Whereas most HDTVs consist of a display, neck and stand or base, Philips' 46-inch and 55-inch DesignLine TVs are a single sheet of glass that leans against your wall at an angle. If Apple made an HDTV, it would probably look something like this, given the company's love of using glass in its products. And if the viewing angles are right, the TV's slant could provide better viewing experiences for people who sit on the floor or have low sofas (similar to Sony's HDTVs that can tilt at six degrees).
Philips' chief designer Rod White says the trend right now is for people to gravitate towards electronics with "more interior focus" — meaning people want their gadgets to fit in effortlessly with their interior decor. The company's senior designer Frank Rettenbacher also added:
"We really wanted to move away from the current product language used in TV design. We wanted to create a single sheet of glass, leaning very casually against the wall — without a frame, without a neck and a base."
Rettenbacher's decision to ditch conventions of what a TV should look like reminds us of Apple designer Jony Ive's recent discussion on how it's important to not let a word's physical definition limit a product's potential design.
The DesignLine TV has the looks to fit into any modern abode, but it's difficult to determine how well the actual display will perform. As The Verge suggests, Philips TVs aren't nearly as sharp as Samsung or Panasonic ones. That said, the DesignLine TV may well be one of those cases where form can be valued over function. Pricing hasn't been announced, but it'll likely cost a pretty penny when it arrives in the U.K. this June.