Insignia NS-L55X-10A Advanced 55-Inch Class LCD HDTV Reviewed

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Insignia_NS-L55X-10A_LED_HDTV_review.gifInsignia, or the retail giant Best Buy's in-house electronics brand, churns out everything from car stereos to LCD HDTVs like the 55-inch Class LCD HDTV reviewed here, all of which are sold exclusively through Best Buy's vast network of stores. Like Vizio and other budget conscious consumer brands, Insignia is geared towards customers who are looking to get into the latest technological trends without breaking the bank.

Additional Resources
• Read reviews for dozens of LCD HDTVs from HomeTheaterReview.com.
Buy the Insignia NS-L55X-10A from Best Buy.
 

The Insignia NS-L55X-10A 55-inch Class LCD HDTV is the company's flagship effort, which retails for $1,297.99. The set itself is a native 1080p display measuring in at just under 55-inch diagonally and features 120Hz refresh rate. The NS-L55X-10A measures in at 51 and a half inches wide by 32 inches tall by five inches deep (without the included table stand) and weighs in at a hefty 70 pounds (without the stand). The NS-L55X-10A features five HDMI inputs, three in the rear and two along the side, as well as a host of analog video inputs for legacy sources as well as a PC video input. The NS-L55X-10A has an internal HDTV tuner for over-the-air HD broadcast (antenna or receiver not included). The NS-L55X-10A has a reported 4,000:1 native contrast ratio and a 15,000:1 contrast ratio when viewing in Dynamic mode. In terms of sound the NS-L55X-10A has two 15 Watt built-in speakers with Audyssey Dynamic Volume and SRS TruSurround capabilities. There isn't much more to report by way of features with the NS-L55X-10A, for in order to keep costs low, Insignia has had to take a "just the facts" approach to the design and implementation of the NS-L55X-10A. The NS-L55X-10A doesn't have USB inputs nor the ability to playback alternative formats such as DivX, nor can it connect to the Internet the way other, more expensive, HDTVs can nowadays.

In terms of performance the NS-L55X-10A is the essence of what you need in an HDTV and nothing more. That being said, the performance is what you'd expect from an affordable, average HDTV...average. Color saturation and fidelity, after calibration, is slightly above average; however black levels and grey scale tracking are underwhelming. The NS-L55X-10A doesn't so much achieve true black so much as it is a very dark shade of gray, which costs the display much needed pop and definition. White levels are amply bright but prone to blooming. Edge fidelity is not on par with even budget sets from Vizio, nor is motion tracking and video processing. Insignia doesn't give any insights into what processor/scaler they use (if any) internally and if there is one present, it has to be generic at best. The NS-L55X-10A is prone to and showcases considerable artifacting, which can only be combated, visually, by sitting a bit further back from the display than you normally would. In a nutshell I would classify the NS-L55X-10A's performance as perfectly average in almost every way: the ideal display for a playroom or secondary, non-critical viewing, location. While its sub-$1,300 asking price may seem tempting, you can get almost twice the display by spending an extra two to three hundred dollars more and going with one of the bigger name brands like Toshiba or Panasonic.

Read more about the high points and low points of the NS-L55X-10A on Page 2.

HTR Product Rating for Insignia NS-L55X-10A Advanced 55-Inch Class LCD HDTV

Criteria Rating

Performance

3.5

Value

3.5

Overall

3.5

Disagree with our product rating? Email us and tell us why you think this product should receive a higher rating.


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Insignia_NS-L55X-10A_LED_HDTV_review.gif

High Points
• The Insignia is setup and designed to be a perfect entry point for a novice or budding HDTV enthusiast. It represents the bare essentials of what is needed to view HD content with little extra. 
• In a non-critical environment, such as an office or game room, the NS-L55X-10A may prove to be ideal. The perfect scenario for purchasing an Insignia NS-L55X-10A would be for your child's college dorm room. With 55-inches of cheap HDTV bliss your son or daughter would most assuredly be the big hit on campus.
• After a bit of calibration the Insignia is capable of displaying a very bright, punchy image that shines with source material from the likes of Pixar or Disney. It does better with three camera sitcoms airing on ABC or CBS then it does with sports broadcasts such as NHL hockey in HD.

Low Points
• The NS-L55X-10A is not the TV you build a cost-no-object or even a modest home theater around. If you have the means and the budget to even spend two to three hundred dollars more, the incremental increase in price you'll pay to buy a similar sized HDTV from Toshiba or Panasonic will pay huge dividends. 
• The NS-L55X-10A's black levels are below average and rob the display of dimensionality and punch, resulting in an image that appears a bit faded and vague at times. 
• The NS-L55X-10A's edge fidelity and motion tracking is lackluster and is almost inexcusable when watching fast moving sports broadcasts. 
• The NS-L55X-10A lacks many of today's modern features and conveniences, like Internet connectivity and the ability to stream movies from the likes of Netflix, which are two things you'll find from sets costing roughly the same as the Insignia.

Conclusion
If you're in the market for a no-frills, bare essentials LCD HDTV that isn't going to break the bank, then the Insignia NS-L55X-10A might be for you. At just under $1,300 retail you'll get a very large set that is capable of displaying the latest 1080p content. Just don't scrutinize it too hard for you'll quickly become familiar of its faults. Is it perfect? Far from it, but if you're looking for a large HDTV for a game room, garage, dorm room or office, then the NS-L55X-10A should fit the bill. But I would urge you to look just slightly upmarket before purchasing it, for the extra money will be well spent and make for a sounder investment.

Additional Resources
• Read reviews for dozens of LCD HDTVs from HomeTheaterReview.com.
• Buy the Insignia NS-L55X-10A from Best Buy.



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