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Reviewed on Oct 31, 2018

Insignia Fire TV Edition 4k TV REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.3
6.9
Mixed Usage
Value for price beaten by
: TCL 5 Series/S517 2018
6.3
Movies
7.2
TV Shows
6.9
Sports
7.3
Video Games
6.4
HDR Movies
7.0
HDR Gaming
7.4
PC Monitor
Type : LED
Sub-Type
:
VA
Resolution : 4k

The Insignia Fire TV is a decent 4k TV with a decent picture quality. It has a high native contrast ratio and produces deep blacks, but unfortunately, they are not very uniform and the lack of local dimming cannot help improve the appearance of dark scenes. The image degrades rapidly when viewed from the side so it is not a good choice for a large room with a wide seating arrangement. The TV supports HDR, but it can't deliver the creators intent. This Insignia TV integrates very well with the Amazon Alexa voice assistant.

Update 11/30/18: Changed the text a bit for clarification

Test Results
Design 7.0
Picture Quality 7.0
Motion 6.1
Inputs 7.8
Sound Quality 5.9
Smart Features 7.6
Pros
  • Excellent native contrast
  • Powerful Alexa voice assistant
Cons
  • Bad color accuracy
  • Amazon Prime account is required for many functions
  • Bad viewing angles
  1. Update 2/28/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3. Learn more about our versioned test bench system here.

Check Price

43" NS-43DF710NA19
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Amazon.com
50" NS-50DF710NA19
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55" NS-55DF710NA19
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7.0

Design

Curved : No

The design of the Insignia Fire TV Edition is decent. It is made of plastic and metal but it does not have a premium look. The stand supports the TV well but there will be some wobbling if you accidentally nudge it. There are no issues with the build quality and although the bottom edge can get warm, you will have no problem with it.

Stand

The stand of the Insignia Fire TV Edition is plastic. It provides good support to the TV, although it won't prevent a slight back and forth wobble if the TV is pushed gently. At the same time, it does not leave a big space between the table and the lower edge of the TV. This might be an issue if you wish to place a soundbar in front of the TV.

Footprint of the 55" model: 43.0" x 10.4"

Back
Wall Mount : VESA 200x200

The back of the TV is metallic and looks very plain. There is not much provision for cable management.

Borders
Borders : 0.63" (1.6 cm)

The borders are plastic and relatively thick. The bezel that surrounds the screen is also thick.

Thickness
Max Thickness : 3.27" (8.3 cm)

The Insignia Fire TV looks thick from the side. It's just a little thinner than the Toshiba Fire TV Edition 2018.

Temperature
Maximum Temperature
:
106 °F (41 °C)
Average Temperature
:
90 °F (32 °C)

The TV can get warm, especially near the bottom edge. This, however, should not be a problem.

6.5 Build Quality

The built quality is decent. The TV is a mixture of plastic and metal and does not look premium. However, there are no gaps or loose ends and you should have no issues with it.

7.0

Picture Quality

The picture quality of the Insignia TV is decent. It has a high native contrast ratio that produces deep blacks but unfortunately, they are not uniform and that is not good for dark room viewing. The TV can achieve good SDR brightness levels, but they are not enough to fight glare in a bright room. The out of the box color accuracy is bad, and unfortunately, the TV does not have the menu controls to allow you to significantly improve it. The TV is made for watching directly in front, as any deviation from the center results in a degradation of picture quality. Finally, the TV can display HDR content, but the quality is only mediocre and cannot deliver the creator's intention.

8.6 Contrast
Native Contrast
:
4660 : 1
Contrast with local dimming
:
N/A

Excellent native contrast for the Insignia Fire TV Edition. Blacks are deep in a dark room, and this is important in picture quality.

0 Local Dimming
Local Dimming
:
No
Backlight
:
Direct

The Insignia Fire TV Edition does not support local dimming. The video is for reference only.

