There are so many types and brands of TVs that it can be difficult to decide which one is best. If you’ve visited a Best Buy store in the last few years, you’ve probably seen one of their INSIGNIA Fire TVs. These smart TVs appear to be a great value and are often on sale below MSRP. More recently, Best Buy also began selling INSIGNIA TVs on Amazon.
I was recently looking for a new TV for my office and came across an INSIGNIA Fire TV at a phenomenal price, but I was skeptical of the quality. While the brand has been around for a while, it is often compared to other low-quality TV brands, such as Onn. After setting it up, I was pretty surprised by how well it worked. Keep reading to learn more about my experience.
What I Used the INSIGNIA Fire TV For
Before we get into the details of how well the INSIGNIA Fire TV worked, let me take a moment to explain why I bought it and where I use it. After years of using a small LG TV in my office, it was time for an upgrade. I came across an INSIGNIA TV online at Best Buy for a great price, so I figured it was worth a try. My previous TV was only 24 inches, but it was a good size for the space.
However, it did not have smart functionality, so I had to use a Roku. The INSIGNIA TV I purchased is 32 inches, which fits really well in the place of the old LG, though it is a bit deeper. Because the TV is so small, I went with 720p high definition since I really didn’t need 4K in an office. I don’t watch too much TV in my office, but it is nice to have the ability to check the news or watch a game when working.
Is an INSIGNIA Fire TV Worth It?
INSIGNIA TVs are often a great value if you just need something basic. They are often priced competitively with other value brands like Hisense and TCL. However, INSIGNIA’s Fire TV smart capabilities offer a decent advantage. INSIGNIA offers several options with varying image quality and features.
For our comparison, the 32-inch INSIGNIA Fire TV costs significantly less than a comparable LG smart TV. You can also go up to a full-HD INSIGNIA, whereas LG doesn’t even offer a 1080p model. The price difference translates upwards as you get into larger TVs with more features. In addition, INSIGNIA regularly offers some amazing discounts to make the value really worth it.
Does an INSIGNIA Fire TV Actually Work?
First off, the INSIGNIA Fire TV does work, but it may not be good enough for your living room. The TV does everything it says, but it isn’t the best one on the market. Let’s take a closer look at some important factors for most buyers and whether they met my expectations. Keep in mind that these are my opinions based on the model that I purchased, and your results may vary with other models.
The most important consideration for any TV is the picture quality, and this one is just okay. I knew going in that it was not full-HD, which is fine for a 32-inch that is pretty far away. However, this would have been a terrible computer monitor since you can easily see the pixels. Even in a bedroom, you will want to go with a full-HD model at the minimum for this size.
Moving past resolution, the color is pretty good when looking straight at it. An INSIGNIA Fire TV does not come close to higher-end OLED or QLED TVs from big-name manufacturers, but neither does the price. The bigger problem is that the picture does distort when viewed from an angle. Finally, the contrast is pretty bad, which is a problem for watching movies or playing video games.
Like most modern TVs, the INSIGNIA Fire TV has terrible audio. This is due to the speakers being located underneath. Since they do not face forward, the speakers cannot project the sound into the room. This isn’t a major problem for me as the TV is mounted high up on the wall.
However, most people place TVs on a stand, which leads to terrible-sounding audio. Not only do the speakers not direct sound into the room, but they are also poor quality. Fortunately, this is an easy problem to fix. A cheap soundbar will deliver a significantly better sound experience, no matter what TV you are using.
The standout feature of the INSIGNIA Fire TV for me is the included remote. The TV comes with a unique Amazon Fire TV remote that looks similar to the ones included with the Fire TV Stick. However, this one has power and volume buttons. It is also similar to the remote included with Roku TVs in that it does not have any channel buttons.
Some people don’t like remotes without channel buttons, but it does create a cleaner look and makes the remote easier to use. Also making the remote easier to use is the built-in voice assistant. You can talk to the remote and tell it what channel or TV show you want to watch. This makes searching very easy and also adds the power of Amazon’s Alexa to another device in your home.
