Insignia NS-43DF710NA19 Fire TV Edition Review

Best Buy’s budget brand offers 4K and Alexa commands at a reasonable price

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Insignia NS-43DF710NA19 Fire TV Edition

Insignia NS-43DF710NA19 Fire TV Edition

 Lifewire / Jeremy Laukkonen

What We Like

  • 4K HDR

  • Alexa voice commands

  • Lightweight

  • Sturdy base

What We Don't Like

  • Alexa remote not built for over the air or cable television

  • Buttons on remote aren’t customizable

  • No far-field microphones

The 43-inch Insignia NS-43DF710NA19 from Best Buy’s Insignia line delivers a surprisingly rich viewing experience for a budget TV set, with a great picture, decent sound, and Amazon’s Fire TV built right in.

4

Insignia NS-43DF710NA19 Fire TV Edition

Insignia NS-43DF710NA19 Fire TV Edition

 Lifewire / Jeremy Laukkonen

The Insignia NS-43DF710NA19 is a 43-inch 4K Ultra High Definition (UHD) television that’s built on Amazon’s Fire TV platform, so it features Alexa voice controls and the familiar Fire TV interface. In addition to 4K resolution, it also features HDR support, a decent number of HDMI ports, and built-in stereo speakers.

Insignia is Best Buy’s in-house budget brand, which calls for tempered expectations, but we were pleasantly surprised on a lot of fronts when we sat down to watch our test unit. We tested things like viewing angles, color reproduction, sound quality, and more to see if this budget Fire TV is really worth a sport in your living room.

Insignia NS-43DF710NA19 Fire TV Edition
Lifewire / Jeremy Laukkonen

Design: Thick body, thick bezel, but light enough for one person to handle

The Insignia NS-43DF710NA19 is thick and boxy, with a fairly wide bezel, and large feet that mount perpendicularly instead of angling like a lot of other inexpensive sets. It isn’t anything special to look at, but that’s to be expected from a budget line like Insignia. The good thing is that it’s fairly light, at less than 20 pounds, and the large feet make it quite steady.

Most of the ports are found on the left side of the set, as you face it, with a few of them oriented downward instead.

The power button is situated in a semi-translucent plastic bulge near one of the feet, making it easy to locate, and you can use the same button to switch inputs. There are no other physical buttons on this set, so don’t lose the remote.

When watching shows on Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, and HBO Now, dialogue came through crystal clear, and sound effects had enough substance that we didn’t feel the need to immediately plug in a soundbar or reach for our Bluetooth headphones.

This television uses a standard detachable C7 power cord instead of a hard-wired power cable, and it features a standard 200 x 200 millimeter VESA mount if you want to ditch the clunky feet and hang it on a wall.

While this set does have Alexa built right in, it works like a Fire TV Stick and not like a Fire TV Cube or Echo device. What that means is it lacks far-field microphones, so you have to give commands via the remote. The remote itself is the same basic design that’s included with other Fire TV devices, but it includes volume buttons, a live TV button, and preset shortcuts for a few streaming services.

Insignia NS-43DF710NA19 Fire TV Edition
Lifewire / Jeremy Laukkonen

Setup Process: You’ll need a Phillips screwdriver and your Amazon password

Despite being a 43-inch class television, the Insignia NS-43DF710NA19 is light enough for most people to handle and set up without any outside assistance. It’s even packed in a bag that has convenient handles, making it easy to lift up and out of the box and set carefully on a table for assembly.

This television comes more or less ready to go, but the feet have to be attached if you aren’t going to wall mount it. The feet are clearly marked as to which side needs to point toward the front of the television, and each one attaches with two Phillips screws. If you have a Phillips screwdriver at hand, you can have everything tightened up and the television standing up within a couple minutes.

Despite being a 43-inch class television, the Insignia NS-43DF710NA19 is light enough for most people to handle and set up without any outside assistance.

