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Should you buy an Insignia TV? Are they any good?

TechRadar logo TechRadar 9/24/2020 What Hi-Fi?
a close up of a monitor: Should you buy an Insignia TV? Are they any good? © Provided by What Hi-Fi? Should you buy an Insignia TV? Are they any good?

Insignia is a US TV brand operated by the retail giant Best Buy. It offers a range of budget TVs at a variety of sizes and spec sheets. But are Insignia TVs any good?

The first thing to note is that Insignia TV sets come in a wide range of options. There are small screens, big TVs, those with 4K HDR and even those with integrated Amazon Fire TV. Here we'll show you what's on offer and help you decide if they're worth buying.

Short answer: Insignia TVs offer a broad range of features for not much money, so if you're on a tight budget, they're definitely worth considering. However, if you're expecting stunning contrast ratios and superb 4K picture quality, you might be disappointed – at the price, it's doubtful the TVs will be able to compete with high-end Sony TVs, Samsung TVs and LG TVs.

So if you're looking for a second set for a bedroom, will be mostly watching in the daytime, or just want the TV on in the background while you do something else, they'll likely serve you well. But if you want a centrepiece for movie night, you'd probably be better off spending a bit more and going for a big-name brand. That said, with Black Friday and Cyber Monday around the corner, Insignia TVs are sure to feature in some very tempting TV deals.

Insignia Amazon Fire TV Edition

Perhaps the most noteworthy of Insignia's TVs are the Amazon Fire TV Edition sets. They come with an Alexa-enabled remote control, which gives you voice search, so you can find something to watch just by speaking into the remote.

There are also dedicated buttons for Amazon Prime Video and Netflix. But these aren't the only services on offer. Using the inbuilt software, you'll have access to thousands of channels, apps and Alexa skills, the latter allowing you to control smart home appliances like lights and thermostats. It'll make your TV the heart of your home.

While slightly more expensive than other TVs, Insignia's Fire TV Editions don't command a premium. And they come in a wide variety of sizes, ranging from 24in all the way up to 65in. Here's our pick of the best Insignia TV deals at those sizes.

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Insignia 24in Fire TV Edition TV $150 $110 at Best Buy The smallest Fire TV Edition TV that Insignia makes is now available with $40 off at Best Buy. At 24in, it's not going to suit a big lounge, but would be perfect for a more modest living space or as a bedroom set. And it's HD quality, not 4K.View Deal

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Insignia 43in Fire TV Edition TV $300 $255 at Best Buy The 43in version is also on offer. Unlike the smaller model, it's 4K, bringing you Amazon Prime Video and Netflix in a higher picture quality. And at this size, it's more suited to mid-size lounges or your master bedroom suite.View Deal

Insignia HD TVs

If you'd rather not have an Amazon's Fire TV Edition, Insignia makes some cheaper TVs too. These are just HD, not 4K, and one of them is only 720p, which is the lesser form of HD than Full HD.

The baby of the bunch is the 19in model (NS-19D310NA21, to use its full name), which costs just $80. This size is small enough to fit on a counter top, so it could be good as a kitchen set.

If you want a slightly bigger TV, Insignia also makes a 32in model (model number NS-32D310NA21). Like the 19in version, it's 720p HD, with two HDMI sockets for hooking up a streaming device or games console (it's probably not ready for the PS5 or Xbox Series X). There's also a USB input for loading on files like music or photos from a digital camera.

On the audio front, it has two 5W front-channel speakers. And a built-in V-chip lets you block content based on program ratings, and check ratings of unfamiliar programs. It costs $150.

But the 40in model (NS-40D510NA21) is actually cheaper than the 32in model, thanks to a deal. It currently costs $140, which gets you a lot of TV for your money.

It's a Full HD panel, for starters. That means the screen has more pixels, resulting in better picture quality. It's obviously bigger, which will make it a lot more impactful in the room. And it has three HDMI sockets, for plugging in one more device than the smaller model. Other than that, it's the same TV, with an LED screen (not OLED, sadly) and one USB input.

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Insignia NS-40D510NA21 40in TV $180 $140 at Best Buy A 40in TV that's actually cheaper than its smaller, lower-specced stablemate? That's right. Thanks to $40 off, this is more affordable than the 32in equivalent, with a higher-quality HD picture and one more HDMI port to boot. Madness.View Deal

Insignia 4K TVs

So far, we've mostly discussed Insignia's smaller TVs, but it does make bigger sets too. In fact, its TVs go up to 65in, which is pretty big by anyone's standards.

Naturally, these models cost more than its smaller TVs. But they're still very affordable compared to the same-sized sets from rival brands.

You can pick up a 55in model for $430, for example. Which is a great price for such a big TV. It boasts the Alexa-enabled remote, and 4K picture quality, which is sharper than HD. And it's HDR compatible, which gives you a bigger difference between the light and dark parts of the picture, adding depth and making it look more lifelike.

If you don't want the Fire TV smarts, the same size set will cost you $314, with $16 off the usual asking price.

There's also a 58in set, which has the same specs as the $430 model, but with a slightly bigger screen. It's currently on a deal for $360 (with $120 off), while the 65in model is $549

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Insignia 55in Full HD TV $330 $314 at Best Buy This is a great price for a 55in TV. It's only HD, not 4K, and there's no smart functionality onboard, though that's easily added with the addition of a cheap streaming device. For everyday watching, it should do just fine.View Deal

What other cheap TVs are available?

Of course Insignia TVs aren't the only budget TVs available. You can currently pick up some great bargains on TVs of all sizes from a range of retailers.

We've picked out a few of the most noteworthy cheap TV deals online right now for you below.

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TCL 43S425 43 inch Smart LED Roku TV $329 $229 at Amazon A bargain TCL TV that comes with the Roku TV smart platform to ensure you have all the streaming and on demand TV apps you need. They include Netflix, Prime Video, YouTube, Pandora, Hulu and ESPN.View Deal

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Sceptre 50in Class 4K LED TV $279 $199 at Walmart Four HDMI ports allow you to connect up to four devices at once, so you can stream, browse and listen to all of your favorite multimedia. The HDMI 2.0 ports allow you to seamlessly stream 4K video, too. There's that big, 4K screen, and just look at that discount.View Deal

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TCL 55in LED 5 Series 4K UHD TV $449 $399 at Best Buy Jump up to a 55-inch 4K TV with the TCL 5 Series and you can still get a good discount. There's HDR support, smart TV streaming apps via Roku TV, which brings Disney+, Apple TV+, Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and more, plus four HDMI inputs.View Deal

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Sceptre 65 inch 4K LED TV $899 $379 at Walmart A crazy low price on this Sceptre 65 inch 4K TV, which is currently available at an $520 saving via Walmart on the original price. It offers 4K UHD resolution, an LED screen, four HDMI connections and smart TV features.View Deal


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