I’m thinking of getting a new HDTV, so this is the first in a series of netnographies on TV brands. I currently have a Sharp Aquos and I hate that the dark colors in dark movies like Harry Potter are so dark you can’t make anything out. I may as well just listen to the sound track on CD!

One leading brand I’m considering is VIZIO. It’s the first American brand in over a decade to lead in U.S. LCD HDTV sales. It offers the best-selling LED LCD HDTV as well as the highest-rated LCD HDTV of 2010. (Source: HDTV Magazine and CNET Reviews) VIZIO wants its various product lines to be known for entertainment essentials, sleek design and ultimate performance.

Positive Themes

Consumers like VIZIO’s prices, and most of them make the important distinction that it’s not simply inexpensive, it’s a great value.

  • Vizio SV420XVT: if you are searching for the cheapest 42 inch LCD TV then you might stop your search right here. Vizio HDTV has got a great price along with exceptional image quality. The cons are that it does not have an USB port or SD card slot and even the menu does not have quick navigation settings. (source)

One of the most important TV attributes—if not the most important—is picture quality, and consumers think VIZIO’s picture is one of its strong points. This feedback recognizes their positioning for “ultimate performance.”

  • I don’t believe the Vizeo optical output supports 6 channel sound (my opinion)! Any ideas? Everything about this Vizio HDTV is perfect.Please don’t waste your money on more expensive HDTV’s. This has the greatest picture of any HDTV out there. (source)

People praise the TV’s functionality, and many use it as a (very big!) computer monitor, or for gaming.

  • My hubby finally got his T.V. a 37 inch Vizio HDTV . Hes sooooo happy and i have to say it is pretty cool i have my computer hooked to it and i can use it like a monitor and do everything from the couch. Plus we can watch all the movies in the world for Free. I love you baby i’m glad your happy !!!! (source)

The company also wants to be known for its “sleek design,” and according to many comments, they’re succeeding.

  • Very elegant design that is also a thin, knife M190VAW LED Vizio HDTV is ideal for most areas of home entertainment. LED-backlit LCD HDTV is a refresh rate of 60 Hz, which can create a display of bright colors and 19-inch depth. (source)

Negative Themes

Consumers posted a range of negative comments about “display problems,” including “black screen,” “abnormal colors,” “blurry picture” and more.

  • It doesn’t seem to work anymore. 18:59:37 : Iphone must come to Verizon to compete -RT @mashable: More Smartphone Buyers Choose Android Over iPhone [STATS] – http://mash.to/2UjVX . 19:10:03 : Son’s 42in Vizio HDTV has “black screen of death” today. (common Vizio issue!) Thank god for extended warranty. (source)
  • VIZIO VL370M 37 LCD TV widescreen 1080p FullHD HDTV . >> junk this tv has a very blurry picture that only has a refresh rate of 60htz and the java color is ugly i owned this set for one day and returned it. this is the first time i ve had to do that for a tv i was not happy with this set i see why it’s only 499 don t get fooled by the price because it’s selling for cheap the quality is poor buy a tv that gives great results even if you have to spend more money.

Gaming is a big reason people buy these big HDTVs, but getting them to work properly with so many different devices—Xbox, PlayStation, Dreamcast—can be problematic.

  • When playing PS1 games on my PS2, my Vizio HDTV refuses to stretch the image completely and leaves it with a black, vertical border on one side. My questions are these: 1. If I hook up my Dreamcast using the standard RGB cables, am I going to see the same thing with the Dreamcast? (source)
  • Ok so here’s the deal I just got a brand new 40 in vizio hd tv for a better black ops experience, but now when I play or just navigate my xbox dashboard it moves really fast like a jerking motion and it makes it hard to move to the point where I get no kills in whole rounds and my is is dropping rapidly. My old Toshiba was a regular tv that didn’t do that when it moved it was a better flow but in this tv it jerks at like 45 to 90 degree when I turn and my black ops sensitivity is on 1 and 2 but I still cant play. (source)

Some consumers had problems with defective sets right from the beginning.

  • ‘s third Vizio HDTV just died. It should only take seven years for them to process the refund check. Time to buy an LG! (source)
  • My new Vizio Hdtv is acting up already? i had just bought it for about two weeks. Now whenever I turn the tv on, it has a bunch of flying white spots all over the tv. What’s going on? How do I fix it? (source)

The attractive price on VIZIO TVs can also come back to haunt them: When a TV doesn’t work properly, consumers can’t resist wagging their finger and saying “you get what you pay for.”

  • Ritz1987 said: IgnatiusReilly said: They [Vizio HDTV]’re cheap and there’s nothing they can’t do that a Bravia can do. How about display a high dynamic contrast ratio? Vizio’s are cheap for a reason. (source)


Consumers do so much more with their TVs than watch HDTV—including wirelessly accessing online content via Internet apps, and playing computer games—that TVs really have become part of an “entertainment experience.” VIZIO is successfully positioning itself as a technology leader—at an attractive price—and their sales leadership position shows consumers agree that the company is providing “entertainment freedom.”

VIZIO wants its various product lines to be known for entertainment essentials, sleek design and ultimate performance—and by and large they’re succeeding. Their products are selling extremely well, and for an American company to be the best-selling electronics brand is quite an accomplishment. VIZIO might want to push the value angle even more in its positioning, given that many consumers already give it credit for a great price with great performance.

One area the company might be able to improve is in the product’s functionality and versatility as a display for gaming consoles and computers. There are lots of posts on gaming forums about TVs—gaming is clearly an important application, and this community actively uses social media. VIZIO may be able to sell even more sets to gamers if they make a concerted effort to understand gamers’ issues, address them, and market specifically to these users.

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