We've made no attempts to hide our contempt for sloppy, inconsiderate "connected" TVs. So far, they've been thrown together with all the effort of a fad. But Best Buy's in-house brand has a trick up its sleeve: TiVo.
The new Insignia Connected TV line, landing in Best Buy stores and BestBuy.com in both a 32-inch flavor for $500 and a 42-inch for $700, aren't packing anything novel on the hardware end. 1080p LCD picture and Audyssey sound processing are nice, but the real pull is the TiVo blood inside. No, there's no DVR integrated—but for the first time, I looked at an "app TV" that didn't make me want to light it on fire. TiVo knows software. It shows.
The set's interface is refreshingly simple, responsive, and natural. No lagging Twitter app, shoehorned into a heinous menu labyrinth. The TV's smarts are manifest.
Pressing the remote's TiVo button brings up a familiar face—minimal, rounded, friendly menus, made by a company almost all of us have spent some time with at one point or another. Piping the web through TiVo's software package is as easy as doing anything else with TiVo. The inability to search programming TV hurts, but scouring for streaming shows, movies, and miscellaneous video content was easy, with related thumbnails culled automatically and were a snap to access.
The requisite Netflix and YouTube access is there, along with CinemaNow and Insignia on Demand for extra movie cred, and Pandora plus Napster rounding out media offerings—all streamable to Rocketboost-enabled wireless speakers. Chumby apps, Facebook, and Twitter are here of course, too—but again, they look like they belong, which can't be said for the competition. The smartness here is unobtrusive and pared, which is a must if the internet and TV are ever going to be functional bedfellows.
MINNEAPOLIS, MN (August 1, 2011) – Best Buy's own Insignia brand today announced the arrival of the new Insignia Connected TV. Insignia Connected TV customers can simply enjoy broadcast and online movies, shows, and music. Simple, easy entertainment is what customers want in a TV, and Insignia delivers on this through its TiVo® Design partnership, providing award-winning Tivo ease-of-use, all without a paid TiVo subscription. The new Insignia Connected TV will be available in 32- and 42-inch models for $499 and $699 respectively, on BestBuy.com and at Best Buy stores nationwide.
Insignia's Connected TV features a breadth of entertainment options from the most desired services, including Netflix, CinemaNow, YouTube, Pandora and Napster, plus popular entertainment and social media applications from the chumby content network, such as Facebook, Twitter, Photobucket and more. Developed by Insignia from the ground up, including ease of setup and ease of use based on Best Buy customer input, the Insignia Connected TV directly solves the most common challenges consumers face with other, more complicated Smart TVs. In partnering with TiVo, Insignia created a product and interface that offers consumers an experience that is easy to use, easy to connect and easy to find.
Easy to Connect: Connecting to broadcast and online entertainment is a snap with an easy step-by-step guided setup. The Insignia Connected TV virtually sets itself up!
Easy to Use: Insignia brings the fun back to TV entertainment, with all of the Insignia Connected TVs powerful features at your fingertips through the award-winning TiVo Design interface.
· Easy to Find: Insignia makes discovering new online entertainment a breeze by allowing customers to search for online movies and shows from the most popular services.
"The Insignia Connected TV gives our valued customers a new way to easily set up and access the entertainment they want, when they want it," said Patrick McGinnis, vice president of Exclusive Brands at Best Buy. "We've heard from customers that Smart TVs can be intimidating, and we've put 110% of our energy into making the powerful features of the Insignia Connected TV easy to enjoy."
"TiVo has evolved from its roots as the DVR that changed the way consumers interact with entertainment, allowing us to customize and deliver solutions that best meet the needs of our partners like Insignia," said Jim Denney, general manager and vice president of Product Marketing at TiVo Inc."The Insignia Connected TV is the result of great collaboration and we are proud to bring the TiVo experience to this leading consumer electronics brand and innovative product."
As part of Insignia's ongoing partnership with leading content platform chumby, the Insignia Connected TV comes preloaded with the most popular chumby applications, including Twitter, Facebook, Photobucket, Accuweather, Reuters News and Sports, Stocks and Traffic. Customers can customize their experience by selecting additional content from the chumby network, which supports hundreds of applications for the Insignia Connected TV. It also benefits from chumby's wide network of developers working on new content, and Insignia will continue to update and add applications to the Connected TV as new, high-demand applications become available.
Additional product features and technical enhancements include:
LED: Thin, elegant design and energy efficient, a perfect fit for modern households
1080p/120Hz: Stunning picture quality with full HD and clearer fast motion
Enhanced audio: Music and dialogue never sounded this good from a flat panel TV, enabled by Audyssey and SRS
Rocketboost-ready: Wireless, uncompressed digital audio input to the TV or output to speakers such as the Insignia Soundbar and the Rocketfish Outdoor Speaker