Insignia NS-24DF311SE21 Review
The Insignia NS-24DF311SE21 is a decent choice for mixed usage, offering great picture quality and Fire TV platform at a price that’s hard to beat, and it integrates well with the Amazon Alexa voice assistant.
- Budget price
- Plug-in Alexa microphone
- Netflix / Amazon remote buttons
- Unreliable mute button
- Sluggish smart platform
The 24-inch Insignia NS-24DF311SE21 Fire TV Edition is the second Amazon-powered smart TV we’ve reviewed, but it’s the first we’d recommend and is one of the best TV overall for anyone shopping on a budget. It delivers fairly accurate color reproduction for the price, and better contrast make it an appealing pick in the budget HDTVs line.
Like most low-cost HDTVs, the NS-24DF311SE21 is simply designed. The LED display is surrounded by a simple half-inch glossy black plastic bezel, with an Insignia logo in the lower bezel, and a protrusion on the lower-left edge holding the power indicator and remote sensor. The screen stands on a pair of V-shaped feet that face inward holding it up very stably.
Around the back, there are three HDMI inputs, a USB port, and an optical audio output facing the left edge. There is also an Ethernet port, antenna/cable connector, and an RCA composite video input facing downward, in the same location. On the lower right corner of the back of the TV, there is a power/input combo and other buttons for physical controls.
Fire TV Remote
Included is a Fire TV remote that is customized for TVs, that is a bit larger and more complex than the common voice remote included with Amazon Fire TV media streamers. The design remains the same, though, a slim black plastic wand with a prominent glossy black circular navigation pad. Just above the pad, there are three menu buttons and another three playback buttons sit below the pad, with the power and microphone buttons sitting on the top of the remote near a pinhole mic.
Apparently, that’s the standard layout for Fire TV streamer remotes, but Insignia does add a volume rocker, and live TV button below the playback controls. Plus, there are dedicated buttons for Amazon Prime Video, HBO, Netflix, and PlayStation Vue. The remote sends signals via infrared alongside Bluetooth, meaning you can use it to control the TV if the Bluetooth connection drops, without necessarily needing to re-pair the remote.
Fire TV OS & Alexa
For you to get the most of Fire TV features, you’ll need to sign in with your Amazon account, which is very typical of Fire TV streamers, that are built around using your account for transactions like purchasing app and renting media. However, on the Insignia Fire TV Edition, you don’t absolutely need an Amazon account to use the TV. There is an optional Basic mode that lets you use the TV as a TV, without access to most streaming features in the interface, but providing access to the TV’s varied inputs.
Still, most of us would want to use our Amazon account to access the full features on the Insignia Fire TV Edition, bearing in mind how robust it is as a smart TV platform. For instance, it lets you access most streaming services, including Amazon Video and Music, Hulu, Netflix, Sling TV, Spotify and Twitch. Curiously, Google Play Movies & TV as well as Google Play Music are absent, and YouTube loads only via the Firefox or Silk web browsers.
Not surprising at all, while the Fire TV OS is ideally based on Android, rarely do you see Amazon and Google get along much on content. The Fire TV includes access to the Alexa voice assistant, which you can easily use on the Insignia Fire TV Edition by pressing the microphone button on the remote and speaking into it. Sure, it may not be handsfree as the Echo or Echo Spot, but it’s still functional out of the box with the press of a button.
For an entry-level, budget HDTV, the Insignia NS-24DF311SE21 performs well, in fact, better than most budget TVs. The 24-inch model doesn’t support high dynamic range (HDR), which is only available in the 4K Series (43”, 49” and 55”) of the same model. With that, it does not offer a particularly wide color gamut, and doesn’t exceed broadcast standards with reds appearing undersaturated. As for the colors, they are balanced and not tinted, though very vivid something we always expect from a 720p panel with a 60Hz refresh rate.
This level of performance is common in budget TVs, and slightly below TCL’s 6 Series. Look at it, while the TCL 55R617 (55-inch, Roku TV) costs slightly more than the 55-inch Toshiba 55LF621U19 Fire TV Edition, it does offer a better picture in every other way, with great contrast ratios thanks to a much brighter panel that can reproduce a 0.01cd/m2 black level, and a much wider color range. However, that holds true for the bigger models, but color production on the smaller 32-inch models and below remains almost the same.
Despite the average contrast and limited color range on the Insignia Fire TV Edition, BBC’s Life Story looks vivid and very detailed. You can easily pick fine details like fur and leaves at very sharp detail, with colors looking natural and balanced. Only that they aren’t as nearly vivid as they are on the TCL 6-Series. The only caveat is, that TCL’s Series 6 only has two models: 55-inch and 65-inch. Thus, if you’re looking for a small home TV that doesn’t cost a fortune, the 32-inch Toshiba TF-32A710U21 and the 24-inch Insignia NS-24DF311SE21 are excellent choices.
Input Lag & Power Consumption
Input lag (time between display receiving signal and updating screen) isn’t impressive at 70.6 milliseconds in Movie mode. Changing the mode, for instance into Game mode, will give you a reduced input lag but it eats on the general picture quality. Not a worthy trade-off.
Viewed under normal conditions, the 39-inch set will consume 86 watts of power. The Insignia Fire TV Edition doesn’t have any significant power saving modes other than the normal backlight dimming, of which it reduces consumption to 63 watts, and reduces screen brightness considerably.
The Insignia Fire TV Edition, as the core base model in insignia’s latest budget TV range, is certainly an affordable LED TV with capable picture for the price. While it lacks premium technologies like 4K and HDR, you’re still getting the basics of good resolution, Amazon’s Fire TV platform, as well as enhanced color and contrast.
The imperfections in the picture will certainly be more noticeable on larger model sizes – like the competing 55-inch – so the smaller 24- and 32- inch models may be more suited on the TV’s strengths.
The inclusion of Alexa is an exciting move – and at this price, it’s the most affordable way to get Alexa into your home, even if it’s more limited function. The Insignia NS-24DF311SE21 has the slight edge in price, but no matter which Roku TV or Fire TV you pick, you can be certain you’ll have lots of connectivity and services and great picture here.