Ikea's new TV line: Brilliant or boneheaded?
The Swedish retailer has unveiled an all-in-one television that comes with a Blu-ray player, universal remote and storage options -- basically a TV buyer's dream.
Watch out, Best Buy (BBY) -- Ikea is getting into the home-entertainment business.
The furniture giant, known for its affordable, build-it-yourself merchandise, has unveiled a new line of televisions designed to simplify and streamline consumers' chaotic entertainment systems.
The product, dubbed Uppleva ("Experience"), is an all-in-one solution that includes a high-definition TV set (manufactured by Chinese company TCL), a built-in Blu-ray player, a cordless subwoofer, and a variety of storage options to conceal messy cables and wires. The HDTV supports WiFi connectivity, has ports for HDMI and USB, and comes with a universal remote. Uppleva will arrive in Europe this year, and in the U.S. in 2013. (Watch the charming YouTube demo.)
(Post continues below video.)
Considering Ikea's reputation for affordable and innovative furnishing solutions, is home entertainment a logical next step?
Uppleva could be a big deal: This move has "the potential to shake up the industry," says David Carnoy at CNET. Prices will start at $950 for an entry-level unit, with TV sizes ranging from 26 to 46 inches. "Ikea has long sold affordable and attractively styled stands for TVs and home-theater components," but this endeavor takes things "up a notch." If the price is right -- and affordable prices have always been Ikea's strength -- consumers will come knocking.
Eh, the TV doesn't work very well: "The limited time I've spent with TCL's smart TV software wasn't encouraging," says John Herrman at Buzzfeed. But that's not a knock on Ikea or TCL -- "all TV software is pretty bad compared to what you get from a good set-top box." If consumers want a manageable experience, they'll still want "to hook up an Xbox or an Apple TV or something." Otherwise be prepared for a "horrendous" time.
The Uppleva is the Apple product Apple hasn't thought of: "The dawn of a new television era is here," says Deborah Netburn at the Los Angeles Times. Our "collective television problem" is that we're constantly "juggling too many remote controls, shoving unsightly tangles of electric cords behind bookshelves, and precariously stacking" Blu-ray players and cable boxes. Ikea is doing away with the clutter by doing what it does best: Making things "pretty," "convenient," and "easy." Just like Apple (AAPL) has done with personal gadgets. "Did Ikea just beat Apple to the all-in-one television?"
More from The Week:
- Sony's SmartWatch: An Android smartphone for your wrist
- Is the Kindle Fire doomed?
- The Ford Mustang's new European look: A big mistake?
I never buy combo units. One part going bad makes the whole thing worthless. Better off buying them separate
"Ikea has long sold affordable and attractively styled stands for TVs and home-theater components,"
$700 for a particle-board TV stand has never been my idea of "affordable" or "attractively styled".
Like we need another television line to choose from.. I think the selection of a zillion brands from Walmart specials to Samsung's mega sets pretty much has it covered already!
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Serious issues like drought and the deterioration of the developed world spell opportunity for this industry leader.
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
Top Stocks provides analysis about the most noteworthy stocks in the market each day, combining some of the best content from around the MSN Money site and the rest of the Web.
Contributors include professional investors and journalists affiliated with MSN Money.
Follow us on Twitter @topstocksmsn.