz, HDCP 2.2 support
M70-C3 connection ports

M70-C3 Bottom Ports

  • 1 Component input
  • 1 Composite input
  • 1 RF input for antenna/cable/satellite
  • 1 Ethernet input
  • 1 USB input
  • 1 Digital optical audio output
  • 1 Analog audio output

Performance

My overall first impressions of the M70-C3’s picture quality was surprisingly delightful… right away I noticed how clean and natural the images appeared. Colors were well balanced and very accurate, with just the right amount of saturation. I was amazed at how well this display produced skin tones, which were rendered with very good tonal accuracy.

Contrast performance was very good delivering peak whites without any noticeable blooming and deep/dark black levels with good shadow detail.

Picture (black) uniformity was very good on this set with no visible hot spotting, clouding or light bleed.

As a side note, I recommend using the “Calibrated” picture mode to achieve optimal picture performance.

With all the good performance characteristics the M70-C3 has in its favor, I did, however, experience a couple flaws in its picture performance. First, side angle picture image dimming was very apparent on this display and began to dim noticeably at around 20 degrees.

Motion Interpolation

I also experienced some motion judder (jerky movement) on some camera panning scenes I viewed. I typically don’t experience this form of motion interpolation on the TVs I review.

Even though I didn’t experience any motion blur (image streaking) on fast action highlights from a football game I viewed, there have been reports of motion blur issues from some consumers.

What consumers are saying about the M70-C3…

There have been several confirmed reports of a firmware glitch with the M70-C3 as well as all M-Series models which pertains to the motion interpolation settings that control the “soap opera” effect. This control resets itself to turn back on after the set is powered off then turned back on, or when you change apps. A work-around that will eliminate this problem is to turn on the sets “Game Low Latency” feature.

Speaking of video game latency, owners of this set and all M-Series 4K models report very low input lag during video game play with the “Game Low Latency”  feature turned on.

Consumers are also saying that the 4K upscaling on the new M-Series is better than the current P-Series.

Contrast is said to be better on the P-Series, as well as its local dimming feature. I’m sure this is due to the P-Series having move active LED zones than the M-Series.

Overall, my research has found that the majority of consumers who own 4K M-Series displays are very satisfied with their purchase, and enjoy the image quality this new series has to offer.

Conclusion

I consider the M70-C3 and all the new M-Series models to be the best “bang for your buck” 4K UHD TVs available at this time. The price vs. performance value is outstanding. Where else can you get a 70″ Ultra HD TV for just under $2,200.00, and get the type of picture performance the M70-C3 delivers.

Vizio’s new M-Series, in my opinion and experience, can’t match the performance of the “higher-end” models from Samsung and Sony, but nor did I expect it to at this price point.

However, if you are in the market for a large screen 4K TV with very good performance, I strongly suggest you take a look at Vizio’s M70-C3.

HDTVs and More recommended.

You may also be interested in these popular M-Series models:

60″ M60-C3 and 55″ M55-C2 Review

*Source: AVS Forums, Amazon.com

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