If you’re a design aficionado with a penchant for typefaces, AND you’re on the hunt for a new TV, Samsung might just have you covered.
Available in white or dark blue, the 40″ Samsung Serif TV is available to pre-order in the U.S. today through Samsung or the MoMA Design Store, but will be arriving at other design-centric outlets from August including Vitra, Bo Concept NY, and Ligne Roset.
The Korean tech giant first announced the TV last September at the London Design Festival as part of a collaboration with French furniture designers Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec. It’s designed to transform the TV into a piece of furniture, with a shelf-like surface on top serving to hold vases, ornaments, remote controls, and other small items. Additionally, it sports a woven fabric panel to conceal wires and ports that protrude from the TV.
At $1,500 the Serif TV is not cheap, but it’s not a wallet-buster either. At any rate, you probably wouldn’t expect quirky design meshed with the latest technological smarts to be available in budget outlets, and this unit promises a few surprises beyond its font-inspired facade.
In many ways, the Serif TV harks back to the early days of television when makers sought ways to blend a TV into the background through placing it inside a wooden unit replete with sliding doors.
But the Serif TV adopts a more radical design approach to the cathod-ray contraptions of yore, given that it resembles a Times New Roman letter “I” when viewed from the side.
The Bouroullec brothers looked beyond the TV during the three-year design and also considered the remote control, which bypasses the traditional elongated button-infested block for something a little more in-tune with the contraption it controls. And the TV’s interface also sports a new “curtain mode,” which blurs the content of the screen, “transforming it into shimmering abstract shapes like a digital curtain,” the company said.
The partnership is notable not only because this represents the first time Samsung has enlisted the services of designers with the express purpose of “re-envisioning” TV, but it’s also the first time the renowned Bouroullec brothers have entered the technology realm.
“Stunning picture quality and crisp sound clarity are what consumers expect from Samsung, however our research also tells us that there is a subset of consumers, largely underserved by the TV industry thus far, who care just as deeply about design and how their TV complements the aesthetics of their home environment,” said Dave Das, senior vice president, home entertainment, at Samsung Electronics America. “The Bouroullec Brothers share and embrace our vision of merging design and technology and we are pleased to introduce the Serif TV to the U.S. market via a strategic group of retail partners in the design and furnishings world.”
Beyond the design showmanship, the Serif TV features an HDR screen with 4K UHD resolution, and it packs a quad-core processor to power the TV, apps, and streaming functions.
While the Samsung Serif TV is available to preorder today, it won’t start shipping until August.