When comparing VIZIO M-Series 50" (M50-E1) vs Sony X720E 49" (KD49X720E), the Slant community recommends VIZIO M-Series 50" (M50-E1) for most people. In the question“What are the best 4K TVs for watching sports around $500?” VIZIO M-Series 50" (M50-E1) is ranked 1st while Sony X720E 49" (KD49X720E) is ranked 2nd. The most important reason people chose VIZIO M-Series 50" (M50-E1) is:
The M-Series is the best pick for HDR content in this price bracket. Compared to its direct competitors, it offers the best HDR experience because it has all the essentials for true HDR playback that its competitors lack: local dimming, fairly high peak brightness level, and a wide color gamut. Its deep black levels are further improved with local dimming, which can make parts of the screen darker when the image calls for it. This results in a slight increase in overall picture quality - the black levels become deeper by a small margin, so highlights will stand out further. Colors look vibrant in both dark and bright scenes, and the panel can reproduce the wide range of colors required for true HDR playback. In addition, it can also get bright enough to light up these colors sufficiently for HDR details to stand out, thanks to the peak brightness level of ~400 nits.
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Pro Great for HDR content
The M-Series is the best pick for HDR content in this price bracket. Compared to its direct competitors, it offers the best HDR experience because it has all the essentials for true HDR playback that its competitors lack: local dimming, fairly high peak brightness level, and a wide color gamut.
Its deep black levels are further improved with local dimming, which can make parts of the screen darker when the image calls for it. This results in a slight increase in overall picture quality - the black levels become deeper by a small margin, so highlights will stand out further.
Colors look vibrant in both dark and bright scenes, and the panel can reproduce the wide range of colors required for true HDR playback. In addition, it can also get bright enough to light up these colors sufficiently for HDR details to stand out, thanks to the peak brightness level of ~400 nits.
Pro Supports both HDR10 and Dolby Vision
The M-Series can play all HDR content because it supports both HDR10 & Dolby Vision formats.
Pro Great picture quality
The M-Series looks great with vivid colors.
Dark scenes look amazing with great details, thanks to the panel’s contrast ratio of roughly 5500:1, which means it’s capable of producing blacks that are 5500 times darker than the brightest white pixel the screen can produce. This can be pushed slightly further to about 5800 with local dimming, which results in a slight increase in overall picture quality.
The colors are quite lifelike and accurate even without any calibration. They will look vibrant even in bright scenes because of the panel's high peak brightness levels of ~300 nits for SDR & ~400 nits for HDR.
Even in a decently-lit environment, the picture quality of the M-Series won't deteriorate by much. The panel is good at handling reflections and it can get adequately bright to fight off glare.
Pro Decent at handling glare
The M-Series is decent in bright environments.
The colors won't look dull thanks to the panel's high peak brightness levels and good handling of reflections. It's bright enough to fight off glare with peak brightness levels of ~300 nits for SDR & ~400 nits for HDR, and the intensity of reflections are reduced by panel's semi-gloss finish.
Pro Comes with Chromecast built-in
You can stream content to the M-Series from smart devices or apps that support streaming media to Chromecast.
Pro Has a remote app for iOS & Android
The M-Series runs on VIZIO's SmartCast OS which has a brilliant, well-integrated phone and tablet app for iOS & Android. It can turn your smart device into a fully-functional remote, which makes it easy and convenient for you to control the TV without the physical remote. It's also particularly handy for text input, especially when it comes to searching for content from streaming services.
Pro Interface is ads-free
The M-Series has no ads on its interface.
Pro Excellent for watching sports
The Sony X720E has all the bits and pieces needed to deliver the excellent experience of watching sports and other fast-paced content. The TV has good control over its motion blur, excellent color uniformity, and wide viewing angle.
The X720E needs only 7.5 ms for its pixels to change their color; as a result, fast-moving objects don’t leave long trails on the screen, meaning that the motion blur effect is almost negligible.
Good color uniformity is another parameter that really makes a difference when watching sports. It allows the TV to display beautiful and uniform sports fields and pitches, without any unwanted artifacts. The maximum color deviation of this TV is below 2.5%, which means that the TV can sustain stable and uniform colors throughout its screen. The X720E has the best color uniformity in its range.
Pro Great for bright rooms
The combination of reasonably high peak brightness and semi-gloss screen finish allows this TV to deal with reflections and glare efficiently. Its 340 nits of brightness are more than what its direct competitors, including The VIZIO M-series and Samsung MU6300 offer. Furthermore, as the X720E diffuses up to 97.6% of ambient light, it does not suffer from reflections.
Pro Excellent viewing angles
The IPS panel of the Sony X720E gives you an extra bit of flexibility when it comes to finding a good viewing spot as its maximum viewing angle is 41 degrees; a double of what the competitors with VA panels can offer.
Pro Ads-free main interface
The main interface of the smart OS does not feature advertisements or sponsored content.
Pro Excellent for upscaling
This TV does a fantastic job when it comes to upscaling low-resolution content. In a nutshell, it can upscale 480p, 720p, and 1080p content to 4K resolution while preserving details and sharp edges. Great for those with a collection of old DVDs or Blu-ray disks.
