- Insignia TVs are made by Sharp, a well-known electronics company owned and operated by Foxconn.
- Sharp has a history of over 100 years and produces a wide range of consumer electronics beyond just televisions.
- Best Buy partners with Sharp to produce low-cost televisions under the Insignia brand name.
- Best Buy has other house brands, including Dynex, Init, Magnolia Design Center, Modal, Pacific Sales, Platinum, and RocketFish.
- Insignia TVs are budget-friendly and come with reliable warranties, but they may not have the same performance or advanced features as higher-end brands.
Walking through your local Best Buy or browsing the retail giant’s online store, you may have noticed an array of Insignia TVs for sale. Have you ever stopped to question who makes these TVs? Further, are Insignia TVs even worth owning? In truth, you may be surprised to learn who actually makes Insignia TVs — and whether they even deserve your special attention in the first place. Let’s explore the history and the origin of Insignia TVs to learn if it’s a brand name you can trust.
Who Makes Insignia TVs?
Insignia TVs are made by Sharp, a well-known electronics company owned and operated by Foxconn. This Japanese company originally dates back to 1912 and was later established in 1924 as the Hayakawa Metal Works Institute. This phenomenon of one brand manufacturing TVs for another is not uncommon. In fact, many top brands do the exact same thing.
With more than 100 years of history to its name, it’s no surprise that Sharp is known for producing a wide range of consumer electronics beyond just televisions. Its output includes microwaves, printers, cash registers, solar panels, projectors, mobile phones, air conditioners and purifiers, flash memory, and more.
Best Buy partners with Sharp to produce low-cost televisions under the Insignia brand name. While Sharp is the one manufacturing Insignia TVs, Best Buy is the one that owns the brand. Best Buy is based in the United States and uses Insignia as its house television brand. In other words, when you buy an Insignia TV, you’re actually buying a Sharp TV that has been rebranded by Best Buy.
This partnership allows Best Buy to offer their customers affordable Insignia TVs while also benefiting from the manufacturing expertise and reputation of Sharp. So, even though Insignia TVs are made by Sharp, they are sold exclusively through Best Buy stores and Best Buy’s website. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship. Sharp gets to reach a broader customer base through a trusted American retailer, while Best Buy gets an exclusive and affordable product to offer its customers. It’s a smart move for both tech companies. Unsurprisingly, it’s not the only brand name on Best Buy shelves that’s exclusive to the iconic big box store.
The History of Best Buy
Best Buy is a retail giant with surprisingly humble beginnings. Originating in 1966 as a lone stereo store in St. Paul, Minnesota, the now-enormous brand was founded by Richard Schulze and Gary Smoliak under a very different name: Sound of Music. After a tornado ravaged their biggest location in 1983, they held a big sale to clear the store’s inventory. The products sold during this period boosted their sales figures tremendously.
The men decided to change their store’s name to Best Buy to reflect their newfound focus on discounted pricing. Following the change of name, Best Buy started expanding rapidly. Throughout the remainder of the ‘80s and into the ‘90s, the retailer added more and more stores across the United States. They found further success with emerging technologies like CD players, VCRs, and eventually even personal computers and home theater equipment.
Best Buy grew from seven stores in the early ‘80s to more than a thousand stores today. Of course, it hasn’t been all success all the time. Best Buy has seen more than 600 store closings in the past decade. Despite the popularity of Best Buy’s tech support arm Geek Squad, its popular computer parts and equipment division, and its nationally trusted brand name, the retailer faces stiff competition from Amazon and other online competitors.
Revenue, income, assets, and equity are all down, as are its total number of employees and locations in the United States and abroad. It’s never good for a retailer to be down hundreds of stores, thousands of employees, and millions of dollars year after year. Insignia TVs are still a key asset in the store’s catalog. But, it remains to be seen how (or where) Insignia TVs will continue to sell if these struggles persist.
