Retailers are always looking for more ways to get dollars out of your pocket. Ever since Amazon decided to produce its line of signature products, it was only a matter of time before other big-box retailers followed suit. You now have Insignia, the flagship TV brand from Best Buy. Their line of TVs features a variety of screens ranging from the humble 19’’ to 65’’. As many reviews are covering the 43’’ bracket, we decided to produce an Insignia 50 Inch TV review instead.
Our rationale was that 50’’ hits the halfway mark of what most people are looking for. And given the price point, we wanted to see how they stack up against the competition. For this Insignia 50 inch TV review, we have taken a more holistic approach on the brand. After intense scrutiny of the models, here is what we were able to dig out.
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One thing you should know is that Insignia is a budget TV brand. The approach taken by Best Buy is to create a budget TV that can sell the maximum number of units. With this as their guiding philosophy, nothing exceptional is to be expected in terms of finishing. Across all the models you get a plastic casing with a few metal pieces here and there. All the TVs are VESA compatible with an allowance of 200 X 200 mm except for those that fall below under 32’’.
You also have the option of using the wide-set bezel stands that fit seamlessly on the side of the TV, giving you ample stability as compared from other budget models. Most of the TVs feature a black case, making them compatible with any décor around the house. The viewing panel is surrounded by a thin frame that is easy on the eye. The slim design does not get in the way of your viewing.
All the connection ports on the Insignia TV are located at the back, which makes them inaccessible when the device is mounted. The lack of a cable management system means you will also have to spend extra dollars to find a decent cable management system.
Insignia TV feature a VA display panel with Direct LED backlighting which makes their screen produce impeccable images when comparing them to other budget brands. The maximum resolution you can get is 4K 2160p at 60Hz refresh rates in their smart TVs and 1080p at 60Hz in the Full HD series. The thing that impressed us during our Insignia 50 Inch TV review was the wide viewing angle. You get an allowance of up to 178 degrees without any distortion to the image quality. The response times are also good, with an average of 6.5 milliseconds across all models.
Unfortunately, none of the TVs features local dimming or MEMC technology, meaning you may notice some ghosting when playing fast-moving games. Another disappointing thing was the appalling contrast ratio. It maxes out at 4000:1, which leaves you with little room to enhance the picture. Depending on where you use the TV, you may notice that the blacks appear faded, making the TV only suitable for viewing in well-lit rooms.
Insignia now focuses on two series of TVs, the 4K UHD smart TV and the FHD series. They had a 4K UHD series of ‘dumb’ TVs, but these did not prove commercially viable. Below are the stand out models in each series:
Insignia 50 Inch TV Review – 4K UHD Fire Edition
The 50’’ Fire edition runs on Amazon’s Fire TV smart platform. It comes with a voice control remote backed by Alexa. The user interface is neatly arranged with all your favourite apps spread in a ribbon on the bottom end of the screen. Switching between apps is easy since Amazon Fire does not demand a lot of resources to run.
Netflix and Amazon Prime Video come pre-installed on the system, with dedicated buttons on the remote as well. Other apps that you can use as stock from the manufacturer include HBO, Hulu and YouTube.
You will need to create an Amazon Fire account to gain full accessibility to the system. However, the consequence of having a fire account is the constant bombardment of ads which makes the whole experience a nightmare. Adding to your misery, there is no opt-out option for the ads, so prepare yourself for a lifetime of never-ending ads. There is something to rejoice about. The TV comes with Alexa skills, which allows you to control all compatible smart devices directly from your TV.
|Dimensions||44.4 X 26.1 X 3.3 inches Wide-set bezel stand at 3.1 inches VESA mount allowance 200 X 200 mm|
|Smart TV Features||Amazon Fire TV Alexa Voice Assistant|
Alexa Skills HDR 10
|Connections||3 HDMI 1 USB 1 Digital Optical Out 1 3.5 mm audio jack 1 RF Antenna Input Wi-Fi, Ethernet|
|Accessories||1 QSG 1 Alexa Voice control remote 2 X AAA battery 1 year manufacturer warranty|
Despite the lack of Bluetooth and MEMC, this TV is not bad as a PC monitor or secondary TV. It produces higher than average sound thanks to the DTS codecs and can withstand heavy usage. You can purchase the Amazon Fire 4K UHD Insignia 50 Inch TV at the following store.
Insignia 50 Inch TV LED- 1080p
Next up is the FHD series of Insignia 50 Inch TVs. They are by far the better option as compared to the Fire TV series in our opinion. They are available at a lower price point and do not come with those mandatory adds that you get from the Smart TV. They too feature a plastic casing with metal finishing for the stands and back panel.
The picture quality is excellent with resolutions of up to 1080p at 60 Hz. Sadly the sound quality is not as good as in the Fire TVs. You only get two 5W speakers as compared to the 8W speakers available on the fire TVs. Regardless, you can procure a decent external speaker system from the savings you make from purchasing this unit. The connectivity options are similar as in other Insignia models. The exception is that you have no internet or Bluetooth connectivity.
|Dimensions||44.2 X 25.6 X 2.4 inches Wide-set bezel stand at 10.2 inches VESA mount allowance 200 X 200 mm|
|Smart TV Features||N/A|
|Connections||3 HDMI 1 USB 1 Digital Optical Out 1 3.5 mm audio jack 1 RF Antenna Input 1 Composite Video Input|
|Accessories||1 QSG 1 remote 2 X AAA battery 1 year manufacturer warranty|
If you a considering in getting a budget FHD screen, there are far better options available in the market as compared to the Insignia. However, you can still get yourself one Best Buy.
We tried to find a positive thing to say about the versatility on these units in our Insignia 50 Inch TV review. However, there is nothing that pops out as fantastic. The limited connectivity options and the lack of motion technology, make Insignia TVs fall way below the pecking order of versatile TVs.
Similar priced-models such as the Sceptre U5i5CV-U offer better picture quality and come with CEC technology, making them more viable options.
Since they are the flagship model of TVs from Best Buy, Insignia TVs are mostly available at their stores. Therefore, if you live in an area that has no Best Buy store, you are out of luck. Going online will be of no help either as you will spend all your savings on shipping costs.
However, you may sometimes strike lucky and get them available at other retailers such as Amazon, Walmart and eBay. But this is in very rare occasions. Our attempts to find the, in stock all proved futile.
Kudos to Best Buy for trying their hand at the TV manufacturing business. However, our Insignia 50 inch TV review has exposed more cons than pros. We recommend that you should only consider buying an Insignia when all the other models are unavailable.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Insignia TVs have Bluetooth connections?
None of the models that we reviewed offer Bluetooth connectivity. The best you get is internet connectivity, and that too is limited to their Fire TV series.
Are Insignia TVs reliable?
That all depends on how you use the television. From what we have seen so far and what other customers are saying, the TVs can withstand even the heaviest of usage. Their reliability can be attributed to the fact that they do not support connections with multiple devices.
Are there other models available in the Insignia catalog?
Yes. You can purchase TVs with screen sizes ranging from 19 inches to 65 inches. The two main series are the Fire TV and FHD series. Fire TVs also come with 4K UHD capability adding to the variety in the models available for purchase.