Ikea is entering a brave new world: home entertainment systems. The company unveiled its UPPLEVA line today with a smart YouTube ad (embedded after the jump). The video spot quickly explains that the UPPLEVA line is the savior to living rooms everywhere with hidden cable tracks, integrated wireless components and a customizable cabinet design.
Argue all you want, but a HDTV is a glorified monitor. It should not be the primary point of focus when designing a home theater system. The new UPPLEVA line completely disrupts the big box store’s HDTV buying process with a high-dose injection of Ikea genius.
Ikea has yet to announce the nitty-gritty details around the UPPLEVA line including the price. The line will apparently hit key stores in Stockholm, Milan, Paris, Gdansk, and Berlin in June 2012. Come autumn it will arrive at additional stores in Sweden, Italy, France, Poland, Denmark, Spain, Norway, and Portugal with a more broad launch following in 2013.
The YouTube teaser lays out some basic spec concerning the HDTV. It seems up to the task with a 1080p LED LCD screen, 400Hz response time, and some sort of smart TV functionality — all good stuff. But the HDTV really doesn’t matter. Even though it has the specs of a high-end screen, Ikea could have employed a mid-range model and still made the same magic.
Ikea understands that everything needs to work together. This new product line from the Swedish retailer exemplifies the notion of an all-in-one system. Sure, this probably doesn’t appeal to audio heads or A/V geeks, but it brings a beautiful system that works to the masses. Like with everything else Ikea sells, the UPPLEVA system is completely customizable with a range of TV sizes and cabinet designs. Buyers probably still have to piece them together using those dumb keys, though.
HDTV development and innovation has slowed over the last few years. Buyers are no longer shopping on specs as there is little visible difference between the high and low-end flatscreens. That’s where Ikea, and perhaps Apple, can step in and offer more value alongside the pretty picture.