Insignia Connected TV review: Insignia Connected TV

The TV uses apps adapted from the Chumby system with Facebook, Twitter, Reuters, Accuweather, and a decent array of further apps is available. Unfortunately the process to add new apps is labored and involves signing up and downloading them via a PC. TVs from other manufacturers make this process simpler with downloads available from the TV itself.


In addition to Netflix and YouTube, the TV includes the in-house offering, Insignia On Demand.

Picture settings
Adjustable picture modes 1 Fine dejudder control No
Color temperature presets 3 Fine color temperature control No
Gamma presets 0 Color management system No

If you're a tweaker, prepare to be frustrated by the TV's video settings menu. If you want to change brightness or color, you are given a limited one-line-at-a-time menu, which also times out too quickly. There's very little for the advanced user to tweak here, though, with tint and color temperature presets as technical as it gets. Annoyingly, if you attempt to change the settings of one mode--Theater, for example--it instantly supplants the Custom mode with the new settings, so in practice there's only one adjustable mode.

Connectivity
HDMI inputs 4 Component video inputs 1
Composite video input(s) 1 VGA-style PC input(s) 1
USB port 1 Ethernet (LAN) port Yes
Other:The USB port is currently unused

The Insignia features four HDMI ports, which is very respectable for a TV at this price, while the single component, composite and VGA ports are now standard practice. Internet connectivity is aided by both wireless and wired capabilities. The USB port is currently inactive and plugging in a USB device brings up a "visit our forums for your suggestions" dialog box.

The TV features a proprietary Rocket Boost port that lets you add one of Best Buy's wireless audio peripherals.


The Insignia boasts four HDMI ports and an unusable USB slot.

Performance

The Insignia performed worse than most of the edge-lit LEDs we've tested, but that's expected at this cheaper price. Its best characteristic is relatively deep black levels for the price, but its subpar color, uniformity, and video processing kept it solidly mediocre. Insignia performed on par with the recently reviewed and somewhat more expensive Toshiba 46SL417U , outdid the Philips 40PFL5706/F7 , and failed to match the other reviewed TVs in our comparison, most of which cost more.

We were able to improve the picture over the default Theater setting somewhat during calibration, but the lack of settings kept us from doing much about the inaccurate color.

Comparison models (details)
Toshiba 46SL417U 46-inch edge-lit LED
Philips 40PFL5706/F7 40-inch LCD
Samsung UN46D6400 46-inch edge-lit LED
Sony KDL-46EX720 46-inch edge-lit LED
LG 47LW5600 47-inch edge-lit local-dimming LED
Panasonic TC-L42E30 42-inch edge-lit LED

Black level: Blacks are surprisingly deep, which helped deliver a relatively punchy picture, although the Insignia tended to crush shadow detail near black. The LG and Samsung were inkier and contrast levels more natural when replaying the murky "Prison Solitary" scene at the beginning of the "Batman Begins". That said, the Insignia is a lot cheaper and was respectable in this category given its price level.

Color accuracy: As you can see in the chart below the TV de-emphasised green compared to red and blue, which left which left some scenes looking unnatural. Either this resulted in too-pink faces as if the actors had the beginning stages of hypothermia, or "electric" blues (not to be confused with the 80's anthem). Blacks were also shot through with a higher than usual amount of blue.

Video processing: While the Connected TV has a specific 24p mode, switching it on had no effect and our tests of 1080p/24 Blu-rays looked identically too-choppy whether the mode was turned on or off.

The Insignia also did something strange we hadn't seen before: the TV took one of our test scenes of a sky and made it look like an Etch a Sketch by crushing the blue into white and then suddenly erasing it back to blue.

The TV was able to resolve tricky moire tests relatively unscathed and showed full support for deinterlacing 1080i content.

Uniformity: The Insignia is afflicted by one of the most common LCD problems--backlight clouding--with our review sample featuring a brighter, discolored area in the bottom right-hand corner. After calibrating, the spot was still visible in a dark room and it went on to inform poor results in color uniformity, particularly on screen-filling primary colors.

Bright lighting: The TV has a matte finish, and based on our viewing in normal lighting conditions, it didn't pose any problems with distracting reflections.

Power consumption: We did not test the power consumption of the 32-inch member of the Insignia Connected TV series, but we did test the 42-inch model. For more information, refer to the review of the Insignia Connected TV NS-42E859A11 .

Test Result Score
Black luminance (0%) 0.0079 Good
Avg. gamma 2.2306 Good
Near-black x/y (5%) 0.2392/0.2011 Poor
Dark gray x/y (20%) 0.3131/0.3204 Poor
Bright gray x/y (70%) 0.3112/0.314 Poor
Before avg. color temp. 6629 Average
After avg. color temp. 6669 Average
Red lum. error (de94_L) 0.5409 Good
Green lum. error (de94_L) 2.5469 Average
Blue lum. error (de94_L) 3.6068 Poor
Cyan hue x/y 0.2389/0.3259 Average
Magenta hue x/y 0.298/0.298 Poor
Yellow hue x/y 0.4425/0.4959 Poor
1080p/24 Cadence (IAL) Fail Poor
1080i De-interlacing (film) Pass Good
Motion resolution (max) 500 Average
Motion resolution (dejudder off) 300 Poor

Insignia Connected TV NS-42E859A11 CNET review calibration results

(Read more about how we test TVs.)

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    Where to Buy

    Insignia Connected TV NS-32E859A11

    Part Number: NS-32E859A11 Released: Aug 1, 2011
    Pricing is currently unavailable.

    Quick Specifications See All

    • Release date Aug 1, 2011
    • Enhanced Refresh Rate 120 Hz
    • Type LED-LCD
    • LED Backlight Type Edge-lit
    • Display Format 1080p
    • Diagonal Size 32 in
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