Author Topic: Insignia Digital TV Converter Review  (Read 1049 times)

Offline scuzzy

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Insignia Digital TV Converter Review
« on: May 02, 2008, 08:53 AM »
Some time ago I bought an Olevia HDTV with digital tuning. I didn't pay much for the TV and I got my money's worth. It's now a really big paperweight, so I'm back to watching TV on my now 20 year old Sony 20" television.

I don't have cable or satellite programming, so that leaves over-the-air broadcasting as my only option. If you've been keeping up with the times then you know that analog broadcasting is about to meet its bitter end. So I went to Best Buy and picked up an Insignia NS-DXA1 digital converter box, which is eligible for the government issued $40 coupon.

The Insignia NS-DXA1 is essentially the same unit as the Zenith DTT900; both selling for about $60 and manufactured by LG Electronics. Oddly, according to this Consumer Reports article, the Zenith performed better using the component hookups (both units have the option of hooking up with either component cables or RF). I'm using the RF connection and didn't bother with the component hookup since my TV has only one, and I need that for the DVD player.

Anyway, the Insignia was very easy to setup and is easy to use. It has a fairly fast digital tuner (the Olevia's was quite slow) and provides a great picture. The remote control isn't anything great, but it was easy enough to transfer the functions to my URC R7 programmable remote. The unit is small and easily fit in with other components. It has a power button, along with channel up and down buttons on the unit. All other functions require the remote.

Talk about the remote, it requires a AAA battery that is NOT included.

The unit has a 24/7 LED light that is too bright for dark rooms, such as a bedroom. It's bright blue when it's on, and bright red when it's off. Of course, you might not care if you want to sleep with a powerful night light. I opened up my unit and placed a small piece of tape over the LED. Now the light is barely visible, which works for me just fine.

Anyway, I'm fairly happy with the converter. It will easily hold me over until I purchase a new HDTV.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2008, 08:58 AM by scuzzy »
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Offline Ace

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Re: Insignia Digital TV Converter Review
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2008, 06:06 AM »
Would you say the converted digital to analog signal is same or better or worse than the original analog signal?   If it's cumbersome or worse as a signal, I guess we'll wait till next February when we have to do something.

We got our two coupons for converters; will use one downstairs off a direct antenna feed and the other off a tv with either rabbit ears or one of those separate dial/antenna (rabbit ear) units.  I'm not real hopeful of that working particularly well... although I guess with digital it's "all or nothing" as far as the incoming signal.  At this point we're figuring to get one HDTV, off the other antenna lead.
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Offline scuzzy

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Re: Insignia Digital TV Converter Review
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2008, 09:34 PM »
The digital signal is converted down to 480i analog, but it's easily the best broadcast picture ever displayed on the old Sony. I would compare it to watching DVDs through the same TV. There is no doubt that the picture is far superior to the standard analog broadcast.

You should note that any of the converters that are eligible for the $40 coupon will only tune in on the digital TV stations, not the analog ones. So to watch existing analog stations you will need to use the TV's tuner. Of course, that won't matter after Feb '09.

I have noticed that when watching TV through the Insignia converter, I have to turn the volume up considerably on certain stations. My father-in-law, who has the Zenith, experiences the same problem. It's only a small irritation, but one that you might look into before making a purchase. Returning converters after using the coupon is very restricted.

My father-in-law also bought an RCA converter at Wal-Mart, which seems to work without any particular issues or quirks. A positive aspect is that the RCA unit doesn't have the horrifically powerful night light. It's only slightly slower in tuning stations.
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Offline Chandler

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Re: Insignia Digital TV Converter Review
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2008, 05:00 AM »
The digital switch-over in the UK isn't anywhere near as quick.  We've had free to air DVB-T (equivalent of the ATSC system you have) running alongside the regular analogue PAL broadcasts since 2002.  This year some analogue transmitters will be switched off, and the other areas will be switched off one by one over time, until the whole process is completed in 2012.