IKEA just announced it is throwing its unassembled hat into the ring with four TV’s with 2.1 sound systems, disc players, all in an integrated cabinet. The cabinet is designed by them, the  TVs, on the other hand, will be supplied by Chinese electronics company TCL.

More info after the jump.

It’s called the UPPLEVA TV, which apparently translates from Swedish to English as “Experience TV.” The US LED LCD models debut in April 2013, with screen sizes of 24 to 46-inches, the largest screen size currently offered by TCL.

21st Century Console TV

Back in the late 20th century, the major US TV makers would combine a CRT TV with a stereo system into a massive wooden cabinet, called console TVs. They became a centerpiece in living rooms across America.

The new IKEA version includes an integrated remote for control of the TV, audio, disc player, and a cable or satellite box. The larger screen models will be Smart TVs, providing Internet streaming of movies. The sets will be carrying a five-year IKEA warranty.

We expect this combo will appeal to folks with limited space like students, young couples and those on tight budgets. Also, those who like meatballs or ABBA.

Compared to the Upcoming Apple iTV

A number of news outlets have been comparing the Uppleva to the rumoured Apple iTV. Based on all information published regarding the Apple product, the only comparison is both happen to be  televisions. Apple iTV is rumoured to combine cloud TV services like a video iTunes with speech recognition and Siri vocal responses.

The Uppleva TV is based on the TCL-branded Smart TVs, and will be similar to the purchase of an HDTV, sound bar and disc player from the same brand, allowing the use of a single remote control. The major TV companies (i.e. Samsung, Panasonic, LG etc.) all make components that you can operate with a single remote control. In addition, the IKEA cabinet will take care of cord management and includes all the necessary cables and connectors.

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Ready To Assemble

All the IKEA models are full HD 1080p, and will be available with either a black or white finish. Smart TV models include built-in Wi-Fi and an ambient room light sensor. In addition to the Blu-ray player, the system includes a wireless subwoofer, a radio tuner, and USB jacks for connectivity to an iPhone and other smartphones, or MP3 players and iPods.

Cabinets will be in white, black, beech or walnut finishes.

While the Uppleva TV, disc player and speakers will be factory assembled, like most other IKEA furniture the cabinet ships unassembled, requiring buyers to screw all the cabinet parts together. Most TV chain store furniture comes this way too, so this is not unusual. As we’ve mentioned before,  placing a flat TV on top of a deeper cabinet does not take full advantage of the space savings LED TVs afford.

When we receive more specific information from IKEA, probably closer to the 2013 release, HD Guru will publish and update. The first Uppleva TV models will ship in Europe later this year.



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