Once the feet are on, or the television has been hung on a wall mount, it’s time to turn it on. This presents you with the Fire TV interface, so you should be ready to pick your favorite apps, connect to your Wi-Fi or wired network, and then log into your Amazon account if you want to get the most out of your new television. There’s also a basic mode if you don’t have an Amazon account or just don’t want to log in.

The final part of the setup process involves waiting for your apps to download, and then allowing the Fire TV to download and install a firmware update. None of this is too terribly time consuming, but plan on setting aside at least 10 to 15 minutes before your TV is fully ready to watch.

Image Quality: Crystal clear and beautiful colors, but HDR leaves a bit to be desired

The Insignia NS-43DF710NA19 is a 4K UHD television with HDR support, and the picture quality is a massive improvement over lower resolution (1080p, 720p) televisions, especially if you have hardware or media that’s capable of taking advantage of the increased resolution. Game consoles like the 4K-capable Xbox One X and PS4 Pro look great, as do UHD Blu-rays.

We also loaded up Amazon Prime Video, which includes a bunch of 4K content if you don’t have any UHD devices. Watching an episode of The Tick, Peter Serafinowicz’s bright blue suit popped against the comparatively drab cityscape, and the action was clear and crisp as he bounded from building to building.

Viewing angles on our test unit were great, with a bit of noticeable color or brightness variation when viewing from up close and at extreme angles.

Colors look great across all kinds of different content, but the contrast isn’t as good. Dark scenes seem a bit muddy, with areas that should be perfect black being lighter than they really should be.

While this set does have UHD support, it’s limited to HDR10 and doesn’t support local dimming. That means the HDR isn’t as effective as you’ll see in more expensive televisions, but it’s still great for a budget TV like this.

Viewing angles on our test unit were great, with a bit of noticeable color or brightness variation when viewing from up close and at extreme angles. When backed up to a more appropriate distance, we didn’t have any problem viewing this television from any seat in the house.

Audio Quality: Surprisingly good for a budget set

Built-in television speakers usually aren’t very good, which is why soundbars are popular. That’s especially true of budget television sets, but the Insignia NS-43DF710NA19 actually has decent audio quality. You’ll probably want to invest in a soundbar if you don’t already have one, but the sound quality is good enough that you can get by with the built-in speakers if you need to.

When watching shows on Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, and HBO Now, dialogue came through crystal clear, and sound effects had enough substance that we didn’t feel the need to immediately plug in a soundbar or reach for our Bluetooth headphones. We also loaded up Amazon Music, turned the volume up, and found that the speakers were loud enough to fill the room without any noticeable distortion. The speakers are definitely lacking in bass, but it’s still surprisingly good for a budget television. 

Insignia NS-43DF710NA19 Fire TV Edition
Lifewire / Jeremy Laukkonen

Ports: Full complement of digital and analog inputs and outputs

The ports are split, with some on the left side of the television as you face it, and others exiting toward the bottom.

On the left side, you’ll find a headphone jack, USB port, and two HDMI ports. The first HDMI port is also ARC capable, which means you can use it to feed audio signals to a compatible soundbar without requiring a separate audio cable.

On the bottom, you’ll find an ethernet port, digital optical output, RCA jacks for analog video and audio inputs, a coaxial connector for your antenna or cable box, and a third HDMI port.

All of the ports are well clear of the VESA mount, so you shouldn’t lose access to them if you opt to mount the set on a wall. The exception is that if you use a flush mount, you’ll have trouble reaching the down-facing bank of ports due to the way that the chassis of the television bulges out at the bottom.

Insignia NS-43DF710NA19 Fire TV Edition
Lifewire / Jeremy Laukkonen

Software: Built-in Fire TV with Alexa voice controls is snappy and responsive

The Insignia NS-43DF710NA19 is the Fire TV edition of this hardware. It also comes in a slightly different configuration that’s built on the Roku platform instead, but this one has Fire TV baked in with no option to switch.

