Ikea’s Uppleva home entertainment system has finally hit the stores, though you’ll have to pop over to Sweden if you want one.
The TV/Blu-ray-player/cabinet combo, which was first announced back in April, went on sale in the country’s Stockholm store late last week. Other Ikea stores across Europe will start selling it next month, while interested consumers in the US will have to exercise a little more patience — it won’t be on sale in North America till some time next year.
Uppleva caught the attention of many consumers when it was unveileda few months ago, and not only because it was the furniture company’s first foray into the home entertainment market. Its sleek design and all-in-one approach (to hide those dastardly cables) also turned heads.
The new TV is available in three sizes — 24”, 32” and 46”; has an LED, full HD 1080p display; comes with MP3, MP4, DivX HD and JPEG file compatibility; and contains a number of HDMI and USB ports, depending on the screen size. It also comes with a Blu-ray player and incorporates a 2.1 sound system. The TV’s interface includes some 20 apps, such as YouTube and Vimeo. The whole lot will set you back about $1000.
The Swedish company has also announced news of an 8GB flash drive that will enable viewers to record TV shows, giving them the opportunity to rewind and fast forward live programs.
Sadly for Ikea, an early review of Uppleva by Swedish publication M3 is unlikely to whip up a frenzy of consumer anticipation ahead of its international roll-out — the country’s biggest consumer electronics magazine was rather critical of Ikea’s new offering, comparing elements of its picture to that of budget TVs from LG and Samsung.
M3 also reported a “worrying” amount of noise in the picture. The interface for operating the set also received a thumbs-down, though as the magazine pointed out, this could be easily remedied via a software update. The publication gave Uppleva a disappointing 5 marks out of 10.
Fortunately for Ikea, M3 editor Andreas Ivarsson was able to find some positives, describing the sound system as “very good” and the furniture as “stylish”.
“With some nice interior this piece can be something you don’t have to be ashamed of in your living room,” Ivarsson said in a Gizmodo translation. “The only thing you have to be ashamed of is if your friends will try the TV’s more advanced functions.”
There you go — it’s something you don’t have to be ashamed of. Maybe Ikea will go back to the drawing board with this one; or perhaps it’ll take another look at Uppleva, dump the TV bit and simply sell the cabinet part instead. Furniture is, after all, what it does (best).