Besides the various Vizio soundbars we covered the summer; they also refreshed their TV line and this time we are looking at their V-Series with the V555-J01 model. This is their entry-level TVs that are just below their M-Series ones like the M65 we last covered. With additions such as a smart remote, thinner bezel, more support for 4K HDR, and even gaming how far apart are the two?
The V555-J01 is a 55” LED 4K panel that actually measures about 50in across and weights a little over 30lbs. Bezels are about 2cm thick while on the M-Series it is about 1cm thick. Seeing as this was a smaller TV, I was able to set up myself pretty much with just screwing the legs in and placing on my TV stand. While it doesn’t look sleek, it still feels nice and compact looking with the Vizio logo in the middle.
Connection wise it has everything from RCA, Ethernet, USB, Optical, and (3) HDMI ports (with one supporting eARC). While this has one less port compared to the M-Series I like that Vizio put these on the side making them more accessible than on the rear bottom.
Seeing how this TV only has three HDMI 2.1 ports I went ahead and connected my PS5, NVIDIA Shield, and Vizio soundbar. Luckily though the Vizio Soundbar has another HDMI port on it, so I have my Xbox Series X connected to that. CEC Discovery recognizes all the devices with ease and TV has worked smooth when switching to the “soundbar” input to access the Series X.
There are TV controls on the back right side near the HDMI panel such as volume and power buttons and TV also has stereo speakers which I seldomly used. They sound like your typical TV speakers aka a bit tinny and loud without much detail. I’d say go for a soundbar if you can.
Navigation / Apps / Features
With the 2021 series, Vizio has updated its remote control. Its smaller, more compact and features less buttons. They omitted the number keys and channel toggle button from the previous version They did remove the “pic” button which I liked for changing the TV formats though. Also, the stream app buttons have been updated with Peacock, Disney+, Crackle and Tubi which replaced Redbox, Hulu, Vudu, and Xumo. Also, this time around there is voice controls to the remote. You can hold the mic button and make commands such as “Disney+”, “YouTube TV”, and search for “Terminator movies”. You really must play around it though to see what it can and can’t do. It covers more of the Vizio TV itself than working say within apps ala NVIDIA Shield. Hopefully Vizio will push some updates to make it more intuitive but it’s a decent start.
I feel like Vizio’s SmartCast UI is faster than on the M-Series I covered prior. Navigating from the various apps and even opening has kicked it up a notch. Vizio continues to support various apps such as Netflix, AppleTV, VUDU and making you are taken care of with newer ones such as Peacock, Paramount+ and HBOMax. With this I have utilized it more than I normally would my NVIDIA Shield TV this time around. If you want to mirror your devices whether it be Android or iOS, Google Chromecast and Apple AirPlay are built right in.
What to Watch?
I spent the last few weeks watching everything under the sun on the V555-JO1. I binged a whole season of “Black Summer” on Netflix and seen “The Suicide Squad” on HBOMax which both supported Dolby Vision as well as Dolby Atmos (w/ the accompanying Vizio soundbar). Picture detail was on point but felt like it could of did in some of the darker scenes but that’s in part to no local dimming option. Watching action scenes such as Bane vs Batman in “The Dark Knight Rises” or Cap vs Winter Soldier in “The Winter Solider” looked great with no motion blurring or pixelating. These flicks which I checked out via Disney+ and Apple TV+. This TV does support a bit everything ranging from 4K Ultra HD, Dolby Vision, HDR10, HLG, and HDR+. I did find in its Vivid or Bright setting colors can be a bit too saturated and prefer to go to the Calibrated or Calibrated Dark look. Only thing with this as mentioned you must go in the settings compared to it being on the prior year’s remote. I would get my regular TV programming on YouTube TV whether it was wrestling, the news, or baseball(as seen above).
Viewing angles aren’t its strong suit but sitting directly in front of the TV is optimal for the best experience.
What to Play?
Besides binge watching I spent a reasonable of time gaming on the TV via my next-gen consoles. On the Xbox Series X, it was a good amount of Forza Horizon 4 which is one of the best-looking racing games out. Details are immaculate on this device with no lag while cruising the streets. Same can be said playing God of War and Tetris Effect on the PS5. I’ll say I think I enjoy gaming more on this TV than watching content. The V555 supports Variable Refresh Rate (VRR), AMD FreeSync, and gaming at up to 4K 60fps. This is all thanks to their V-Gaming Engine. Remote also seems to work with my PS5.
I spent the last few weeks gaming and watching various amounts of content on the V555-JO1. It hasn’t been a bad experience to say the least. I think it does a splendid job as far as handling next-gen gaming consoles such as the Xbox Series X and PS5 while watching media content it isn’t bad. Colors could be a bit richer with detail and also dark scenes could look much better. But this is also an entry-level panel so you can frankly only expect so much. I will say the updated remote and faster SmartCast UI is a thumbs up.