Vizio M-Series Quantum 50-Inch Class M50Q7-H1

If you’re looking for an affordable TV, the Vizio M-Series Quantum is likely on your radar. It’s an HDR-compatible 4K TV line with quantum dot technology to improve its color performance, and at $439.99 for the 50-inch M50Q7-H1 we tested, it’s pretty friendly on the wallet. It indeed offers a wide color gamut, as well as a gaming mode with incredibly low input lag and a strong set of connected features. The M-Series Quantum is a solid buy for the price, but its contrast levels fall behind slightly more expensive models like the Hisense H8G series.

A Simple Design

The M50Q7 is a very simple, plain-looking TV, with a thin black plastic bezel that runs around the sides and top, and a wider strip on the bottom edge bearing the Vizio logo. It isn’t particularly svelte, thickening out to three inches deep in the middle. It’s a very utilitarian design, with few flashy elements. The TV sits on two thin metal V-shaped legs, or it can be mounted on the wall.

Aside from the power connector on the left, all ports can be found on the right side of the back of the TV. Two HDMI ports, an RCA composite input, and a USB 2.0 port face directly right. Two more HDMI ports, an Ethernet port, optical and RCA audio outputs, and an antenna connector face down. A small cluster of buttons (power, input, and volume up/down) sit on the lower right corner of the back panel.

Vizio M-Series Quantummajor streaming services including Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, Disney , Hulu, Netflix, and YouTube. It’s a modestly broad selection of apps and services compared with platforms like Google TV and Roku TV, but it covers most bases.

More importantly, SmartCast features support for AirPlay 2 and Google Cast, so you can stream video from your Android or iOS mobile device, or your Mac or PC. It lacks a voice assistant feature, but it’s nicely equipped in terms of displaying content.

Contrast and Color Performance

The Vizio M50Q7-H1 is a 4K TV that supports high dynamic range (HDR) content. It’s compatible with HDR10, HDR10 , HLG, and Dolby Vision.

We test TVs with a Klein K-80 colorimeter, a Murideo SIX-G signal generator, and Portrait Displays’ Calman software using methodology based on Imaging Science Foundation’s calibration techniques.

See How We Test TVsSee How We Test TVs

The M50Q7 won’t impress you with its contrast. In Calibrated (Dark) mode, the TV shows a peak brightness of 186.334cd/m^2 for a full screen of white and 216.619cd/m^2 for an 18% white field, with an average black level (while displaying white on the screen) of 0.153cd/m^2. That results in a mediocre effective contrast ratio of 1,416:1.

Using the default Calibrated mode doesn’t appreciably affect peak brightness, and harms the black level for an even lower contrast ratio. Setting the Calibrated (Dark) mode’s backlight to maximum bumps up the peak brightness a bit, but more than doubles the black level in the process. Basically, you won’t get the kind of contrast you’ll find in the TCL 6-Series here (74,326:1), or even the Hisense H8G series (20,486:1).

Vizio M-Series QuantumHDFury Diva HDMI matrix, which measured a lag of 44.4ms for the M50Q7 under default settings.

Turning on the Pro Game Engine Game Low Latency feature, however, slashes that lag down to a blistering 3.1ms. That’s comparable with some gaming monitors, and easily puts the M50Q7 on our list of the best TVs for gaming.

Good for Gamers on a Budget

The Vizio M-Series Quantum TV line offers impressively wide color range for a budget-friendly price. Unfortunately, the contrast performance doesn’t match up, resulting in muddy shadows and a picture that isn’t particularly bright. The Hisense H8G series offers much better contrast for a slightly higher price. And if you don’t mind spending a bit more than that, the Hisense H9G and TCL 6-Series both stand out as fantastic performers on the top edge of the “budget” realm. The M-Series Quantum is compelling if you’re a gamer and you want a super-responsive screen for a low price, but cinephiles should consider spending a bit more for a much better picture.

January 21, 2021
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