Pro Well-rounded inputs
Regarding connectivity, this TV is has everything you'd currently want. It has three HDCP 2.2 compliant HDMI 2.0 ports, digital and analog audio output ports, and an Ethernet port. Additionally, as the TV has a composite input interface, you can enjoy playing your retro consoles, such as Nintendo or Sega without having to go through the hassle of signal conversion. HDMI, USB, and analog coaxial ports are situated on the side of the TV so you won’t have any problem accessing them even if it’s mounted on a wall.
Pro No problems with image retention
Unlike the majority of OLED panels, this LED TV does not suffer from image retention problems. You can leave the TV on for long periods without having to worry about pixel damage.
Pro Suitable for viewing up-front
The reasonably small panel size of 43-inch means you can still be comfortable looking at the screen up close. Therefore, you can conveniently use this TV as a computer monitor and sit as close as 2.2 feet away from it.
Pro The stand does not take up too much space
The 43-inch model of Sony X720E does not take up too much space on a work desk as the TV comes with a compact, 9.4-inch by 21.9-inch stand.
Pro Makes an excellent computer monitor
The Sony X720E makes an excellent computer monitor because it can smoothly display sharp and crisp images since the TV has full 4:4:4 color support, short input lag, and well-handled motion blur.
The full 4:4:4 color support allows the X720E to process non-compressed, computer-generated video inputs. Therefore, the TV can display sharp and crisp images, without any detail loss. This is especially noticeable while working with text and other vector graphics.
Additionally, the TV’s input lag of 19.7 ms ensures that it takes less than 20 ms for a TV to display an image change after you press a button. Such delay is almost unnoticeable to a human's eye.
Pro Excellent for console gaming
The combination of handled motion blur and low input lag makes this 4K60 TV a great companion to the latest generation consoles, like the Xbox One X, PS4 Pro, and Wii U. Additionally, the TV’s full HDR support allows you to fully experience HDR-enhanced games such as World of Tanks, FIFA 18, etc.
Con Local dimming could be better
Unless you're in a really dark room and the brightness is set to really high, the effects of local dimming on the M-Series isn't very noticeable. You'll be able to see some differences in dark scenes, but it's not enough to improve the picture quality by much. The contrast ratio with local dimming enabled increases from roughly 5500:1 to 5800:1, a difference that has little impact on the overall experience.
Con Interface can be sluggish and slow
The interface of VIZIO's SmartCast OS can sometimes be sluggish. Some users have reported experiencing choppy animations, frame drops when browsing through the menu, and slow response to input/selection.
Con Mediocre sound quality
The M-Series sounds too bassy and some details will be drowned out because of that. There is also noticeable distortion at high volumes.
Con Not suitable for group watching
The M-Series has a narrow viewing angle that makes it unsuitable for group watching.
Its picture quality gets worse when viewed from off-center angles. At just ≥20° off from the center, the colors start looking dull and blacks turns into grey.
Con Lacks TV tuner
The M-Series, along with several of VIZIO's latest TV lineups, does not have a TV tuner built-in. If you plan to watch local over-the-air broadcasts, you will need to purchase a TV tuner separately.
Con Not the best value choice for gaming
The M-Series is not the best choice for gaming in this price bracket due to its relatively high input lag of ~40ms. Gaming TVs requires low input lag so the player won't feel out of sync, which is why most of the TVs suitable for gaming have a low input lag of ≤20ms.
This may be negligible to some, but input lag can make a world of difference to demanding or competitive gamers.
Con Dark scenes look shallow
Due to the really low native contrast ratio of 907:1, dark scenes look washed out if the TV is placed in a dark environment.
Con Requires an external power brick
Both the 43-inch and 49-inch models of the Sony X720E have large and bulky external power bricks. Bulky PSUs can be a hassle to deal with especially if you’re mounting your TV on a wall.
Con Lacks Dolby Vision support
When it comes to HDR content, the X720E cannot display Dolby Vision-compliant media as it is only limited to HDR10 content.
Con Can’t fight judder in 60 Hz signal
The Sony X720E can't handle judder in 24p content sourced from the 60p/60i devices, like a cable or satellite box, or Apple TV. Such content contains so-called '2:3 judder' which means that the frame distribution among the timeline is inconsistent.
Con Not suitable for competitive gaming
While this TV has noticeably smaller input lag than the overwhelming majority of TVs on the market, it still can not compete with rapid TN monitors when it comes to fast and competitive computer gaming.
Con Can’t unleash full potential of HDR content
Even though this TV does support HDR10 media, the low HDR peak brightness, poor native contrast, lack of local dimming, and lack of wide color gamut severely limit the quality of HDR playback. Even some lower tier TVs will produce higher quality HDR images.
Con Built-in speakers don’t sound right
The X720E comes with an integrated 20W 2.0 stereo speaker system. While it can get pretty loud, peaking at the sound pressure level of 100 dB, the quality of sound is very weak, especially when it comes to bass. The speakers sound unclear and muddy.
Con Non-intuitive smart OS
Unlike other Sony TVs, the X720E has a custom, Linux based operating system which runs the Opera TV application store. The OS is unintuitive and confusing to use.