The past two weeks have seen a large chunk of the site’s traffic being on my first V705x-H1 review from when I’d only had it about a week. I had to rush that review due to TV drop date and as such I don’t feel it properly conveyed living with the thing… Here’s where we at at about three weeks in.
TL;DR – While I have problems with Vizio’s SmartCast and the first review stands, it’s a good to great budget 70″ class TV
Over the air TV tuning needs some work
I mentioned in another article that I decided to grab an antenna and ran into some issues unrelated to the V705x-H1. I don’t believe I mentioned there I also ran into some seriously annoying issues with the Vizio. So here’s the issue and it’s SmartCast/fixable, not the TV.
So I get this model because I want a TV, I want to add an antenna to it, it has the software to discover and tune channels. However each time you start tuning you have to discover the channels. There’s no way to say go to 4.1 and sit there, and if the antenna is not catching that channel it’s not going to be discovered.
Now on things like a HomeRun DVR or such at least I know where I’m at in the channel scan. The SmartCast scan just gives me a percentage and I get to wait and wait and wait and wait. I have multiple channels that do not get picked up right and I need to move the antenna around to get them to pick up so scan round 1 = antenna is in the window. Add channels scan #2 antenna is on the wall. Add channels scan #3 I have a different antenna attached so that I can get the NBC and PBS affiliates to show so I can tune to them (but that antenna doesn’t get half the other stuff).
Each time I do a channel scan it’s blind, and takes a couple of minutes. Forgot to “discover new channels” and accidentally press discover channels. Please put a warning “this will delete all channels and rediscover them all, are you sure?”
Basically as an antenna tuning software, I’m not happy. I don’t claim to know a lot about how the channel discovery works on DTV but it feels basic. The software asked where my zip code was for purposes of I’d assume channel guides so it knows where I’m at but man.
I’m also used to a TV guide – over on the TCL/Roku I’m pretty sure one of the apps (Pluto?) had a guide and the ability to tune the channel using either an app with a guide. Maybe I’m missing something but seems like an internet connected TV should have a TV Guide or something. Am I missing it? Seems to be mentioned a few times but I’m not finding it.
That’s not quite flat
It was a sunny day, the TV was off, and I was looking at the reflection of the light coming through the windows bouncing off the TV and noticed that if you moved a bit the lines of the slats in my shades did not move smoothly. I only mention this because I spent an inordinate amount of time trying to determine if the screen was slightly warped, whether my other screens would show the same slight curvature or what.
I’m being pedantic here I know but I could never determine what the actual issue is with the slight light distortion.
Maybe it’s the app
I’ve got all my stuff set up with Plex in general. My kid’s movies, ripped to a server I manage and all they have to do is press play. No dealing with a BluRay / DVD / cupholder. I’ve got my few OTA shows I watch recorded via an HDHomeRun DVR to my Plex server. The Plex on Vizio’s SmartCast just feels like it’s missing features (fast forward pop-up preview, skip commercials,) I mean it’s not a huge issue as I can record without commercials on the server side, but yeah.
Vizio V705x-H1 good or not?
It’s good. I complain about a lot of things because I’m a reviewer and I definately used the Roku platform religiously in my living room. You want to read a rah-rah piece, I’m generally not your guy. I’ve been to CES multiple times, seen walls of the best of the best. I don’t think the picture is on par with the $5000 sets I’ve looked at recently, but at about a tenth of the cost on sale, it’s a great budget huge beast and I like it, my kids like it, and my complaints would probably be with any Vizio SmartCast system or Plex at the moment and that’s just because it’s not quite how I like it.
Just for complete and total transparency here – I get no commission on Walmart or Vizio sales in this or the last review, in fact from what I can tell most of you are standing in Walmart right now reading this review. Hi Gary! I might get commission on a Vizio sound bar review I did a year or two ago but that’s been a while
I did get the unit for nothing via a reviewer program, but I’m not selling out Pocketables for $478 of product.