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Insignia Connected TV (photos)

The Insignia Connected TV E859A11 is a competent television for the money but the TiVo interface detracts from rather than adds to the experience.

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Ty_Pendlebury.jpg

Ty Pendlebury

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1 of 9 Sarah Tew/CNET

Overview

Best Buy trades on some of the luster that still surrounds the TiVo by licensing the use of its interface for the Insignia Connected TV. But the Connected TV's interface doesn't operate like a TiVo--it just looks like one. There's no DVR inside and only a small number of TiVo's multitude of streaming services. Meanwhile the picture quality is mediocre, with decent black levels for the price tempered by poor color reproduction and backlight issues. If you're in the market for a smart TV, look around the floor of the electronics retailer, and for a similar price you'll find superior performance and features from the likes of LG and Samsung.
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Remote

The remote control features the famous "thumbs" buttons, but their usefulness is quite limited.
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Home screen

See those tiles up the top that look like window dressing? They're the only place the "thumbs up/thumbs down" buttons work. Select them with the remote and you can thumbs down all you like, but we would have preferred to be able to rate programs while they're running.
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Profile

For a budget TV the Insignia is quite slim, and this is thanks to the LED edge-lighting.
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Ports

The Connected TV has four HDMI inputs and one USB port, but unfortunately the USB is inactive.
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Stand detail

The table-top stands features a swiveling action.
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Bezel detail

The TV's controls are mounted on the front bottom right of the bezel.
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Chumby apps

The Insignia Connected TV is the first third-party device to feature Chumby apps.
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Picture quality

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.

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