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Insignia 39″ 1080P 120Hz LED HDTV Review

by on March 28, 2013
What We Like

+ Affordable
+ Full 1080P
+ LED screen
+ Lots of inputs
+ Gaming mode
+ Design is fairly slim
+ Glossy black finish looks appealing

What We Do Not Like

- No Smart TV features
- Picture & sound quality is average
- Needed some configuration to improve picture
- TV base was a hassle to assemble
- 'Eco mode' picture setting is horrible
- Only available through Best Buy

Editor Rating
Cosmetic Appeal

Design & Build Quality

Features

Function

Value for the Price

Total Score


Final Verdict
 

I found the Insignia 39" 1080 120Hz LED HDTV to be a reasonable buy mainly due to its low price tag. The picture & sound quality are not top notch by any means, but if you're on a budget you will not find another similarly sized LED HDTV with a 1080P 120Hz screen in the same price range. For the average consumer, this HDTV will probably satisfy you're needs, but if you're picky about your audio and video quality or have more money to spend then you should be looking at bigger and better models like the Samsung UN40ES6150F 40″ LED HDTV

 

The Insignia 39″ 1080P 120Hz LED HDTV is an affordable choice if you’re looking for a large LED HDTV.

Insignia 39 1080P 120Hz LED HDTV Review

With technology becoming more advanced, TV prices have fallen dramatically especially when it comes to the models that are 32″ or bigger. Only a few years ago, you couldn’t get a 32″ 720P Plasma HDTV for under $600 and now they have models like the Insignia 39″ 1080 120Hz LED HDTV for under $375. As you probably realized by now, I’m going to be discussing this Insignia 39″ 1080 120Hz LED model in today’s review. I’ll touch on my experiences using this model on a daily for a little over a week now and give you my honest thoughts on the product.

Insignia 39 1080P 120Hz LED HDTV ReviewAfter unboxing the Insignia HDTV, I realized the stand needed to be assembled. This was not a huge issue as it is fairly common for HDTVs nowadays mainly due to the small size of the product box. The process involved screwing the neck piece into the stand then screwing the combination of the two (neck+stand) into the back of the TV. This was a bit of a pain as I needed to go locate the right screwdriver and screw in 8 individual screws in order to finish the assembly. What was more annoying was the need to lay the TV face down in order to be able to properly screw the base into the rear. It was an uncomfortable experience considering it was a brand new, perfect condition screen that I did not want to get damaged or scratched just through the assembly process. Luckily, I was able to lay the TV down on a plush dog bed and successfully attach the stand without causing any damage to the screen.

In terms of the TV’s cosmetic appeal and design, it is more appealing than I expected which I based off on my experience with prior Insignia models. The glossy black finish and a fairly slim profile were nice though not comparable to the ultra-thin Samsung UN40ES6150F 40″ LED HDTV that I had previously reviewed. The stand is very boxy and though less appealing, it does a good job keeping the TV stable and away from risks of accidentally falling over. The bezel around the screen is also fairly slim which adds to the appeal and is not something you typically see in most Insignia models so it was a nice surprise.

Insignia 39 1080P 120Hz LED HDTV Review

There are inputs found on both the rear and the side of the TV. On the rear you will find an audio out, a USB port, 2 HDMI ports, and a component input. On the side, you will find another HDMI port, a VGA port, coaxial (cable) input, optical audio out, and a composite input. Now, I noticed some mistakes in comparison to the displayed specs of this model on the Best Buy website. According to their site, this TV is supposed to include only 2 HDMI ports (has 3) and is supposed to include DVI input which is does not. This is a pretty big discrepancy that I’m assuming is just a mistake on Best Buy’s end, but still can be misleading.

The screen is LED and packs a punch being capable of outputting a full 1080P image. When I first tested out the TV’s picture it was extremely fuzzy and you could barely make out individuals on the screen. When I turned off the ‘eco mode’ which is meant to save power, it finally cleared up and showed images as it should. From my experience, I’d say the picture quality was mediocre and definitely not as sharp as the other TVs I’ve tested recently though keep in mind this model is hundreds cheaper than the others so I did need to lower my standards. The color ranges and depths were average, but satisfying enough for the total price paid.  I did notice the picture performance when viewing dark or dimly lit scenes is was pretty terrible so keep that in mind if this type of thing will bug you.

