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IKEA, the manufacturer of build-it-yourself furniture and purveyor of Swedish meatballs with an addictive potential similar to crack (I tell you, it’s something in the lingonberries) unveiled to the world in a delightfully campy commercial (see above) its new all-in-one entertainment system.
Uppleva (pronounced something like “oo-PLEA-eh-va”, which translates to “Experience”) is produced in conjunction with Chinese firm TCL – better known in the United States as RCA, or in Europe as Alcatel – and will retail starting at about 6,500 Swedish Kronor (or about $950), according to a press release from IKEA. It will be offered in three different designs in a range of screen sizes. Uppleva will be rolled out in just eight countries this fall, but IKEA states its intention is to release the AV-integrated furniture kits – some assembly will be required – worldwide by spring of 2013.
The three variants of Uppleva will include a Full HD LCD TV, a 2.1 sound system with a wireless subwoofer included and support for the CD/DVD/Blu-ray players of your choosing. Although IKEA hasn’t yet released information about what panel sizes will be available, the company claims that sets above 24-inches will have internet connectivity through WiFi. Ports include four HDMI on the side of the screen alongside two USB. There’s also an AV input for your iPod, as well as an FM radio. Everything will be controllable from a single remote.
The televisions come with a 5-year warrantee, which is built into the price.
All this leaves many wondering: if IKEA – a furniture company, albeit one with a knack for design – is getting into the consumer electronics business, when will the industry’s biggest name, Apple, throw its hat into the ring with its own television?
With new information about the much talked-about Apple TV coming out in recent weeks, it’s hard not to believe that Apple will give IKEA a run for its money. IKEA does have one advantage, however, and that is its extremely competitive pricing. So for those out there who won’t be able to afford Apple’s TV, the Uppleva experience might be plenty sufficient. I for one would feel just fine making that compromise.