"Sheet of glass" Philips DesignLine 2013 TV is a £2000 disappearing telly
Tech launches are tricky events for Stuff's self-restraint – take the Philips DesignLine 2013 TV. After being introduced to its new leaning, sheet of glass design we wanted to do one of three things: run off with one, watch the Batman trilogy on it (alone, with the curtains drawn) or – most childishly – nudge one to see what would happen.
What did we do? None of the above. But we did get a good look at TP Vision's new flagship TVs for 2013 and can safely say they are the sexiest sets we've clapped eyes on this year. The Full HD LCD panels on the 46in and 55in models look like they're floating in the middle of your (no doubt expansive and expensive) living room thanks to some ingenious design from the TP Vision team.
The front of the DesignLine TVs is a single sheet of glass (a perfect square metre in the case of the 46in model) with a gradient precisely screen printed onto the bottom half which changes from deep blacks at the top to transparent as it reaches the floor.
When the screen is off it blends in very nicely and the TVs can be leant against the wall, mounted or hung. Unfortunately there is still a TV on the back with all the usual ports and we imagine as soon as you hook up your home cinema system and Xbox 360, the effect will be minimised somewhat.
Still, there's substance inside the DesignLine TVs too. Based on the 8000 series, they're powered by a dual-core processor with Philips Perfect Pixel HD engine taking care of picture quality and offer active 3D and Smart TV apps too. With Miracast, you can stream from Android phones and tablets to the Wi-Fi enabled TV and the Philips MyRemote app means you can scroll through programming information and control the TV from your iPhone, iPad or Android device.
The new DesignLine TVs will of course feature Philips' signature Ambilight technology – light is projected from three sides to match the colours on screen. And TP Vision also announced that Philips Hue app-controlled light bulbs will soon be able to talk to Ambilight TVs – not just the 2013 models but any Wi-Fi connected Ambilight TVs.
We're big fans of the smart bulbs which can change colour when controlled by the Hue app. The new app isn't finalised yet but by the summer we'll be bulk-buying the bulbs so that our whole room can match what's on the screen: a wall of green for the next Spurs match, say, or lamps glowing orange for any helicopters-at-sunset scenes from Michael Bay movies.
The "smoke black" aluminium remote takes its design cue from the material used on the sides of the TV itself – TP Vision wasn't about to hand out glass remote controls – and can be used as a pointer to navigate your way around the Smart TV offerings. Flip the remote over and there's a split QWERTY keyboard for searching too.
Word from TP Vision is that the 2013 DesignLine TVs will be go on sale in Europe and Russia from the second quarter of this year. The damage will be £2000 for 46in and £2800 for the 55in version.