Small 19″ TV Set – Insignia NS-19E310NA15 (Product Review)

I wanted a small TV to set beside my computer in my office and quickly check news or sports easily and quickly.  My prior (CRT) TV would power up from a 12 volt power source so this was an important requirement.  In case of a disaster our family could pick up any surviving TV station signals in the area by connecting the TV to the car battery.  I also wanted this next TV to be connected to my laptop so I was looking for an RGB input connector.
For emergency command operations that must rely on battery power, this TV might be an asset.   This TV also allows viewing of photo images from USB port so if an incident commander is given photographs from a photographer, they can be viewed and zoomed in for better closeup inspections.  For ham radio operators that might need a second monitor connected to their laptop (APRS & Winlink).  This TV has that capability.

Manufacturer: Insignia
Model: NS-19E310NA15

Features:
19 inch screen, LED, 720P & 60 HZ
HDMI = 2
VGA = 1
USB = 1
Component = 1
Digital Audio Out (Coaxial) = 1
Headset Out = 1
Antenna/Cable = 1

TV Set Controls:
In case you can not find your remote control the settings can be changed by buttons along the top right.  I plan to label the location of each button with a label on the front bezel so I don’t have to look at the TV from the top.

Setup menu, for me, was quite good.

Screen:
This screen is not high definition.  I am extremely demanding for good clarity and realistic flesh tones.  When using Time Warner cable box, the sharpness was OK but the human flesh tones looked pasty.
Blacks look deep and have scale.
Whites and contrast are a bit of a disappointment for me.  They looked like they were clipping.  I ran a diagnostic DVD and it confirmed that the whites easily clipped and lacked scale.  But, for casual viewing, most people would not notice nor care.
The image did not seem to change color or brightness much horizontally but it did change when your vertical angle changed.
Vertical = high = lightened up
Vertical = low = screen darkened.

Remote control features were very good and easy to navigate.  I especially liked the “Aspect” button.  The TV defaulted to “Auto” aspect but I wanted the image to fill the screen.  I just hit the “Aspect” button and the image would change size.
The channel search function worked perfectly for me. There have been reports that the tuner will not stay on a set channel, possibly if the antenna signal is interrupted.  (I did find this – look at “Outdoor Antenna” below)

A small item to note is that the remote does have “Insignia” name on the remote.  My Time Warner cable remote has no name and I have reached for the wrong remote a couple of times by mistake.

Sound lacks base but because there is audio output that can feed speakers.  I found the audio quite acceptable.  I got loud audio when I turned up the remote audio buttons.  I  also hooked up computer speakers to this TV set and the sound was very good.

Antenna signal:
Time Warner Cable = comes in as an analog NOT digital signal.  The TV set scan for channels actually found 2 analog stations, one good the other same but real noisy and bad.  The images looked like standard definition, OK but not good.  The images look a bit pasty.  I attribute this to Time Warner not providing a really good signal.
Outdoor Antenna = image looks way better than Time Warner Cable.  If the antenna is not getting a really good signal the image will go to still with or without breakup.  I would guess that a really good antenna is necessary.

HDMI Inputs: I seemed to get improved sound when using the HDMI inputs compared to the Time Warner cable box.  It seemed crisper and louder.  I hooked up a DVD Blue-Ray player so I would have another signal source that would be way better than the Time Warner cable box and the image looked quite good and crisp audio (Audio still lacking deep base).

USB Port:
As soon as I slipped a USB finger drive into the TV set, a screen menu showed “PHOTOS” and three options:
Browse Photos places you into seeing the folders on the memory card.  I had a folder labeled “Photos” for my test and it showed along with other folders in the drive.  When a photo is selected, you can even rotate it but only while viewing. It will not save the rotation.  When you go into slideshow, the image goes back to how it was shot.
Favorite Photos  Can’t figure this out yet.
Start Slide Show  The slide show will show each image you have in order as to how it resides in the folder.  If an image is not rotated correctly the browse function will not correct for this.  The slide show cycles only once and then goes back to displaying the folders and small image files.  I think this feature is rather useless.  I have looked to see if there is a setting to keep the slide show repeating but so far can not.
 Zoom is offered as a sub menu item .  Choices are Fill, 2X, 4X.
When the USB drive is inserted, You can get the TV to go to any other function by pressing INPUT button. If there is no USB drive inserted into that input, the whole screen goes black and shows “USB device was removed”.
The photo images seemed to be really good.  It seemed that the whites held more detail.  This tells me that the screen is more capable than the Time Warner Cable box.

Other Features:
Closed Caption On, Off, On when mute is turned on (clever).
Sleep Timer
INLink:
I was able to control my Blue-Ray DVD player from the TV remote.  The manual indicates that the remote can control Time Warner devices.

The Bad:  I tried to play a DVD “Ride Along” using HDMI cable between a Blue-Ray player and the TV set.  I could not get the promotion videos to output audio.  The movie was OK but not the short intro videos.  I am suspicious that there is a audio format compatibility issue.

Summary: this TV does not give a high definition image nor is the audio real high quality.  It is surprisingly good in the kitchen, desktop or given to a child.   Its features are impressive.