Bottom Line: The Vizio SV370XVT doesn’t look as sleek and refined as some of its peers, but don’t let the appearance deceive you. The set’s crisp, clear picture and above-average onboard sound make it an excellent choice for anyone looking for a quality LCD TV in the 30” to 40” range.
Setup: At only 37 inches, the SV370XVT is relatively small, and that makes setup a breeze. The TV comes boxed in two pieces (screen and base), and they are light enough for a single adult to lift. For assembly, you simply push the base onto a neck that is already attached to the TV and secure the two with a thumb screw. To be safe, you should have another person available when moving the set from place to place, but it’s light enough that a single adult could move it in a pinch. The SV370XVT can also be wall mounted.
The SV370XVT has a reasonable number of inputs and outputs, allowing the connection of a wide range of audio-visual accessories. Included are three HDMI inputs, one component video input, one composite input, one S-video input, an RGB input for connection to a computer, and a standard coax connector for cable. I would have liked one additional high-definition input (either HDMI or component), but this assortment should be workable for average viewers.
The SV370XVT remote is slim and attractive, but it’s not as intuitive as others I’ve used. Rather than a single input button, this one comes with separate buttons for HDMI, Component, AV and TV. This, of course, means you need to remember how you’re A/V items are connected. This isn’t a problem once you get used to the remote, but it could be simpler.
Appearance: The SV370XVT is a straightforward television with a simple black frame around the screen and a speaker grill running horizontally across the bottom. There’s also a light-up Vizio logo centered directly beneath the screen. The logo glows white when powered on and changes to a soft orange when on standby. Initially, I thought the glowing logo would distract from viewing, but I lived with the television for nearly a month and it didn’t bother me once.
The SV370XVT doesn’t look as modern as some of its competitors, primarily because of the visible speaker grill. This may bother people who prefer their televisions to look like picture frames, but the front-firing speakers have advantages, as they easily fill a room with sound. More on that later.
Picture Quality: I test televisions with a variety of sources, including high-definition and standard-definition satellite signals, as well as movies on Blu-ray and DVD, and the SV370XVT was an excellent performer under all circumstances. The TV has many preset video options, including “standard,” “movie” and “game,“ and they are reasonably good out of the box. I always tweak the video settings on my TVs, but I only toyed with the SV370XVT for about 15 minutes before coming up with an excellent picture.
Some people may even prefer the factory settings because the main adjustments I made were to the set’s “smooth motion” option, which is designed to reduce blur during fast pans, etc. The SV370XVT has a 120Hz refresh rate to reduce motion blur and, as with other high-refresh-rate TVs I’ve reviewed, I don’t like what the motion-smoothing does to film sources. Some people disagree, and the SV370XVT is capable of making both camps happy, as film purists can turn the motion smoothing off.
The SV370XVT has a number of advanced video controls for people who tweak their picture settings. The basic controls include “backlight,” “brightness,” “contrast,” “color,” “tint” and “sharpness,” but there are also deeper controls, including “noise reduction” and “color enhancement.” There are sets with more user-available adjustments, but I found those on the SV370XVT adequate. In fact, I rarely tinkered with the settings after my short initial setup. Also, the TV remembers the settings for each input, so you can set the brightness to one level for your Blu-ray player and another for your satellite receiver and it will make the adjustmenst as you change sources.
As with most LCD TVs, the picture on the SV370XVT is best viewed straight on, and the quality declines the farther you sit to one side or the other. This isn’t a flaw of the set. Rather, it’s one of the limitations of LCD technology. So, people looking for a TV that can be viewed from extreme angles may want to consider plasma. For everyone else, the SV370XVT is an outstanding choice that delivers a beautiful 1080p picture.
Audio quality: The SV370XVT uses front-firing speakers that can easily fill a room with sound. As with the video settings, the SV370XVT allows users to choose from basic pre-programmed settings designed primarily for better reproduction of music. They include “flat,” “rock,” “pop,” “classic” and “jazz.” For users who want more advanced control, there is a five-band equalizer that allows the fine tuning of frequencies. There’s also a surround sound simulator, but I didn’t notice a significant difference when running it. In fact, I preferred to leave it off. Finally, the set has a TruVolume control designed to minimize volume fluctuations between standard programming and commercials and different channels. I’ve never heard stock television speakers that could rival the sound from a good add on home stereo system, but as stock sound systems go, the SV370XVT has a good one.
Extras: The SV370XVT has a USB port that can be used to view photos and videos and listen to MP3 music. The picture quality is outstanding and the set has multiple audio adjustments for a variety of musical genres. I found all of the audio settings lacking in bass, but the sound is crisp, and the set can reach impressive volumes without distortion. While photo reproduction probably isn’t at the top of your list of concerns when purchasing a television, I really like this feature. It allows you to turn your set into an extremely high end digital picture frame, which can be great for parties and day-to-day life.
Note: The SV370XVT shares most specifications with Vizio’s SV320XVT.