IKEA announces furniture with integrated TV, speakers, and Blu-ray
If you long for those balmy days when TVs looked like pieces of furniture, good news: This fall, IKEA will release Uppleva, a range of home entertainment systems that integrate a flat-screen full HD TV, 2.1 sound, and a Blu-ray player. At this point, I strongly encourage you to watch IKEA’s very cute promotional video embedded below.
Uppleva will come in three different designs, with a range of screen sizes starting at 24 inches. If the built-in Blu-ray player isn’t enough, there are two USB and four HDMI ports down the side of the screen, and an empty “bay” that can hold a games console, TiVo, or another set-top box of your choice. In true IKEA fashion, the whole caboodle will come in a range of colors (white, light wood, dark wood, black, and so on). Prices start at 6,500 Swedish Kroner (around $950) — presumably for the 24-inch version — which is a fairly good deal. Uppleva will only be available in a few European markets to start with, but the UK and North America should see it in early 2013.
I never thought I’d see the day where we’d write about IKEA on ExtremeTech, but really, this is a stroke of genius. While power users will dig around to find the best TV or Blu-ray player, most consumers really just want to buy a TV and Blu-ray player. Uppleva will have just two visible wires — power and aerial. Uppleva will have just a single remote control, too — an unobtainable fantasy for most modern-day households — and a wireless subwoofer! I have to admit, even I would be tempted to get one of these, purely for the novelty of escaping Cable Hell (though it isn’t clear how long a battery-powered subwoofer lasts). There is one fly in the ointment, though: IKEA doesn’t say whether Uppleva will be sold ready-made, or if you’ll have to put it together.
Just imagine if a future version of Uppleva integrates even more hardware, too — or it grows to become a single piece of living room-spanning furniture, with drawers and shelves and inglenooks;Microsoft Uppleva 720, with Kinect hidden behind a wood-effect strip of laminate. This could be exactly what we need to finally implement smart homes, too — instead of trying to wire together a bunch of disparate devices, you could just buy an all-in-one kit from IKEA. There are already a scary number of homes that are completely furnished with IKEA gear, anyway, so it’s not like this would be much of a logical jump…
- IKEA Announces Furniture With Integrated TV, Speakers, and Blu-ray (hardware.slashdot.org)
- IKEA Introduces TV-Integrated Furniture (gadget.com)
- IKEA puts away your TV cables, tech credentials (engadget.com)
- IKEA Launches Its Own Clutter-Free TV [Video] (gizmodo.com)
- IKEA Reinvents TV Furniture (foxnews.com)
- IKEA integrated AV furniture coming this fall (slashgear.com)
- Ikea furniture with integrated TVs and sound systems coming this fall (theverge.com)
- Ikea to Begin Selling Consumer Electronics in Europe (mashable.com)
- IKEA will offer furniture with built-in electronics in the future (ubergizmo.com)