Vizio buyers filed a class action lawsuit all the way back in 2018, claiming the TV maker was selling its TVs with an "effective refresh rate" that is in reality, false advertising.
Fast forward to today, and the company has just paid out $3 million from a court case with the Superior Court of California in Los Angeles, which was meant to go back to trial in March 2024. Still, the company and its lawyers decided to settle instead.
The lawsuit read: "Vizio knows, or at the very least should know, that its television with 60Hz display panels have a refresh rate of 60 images per second and that backlight manipulation methods cannot and do not increase the effective Hz (refresh rate) of a television".
You've probably seen TVs when you're out at the shops that say they're 120Hz (or even higher) as I've seen them myself and heard salespeople say, "Oh yeah, they've got high 120Hz refresh rates" when I know... I absolutely know, they do not. There are plenty of 4K TVs that actually have 120Hz, which is achieved through using HDMI 2.1 and a new Sony PlayStation 5 or Microsoft Xbox Series X/S console or a PC and a graphics card with HDMI 2.1 connectivity.
Vizio isn't the only one to use motion blur to smooth out on-screen images, with the company defining its feature as "motion clarity" and "Dynamic Motion" with other TV makers using their own terminology. This is where that nasty "soap opera" effect comes from, which you have probably seen before.
If you purchased a Vizio TV between April 30, 2014, and now, you can apply for up to $50, depending on how many claims are actually filed. It's unfortunately limited to just California, and you've got until March 30, 2024 to apply.
Vizio claims it did no wrong here, and that there's not going to be a recall of their TVs or any modifications to the on-box advertising. Vizio's latest fleet of high-end TVs doesn't have an "effective" refresh rate, but their advertising still pushes the "Dynamic Motion Rate" of 120Hz, on a native 60Hz refresh TV.