Return of the console television

This week, Ikea announced that it will be selling a new television with an attached cabinet that has DVD and BlueRay players and stereo speakers built into it. It’s called the Uppleva:

The purpose of the Uppleva is to get rid of the cable mess and lack of visual uniformity that often comes with televisions and components today. The cabinet also can be configured to include additional space for more components, like a digital cable box. And, it comes with a universal remote.

The new television has been referred to as “groundbreaking” and an “amazing all-in-one television” since the announcement, but I’m going to shy away from both of those phrases. To me, it’s simply the reintroduction of the console television with modern components. It’s attractive and effectively hides all the cable mess and visual distractions. It’s certainly an uncluttered entertainment center and it’s nice to see companies creating streamlined products.

According to Reuters, the system will be “in five European cities in June, throughout seven European countries this autumn, and in its remaining markets [such as the USA] in the summer of 2013.” The electronics were designed specifically for Ikea by China’s TCL Multimedia Technology Holdings (they create the brands TCL, ROWA, Thomson, and RCA). Prices for the Uppleva system have not yet been announced.

What do you think of the Uppleva?

22 Comments for “Return of the console television”

  1. posted by Monica Ricci on

    Everything old really IS new again eh? I love it!

  2. posted by Jeff Crouch on

    I like the idea… unfortunately, since I don’t really watch television at home, and one of my hobbies is old video games, which have the issue of light guns that don’t work with modern flat panels, and the fact that some modern televisions don’t like some of my systems, I’m sticking with my old style television until it dies. :)

    Of course, this means I get to put up with the cable mess. :(

  3. posted by Chris Snyder on

    I’m underwhelmed. It looks similar to a number of TV stands that are already on the market. We have the VESA mounting standard so that we don’t have to get these sorts of all-in-ones. Cable management takes a bit of creativity, but it’s a lot easier if taken into account when selecting components.

  4. posted by JustGail on

    Huh. Interesting. I guess it could be good for those who can’t or don’t want to run cables through the wall. But then, if you use other items like a PC with it, don’t you still have cables? And what happens if you buy the additional cabinets/shelving and the TV breaks in 5.1 years and the cabinet is no longer available? That said, if I were in the market for a new TV, and had an Ikea nearby, I’d go take a look at it.

    But is this a new idea? No way!

  5. posted by kdiddy on

    I’m cool with the idea of console TV, but having so many devices built into it is a terrible idea. When one breaks or dies, you’ll have to replace the whole thing.

  6. posted by Marjoryt on

    What circular thinking!

    Anyone thinking about purchasing this should take a tour of some antique/thrift/used furniture stores. The console combinations show up in there – complete with at least 1 to 3 non working parts. The tvs and radios were especially prone to stopping, and the speakers were normally NOT very good. Hmmmmm – I’m not impressed with any of these brands for speakers, even if attractively housed in Ikea.

    People who wanted REAL music converted to component parts. All the woodworking and hobby magazines of the 1940s-1960s provided plans to hide components and speakers and wires behind customized shelves and doors. These became wall units.

    Which became component racks.

    Which became grouped equipment…..

  7. Profile photo of Erin Doland

    posted by Erin Doland on

    From the ad and what I read on Reuters, it seemed to me that the parts were separate. They just come all housed together. Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t think the TV, DVD, Blue Ray, and stereo are one big piece of technology … so if one thing breaks, you just replace that one thing.

  8. posted by Dede on

    My thought was exactly what kdiddy said – what if one component dies before the rest? Our DVD player is on its second TV and before the VHS player died, it out lived 3 TVs.
    And yeah, it is NOT new, it’s just a modern console TV. Ikea is not my personal style, but I do sort of like the last model shown. Not enough to buy, just enough to look, think “huh, that’s kinda nice” and move on.

    But I love her accent.

  9. posted by Matt on

    Nice idea, but how is it going to play my streaming Netflix? That’s the primary way I view movies and TV shows nowadays, and I’m not the only one.

  10. posted by JM on

    2.1 surround sound? Not good enough.

  11. posted by ninakk on

    Lol. The English accents here in Europe are almost like their own Englishes sometimes, that’s how distinguishable they are from one another! I’m wondering whether she’s exaggerating hers a bit though.

  12. Profile photo of

    posted by chacha1 on

    Hideous, IMO.

    I like the theory of having a single housing for all our home-theatre accoutrements. However, given our home decor style is not European Minimalist (kind of the opposite actually) this would look as out of place in our apartment as a bathtub in the dining room.

    For those more enlightened souls who have embraced the minimal, however, it’s probably an attractive option.

  13. posted by EngineerMom on

    Interesting idea. I’d like to see a TV console designed to house a computer tower, personally. Most of them aren’t deep enough.

  14. posted by Sam on

    I think this is a bit of a fail by IKEA. The thing people (especially the sort of people who shop at IKEA for their space-conscious furniture) love about flat panel TVs is that they don’t consume floor space (if mounted to the wall). Look around, a typical 90’s vintage entertainment center can be had for quite cheap on craigslist. People don’t want their electronics to look like or require furniture any longer.

  15. posted by April on

    I’m interested! I hate all of those stupid cables in the back (oh who am I kidding, that come out the sides). If the TV is 1080p and the unit is reasonably priced, then I’m sold. I like that there are lots of options for the way it’ll look (rather than only one look).

    Also, that whole remote sequence (dropping it a dozen times and then just holding one up) made me laugh out loud. Love it.

  16. posted by katrina on

    Hmmmm, while I can see that it’s aimed at the “I don’t want to open the box, just make it go” people but it could be more trouble than it is worth.

    What happens when the next upgrade of games machine/BluRay/whatever comes along and it needs different quality CABLES to take the signal?
    Is there an IKEA service to replace the cables to new tech?
    Or is the whole cabinet redundant?

    Or maybe, the owner just has to buy a new cable and run it up the front of the unit and …..

  17. posted by Karyn on

    The only thing I use my TV for is to watch DVDs, and my computer monitor is nicer and newer than the TV, so my ultimate goal is to ditch the TV altogether. When the time comes to upgrade my computer, one of my priorities is to make sure it has a DVD drive.

    I do like the modern design of the IKEA unit, and most of what IKEA sells, but I would not need this particular piece of furniture.

  18. posted by Jill on

    For our family, this is perfect. We have an IKEA entertainment shelf system and our current TV is the largest we can fit in it. In order to go larger than 32″ diagonal, we need new entertainment center furniture. There are way too many degrees of freedom in choosing new furniture and a new TV. We also need a new DVD player anyway. So for our demographic (two-career household with primary school age kids) this is right on the money.

  19. posted by Naomi Tayler on

    Meh. I don’t think I’ll be buying it. My current TV is wall mounted and sitting over a lovely drawer unit I inherited from my father. Looks a bit of a unitasker to me (in the furniture sense, at least). Plus, yeah. Doesn’t seem very forward thinking, in terms of upgrades. I’m sure the Ikea diehards will love it though.

  20. posted by Cal on

    My entertainment system isn’t perfect (a plasma TV on an old credenza) but it’s more charming and practical.

    I can see this Uppleva being useful if you like the modern Swedish furniture look and were planning to buy both your TV, blu-ray player, and a stand at the same time.

  21. posted by Mike on

    I kind of like it.

    In a “Maybe I don’t have a TV, DVD or console in my dorm” kind of way.

  22. Profile photo of

    posted by Cheeminghk on

    The problem with all in one device is that when one like DVD player fail yu cant just replace the DVD part you need to bring the while thing to serviced

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