The world of consumer electronics saw an unlikely player enter the market this week, as Swedish furniture specialist IKEA announced a new all-in-one appliance that integrates an LED TV, a 2.1 sound system with wireless bass speakers, Internet capabilities, a range of ports and a Blu-ray player into a single device.
Dubbed Uppleva, which is the Swedish word for experience, the new piece of furniture aims to solve the challenge of living room clutter, hiding cords and combining all the controls into a single remote, while following Ikea's usual low-price, simple design strategy.
The TV and the other electronics are made by Chinese manufacturer TCL -- which sells products under the brands TCL, ROWA, Thomson and RCA -- and are available in four different sizes, from 24 to 46 inches, and a range of colors. Other specifics aren't mentioned, unfortunately.
The furniture built around the audio and video components also comes in a variety of designs and, like most IKEA furniture, everything will ship in a flat-pack ready for assembly at home.
The Uppleva comes with a 5-year warranty and will be sold in Sweden, France, Poland, Germany and Italy starting in June, with a few more markets due to launch in the second half of the year. By the first half of next year, it will be available worldwide, with the cheapest unit costing about 6,500 Swedish kronor ($955).