Call it thinking outside the box: Taiwanese electronics outfit Hannspree is literally revolutionizing the way we look at TV.
Behold the company?s newest invention, a signature line of flat-screen 9.6? to 23? LCD sets modeled in dozens of unlikely shapes from dogs to fire trucks, cellos, soccer balls and sailboats.
The brainchild of Yu-Chi Chiao, chairman of HannStar, the world?s fifth largest maker of liquid crystal displays, over 120 models will be rolling out this October. Units are available for direct order from www.hannspree.com and the company?s Beverly Hills and San Francisco retail outlets at prices ranging from $449.99 to $1399.
Offerings in three distinct categories ? fantasy, sports and style ? assure electronics enthusiasts of all ages and interest types can find a system that suits their lifestyle.
Further selections include toy-inspired alternatives which resemble trains and teddy bears. Via a partnership with Disney, you?ll even find options branded with the likeness of Mickey Mouse and Cinderella.
As for adults, picture sets which fit right in with your home furnishings instead, crafted to mirror apples and potted plants. Other choices come with watches or thermometers attached.
Exotic picks are up for grabs too; one of the strangest designs is a model manufactured in the image of a box of French fries, complete with ketchup packet remote.
Athletics enthusiasts arguably have it best, though.
What season ticket holders will really appreciate: TV sets that spoof basketballs and backboards. Not to mention officially branded models bearing the signature logo and colors of all your favorite MLB and NBA teams as well.
Golf, football, hiking, auto racing: just a few of the additional themes that are also being immortalized, assuring there?s a fit for every fan.
Gimmick, nothing ? all units are modeled from the same materials as the items they pay homage to, and sport appropriate coloring and composition on both front and back sides.
For example, ponder the case of the boob tubes branded to look and feel just like jerseys. Or, for that matter, a device fashioned in the shape of a Major League Baseball that boasts 108 stitches in its construction ? as does the real thing.
Among the unlikely materials used when assembling these kitschy tchotchkes are titanium, wood veneer, fur, and leather.
Don?t sweat the tech specs either: 9.6? and 12.1? sets are capable of achieving 800×600, 15? models 1024×768, and 23? units 1280×768 resolutions. Widescreen units (23? and larger) are fully HDTV compatible too, able to run 480i/p, 720p or 1080i content.
Up to four composite and/or component A/V inputs are included, depending on the set, as are RCA, headphone and mini-DIN jacks.
High-end models further ship with built-in Hannspree Super Picture Engine technology, BBE and TruSurround audio capabilities, a 3D comb filter, sleep functions and programmable hotkeys.
The product of three and a half years R&D and a collaborative effort between international design firms, over 1000 sketches and hundreds of prototypes were created during the brand?s development.
The end result: you can now watch House or Queer Eye on a faux terra cotta TV boasting a climbing vine with blossoming leaves. Or mute The View using a custom-made ladybug clicker.
Label it the shape of things to come ? and pray they invent a beer tap model, so audiences can finally experience Cheers the way its creators intended.