7.3 SDR Peak Brightness
SDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
:
277 cd/m²
SDR Peak 2% Window
:
297 cd/m²
SDR Peak 10% Window
:
297 cd/m²
SDR Peak 25% Window
:
297 cd/m²
SDR Peak 50% Window
:
297 cd/m²
SDR Peak 100% Window
:
296 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 2% Window
:
297 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 10% Window
:
297 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 25% Window
:
297 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 50% Window
:
297 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 100% Window
:
296 cd/m²
SDR ABL
:
0.000

Good SDR peak brightness for the Insignia Fire TV. It can get bright enough for an average lit room, but it can not overcome the glare of a bright room. The measured brightness remains very constant regardless of the illuminated area of the screen and this is great. The SDR brightness is slightly worse than the Toshiba Fire TV.

The menu item that controls the luminance of the backlight is called backlight.

6.1 HDR Peak Brightness
HDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
:
288 cd/m²
HDR Peak 2% Window
:
314 cd/m²
HDR Peak 10% Window
:
315 cd/m²
HDR Peak 25% Window
:
315 cd/m²
HDR Peak 50% Window
:
315 cd/m²
HDR Peak 100% Window
:
315 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 2% Window
:
313 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 10% Window
:
314 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 25% Window
:
315 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 50% Window
:
315 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 100% Window
:
315 cd/m²
HDR ABL
:
0.000

Mediocre performance on our HDR peak brightness test. The Insignia Fire TV cannot get bright enough to deliver the brightness levels HDR is mastered for. The constant level of brightness across all window sizes is good but does not really help HDR performance in this case.

7.0 Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
:
3.511 %
50% DSE
:
0.198 %
5% Std. Dev.
:
1.197 %
5% DSE
:
0.122 %

The Insignia Fire TV has decent gray uniformity. Faint clouding is visible all over the screen, and the edges look slightly darker. You should expect some dirty screen effect when you watch sports on this TV. In darker images clouding is less visible, but still present.

4.7 Viewing Angle
Color Washout
:
23 °
Color Shift
:
19 °
Brightness Loss
:
26 °
Black Level Raise
:
12 °
Gamma Shift
:
12 °

The Insignia Fire TV Edition has bad viewing angles. Just off the center axis and blacks start to intensify rapidly. At slightly higher angles colors shift, and at about 25 degrees the picture has lost half of its brightness. You should avoid watching this Insignia TV from the side as the picture quality deteriorates rapidly.

6.9 Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
:
1.385 %
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
:
N/A

The black uniformity is decent. You can spot some backlight bleed at both sides of the screen and around the test cross. It is less noticeable during normal use.

6.9 Reflections
Screen Finish
:
Semi-gloss
Total Reflections
:
6.7 %
Indirect Reflections
:
0.9 %

The Insignia Fire TV Edition has decent handling of reflections. It has a semi-gloss finish that diffuses glare across the screen and diminishes its intensity. You should be fine for an average lit room, but for a room with lots of light it will be bothersome.

4.7 Pre Calibration
White Balance dE
:
6.31
Color dE
:
4.98
Gamma
:
2.16
Color Temperature
:
6227 K
Picture Mode
:
Movie
Color Temp Setting
:
Warm
Gamma Setting
:
0

The out of the box color accuracy of this TV is bad. The 'Movie' most accurate picture mode. The white balance dE and the color dE are very high and this means that most people will notice the color inaccuracies. Gamma is low at 1.93 and it does not follow the target at all, and thus shades look brighter. The color temperature is a little warm, this explains the red-yellowish tint.

7.2 Post Calibration
White Balance dE
:
2.77
Color dE
:
4.19
Gamma
:
2.19
Color Temperature
:
6570 K
White Balance Calibration
:
1 point
Color Calibration
:
No
Auto-Calibration Function
:
No

The post-calibration accuracy of the Insignia Fire TV Edition is decent. Calibration was performed at the 'Custom' picture mode.

Unfortunately, the TV has a very limited number of calibration features as you can see here. These are not enough for a proper calibration and cannot help improve significantly the color accuracy.

