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TV and furniture in one – what do you think of Ikea’s ideas?

Ikea is releasing a… smart TV. The Swedish furniture company has stretched its wings from flat-pack bookcases to the world of electronics. The ‘Uppleva’ combines a smart TV with Ikea-style furniture.

Ikea’s all-in-one TV combines a 1080p HD LED flat screen TV, built-in Blu-ray, DVD and CD players, plus a 2.1 sound system with wireless sub woofer.

There’s no release date for the UK yet, but it’s scheduled for a June launch in other parts of Europe.

Patrick Steen’s keen on Ikea’s all-in-one TV

Is there anyone who doesn’t own a piece of Ikea furniture? A cheeky chair or chest of drawers? Swedish design has been having a full on flirt with Britain’s homes over the past few years. In fact, Ikea is apparently the UK’s favourite retailer after capturing our hearts with its flat-packed parts. Now Brits can continue the love affair by adding an Ikea TV to their pad.

I’m up for it. TV manufacturers have become set in their ways. Lounging around and coming up with nothing other than ever skinnier rectangular black tellies – the only real innovation they’ve added to their bow is 3D. Like we’re interested?

What we need is a new player to challenge these struggling manufacturers (Sony’s TV business has been losing money for the past eight years). Enter Ikea. Its answer is a return to the 1950s aesthetic of ‘television set as furniture’, but what’s wrong with that?

The Uppleva (‘experience’ in Swedish) looks functional and stylish, and would immediately become the central hub for your home’s entertainment. All that’s missing is a built-in games console and then I’d be as happy as Larry.

I don’t think I’d be up to building the telly myself, so fingers crossed it doesn’t come flat-packed like the rest of Ikea’s range (just imagine the assembly instructions!). There’s also the obvious question of whether the TV itself is any good, but we’ll leave that up to the Which? test labs.

Ikea’s innovation tackles my biggest bugbear; all of the cable mess that clutter up your chic living room. Now you can just slide your HDMIs into Uppleva’s sleek body.

And how it looks is up to you – like a giant Lego set, the arrangement and colour of all its components are up to you, so you can make it fit your aesthetic, rather than allowing your TV to dominate your home and, ultimately, your life. I’m a believer in Uppleva – are you?

Nikki Whiteman’s not up for the Uppleva

I’ve bought my fair share of furniture and one or two TVs in my time, yet curiously I’ve never once said to myself, ‘wouldn’t it be great if these two things were seamlessly integrated?’

Why? Well, because a TV does something completely different to my furniture. When I’m choosing a telly I care about specs – size, resolution. But when I’m choosing furniture I want something beautiful, that’s built to last and, most importantly, that will fit in my lounge.

By integrating a TV with what looks like a 70s version of a TV cabinet, Ikea is telling me that the only thing that matters is functionality.

Yes, it’s nice to have everything together so there aren’t trailing wires everywhere, but I think having a few wires cluttering things up is a small price to pay for having the freedom to choose my furniture by other criteria than just what colour MDF it’s built from.

Ikea’s also asking me to design my living room based on its furniture specs. If I buy the Uppleva but I also want a bookcase, a side table and extra cabinets, I’ll probably need to stick to Ikea’s own products if I want it to match.

Some might point to Uppleva’s five year guarantee, which is a great thing for a telly. But it’s not that great for a piece of furniture. Call me ‘Little Miss Tightwad’ but I don’t expect to have to replace items of furniture every five years. I buy my cabinets, bookcases and tables to last.

There are some products that I think would do genuinely well together (come to my Dragon’s Den with a hovercraft and skateboard mashup and you’ll have my undivided attention). But combining furniture (beautiful, long-lasting, homely) with a television (practical, functional, short-lived) seems like a complete misunderstanding of what either product is actually for.

What do you think of Ikea's all-in-one TV and furniture solution ('Uppleva')?

I agree with Nikki - it's a terrible idea (62%, 142 Votes)

I agree with Patrick - it's a great idea (38%, 87 Votes)

Total Voters: 229

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John Smith says:
30 July 2012

by the way, IKEA’s “10-year” warranty isn’t worth a damn thing. we bought a super-kingsize bed which after a few years started to develop a gap in the middle. turns out it is actually two ordinary bed units side by side in a big bag. After much phone calls and chasing a guy did come out and take lots of pictures. eventually we got a phone call and was told this was fair wear and tear.

So, now you know – something IKEA bills as lasting for 10 years will only last for 3 and they will call it fair wear and tear.

I don’t think this problem is unique to ikea though, once they’ve got your money, nobody on the planet wants to know about your issues.