Summary List Placement
- Vizio’s P-Series Quantum 4K TV (P65Q9-H1) improves upon the previous model with new gaming features.
- There are some minor flaws, but the TV’s picture quality is fantastic for its class.
- The P65Q9-H1 is competitively priced at $1,200, but it’s a better buy when it’s on sale for under $1,000.
Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky65-inch P-Series Quantum 4K TV (2020) (small)
Year after year, Vizio’s P-Series TVs consistently deliver strong performance for surprisingly low prices. Compared to similar offerings from Sony, LG, and Samsung, the P-Series always manages to come in at a lower cost while still providing many of the same image, smart TV, and connectivity features.
For the company’s new 2021 model, that impressive value is once again on display. The 65-inch P-Series Quantum (P65Q9-H1) offers nearly everything buyers could want from a mid-range home theater TV, including local dimming, quantum dots, Dolby Vision support, and HDMI 2.1 ports.
There are some drawbacks, however. HDMI glitches can occur with some components, the on-screen app library is small compared to other platforms, and Vizio still doesn’t include a voice remote with its TVs. Still, for people who prioritize picture quality on a budget, the P-Series Quantum provides some of the best image performance you can get for the price, especially when it’s on sale for under $1,000.
Vizio 65-inch P-Series Quantum TV specifications
|Vizio P-Series Quantum 4K TV||Specs|
|Screen:||65-inch LCD panel (VA)|
|Resolution:||4K Ultra HD 3,840 x 2,160 resolution|
|Local dimming:||200 zones|
|Refresh rate:||120Hz native refresh rate|
|HDR formats:||HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision, and HLG|
|Color:||Wide color gamut with quantum dots|
|Dimensions:||57 x 35 x 12 inches with stand attached|
|Weight:||55 pounds with stand attached|
|Ports:||Four HDMI 2.1 inputs (one eARC, two 4K/120Hz)|
|Smart TV platform:||Vizio SmartCast OS|
|Connectivity:||Wi-Fi, Chromecast, Apple AirPlay 2, Ethernet|
|Audio:||Built-in 30 watt speakers|
|Remote:||Vizio click-button remote (no voice control)|
|Digital assistants:||Compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant devices|
Setup and design
The P-Series Quantum is fairly simple to get unpacked and set up, though you will want an extra hand to help with the process. The display includes two separate left and right feet that need to be attached if you’re placing the unit on an entertainment console.
Though I prefer the look of pedestal stands, I’ve come to appreciate the simplicity of feet stands since they’re usually easier to work with and install.
Once assembled, the TV looks nice with a standard industrial design. The display’s bezels and borders are unobtrusive but nothing fancy. At its thickest point, the TV’s profile comes out to about 3 inches. The P-Series Quantum doesn’t have the wow factor of thinner OLEDs or nearly bezel-free models from Samsung, but its design is solid for a model in this price range.
Four HDMI 2.1 ports are built-in (one eARC). Two are side-facing and two are up-ward facing on the back right of the panel. That said, only the two side-facing ports are labeled as supporting 4K/120Hz.
Though Vizio initially intended to include a voice remote with its 2021 TVs, the company ended up shipping the lineup without one. Vizio tells me that it wants to ensure the best user experience, and it ultimately decided that the voice feature wasn’t quite ready yet. The click-button remote that’s included works fine, but it’s a disappointment that Vizio remains the only major TV maker that still doesn’t have a voice remote.
If you want the most accurate out-of-box picture, I recommend selecting the Calibrated Dark mode from the picture settings menu and then deactivating all of the TV’s extra features, like motion smoothing, noise reduction, and edge enhancement. You should set the peak luminance setting to low for standard dynamic range (SDR) videos and to high for high dynamic range (HDR) videos.
If you’re buying an LED TV and you’re someone who prioritizes image quality, there are two main features you should look for: local dimming and quantum dots. The former helps the TV produce deeper black levels with more precise highlights, while the latter enables a wider range of colors. The P-Series Quantum checks both of those boxes.
The TV boasts 200 zones of local dimming, which is a great number for a model in this price range. Generally, the more zones a TV has, the better it will be at controlling contrast and brightness. Meanwhile, the quantum dots allow the display to cover close to 100% of the P3 color gamut. This means you’ll get the full spectrum of colors that creators intend when you watch 4K HDR streaming titles or discs.
Vizio lists the P-Series Quantum as having a peak brightness of 1,100 nits. That number will vary depending on the settings you use, but the TV comes close to hitting that mark even when using the Calibrated Dark mode. I measured peak brightness around 960 nits on a 25% pattern, which is fantastic for a TV in this price range.
When I review TVs, I use a mixture of test patterns and real-world demo material from a variety of discs and streaming titles. There are few particularly tricky scenes in some movies and shows that I like to sample on all displays to see how they handle contrast, blacks, colors, and viewing angles. The P-Series Quantum handled everything I threw at it well, with only a few minor quirk here and there.
Black levels look nice and inky in dark sequences, like the opening of “The Matrix,” while colors pop from the screen during the climactic battle sequence in “Aquaman.” Artifacts, like blooming, are still visible from time to time, but halos are minimal for a TV of this type. HDR content really shines thanks to vibrant highlights, and the set maintains good shadow detail.
The previous P-Series Quantum model had issues with banding in some content, which caused gradients to look a little blocky and pixelated. Thankfully, the 2021 model shows improvements in this regard. I didn’t notice any major issues in sequences that had problems before, like a scene in “Ex Machina” that’s bathed in harsh red light.
