A review of the All-New Insignia 43-inch Smart 4K UHD – Fire TV Edition, Released 2020
Bottom Line: This TV not only provides excellent picture and video quality, but excellent accessibility options!
So, no more talk, it is time to dive right in!
What is in the box?
What is inside this 18-pound box from UPS?
The 4K TV which measures 42 inches wide and probably around 3 feet tall, the Alexa voice enabled controller, (batteries are included), the stand, and the screws.
The actual hardware setup was a bit daunting, and you will need sighted assistance because of how the screws go into the legs of the stand. Small hands are also a must, but in most cases, setup should not be a problem. The trick is to guide the screw into the hole and then screw it in. A Philips screwdriver is required. Beyond this part of the configuration, setup was not a problem. Also, make sure you have a space big enough to set up the hardware. Our table in the living room for example, is 43 inches wide.
Once your TV is set up, and plugged in, it is time to power it up for the first time.
The power button is the only button on the top of the remote. Right below this button, in a braille e configuration, is the microphone button (More on that later).
Below these two buttons, is a ring and a button inside of it. The ring is the navigation ring, and inside it is the select or okay button. This is standard for amazon remotes, so if you own a fire TV or TV stick, this will be familiar to you.
Below this ring are two rows of 3 buttons.
On the first row you have Menu, Home and back. The home button has a dot for orientation purposes, so use this as a guide for learning the remote.
Below these buttons are the Rewind, Play/pause and fast forward buttons.
There are several other buttons, the two long buttons are the volume up/down and channel up/down buttons, respectively. The others are for launching the channel guide, and aps such as Netflix, Hulu and others.
Starting Voice View for the first time:
When you turn on your television for the first time, a sound will play when it is fully booted up. A screen will come up asking you to select your language, but we need to perform an especially important step first.
Press the menu key and back buttons the third and first buttons in the first 2 rows of six buttons. Press and hold them for about 3 seconds, or until you hear VoiceView greet you. From here on out, the setup of your television will be fully accessible as a blind person!
A note about VoiceView. The voice is a pleasant female voice, and you are placed in a tutorial, which will give you a particularly good overview of how VoiceView works. One function is the ability to learn your remote. Some functions will not be spoken in this mode, but you will be able to press most buttons and get a description of the function. Another especially important bit of information you will receive is a brief orientation of your remote. VoiceView will give you in exact detail, of what the buttons are, and where they are located.
Continuing the setup, you will be asked to connect to your wireless network. Even though you will need to enter a password, you can safely do this with your remote. VoiceView will even tell you where the symbols button is, which may or may not be of importance to you when you enter your wi-fi password.
After connecting to your wireless network, you will be informed that updates are being downloaded. Once your TV restarts, VoiceView will come on and prompt you for your amazon account information.
After the amazon sign in is complete, you will be asked to select your experience. Because this is a Smart TV, you will be given two options. The first is the full experience, with access to all aps, and the ability to download more. The second is what is called a partial experience, designed for those who either have cable and perhaps one or two streaming services, or for those who do not want all the bells and whistles of this device. I suggest choosing full as I do not believe this can be changed later.
Now that your setup is complete, let us move to aps.
Netflix and Hulu
Streaming services are becoming more and more commonplace in this age of the internet, and it is no surprise that amazon TVS can work with the two most popular streaming services. It should also come as no surprise, that both these services are fully accessible with VoiceView. Both services are easy to sign in to, offering to either sign in on the TV, or use a code obtained from your TV and entering it on the computer or mobile device. For some aps, you will have the option to repeat the code. Pressing menu once should repeat the code. If not, Voice view will tell you how if there is a way, and if not, you will need to listen closely to the code. Sign in on either app was not a problem, or selecting content was a wonderful experience in both cases. One minor knock against some apps even though they are accessible, is that you are stuck with the screen readers default speed. This is because the app is using the built in TTS of the TV rather than the screen reader, but other than this, these apps were wonderful to work with. A note about Netflix. When navigating the continue watching roe, VoiceView does not read you what title you are on. Once you press okay on the item, you can know what it is, but while you are in that roe, titles will not read. You are told how many titles you have, but not what you are on. I am going to report this to Netflix.
Disney plus and YouTube TV, surprises
If you want to cut the cord, and you are looking for an accessible solution, then YouTube TV is a surprise. The interface, from setup to navigation, to adding content to the library is a breeze, and you can learn some valuable information about the show, or if you are into sports, the team, or even the players you are interested in. I will detail more on the YouTube ap, in a different stream, but let us just say, I found out some information about my local college team, that even I did not know.
If you are looking to find new Disney favorites, or are just simply looking to engage in childhood memories, then the Disney plus service has you covered. It was a surprise that both this app, and the previous one was accessible, given that other platforms have had varied results. The Disney plus ap uses a lot of dynamic grid navigation, which means that if you are in a row of content, and you go down a row, you may not come back to the item you were previously on, when you move back up a row. This does not always happen throughout the app, and once you understand what is happening, the ap is a pleasure to navigate. One annoyance for this ap however, is when you are moving through the main rows on the app, you are always told one of 29, or one of 24 items, even though you are navigating through the item. This is because you are navigating into different categories of items, and VoiceView is not reading you what category you are in once you leave the main rows.
Relive Your Favorite Moments with the WWE Network
Finally, an app that shocked me was the WWE app. While the website is accessible to a point, the IOS app is horrible. So, you can imagine my shock when I found that not only was the app accessible, but easy to navigate! When I first downloaded the app, I did not even have a subscription, and seeing its accessibility, I resubscribed again. Being able to move from one show to another, and even selecting the years was amazing. I could add to my list of saved shows, and even look at the play/pause controls.
While I could not possibly mention everything here in a review, it is safe to say that this TV probably now @$299.99 is still an excellent steal when it comes to accessibility. It can be configured without sighted assistance, and a variety of streaming aps work with it. If you are looking for a Television set that will not break the bank, but has a pleasant voice, and good accessibility, I highly recommend this one.