At the beginning of its history, the TV set had a clear mission: it was intended to be a cinema for the home. The entire family and neighbours gathered around the telly with its bulky housing, which was rather unfavourably disproportionate to the small screen, to watch the latest news or seek entertainment in company.
It did not take television long to conquer more and more households. Soon the image turned to colour and the screens got bigger, while the number of people who gathered to watch TV together decreased. What had started as a form of social gathering gradually turned into a more everyday private pleasure, and before long home cinema became a commodity that often dominated family life just as much as the room the TV was set up in. Although bulky tube TV sets have mostly been replaced by flat screen televisions since the ‘noughties’, the era of television as the leading medium seems to be over in light of new media such as smart phones, tablet PCs and social networks – unless the concept of TV sees fundamental change. Manufacturers are indeed working flat out on turning the television into a new meta-medium that integrates all other media: three-dimensional, cross-linked, interactive, multifunctional – the new hub of modern households.
Philips has also changed its technological focus to ultra-complex TV sets. Its design focus however is the exact opposite of complex: With the Philips DesignLine LED TV, the company has launched a television with an exterior appearance that is reduced to the max forming an innovative framework for a new type of television experience. The unconventional design concept aimed to create a single glass panel that could casually lean on a wall – a technological challenge for the engineers, but a successful one. The innovative glass design redefines the visual appearance of televisions. The coated glass surface features a colour gradient that seamlessly moves from dark in the upper part to transparent in the lower part. The television thus gives the impression that it is floating in the room. This effect is further enhanced by the use of Ambilight, which adapts its colour automatically to the television image and is projected from three sides of the screen onto the surrounding walls – the walls seem to turn into an extension of the screen and thus make the screen appear much bigger. This formal minimalism thus stands in stark contrast to the plethora of functions integrated into the television. The quintessence of this development process seems to promote a television experience that becomes more and more multidimensional as the television device itself is reduced. Therefore, when turned off, the Philips DesignLine LED TV remains discreetly in the background, blending naturally into any type of interior environment. When switched on, however, it exudes an enticing radiance that succeeds in reestablishing the television as the centrepiece in any room and as the centre of social family gatherings.
Posted on 23.05.2017