Insignia 39 1080P 120Hz LED HDTV ReviewThe sound quality as with most HDTVs is far from great so you’ll be better off investing in an aftermarket sound system if you’re looking to dedicate this TV for gaming or watching movies. I did do quite a bit of gaming using this TV as I was testing the new Walking Dead: Survival Instinct game (review coming tomorrow). Through my experience using the TV’s built-in ‘game mode’, I was surprisingly satisfied with it’s performance. Sure, the picture quality and sound aren’t so great, but the picture held up to the fast-paced gameplay without any noticeable stuttering or ghosting going on which I had sort of expected due to such a low price tag.

In the end, I found the Insignia 39″ 1080 120Hz LED HDTV to be a reasonable buy mainly due to its low price tag. The picture & sound quality are not top notch by any means, but if you’re on a budget you will not find another similarly sized LED HDTV with a 1080P 120Hz screen in the same price range. For the average consumer, this HDTV will probably satisfy you’re needs, but if you’re picky about your audio and video quality or have more money to spend then you should be looking at bigger and better models like the Samsung UN40ES6150F 40″ LED HDTV.


Compare Insignia 39″ 1080 120Hz LED TV Prices Online
$329.99

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Details
 
Manufacturer

Insignia

Max Resolution

1920 x 1080 (1080P)

Inputs

- 3 HDMI
- 1 USB
- 1 Component video
- 1 Composite
- 1 VGA
- 1 3.5mm audio

Additional Features

- Game mode
- Sleep timer

MSRP

$399.99

Refresh Rate

120Hz

Wifi Compatible?

No

Screen Size

38.5"

Warranty

1 year limited (parts & labor)

comments
 
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  • ed gamboa
    December 23, 2013 at 11:14 pm

    That was a very exhaustive evaluation.

    Reply

  • Scott
    January 2, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    I would tend to agree with this review until you have the TV about three years. I recommend to anyone considering an Insignia TV to search the internet for half of the screen going blank. Apparently this is a common issue, including mine, and Insignia’s own website community support responds with “Sorry, warranty expired, buy a new one.”

    Reply

    • Colt Agar
      January 2, 2014 at 1:31 pm

      Hey Scott, thanks for your input!

      I can understand your frustration and I am aware these types of issues happen with HDTVs after extended periods of time. I can say from personal experience that it is not prevalent on all Insignia models.

      I actually own an Insignia 32″ 720P LCD HDTV which I purchased way back in 2007 and it is still performing just like the day I got it even after putting in hundreds of hours of gaming use.

      Like any product, the term “you get what you pay for” does have some merit and the more expensive models tend to have a longer lifespan and therefore need to be replaced less often. Regardless, we appreciate your input and hope your next HDTV experience is a positive one!

      Reply

  • Tyler
    January 3, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    I have this TV and it is awesome picture Is comparable to my dads Samsung LED, I just wanted to let everyone on here know the reviewer said it is a 1080″p” but actually the tv is a 1080i which is a step up. I paid $440.00 a year ago, and I haven’t had one problem.

    Reply

  • Donny
    January 31, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    I’ve had this tv for about 10 months and have had issues with it already, the screen has gone completely blank on me a few times, the picture freezes in and out, the picture quality is good, definitely not great, there is a very low buzzing noise coming from the back of the tv, its very low but you can hear it when the volume is turned down, i’m definitely going to get a better quality tv when i get the money and keep this as a second hand tv.

    Reply

  • Graham
    February 6, 2014 at 10:38 am

    I bought the 40″ 60Hz 1080p version of this TV. Very similar TV, similar pros and cons.

    Can anyone share their preferred video settings? I am having a heck of a time finding a good balance that provides a decent color mix for all viewing. Quite frustrating that there is no individual R, G and B, just a “Color” slider that brightens or dims the overall color, and a “Tint” that slides between Red and Green, so you cannot just increase one or the other, but increasing one decreases the other, and no setting for Blue.

    Overall I am quite happy with my purchase, but it is definitely a bang-for-the-buck kind of deal. “A good TV – FOR THE PRICE” is a common review comment.

    Thanks!
    Graham

    Reply

  • kate
    March 12, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    great review and appreciate the information
    you sound very bright and knowledgeable.

    Reply

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