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Vizio P65-C1 display review: Dolby Vision HDR and an Android remote control

Jon L. Jacobi | June 29, 2016
The Vizio P-series displays are the first we've seen to offer Dolby Vision HDR. The picture is great, but there's no TV tuner.

With no HDR 10 available, the Ultra HD Blu-ray titles I tried looked good, but no better than on most 2160p displays. Neither is there any HDR up-sampling available for SDR, so we were kind of out of luck on that front. 

Other than the slothful roll-out of HDR 10 support, my only real quibble with the P65-C1 was that motion scenes weren’t particularly smooth, even with judder reduction at maximum. This despite a 120Hz refresh rate and all the industry tricks on board. I’m hoping this was a firmware issue, as I’ve witnessed smoother motion from less-expensive Vizio displays.

Remote versus tablet

I can see the logic and the appeal behind Vizio’s offloading smart and configuration features, and can envision it meshing perfectly with the lifestyles of phone- and tablet-centric folk. As you can use your own phone or tablet, it can also help you keep your remote collection in check.  

But while I appreciate Vizio looking to the future with Google Cast and tablet control, I’m not 100-percent sure I like it. Alternating your gaze between displays seems a bit active and distracting for what’s essentially a passive, focused experience. The noticeable lag between adjusting a setting on the tablet and it taking effect on the TV didn’t help the experience. Also, super-fine adjustment was nearly impossible with the current app due to the lack of granularity in the sliders.

smartcast p series ir remote

The standard P-Series remote has very limited functionality. The channel-change buttons, for instance, do nothing because the P-Series don't have tuners.

But I’m a bit set in my ways. In the end, it’s a matter of taste and habit. I’m just here to tell you that the Vizio P-Series control and streaming experience is a bit different from the norm, and you should take that into account.

Final thoughts

There can be few complaints about the P65-C1’s picture. It’s around the mean with standard material, but with Dolby Vision HDR? That looks good, and I mean Good with a capital G. The few bugs and omissions I’ve mentioned should be addressed shortly. 

Obviously, if you want a tuner, or a traditional remote and on-screen interface, skip the P-Series. On the other hand, if you like the idea of a tablet-centric, cable, and internet-delivery approach, then hop on for the ride. But you might want to just trot alongside until the promised HDR 10 update is delivered. Especially as there’s not a ton of HDR content available yet.


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