The white balance dE is lowered below the threshold of 3 so most people will not notice any gray inaccuracies, but it is still at a level where most enthusiasts will. Unfortunately, the same is not true for color dE, where the value is well above 3 and most people will still spot color inaccuracies. Gamma is brought close to the target of 2.2, but unfortunately, it does not follow the curve. At lower luminosities, the shades are brighter and as we move to higher luminosities the shadows are crushed. Finally, the color temperature is slightly colder than the 6500 K target.

You can see our recommended settings here.

8.0 480p Input

Upscaling of low-quality content such as DVDs is good.

8.0 720p Input

There are no issues when upscaling 720p content.

9.0 1080p Input

Full-HD content such as 1080p cable, streaming, and Blu-rays looks good upscaled. The image is clear and detailed.

9.5 4k Input

When the TV is displaying 4k images, you can see from up close, some sub-pixel dimming. Sometimes this can create artifacts and it may be a type of spatial dithering. It results in a checkerboard effect similar to the TCL 5 Series S517. You can see this effect up close in our pixels photo here.

7.0 Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
:
No
DCI P3 xy
:
78.16 %
DCI P3 uv
:
84.22 %
Rec 2020 xy
:
56.38 %
Rec 2020 uv
:
62.67 %

The color gamut of the Insignia Fire TV Edition is decent.

The color accuracy at our normal 75% stimulus brightness is bad, likely because the TV is prioritizing brightness over color accuracy; however at 50% stimulus brightness, the accuracy of P3 and Rec 2020 colors are vastly improved. This means that most HDR colors will have passable color accuracy, but very bright colors will be washed out.

In the Custom picture mode, the TV's EOTF follows the target PQ curve fairly closely, with some over-brightening in dim shades. If you find HDR content too dark, you can set the Mid Luminance Gamma setting to -5, which raises the EOTF and brightens most of the scene.

The EOTFs in the Game mode follows the target PQ curve slightly closer, than the Custom, whereas the PC picture mode is almost identical to that of 'Custom'.

6.1 Color Volume
Normalized DCI P3 Coverage ITP
:
70.3 %
10,000 cd/m² DCI P3 Coverage ITP
:
29.7 %
Normalized Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
:
52.2 %
10,000 cd/m² Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
:
21.1 %

The color volume coverage is mediocre. The limited color gamut on this Insignia Fire TV Edition does not allow it to display saturated colors. This is very similar to the Toshiba Fire TV 2018.

6.0 Gradient
Color Depth
:
10 Bit
Red (Std. Dev.)
:
0.120 dE
Green (Std. Dev.)
:
0.140 dE
Blue (Std. Dev.)
:
0.261 dE
Gray (Std. Dev.)
:
0.358 dE

The TV has a mediocre gradient. Unfortunately, it is the lowest score we've measured so far. Our image does not clearly capture the stepping in color shades that create the banding as you scan it from the lighter shades to the darker ones. This is partly because of the clipping that occurs in both the bright side and the dark side. This means that in real content, when the TV displays the image of a sky or images that contain skin tones, there are areas of noticeable banding. This, however, is more important in HDR than SDR.

10 Temporary Image Retention
IR after 0 min recovery
:
0.00 %
IR after 2 min recovery
:
0.00 %
IR after 4 min recovery
:
0.00 %
IR after 6 min recovery
:
0.00 %
IR after 8 min recovery
:
0.00 %
IR after 10 min recovery
:
0.00 %

No image retention for the Insignia Fire TV .

10 Permanent Burn-In Risk
Permanent Burn-In Risk
:
No

We don't expect VA panels to experience permanent image retention, as the VA panel in our long-term test appears immune.

Pixels

When you look at this TV from a close distance, you will notice some sub-pixel dimming artifacts. This is similar to the Toshiba Fire TV and the TCL 5 series S517.

6.1

Motion

The motion handling of the Insignia Fire TV Edition is decent. The response time is good, but there will be a blur trail in fast content. The blur helps make motion look smooth. Unfortunately, the TV does not incorporate any advanced features, like BFI or 24p Judder removal, to further improve the motion quality.