With that said, I did encounter an odd issue with some Dolby Vision titles, which caused black levels to look a step or two higher than they should. This was noticeable when watching “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy on 4K Blu-ray. With the default Calibrated Dark settings, black levels look elevated and gray. This can be corrected by adjusting the brightness setting from 50 down to 48, but that causes other sources to look a little too dark.
Oddly, if I force my Blu-ray player to output in HDR10 instead of Dolby Vision, the black levels look just fine. This leads me to believe that this is a Dolby Vision problem rather than an issue with the TV’s performance itself.
Finally, it should be noted that viewing angles aren’t the best on this display. That’s to be expected given the type of panel it uses, but color degradation and distortion are noticeable if you sit off to the side, and the TV’s “Enhanced Viewing Angle” mode doesn’t really help. People who plan to place their couch off-axis from their TV might want to go with Vizio’s more expensive OLED TV, or an IPS LED TV, like LG’s NanoCell 90.
Smart TV features
Vizio’s SmartCast platform remains a decent smart TV system but it’s far from the best OS on the market. It gets the job done for casual streaming, but people who want a snappier and more comprehensive experience might want to opt for a dedicated streaming device.
Buyers get on-screen access to popular services, like Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu, Disney Plus, Apple TV Plus, Vudu, Paramount Plus, and Peacock. That said, the selection is nowhere near as large as you’d get with a Roku TV or Android TV. HBO Max is also missing from the catalog, but you can still cast the app to the TV from a mobile device.
The TV can be a little sluggish when you first boot it up, and it can take a few seconds for the screen to toggle on. App navigation is solid, however, and lag is minimal. SmartCast also does a nice job aggregating search results from various streaming services. A free selection of ad-supported live streaming channels, called WatchFree, is provided as well.
You can pair the TV with an Alexa or Google Assistant device for hands-free control, but buyers who want a remote with built-in voice control will have to look elsewhere.
Problems with the Vizio P-Series Quantum
Though Vizio’s TVs are known for their competitive prices, that impressive value usually comes with a few trade-offs — particularly when it comes to software. Though my experience with the P-Series Quantum has been mostly smooth, some quirks and stability issues did pop up.
Vizio’s 2021 TV lineup initially suffered from a known problem with the PlayStation 5 which prevented the console from working through the TV’s HDMI 2 or 3 ports. This meant that players couldn’t use the 4K 120Hz feature for compatible PS5 games.
Though the P65Q9-H1 had this problem when I first received the review unit, Vizio has released a firmware update to fix it. My PS5 now works just fine through the HDMI 2 and 3 inputs, and the console’s settings menu confirms that the TV is able to receive a 4K 120Hz signal from the system.
But, while 4K HDR gaming works without any problems, I still encountered a very strange bug with the PS5’s 4K Blu-ray playback. The P-Series Quantum TV seems to be limited to 1080p whenever I watch a 4K Blu-ray through the PS5. This doesn’t happen when I use my standalone 4K Blu-ray player or my Xbox One X. I’ve reached out to Vizio about the issue and it’s looking into it.
The recent firmware update was also supposed to address compatibility issues that the TV has with some AV receiver models. Unfortunately, this seems to still be a work in progress. My 2019 Denon AVR-X3600H works perfectly, but the TV still has problems with my older 2016 Onkyo TX-NR555. Following the firmware update, I was able to get video passthrough to work from the Onkyo, but after changing inputs or rebooting the TV, the signal would often stop working again.
The TV is also prone to a minor glitch that seems to force the “Enhanced Viewing Angle” setting on whenever I restart the display. I prefer to keep this setting off to preserve the most accurate image, so I have to manually turn it off every time I reboot the TV. The picture quality difference with this setting on or off is extremely subtle, so most people won’t notice or care, but it’s still something that bugs me.
Should you buy it?
If you’re looking for a 65-inch home theater TV for under $1,500, Vizio’s P-Series Quantum should be on your short list. The TV boasts all of the features buyers could want in a display of this type, including local dimming and HDMI 2.1.
However, when sold for its full retail price of $1,200, the TV is a bit expensive compared to similar models from TCL and Hisense. Thankfully, it’s often on sale for under $1,000, which makes it a fantastic buy.
What are your alternatives?
When it comes to other 65-inch TVs in this price range with similar specs, the P-Series Quantum’s main competitors are the Hisense H9G and the TCL 6-Series. Those models each retail for $1,000 but are currently on sale for $950.
Both of those models include voice remotes, which the Vizio lacks. The Hisense can get the brightest of the bunch, and the TCL uses new mini LED technology for advanced local dimming. That said, only the Vizio has HDMI 2.1 ports, and it has the widest color gamut of the group.
Buyers who favor a more robust on-screen smart TV experience, might want to go with the cheaper Hisense or TCL models. But gamers who want next-gen features will be better off with the Vizio.
The bottom line
The display’s local dimming and quantum dot color capabilities are top-notch, and the inclusion of HDMI 2.1 sets it apart from similar TVs. That said, Vizio is still working out some signal issues with those HDMI ports, and the TV’s on-screen app selection is limited.
Buyers who want an affordable 65-inch TV that’s ideal for HDR playback in a dark room, can’t go wrong with the P-Series Quantum, but it’s a much better buy when it’s on sale for under $1,000.
Pros: Impressive HDR brightness for the price, local dimming with good black levels, quantum dots for wide colors, HDMI 2.1 ports
Cons: Mediocre viewing angles, limited selection of on-screen apps, no voice remote, some HDMI glitches
65-inch P-Series Quantum 4K TV (2021) (button)