Watch out, Best Buy and Samsung. Ikea is seemingly doing to home entertainment systems what Apple did to portable electronics. The company previously revealed its upcoming entrance into the home theater market. As the video above clearly shows, Ikea is injecting a full dose of their Swedish magic into the Uppleva line. Never mind about the thought that Apple might disrupt the TV market. Ikea is already doing it.
Ikea gets it. Francis Cayouette, an Uppelva designer, said it best in the video, “People actually consider the TV as a piece of furniture but it is always something that looked very technical has a lot of cables, is complicated and it just doesn’t fit in the home environment.”
As someone who sold TVs for a good chunk of my admittedly short adult life, I can attest that there is a lot of truth in this statement. The majority of buyers look at TVs as another piece of furniture rather than an electronic toy. Consumers often look at the style of the casing or stand before they consider the technical specs — if they consider them at all. The TV set most often sits within their house at a prime location, often being the centerpiece of a living room. By selling furniture system along with the screen Ikea is essentially reinventing TV shopping. But as this video shows, the HDTV itself isn’t a slouch either.
As previously detailed, the screen is a top-of-the-line 1080p display with a 400Hz response time and built-in apps. This video sheds a bit of light on the remote, which uses a sliding mechanism to hide the number pad. The user interface seems simple enough with a grid of large icons. Ikea previously stated that it would sport popular apps like YouTube, Netflix and more.
“The expression should come from the solution and not the electronic itself,” said Cayoutte. That mantra is very similar to the underlining thought in most Apple products. Instead of a smooth glass or aluminum exterior, Ikea is wrapping its electronic goods in laminated press wood. But the result as a simplified user experience is the same to the user.
The Uppleva line is set to hit key European locations this summer with a more broad release set for next year. Complete systems including a Blu-ray player, 2.1 audio system and furniture are expected to retail for less than $1,000 — and of course some assembly is required.