The TV That’s Trying to Save Television

Vizio’s newest 80-inch television will get you to put down your laptop.

It’s colossal — that’s the first impression you get. It’s just straight up massive. Compared to the cellphone screens and computer monitors we stare at all day, the 80” Vizio M-Series is a beast. To find a wall that can fit such a television is impressive all its own. But this television is not trying to perform just any small feat — it’s trying to save the very idea of a television itself.

Streaming on laptops has made the viewing experience ever smaller and less defined. Even as higher and higher resolutions become possible, people seem willing to watch low-quality streaming video on their cell phones or computers. They’re both relatively cheap and portable, all things a television is not. With television sales plummeting by more than 10%, companies are scrambling to figure out what will get people to put the idiot box back in their living rooms. For the team at VIZIO, this means bigger, better, and much, much faster.

“At the end of the day, most mainstream consumers are looking for a great picture and an easy to use smart TV with a wide range of entertainment options,”   Carlos Angulo, a Senior Manager for VIZIO explained over email. Using the television, it becomes clear that the M-Series (the 80” model in particular) is the attempt to meld the best parts of the interactive experience we’re used to from phones and laptops, and put that on an insanely high-definition picture.

Within two minutes of wrangling the television out of the box, I was able to stream both Netflix and Hulu, all without the fuss and endless cords that many still associate with the HDTV revolution.

“It was very important for VIZIO that streaming quality caught up to picture quality for a product like M-Series,” Angulo explained. For a machine that specializes in streaming entertainment, it’s huge that Netflix and Hulu are able to now stream at such high quality, allowing for film buffs to put away their Blu-Ray players forever.

While it probably won’t save televisions, the VIZIO 80” 4K member of the M-Series is a great reminder of what made great TV’s so badass in the first place — they can pretty much change a room into a theater, all without leaving your wall.