Vizio: Why Vizio has to pay $3 million to TV owners in the US

US-based TV brand Vizio has agreed to pay $3 million to its customers to settle a 2018 class action lawsuit. Users who bought a Vizio TV in California after April 30, 2014 will be able to claim for a settlement. The lawsuit alleged that the company promoting TVs with 120Hz refresh rate as 240Hz “effective” refresh rates was “false and deceptive.” The deadline for filing claims is March 30, 2024 and customers will require evidence of ownership which includes proof of purchase or the serial number to qualify for the same.
According to the lawsuit agreement (seen by The Verge), Vizio has denied doing anything wrong. However, apart from paying out verified claims, Vizio has also promised to “stop the advertising practices” and “provide enhanced services and a limited one-year warranty to all Settlement Class Members.”
The details about setting up for filing the claims is available on the class action’s official website. The long form notification on the website says claims will cover any TV from April 30, 2014 through the agreement’s final approval, which is set for a June 20, 2024 hearing.
What is “effective refresh rate” marketing term and how its ‘deceptive’
TV makers often use marketing terms like “effective refresh rate” to refer to motion smoothing features. These features are often called the “soap opera effect” and are intended to reduce motion blur on modern TV sets.

Motion smoothing is already a controversial marketing term. However, companies like Vizio can use the refresh rate terminology for their marketing strategy. For end users, these marketing phrases can often mean that TV offers more than the refresh rate it actually supports (which is usually restricted to 60Hz in most models).

Moreover, each TV manufacturer uses its own marketing name for motion smoothing. Some brands also make it difficult to disable these features as various brands have different approaches.

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