It’s been a long, long wait for Vizio’s ultrawidescreen LCD TV to show its face: the company was promising such sets starting around this time last year that ultimately missed the October and subsequent March targets. Vizio is one to eventually make good on a promise, though, and has just started shipping the first XVT series CinemaWide set. The lone 58-inch model’s focus remains on that 2560 x 1080p screen, whose stretchy 21:9 aspect ratio fits what you often see at the movie theater without having to crop or adjust like you would with a typical 16:9 set. Whether or not you have a chronic aversion to black bars, the CinemaWide is still a respectable set in its own right, with edge-based LED backlighting, a 120Hz refresh rate, a Bluetooth remote and the common host of Vizio internet apps. The TV maker must be doing a form of penance for taking its time on the 21:9 display: the $2,800 regular price is a lot lower than the originally quoted $3,500, and you can pick up the CinemaWide TV for $2,500 if you act quickly.
We already took a fresh look at the Vizio Tablet due this summer, but the company’s main business is HDTVs and there it’s on top of US LCD sales again, with more than 20 percent of the market in Q1. Of the top five selling TVs in Q1, four are Vizios priced at $698 or less, while the other is a $1,699 MSRP Samsung LCD. Vizio launched its lower end E3D line earlier this year, the next series on the way are edge-lit M3D models due in August and September that up the refresh rate to 240Hz, come with four pairs of passive 3D glasses instead of two and have a Bluetooth remote. Up next, the 21:9 ultrawidescreen sets we saw at CES are real and will ship in October as the Cinemawide series in 2560×1080 58- and 50-inch models. Finally, the top of of the line XVT 6 series will feature the new VIA Plus Google TV platform and are going to be available in 47- and 55-inch sizes, but won’t ship until December There’s still no prices for any of these yet, but we’re going to guess they’ll go low as they usually do. Check the press release for all the details after the break including a glancing mention of the Vizio Phone.