Vizio’s M-Series of TVs offers strong color performance at reasonable prices. There are two lines within this series: the MQ6, which we previously reviewed, and the pricier MQ7, reviewed here. The MQ7 sports a brighter panel and offers slightly wider colors than the MQ6, while keeping the same Apple AirPlay and Google Cast connectivity options. These upgrades aren’t cheap, however; the 70-inch M70Q7-J03 we tested ($1,099.99) is $250 more than the 70-inch equivalent in the MQ6 line. While the MQ7 is arguably worth the increase in cost, the Hisense U7G and TCL 4K 6-Series offer even stronger performance at comparable prices.
Simple and Elegant
The MQ7 looks similar to the MQ6. It has the same thin matte black plastic band around the sides and top, as well as a half-inch glossy black strip along the bottom edge. The only difference is in its stand. Flat, gunmetal legs let the MQ7 sit slightly lower than the MQ6 with its V-shaped plastic legs.
(Photo: Will Greenwald)
The power cable plugs into the left side on the back of the TV. Four HDMI ports (one eARC) and a USB 2.0 port sit on the right side, while RCA composite video inputs, an optical audio output, an Ethernet port, and an antenna and cable connector face directly back.
The remote is the same flat, rectangular black wand that comes with the MQ6. A large, circular navigation pad just above the center dominates its simple layout. Power, input, and menu buttons sit above the pad, along with a pinhole microphone and dedicated service buttons for Amazon Prime Video, Crackle, Disney+, Netflix, Peacock, and Tubi. A volume rocker and microphone button are below the pad.
(Photo: Will Greenwald)
SmartCast: Friend of Android and iOS
The MQ7 uses Vizio’s SmartCast platform for its connected features. SmartCast lets you access apps for the biggest video streaming services such as Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV+, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu, Netflix, and YouTube, along with free live streaming channels through Pluto TV or Vizio’s WatchFree+ service. You won’t find nearly as many niche apps or services as you will on a Fire TV or a Roku TV, but SmartCast’s offerings are sufficient for most people.
SmartCast also provides extensive and easy local device-mirroring because of its Apple AirPlay and Google Cast integrations. Whether you use Android, iOS, macOS, or Windows, you can wirelessly send anything on your device to the TV.
You can also use your voice to directly control the TV and search for streaming content by speaking into the remote. Like the voice search on Roku TVs, this isn’t a full voice assistant like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant; it’s only for finding what you want to watch. That said, you can pair smart speakers that support Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri (through Apple HomeKit) to your TV.
Brighter Panel, But Still Modest
The Vizio MQ7 is a 4K TV with a 60Hz refresh rate. It supports high dynamic range (HDR) content in HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision, and hybrid log gamma (HLG).
We test TVs using 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.
The MQ7’s biggest advantage over the MQ6 is its brighter panel. It puts out more light than its less expensive sibling, though it doesn’t come close to the peaks that high-end LED-backlit TVs offer. Out of the box, with an SDR signal in Calibrated mode, the MQ7 shows a peak brightness of 312.218cd/m^2 with a full-screen white field and 432.138cd/m^2 with an 18% white field. With an excellent 0.004cd/m^2 black level, that’s an SDR contrast ratio of 78,055:1. An HDR signal increases the brightness, but not by much; a full-screen white field shows 347.569cd/m^2 and an 18% white field shows 480.124cd/m^2 with the same 0.004cd/m^2 black level for an even better 120,031:1 contrast ratio.
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That’s a contrast ratio 30 times that of the MQ6, which is both dimmer and shows a much higher black level. Based purely on that number, the MQ7 rivals more expensive TVs like the Hisense U8G (88,163:1). However, the Hisense U7G and U8G both get much brighter (744.22cd/m^2 and 1,763.368cd/m^2, respectively), while still maintaining respectable 0.02cd/m^2 black levels. Because we like to see TVs with at least 1,000cd/m^2 for HDR content, the U8G is a better choice for that type of media. The much pricier Samsung QN90A, meanwhile, demolishes both with a 1,910.961cd/m^2 peak brightness, a 0.005cd/m^2 black level, and a 367,593:1 contrast ratio. And, as we explain below, the MQ7’s high contrast ratio doesn’t necessarily translate into excellent detail across the full range of light output.
The above chart shows the MQ7’s color levels in Calibrated mode, with an SDR signal compared against Rec.709 broadcast standards and with an HDR signal compared against DCI-P3 digital cinema standards. The TV almost matches the MQ6’s color levels, though it’s slightly less accurate out of the box. With an SDR signal, whites run a bit cool and reds are a bit undersaturated. In HDR, greens exceed the DCI-P3 color space, but yellows are slightly undersaturated and magentas are a bit warm.
BBC’s Planet Earth II looks vivid and natural on the MQ7. The greens of plants are vibrant and distinct, as are the blues of water. Fine details like fur and bark look clear, with plenty of detail both in bright light and in the shade.
The red of Deadpool’s costume in the film of the same name looks well balanced under the overcast lighting of the opening scenes, though it isn’t quite as vibrant as it could be. The burning lab fight later in the movie shows good shadow details, and the flames in the same frame look decently bright considering the panel’s light output.
The party scenes in The Great Gatsby show off the MQ7’s strong contrast, but also demonstrate that the TV’s array backlighting can make dark subjects look a bit brighter than its raw testing numbers indicate. The cuts, contours, and textures of black suits come through clearly, but they can also appear slightly washed out against the white shirts, lights, and balloons in the frame. Skin tones look natural.
Low Lag and FreeSync
For gaming, the MQ7 supports variable refresh rate (VRR) and AMD FreeSync. Using an HDFury Diva HDMI matrix, we measured an input lag of 62.1 milliseconds in Calibrated mode and 4.4ms in Game mode. That puts the MQ7 well below the 10ms threshold we use to consider a TV among the best for gaming.
Weighing Value and Performance
Vizio’s MQ7 offers a compelling combination of value and performance; it’s much brighter than the MQ6 and has wider colors. However, for its starting price, you can get even brighter TVs like the Hisense U7G and TCL 4K 6-Series. If you want to spend as little as possible, Vizio’s MQ6 and Amazon’s Fire TV Omni are more affordable than the MQ7, but have dimmer pictures. Finally, if you can find one, a 2020 Hisense H9G offers fantastic performance at a price comparable with or lower than the MQ7.
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