IKEA touts first television set

Posted by Shane McGlaun

IKEA is typically thought of as reasonably priced furniture outlet where one can buy a variety of household items including desks, bookcases, tables and chairs.

However, IKEA has expanded its lineup in recent years by offering appliances - courtesy of companies like Whirlpool and Electrolux. Recently, the company announced that it will be selling an IKEA-branded TV in cooperation with Chinese manufacturer TCL Multimedia.

Perhaps not unsurprisingly, the TV won't be your typical set, but will fall into the Uppleva range, with hidden cables integrated into stylish furniture. 

In addition to boasting multiple screen sizes, none of which are specified by IKEA, the furniture will also include integrated sound systems and Blu-ray players. The units will be available with extra space to store other things items including game consoles and cable boxes. The systems will include 2.1 audio with a wireless subwoofer that can be placed anywhere in the room.

"This is a large step for us. We will have an offer that is unique in the market," IKEA's living room chief Magnus Bondesson told Reuters. "We are launching a new concept where you in one place can buy your furniture and your electronics - designed for and matched with each other from start."

The Uppleva systems will be modular in design, and prospective buyers can choose a small system with a standard TV or a much larger system that covers an entire wall space for music, movies and video games. Prices for the line will start at the equivalent of $960 for the most basic system and smallish screen. IKEA offers no indication of an upper range, although I would assume screen sizes will scale from the low 30-inches up to 55 to 60-inches.

Nokia is slated to offer the Uppleva TVs starting in June of this year in Stockholm, Milan, Paris, Gdanks, and Berlin. This fall the product will be available in all stores located in Sweden, Italy, France, Poland, Denmark, Spain, Norway, and Portugal. Other countries are expected to roll out the sets in the spring of 2013, although there is no indication the Uppleva products will arrive in the US anytime soon.