As a Fire TV, this television is excellent. It runs just as well as our Fire TV Cube, and the menus and apps load faster than they do on our Fire TV Sticks. If you primarily use your television for streaming through apps like Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube, then you won’t have any problems with this television.

It runs just as well as our Fire TV Cube, and the menus and apps load faster than they do on our Fire TV Sticks.

We also tested out the Alexa voice command implementation and found that it works very well. Even with two other Alexa devices in earshot, including a Fire TV Cube, the Insignia’s voice remote picked up and executed our commands flawlessly.

If you watch a lot of broadcast television or have a cable box, the Fire TV interface can be a bit more frustrating. The main issue is that the Fire TV remote just isn’t built with regular television use in mind, as it lacks a numeric keypad.

You can ask Alexa to tune to specific channels, and the Fire TV interface has a section for over the air television channels, but the implementation is a little clumsy in its current incarnation.

Price: Right in line with other 43-inch class smart TVs

The Insignia NS-43DF710NA19 has an MSRP of $299.99, but it’s typically available for around $249.99. Priced at around $249.99, it’s right in the general neighborhood of other 43-inch class smart televisions, including other Fire TVs, sets built around Roku, and others with proprietary systems. There are a lot of decent options in the general $200 to $250 range, but this one is the best of the bunch if you’re firmly entrenched in Amazon’s ecosystem.

Competition: Beats out other Fire TV models

Compared to previous 43-inch class televisions built on the Fire TV platform, the Insignia NS-43DF710NA19 is the clear winner. For example, the Toshiba 43LF421U19 is a 43-inch class set that’s also built on the Fire TV platform, and sells for about $299.99, but it’s worse than the Insignia in almost every category. It isn’t 4K or HDR-capable, the viewing angles are worse, colors aren’t as good, and the built-in Fire TV is sluggish compared to the Insignia unit that we tested.

Toshiba’s 43LF621U19 Fire TV Edition is a 4K UHD television that comes closer to matching the Insignia NS-43DF710NA19, with an MSRP of $329.99, a similar set of ports, and a basic mode that doesn’t require an Amazon account. It also has worse contrast and color range, so the Insignia is still our recommendation of the two.

If you aren’t specifically focused on Fire TV, the TCL 43S517 is a decent alternative to this set. It’s a 43-inch class smart TV that’s built on the Roku platform instead of Fire TV, and it works a bit better is a regular television, with cable and over the air broadcasts, than the Insignia. It also has ever so slightly better color reproduction. It does have a higher MSRP of $499, but it’s typically available for around $240 to $260.

Final Verdict

This is the budget Fire TV to own if you can’t step up to a larger model. 

The Insignia NS-43DF710NA19 isn’t perfect, but it’s probably as close as you’ll get at this price point. This is definitely the UHD TV  to own in the 43-inch class if you’re deep in the Amazon ecosystem and really want to go with Fire TV as your smart TV platform. It has great color reproduction, excellent viewing angles, and even decent sound from the onboard stereo speakers.

Specs

  • Product Name Insignia 43-inch Fire TV Edition
  • Product Brand Insignia
  • UPC 600603233920
  • Price $300.00
  • Release Date September 2018
  • Product Dimensions 8.9 x 38.2 x 24.3 in.
  • Warranty One year limited
  • Compatibility Alexa, Fire TV
  • Platform Fire TV
  • Screen Size 42.5 inches
  • Screen Resolution 2160p (4K)
  • High Dynamic Range (HDR) Yes
  • Refresh Rate 60Hz
  • Maximum Contrast Ratio 4000:1
  • Ports 3x HDMI, USB, Digital Optical Audio Output, RCA Audio Output, Composite Video Input, RF Antenna Input, Headphone Jack, Ethernet
  • Speakers Stereo 8-watt speakers
  • Connectivity Options Wi-Fi, Ethernet
  • Mount Included No
  • Stand Included Yes
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