Back in April, Ikea announced it was going to produce furniture in its Uppleva range that included a built-in smart TV, speakers and even DVD or Blu-ray players. It's not due in the UK until later this year, but our colleagues at M3 in Sweden have got their hands on one - and the results are less than impressive.
The overarching goal of the Uppleva (Swedish for "experience") line is not only simplicity but the desire to eliminate "cord clutter," based on the responses to an Ikea-sponsored survey conducted this year that revealed what people dislike most about electronics.
The television and other electronics will be made by Chinese manufacturer TCL and include a single remote control for all the devices. This is to address the survey result that found that 60 per cent of respondents have between three and four remote control devices at home.
The Uppleva (Swedish for "experience") line will offer choices of HD LED TV sizes ranging from 24 to 46 inches, and in a variety of colours. It will also include Wi-Fi, USB ports for music players, and space for game consoles. The company is planning to launch in Sweden, France, Italy, Poland, Spain, Denmark, Norway, and Portugal in the fall, with a worldwide rollout in spring 2013.
This concept harkens back to the 50s and 60s, when audio-video equipment was always integrated into furniture - though it will arrive in Ikea's traditional flat-pack packaging.
According to our colleagues, the Uppleva's main failing is the mediocre TV - which isn't as good as you'd expect for the price and has a menu system that attempts to mimic Ikea's functional aesthetic but comes off nearer to the kind of system you'd expect in an Asda own-brand Freeview box.
If you speak Swedish, we'd recommend watching M3's Uppleva video reviews.