7.5 Response Time
80% Response Time
:
7.7 ms
100% Response Time
:
20.8 ms

The response time of the Insignia Fire TV is good. You will, however, spot some motion blur on fast moving objects on the screen.

6.0 Flicker-Free
Flicker-Free
:
No
PWM Dimming Frequency
:
240 Hz

The Insignia Fire TV Edition is not flicker-free. It uses PWM dimming to lower the backlight. The flicker occurs at 240Hz which might be bothersome to some people.

4.2 Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
Optional BFI
:
No
Min Flicker for 60 fps
:
240 Hz
60 Hz for 60 fps
:
No
120 Hz for 120 fps
:
N/A
Min Flicker for 60 fps in Game Mode
:
240 Hz

The Insignia Fire TV does not have a BFI option.

7.0 Motion Interpolation
Motion Interpolation (30 fps)
:
Yes
Motion Interpolation (60 fps)
:
No

The Fire TV is capable of interpolating content from 30fps up to its native refresh rate of 60fps.

Set the Motion Processing to 'Enhanced' if you wish to enable motion interpolation. If you find that there are too many artifacts, then you can set it to 'Smooth' or 'Standard'.

8.5 Stutter
Frame Hold Time @ 24 fps
:
20.9 ms
Frame Hold Time @ 60 fps
:
0.0 ms

The response time of this TV allows for some motion blur that smooths motion and it is not likely that you will notice any stutter, even in older, low fps content.

0 24p Judder
Judder-Free 24p
:
No
Judder-Free 24p via 60p
:
No
Judder-Free 24p via 60i
:
No
Judder-Free 24p via Native Apps
:
No

The Insignia Fire TV Edition does not remove 24p judder automatically, nor does it have any feature that allows you to do so. So when displaying 24fps content the TV will always have judder. You can try to remove it by enabling motion interpolation, but this makes motion look smoother than normal and can add artifacts.

0 Variable Refresh Rate
Native Refresh Rate
:
60 Hz
Variable Refresh Rate
:
No
4k VRR Maximum
:
N/A
4k VRR Minimum
:
N/A
1080p VRR Maximum
:
N/A
1080p VRR Minimum
:
N/A
1440p VRR Maximum
:
N/A
1440p VRR Minimum
:
N/A
VRR Supported Connectors
:
N/A

The TV has a native 60Hz panel and doesn't support any variable refresh rate implementation.

7.8

Inputs

The Insignia has a good input lag in game mode, although it will fall short on the expectations of serious gamers. Unfortunately, some of the common resolutions are not supported, and you have to pay close attention to details to get the TV to properly display 4:4:4: chroma. 

7.8 Input Lag
1080p @ 60 Hz
:
34.5 ms
1080p @ 60 Hz Outside Game Mode
:
86.8 ms
1440p @ 60 Hz
:
N/A
4k @ 60 Hz
:
36.3 ms
4k @ 60 Hz + 10 bit HDR
:
40.4 ms
4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4
:
71.0 ms
4k @ 60 Hz Outside Game Mode
:
70.3 ms
4k @ 60 Hz With Interpolation
:
134.1 ms
8k @ 60 Hz
:
N/A
1080p @ 120 Hz
:
N/A
1440p @ 120 Hz
:
N/A
4k @ 120 Hz
:
N/A
1080p with Variable Refresh Rate
:
N/A
1440p with VRR
:
N/A
4k with VRR
:
N/A
8k with VRR
:
N/A
Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM)
:
No

The Insignia Fire TV Edition has a low input lag in Game mode and while it is not interpolating. Some people, however, might still find it high, so it is not a recommended TV for game enthusiasts. When you use it as a PC monitor, you might notice some lag, especially while you move the mouse around.

During testing we noticed that although the input lag is stable, it varied slightly when we retook a measurement. The variation was about 8 ms and the value reported is the average.

