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2016 Vizio SmartCast P-Series

     Updated May 1, 2016: HDMI 2.0a + 10-bit panel

Long live the Vizio P-Series! Vizio has announced an update to the 2014 P-Series televisions that brought affordable full array local dimming (FALD) backlight technology that improves picture contrast by dynamically controlling light output across individual zones based on video content. The new 2016 Vizio SmartCast P-Series brings many visual improvements including ultra high-definition (UHD) resolution, high dynamic range (HDR), and expanded color support via Dolby Vision

The new SmartCast TVs include a P-Series Tablet Remote with its 6-inch 1080p screen that promises to make finding the content you want to watch not only easier but less interruptive to the viewing experience. The Android tablet uses its Wi-Fi (over LAN) link to the TV for control, and it can fall back to a direct Bluetooth connection if necessary.

Best 2016 TVs + Tech

Specs for the new SmartCast P-Series TVs

  • 3840x2160 pixel resolution
  • Up to 128 zones of active dimming
  • 600-nits peak light output (full field)
    • 150,000:1 contrast ratio (claimed)
  • VA-panel type (except for 55-inch)
  • 120Hz refresh rate (except for 50-inch)
  • 10-bit panel w/10-bit+ processing
  • 96% DCI-P3 color space coverage
  • Google Cast enabled
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth 4.1 LE
  • 5 HDMI
    • 4 HDMI 2.0/HDCP 2.2 (HDMI 2.0a soon)
    • 1 HDMI 1.4 (4K60 4:2:0)

One item of note missing from the new P-Series compared to most HD/UHD TVs is an ATSC tuner for over-the-air (OTA) digital reception. The single tuner hardware in most TVs is effectively useless without DVR functionality, so the lack of a OTA tuner in this "home theater display" won't be a deal-breaker for most people.

Screen sizes and prices for the new Vizio SmartCast P-Series UHD TVs

  • 50-inches (P50-C1): $1000
         60Hz/VA-type/126-zones FALD
  • 55-inches (P55-C1): $1300
         120Hz/IPS-type/126-zones FALD
  • 65-inches (P65-C1): $2000
         120Hz/VA-type/128-zones FALD
  • 75-inches (P75-C1): $3800
         120Hz/VA-type/128-zones FALD

Panel type
The Vizio P-Series use VA-type LCD panels for improved contrast with poorer off-axis viewing compared to IPS-type panels. The exception in the P-Series is the 55-inch model that utilizes an IPS-type panel. Also, the P-Series TVs have an LCD refresh rate of 120Hz except for the 50-inch version that operates at 60Hz.

Wide color gamut (WCG)
The 2016 Vizio P-Series achieves its claimed 96% of DCI-P3 color gamut coverage through the use of phosphor-enhanced LEDs - typically blue LEDs coated with green/red (yellow) phosphor material. While this approach is different than the 65-inch R-Series that uses a quantum dot impregnated film for even greater color coverage, it is similar to the 120-inch R-Series' LED technology.

Unfinished business
The P-Series is an incomplete 2016 UHD TV until it receives an update that adds HDMI 2.0a - the update is expected by the end of June. Until then, P-Series owners only have VUDU for experiencing HDR/WCG content in the Dolby Vision format. There is no UHD Blu-ray player support without HDMI 2.0a, and it seems that it goes hand in hand with the P-Series' lack of HDR10 support. Given the connected nature of the P-Series TVs, these issues are expected to be addressed.

My recommendation is to stick with the 65-inch and 75-inch models for the best image quality. The 50-inch model is a 60Hz display and the 55-inch's IPS panel make them the oddballs in Vizio's P-Series lineup.

The new Vizio SmartCast P-Series TVs are available for order on the Vizio website.


     This article will be updated as new information is made available

Reader Comments (10)

How will functionality be with the new Amazon Fire TV and 4k hdr streaming. Vizio's info page seemed to be rather vague.

March 22, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDan Hilbert


Internal streaming on the TV has a customized casting solution from Google that apparently will support it. Anything having to do with a box like the Fire TV will have the box deal with it, and if the box can send something, the TV should be able to accept it as long as it works with the same standards the TV does.

Vizio doesn't seem to be listing custom elements for each HDMI socket (like they did for the 2014 p series and 2015 m series) so, until we get further information, I'd say that likely means they've upgraded the chipsets so each HDMI has proper tech support for modern HDCP and HDMI.

I follow various TV tech to the best of my ability, but I don't see myself affording a new TV to solidly know 'myself' what's going on here for quite a bit, so I wish you the best in figuring it out.

March 23, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMarc


March 25, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDan Hilbert

When do you think you'll have a full testing report of this new P series available for review?
Thanks for any info you can give.

April 3, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJohn

Bought the 50"....I bought into the Vizio wording of hz....thought it really was 120hz. (Actually emailed Vizio customers support....asked them 3 questions....basically wAs it a true 120hz panel/display or was it 60hz....and asked them to speak to all 3 questions...they just replied: Specs are available online...the specs online say 120 tru motion) tomorrow they are bringing me the 55"....just found out it is is for sports and games in my man room so not enough room for 60"+
Hope this is the one....
So worried the IPS will be a let down or something....

April 11, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterPaul

Bought the 55" as well -- should arrive tomorrow!

April 18, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDan Hilbert

Any updates on the 55" model. We're looking for a TV above the fireplace 50 to 55" is the biggest we can get up there.

May 24, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterawraynor

Just bought a Vizio P55c-1 yesterday and I'm blown away with its viewing!.. No issues so far with the display and up-scaling work great with direct TV. Right out of the box everything including updating went smoothly. Also enjoying Comcast but takes a little learning curve but no different than using a new android device.

May 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterKMc

Trying to convince wife to buy this TV. She feels our 50" Panasonic Plasma has been good enough and we don't need to upgrade this far. Ugh. Glad you're enjoying yours. Maybe I can at lease get her to go with an M Series.

Since we're cord cutters and do use an OTA antenna, how do you fix the issue with this not having a tuner?

May 30, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterawraynor

Has anybody been able to figure out how to get Amazon/Netflix at 4K with HDR to stream on these units?

June 23, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterLeo A

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