PROS / The reception and range are good for a non-amplified antenna.
CONS / The bunny ear design is outdated.
VERDICT / There aren’t any functional advantages to owning the bunny ears over the newer flat panel design, but this Insignia model is less expensive than other HDTV antennas.
The Insignia Fine Tuning Indoor HDTV antenna looks old school. It has the classic “rabbit ear” design that was popular in earlier decades. This isn’t a flat design that is easily mounted to a wall or hidden behind the TV. It is an outdated design that has to be placed conspicuously on a table or countertop. Although unappealing, it is inexpensive compared to others.
The HDTV antenna looks outdated, but it doesn’t perform like an outdated piece of technology. It is in fact an HDTV antenna with the ability to pick up UHF signals and transform them into high-quality television channels on your TV. It is not amplified, so there isn’t an additional power source that needs to be plugged into a wall. Since it isn't amplified, it doesn’t have the scanning range that amplified models boast. The Insignia antenna scans for channels in a 40-mile radius while amplified models scan up to 50 or 60 miles. This lack of range can result in you missing out on a few channels, depending on your location.
For our first signal quality test, we connected the indoor HDTV antenna to a TV in our office. Our office building is surrounded by large buildings and some tall trees. These structures pose as obstacles for uninterrupted TV signal. Finding the best place for reception was a bit difficult since the antenna only comes with a 5-foot attached coaxial cable. That doesn’t give you much slack to find the best reception spot in your home. After we found the sweet spot for reception in our office, we were able to receive 22 channels. Some of the channels we received such as CBS and ABC were great HD quality, but we were unable to pick up PBS, and the majority of the shopping networks experienced bad reception.
In our second test scenario we connected the HDTV antenna to a TV in a second floor apartment with no surrounding obstacles around the building. Here we were able to receive 26 channels. The additional channels were subchannels from some of the major networks. We still weren’t able to pick up PBS but we did receive NBC, albeit with considerable breakup in the signal. Even though we picked up a few more channels, it is still a far cry from the 39 channels that some of the best HDTV antennas were able to capture. Please note that the number of channels you receive will vary upon your location.
The Insignia Fine Tuning Indoor HDTV antenna is covered by a one-year warranty. If any questions or problems arise while you're using the product, you can contact the manufacturer by phone or email.
The Insignia Fine Tuning Indoor HDTV antenna is fair in terms of reception but boasts the old-school, unpleasant bunny-ear design that many HDTV antenna manufacturers left behind years ago. This non-amplified antenna can receive a handful of channels that are good quality, although amplified antennas receive more channels and better reception. If you don’t mind the design, this HDTV indoor antenna is a decent option for free TV.