7.5 Supported Resolutions
1080p @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4
:
Yes
1080p @ 120 Hz
:
No
1440p @ 60 Hz
:
No
1440p @ 120 Hz
:
No
4k @ 60 Hz
:
Yes
4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4
:
Yes
4k @ 120 Hz
:
No
8k @ 30 Hz or 24 Hz
:
No
8k @ 60 Hz
:
No

The Insignia Fire TV Edition does not support some common resolutions. Also, there are some resolution restrictions, and some special conditions that must be satisfied for the TV to properly display certain resolutions.

To properly display 4:4:4 chroma you must be in PC mode and you must set the signal output to RGB, as otherwise, the TV might not detect it and might not display RGB properly.

4k @ 30Hz can't have proper 4:4:4 chroma even when in PC mode.

The TV does not pass the 1440p test, as the image that is displayed when sent such a signal does not have the correct wrapping (part of the screen's right side appears on the left side).

Input Photos
Total Inputs
HDMI : 3
USB : 1
Digital Optical Audio Out : 1
Analog Audio Out 3.5mm : 1
Analog Audio Out RCA : 0
Component In : 0
Composite In : 1
Tuner (Cable/Ant) : 1
Ethernet : 1
DisplayPort : 0
IR In : 0
SD/SDHC : 0
Inputs Specifications
HDR10
:
Yes
HDR10+
:
No
Dolby Vision
:
No
HLG
:
No
3D
:
No
HDMI 2.0 Full Bandwidth
:
Yes (HDMI 1,2,3)
HDMI 2.1
:
No
CEC : Yes
HDCP 2.2 : Yes (HDMI 1,2,3)
USB 3.0
:
No
Variable Analog Audio Out : Yes
Wi-Fi Support : Yes (2.4 GHz, 5 GHz)
Audio Passthrough
ARC
:
Yes (HDMI 1)
eARC support
:
No
Dolby Atmos via TrueHD via eARC
:
No
DTS:X via DTS-HD MA via eARC
:
No
5.1 Dolby Digital via ARC
:
Yes
5.1 DTS via ARC
:
No
5.1 Dolby Digital via Optical
:
Yes
5.1 DTS via Optical
:
No
5.9

Sound Quality

The sound of the Insignia Fire TV is sub-par. This TV doesn't get very loud and doesn't produce much bass, but it is decent for producing dialog. For a better sound, dedicated speakers or soundbars are recommended.

5.5 Frequency Response
Low-Frequency Extension
:
134.54 Hz
Std. Dev. @ 70
:
3.77 dB
Std. Dev. @ 80
:
4.01 dB
Std. Dev. @ Max
:
7.65 dB
Max
:
86.3 dB SPL
Dynamic Range Compression
:
4.86 dB

The frequency response performance is sub-par. The LFE (low-frequency extension) of 135Hz indicates a bass that lacks thump and rumble and doesn't have much body to it either. The response above the LFE point is rather uneven and lacks a bit of detail and brightness. Also, this TV doesn't get very loud and tends to produce compression and pumping artifacts near its maximum volume.

7.1 Distortion
Weighted THD @ 80
:
0.062
Weighted THD @ Max
:
0.231
IMD @ 80
:
3.12 %
IMD @ Max
:
12.40 %

The distortion performance is above-average. The overall amount of THD produced at 80dB SPL is low, and there is not a big jump in THD at Max SPL either. However, this TV doesn't get very loud. Also, there are a couple of spikes between 1KHz and 2KHz which could make the sound of those region a bit harsh and impure.

7.6

Smart Features

Smart OS : Fire TV
Version : 6.0

The Insignia "Fire TV Edition" runs the Amazon Fire TV smart platform. It has an intuitive and easy to use interface with very smooth animation. It integrates very well with Amazon Alexa and there are many commands that you can execute with your voice. Unfortunately, the Amazon services and content are promoted very aggressively. Suggestions for Amazon apps and videos are everywhere and can become annoying at times.

7.5 Interface
Ease of Use