Other Best Buy House Brands
Insignia isn’t the only house brand at Best Buy. As it turns out, the consumer electronics retailer has a whole catalog of house brands owned and sold by Best Buy stores. From Blu-ray players to storage devices, mini fridges to mobile accessories, Insignia joins these other Best Buy house brands to form an entire catalog of exclusive brand names.
Dynex is one of Best Buy’s most popular in-house brands. It offers a variety of affordable consumer electronics and accessories, including TVs, Blu-ray players, power cables, storage devices, and adapters. These Dynex products are manufactured by Magallen Technologies and sold exclusively at Best Buy locations.
Init is another one of Best Buy’s largest and most expansive house brands. It focuses mainly on home entertainment and connectivity accessories, but the true list extends far beyond these product categories. Init’s product lineup includes TV wall mounts, HDMI cables, speaker stands, and other accessories for home theater setups.
Magnolia Design Center
Magnolia Design Center is Best Buy’s premium brand reserved for high-end home theater and audio installations. These in-store design centers provide expert guidance for customers looking to create advanced, professional-grade home theater setups. They specialize in assembling top-tier brands into custom solutions for audiophiles and home theater enthusiasts.
Magnolia Home Theater
Like the Magnolia Design Center, the Magnolia Home Theater brand specializes in premium home theater setups. This particular arm focuses on home theater equipment and installations. They offer high-quality audio and video products under the Magnolia name, including speakers, receivers, and video projectors.
Modal is Best Buy’s mobile accessories brand. The Modal product range includes smartphone and tablet cases, screen protectors, charging solutions, and tons of other practical and stylish products for storing your devices. It’s one of Best Buy’s core in-house brand names, offering accessories for just about every type of smartphone, smartwatch, laptop, and tablet imaginable.
Pacific Sales is Best Buy’s kitchen and home appliance brand. It caters to customers seeking luxury kitchen appliances, including refrigerators, ovens, and dishwashers. While not available in every Best Buy store, Pacific Sales offers a selection of top-tier appliance brands that aim to meet the needs of high-end homeowners.
Platinum is Best Buy’s top-of-the-line accessory brand. Of all the brand names on this list, Platinum is by far the highest quality. Designed for audio enthusiasts and tech aficionados alike, the Platinum product line includes high-quality audio cables, headphones, and other premium audiovisual accessories.
RocketFish — and its sister brand RocketFish Mobile — is Best Buy’s in-house device and accessory brand. The product line includes various mobile and electronic accessories, including computer mice, power adapters, wireless routers, smartphone cases, screen protectors, and more. From computers to smartphones to video games, RocketFish probably has an accessory for you.
Is Insignia a Good Brand?
The question of Insignia’s quality depends on your particular set of standards. You see, this particular Best Buy house brand has a fair share of both advantages and drawbacks. On the positive side, Insignia products are typically very budget-friendly. This makes them accessible to a wider range of consumers than the more expensive television brand names on the market. Beyond this, Insignia TVs are readily available at Best Buy stores and online, ensuring TVs on the shelves are ready to go home with you same-day. No need to set alerts or wait around for inventory to come in.
Plus, Insignia TVs typically come with reliable warranties and extended protection plans for added peace of mind. However, there are a handful of downsides to consider. For one, the quality of Insignia products can vary. While most are decent, others may not match the performance or durability of high-end brands due to the uncertain nature of Sharp’s panel lottery. Additionally, Insignia items may lack the more advanced features or cutting-edge technology found in premium brands on the market today.
All in all, Insignia is certainly suitable for individuals seeking an affordable HD or 4K television. That said, Insignia TVs may not meet the high expectations of luxury buyers looking for the very best picture quality and unique features that money can buy. Those looking for higher performance specs or more advanced technology may be better off looking elsewhere. But, for those of us who just want a reliable HD or 4K television that can handle everyday viewing at an affordable price, you can’t go wrong with Insignia.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©M-Production/Shutterstock.com.