Taking the term home theater in a box to a new level, Ikea made waves a few weeks back when it announced plans to start selling a self-branded HDTV and home theater system with a starting price under $1000. However, the company didn’t out all the tantalizing details at the time. Gigaom managed to get a bit more info on the system including the type of apps included on the rather impressive HDTV.
The Uppleva system, as it’s called in traditional Ikea fashion, allows buyers to customize their whole entertainment system starting with the screen size but also including the type and size of cabinet and so on. The approach takes the focus away from the TV and instead on the owners space. Each Uppleva system will ship with a Blu-ray player, 2.1 audio system with a wireless sub, and some sort of media cabinet.
As detailed in the original announcement, the HDTV isn’t a slouch. The 1080p display has a 400Hz response time and built-in apps. GigaOm learned that the system will launch will at least 15 apps including YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion, TuneIn Radio, and a browser (possibly Opera for TV). That puts this Ikea set on the same level as sets from Sony, Samsung and LG.
The original plan is to systemically roll the HDTV system out starting in select European stores this year followed by a broad launch in 2013 that includes the US. If this system lives up to its potential, it could be the most disruptive force in home theater since the advent of buying from Internet vendors. Best Buy better have an answer in place.