I've been patiently waiting for a 1080p LED HDTV between 37" and 42" diagonal at a price that wouldn't make me choke, preferably around $500. Currently, LED HDTVs in that size range are about $1, 000 or more retail. Because LED technology is relatively recent, I had resigned myself to waiting another five years or more for the prices to come down. But this week's sales flyer at Best Buy had just the offer that I was looking for, an Insignia 42" 1080p LED-LCD HDTVplus an Insignia Blu-Ray player for $650 plus 0% financing for three years.
An LED HDTVis an LCD television that uses LED lights to backlight the LCD screen instead of CFL bulbs. The advantage of LED lights is that they offer a better contrast ratio for blacker blacks and whiter whites than the flourescent lit LCD televisions, and will last longer than CFL bulbs or plasma noble gases without color degradation over time. The Insignia 42" LED-LCD HDTV uses edge-lit LED technology. When viewing a black screen of stationary white movie credits in a dark living room, I noticed cool grey lights at the four corners of the television that were due to the edge-lit LEDs, and a lot of people have complained about these. But I never noticed these cool grey corner lights during colorful scenes or when the room was more brightly lit with overcast daylight from north facing windows, nor did I find these cool grey corner lights to be particularly intrusive or annoying.
I hate seeing the mirror reflections of my lamps and windows on the television screen. Reflections are the most intrusive annoyance to me, so buying a plasma television for the better contrast and color accuracy wasn't even a consideration because I can't even see the picture past all of the reflections. The Insignia 42" LED-LCD HDTV has an anti-glare screen that I'm very pleased with. The Insignia HDTV is only two inches deep and just under forty pounds, making the Insignia 42" HDTV a good choice for mounting on the wall.
LCD televisions generally have terrible motion blur, pixelating a football player who's running toward the end zone, and that's been one of the biggest reasons why I've refrained from buying an HDTV television. A higher refresh rate does help a lot to reduce the pixelation of fast moving images. The Insignia 42" LED-LCD HDTV has a 120Hz refresh rate, which is twice as fast as the 60Hz refresh rate of older LCD models. Watching a commercial for college wrestling, I did notice a little pixelation around the wrestlers' bodies, but nowhere near as bad as the blockiness of a 60Hz refresh rate, and this was on the Color mode. I haven't tried out the Sports mode yet, but Insignia claims that the Sports mode is designed to take care of that specific motion blur problem. Watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy and I, Robot, I didn't notice any problems with motion blur or pixelation even in the fast moving scenes.
The Insignia 42" LED-LCD HDTV also has an Energy-Saving mode, but I didn't care for that. The Energy-Saving mode flipped between light and dim contrast too much in the picture rendering of the Lord of the Rings trilogy when the scene wasn't changing, so I switched to using the Color mode and I was pleased with the richness of the color saturation and the steadier contrast level. My standard DVD movies were viewed on an Insignia Blu-Ray player with an HDMI cable to bring out the best picture quality I could possibly get from them. I also use an HDMI cable with my Xbox 360, and the picture quality of my video games is excellent, especially when I use the Game mode.
The sound quality on the Insignia 42" LED-LCD HDTV is mediocre. Two 5w speakers and a 10w subwoofer offer simulated HD surround sound, which sounds like a normal television to me and nothing special. But the Insignia 42" LED-LCD HDTV offers both digital and analog audio outputs, and I use my current 5.1 Dolby surround sound receiver to give me the depth and richness of sound that I like. The Insignia HDTV also offers a headphone jack for private listening.
The Insignia 42" LED-LCD HDTV offers 4 HDMI jacks, but only 1 component input and 0 composite inputs or S-video inputs. My Wii game console came with a composite input, but I had to buy a component input for my Wii console separately. I would have prefered having at least 1 composite input so that I could hook in my old VCR and PS2 game console. Still, the Insignia 42" LED-LCD HDTV is such a good bargain at the sale price of $650 that I would highly recommend this television for anyone who is looking for high end technology on a budget.