Vizio, known for low-buck LCD and plasma TVs available from places like Costco and Sam's Club, told CNET's News.com that its first 1080p product, the GV47L FHDTV (pictured, $1,999), would hit stores soon. According to the rep at Vizio we spoke with, it could arrive as early as the first week of January. The company had been avoiding butting heads with the 1080p competition because it was waiting for the right price. Apparently, 47 inches for just less than two grand is right enough for Vizio.
We reviewed a good-performing 47-inch 1080p TV in October, the Westinghouse LVM-47W1, that goes for about the same price now, so the Vizio isn't exactly price breaking. The Vizio GV47L FHDTV has an HD tuner and a slightly better input configuration (2 HDMI, 2 component-video, 1 VGA, along with more standard-def inputs) than the Westinghouse, but there are no other major differences. It takes the same "Gallevia" styling cues as the 46-inch GV46L HDTV. Meanwhile, I still like Vizio's 50-inch plasma or Panasonic's TH-50PH9UK for that matter, over either LCD, unless our review of the 47-inch Vizio (coming soon!) reveals something completely unexpected.
I still expect Vizio to make at least one price-breaking announcement at CES in a couple weeks; I wouldn't surprised to see a ridiculous price for a larger-than-50-inch plasma, for example. We'll see.
Update 12-19-2006: This post originally mentioned that the Vizio spec sheet indicated that the maximum PC input resolution via HDMI was 640x480. Vizio's rep clarified that information, saying that you can achieve 1920x1080 resolution from a PC source if you set the colorspace on your video card to video, as opposed to the computer colorspace. The analog VGA input is still limited to 1024x768 resolution.