Insignia NS-DXA1

The Good Solid video quality and reception; easy-to-use design, especially for digital TV amateurs; decent aspect ratio controls for handling widescreen programs on standard TVs; attractive design; remote can control the TV's power.

The Bad Program guide is very basic; small remote control buttons aren't ideal for seniors; audio quality is subpar.

The Bottom Line The Insignia NS-DXA1 DTV converter box has an easy-to-use design and solid video quality, but buyers should be aware of cheaper--and possibly better--alternatives coming in the future.

Editors' Rating
  • Design 7.0
  • Features 6.0
  • Performance 7.0
6.7 Overall

Compare

Insignia NS-DXA1
Insignia NS-DXA1
Sony UBP-X800
Sony UBP-X800
Samsung BD-J5900
Samsung BD-J5900
Samsung UBD-K8500
Samsung UBD-K8500
Sony BDP-S3700
Sony BDP-S3700
Price ... $200 Dell Home $90 Amazon.com $130 Amazon Marketplace $60 Amazon.com
Design
7
8
7
7
7
Features
6
9
8
9
8
Performance
7
8
9
8
7

Review

Insignia NS-DXA1

Editors' note: We found the Insignia NS-DXA1 and the Zenith DTT900 have virtually identical design, features, and performance; therefore, their reviews are the same.

The FCC has pushed back the DTV transition several times already, but it looks as if it will shut off over-the-air analog TV signals on February 17, 2009. That means owners of analog TV will need to pony up for a DTV converter box if they want to continue getting their free over-the-air TV (read our Quick Guide to the DTV transition to find out if you'll be affected). Luckily, it shouldn't cost you too much, as anyone affected can apply for a $40 DTV converter box coupon from the U.S. government.

The Insignia NS-DXA1 is one of the DTV boxes that shoppers can buy with the coupon, and it's worth a serious look. On arguably the most important features--reception and video quality--the NS-DXA1 performs strongly, outperforming the other boxes we've looked at so far. We did have some nitpicks: the remote is too small, audio quality is subpar, and we would have liked a full-scale EPG (onscreen electronic program guide). However, these caveats are for the most part overshadowed the NS-DXA1's other strengths and make it a good choice for your government-subsidized coupon. Our biggest hesitation is price--with a list price of $60, you'll have to kick in $20 of real money in addition to the coupon. That's compared with Echostar's upcoming DTV converter box, which--with its $40 retail price--will effectively be free. If you're itching to start watching digital over-the-air TV right away, the NS-DXA1 is one of the better options currently available, but buyers would be wise to wait until more boxes are on the market.

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