The TV’s build quality probably isn’t the most important factor, but it is worth considering. It is not the best-looking or the most durable TV on the market, but it is sufficient. Keep in mind that higher-end models are built and look much better. My INSIGNIA Fire TV is lighter than comparable off-brand TVs. This may be either a pro or a con, depending on how you plan to use it.
If you plan to sit the TV on a stand, then it is prone to easily falling if bumped. However, it works out fine in my case because it is mounted to the wall. As for the body of the TV, the plastic feels pretty durable, though it is a little bulky. Despite the relatively poor build quality, the INSIGNIA Fire TV has a surprisingly thin bezel, which provides a very clean look.
A major selling point for the INSIGNIA Fire TV is its included smart functionality. This will be something that you either love or hate, depending on your affinity for the Fire TV user interface. I personally prefer Roku TVs, but I wanted to give the Fire TV operating system a try. Despite owning many Amazon devices over the years, this was my first time using Fire TV.
It is a departure from the app-based Roku operating system. Movies and TV shows from a number of streaming services are available directly on the home screen. You can also go to the individual apps if you wish. I actually found it pretty easy to learn, and it is much faster to find something to watch. There is an occasional glitch, but Fire TV is significantly better than other operating systems, like LG’s webOS.
TVs certainly don’t last as long as they once did, but you should still get many years of trouble-free operation out of an INSIGNIA Fire TV. My TV is about a year and a half old and is only used a few times a week. It is very difficult to talk about longevity because there are no practical ways to predict how long a TV will last.
There have been few large-scale tests to determine the lifespan of a TV, but an average LED panel should last around 50,000 hours or five years if no other components fail. While we can’t assume how long the electronics, such as the LED display, will last, we do know that Amazon guarantees software updates for its Fire TV products for at least four years.
What’s Special About an INSIGNIA Fire TV?
There really isn’t anything special about my INSIGNIA Fire TV, as it is a no-frills, budget-friendly option. With that said, the TV does everything it’s supposed to do. The picture is okay, and the build quality is sufficient. If you are planning to purchase an INSIGNIA Fire TV, you are likely doing so because you want something affordable.
In that regard, the TV is perfect, especially if you can find one on sale. The only other remarkable factor for the TV is its Fire TV operating system. Adding smart capabilities takes this TV from completely unremarkable to something worth buying. Not only is the remote easy to use, but having Fire TV built-in means you don’t have to purchase an additional streaming device.
How an INSIGNIA Fire TV Differs From Onn Roku TV
To provide a comparison to my INSIGNIA Fire TV, let’s look at a comparable Onn brand TV. This is another store brand that offers similar TVs as INSIGNIA. However, there are a few differences between the two brands. Most notably, Onn Roku TVs tend to cost less than comparable INSIGNIA models.
For instance, an HD 32-inch Onn Roku TV runs about 30% cheaper than a comparable INSIGNIA Fire TV. The Roku operating system works great and is a solid alternative to Fire TV. However, the lower-end Onn TVs have a terrible picture, and the build quality is significantly lower than the INSIGNIA. If you are in the market for a budget TV, then INSIGNIA is definitely a step up from Onn.
Should You Buy an INSIGNIA Fire TV?
You should absolutely buy an INSIGNIA Fire TV for a spare bedroom or office, but you may want to think twice before buying one for a living room. You should also consider buying one if it is a great price. This was my first experience with an INSIGNIA TV and the Fire TV operating system, and I was surprised by how well everything worked.
With that said, INSIGNIA does not make the best TVs, and you will want to look carefully at the specs before purchasing. INSIGNIA also doesn’t make higher-end OLED or QLED models, but they do have 4K options on their larger TVs. For an off-brand TV, INSIGNIA is certainly one of the best options, especially when paired with Fire TV.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Eric Broder Van Dyke/Shutterstock.com.