Vizio Veco320L Review

by Tim Fulton on May 26, 2009

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Today we are going to look at Vizio’s offering in high efficiency green TVs, the Veco320L. The Veco320L boasts a 15% improvement over version 3.0 Energy Star specifications. That sounds pretty impressive, but is that where the greenness ends? Lets take a look.

Features & Specifications

The Veco320L is a fairly full featured TV that will likely satisfy all but the most hardcore TV enthusiasts. It has 32″ of viewable area, and supports 720p and 1080i formats, and supports resolutions up to 1366×768. Of course it has all the inputs that come on flat panel TVs today. The rest of the usual specifications can be found on Vizio’s Veco320L webpage.
The coloring of the TV is somewhat unusual. I guess Vizio felt the need to make this TV stand out and made the unit almost entirely white. Personally, I like the look of it, its very clean looking.
In Vizio’s earth mindedness they also packaged the TV in recycled material and printed their manual on recycled material with soy based ink. This is a nice touch that a lot of manufacturers tend to overlook.

Power Consumption

This is the bread and butter of the Veco320L. This TV boasts a 15% reduction in power consumption over version 3.0 Energy Star specifications. They also claim that this is a 44% power savings versus a traditional 32″ LCD TV. Their website claims a power consumption of 84W. However, when I monitored the TV during my usage, it was very rare if the power usage exceeded 65W, and it usually hovered closer to 60W.
Of course that isn’t the whole piece of the pie. Many TVs use a fair amount of power while turned off these days. In this respect, the Veco320L continues to impress. According to the kill a watt, the TV uses 0W while turned off. I’m sure there must be some draw, but its not much at all.

Environmental Impact

For this info, I had to contact Vizio directly. They said that the bezel is made of recyclable ABS plastic. The packaging contents are recycleable as well. They also said that the TV is RoHS compliant. This means that it is free of:  lead, mercury (except trace amount on the CFL), cadmium, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyls (PBB), and polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE). So, the TV is safe to be recycled. This is a definite plus.

Final Thoughts

Through the days of using the TV, my wife and I have both grown quite fond of it, her especially.  Our other TV is a Panasonic 27″ CRT.  The high definition and digital channels (just over the air, no cable or satelite) are a vast improvement over the normal TV.  The fact that it was designed to be environmentally friendly means a lot to us.  I love that it is both bigger, crisper, and uses less power than our old TV makes it all the more attractive.  Speaking of attractive, I like the white bezel and the layout of the TV.  It just looks clean.  Combine all that with a pretty good price, and you have yourself quite a decent package that is attractive not only to green buyers, but all buyers.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 roflwaffle May 27, 2009 at 2:35 am

How much juice does it suck down with the backlight off?

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2 Neil Blanchard June 5, 2009 at 9:55 am

Hi,

Did you happen to check the power factor on this TV? I’m definitely interested, and I’ll check into the other specs like the contrast ratio, etc.

Sincerely, Neil

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3 Neil Blanchard June 8, 2009 at 12:34 pm

Hi again,

I went to the closest place where they sell this TV (Sam’s Club), and it looks pretty darn good. Good blacks, and no noticeable bias to any one color, good detail (things like skin texture are clearly apparent). They have it for $428 — but you either have to buy a short term “summer” membership for $15 or pay a 10% fee plus tax. I am boycotting any business started by Sam Walton (aka Walmart and Sam’s Club) because I don’t like them for a number of reasons; so needless to say I did not buy it from them…

I reread this review before going, and I’m surprised that the back light is a CFL; and not LED. With this low power usage and high (dynamic) contrast ratio (12,500:1) I had assumed that it was LED’s. And if only it was 1080p — then it would be (nearly) perfect.

The only other place I could find that sells this unit is Dell.com, and they are my least favorite computer maker. If anybody finds this model on sale anywhere *else*, please post it here?

Sincerely, Neil

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4 Tim Fulton June 11, 2009 at 9:55 am

roflwaffle, I checked and the backlight can not be turned off on this TV.

Neil, I’m not sure what you mean by power factor. If you could explain I’d be happy to look into it.

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5 Neil Blanchard June 11, 2009 at 10:32 am

Hi Tim,

Power factor is essentially how electrically “noisy” the power supply is. It is expressed as a factor — if it close to 1 then the measured wattage is what the unit consumes. If it is less than 1 (say 0.9) then this effectively increases the consumption of the unit, because the electric company has to dampen it out of the grid — and they charge you for this higher number, which is known as the VA.

The Kill-A-Watt meter can display both the power factor (the PF button), and the VA, too. As an example, my 17 year old 27″ Panasonic TV (with the GAOO picture tube) reads ~116watts, and the power factor is 0.6 (quite poor!) so the VA is ~180; so I am “using” ~180watts and this is what the electric company charges me for.

In computer power supplies, many now have active power factor control, so the PF is 0.99, and this reduces the effective power consumption of the computer. This is different from the efficiency of the power supply, btw.

So, if you have the Vizio unit still, you can measure the PF and the VA with you Kill-A-Watt meter.

Also, I have found that there are several new LCD TV’s that are Energy Star 3.0 compliant, that use ~84watts. Two Samsung models (LN32B530 & LN32B640 that are 1080P) and a Sony (KDL-32XBR9). They are more expensive, but the 1080P with even higher dynamic contrast ratios make them quite tempting.

Sincerely, Neil

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6 mark September 17, 2009 at 2:25 pm

they have it at target i think for 450.. check there..if you hate sams/walmart

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