This morning we witnessed the unveiling of a UK first from Cello Electronics dubbed the iViewer - a TV that streams the Beeb's iPlayer and other web TV channels without a set-top box or games console in sight. As you can see, the layout of the iPlayer is exactly how it appears on set top boxes, with oversized and easy to use icons.
With simplicity firmly in its sights, the iViewer is pretty easy to use and becomes second nature in a matter of minutes. Either plug in an ethernet cable or WiFi dongle (both included) and get the BBC's catch up service and a limited selection of other web TV choices such as Youtube and video podcasts from Autocar, CNN and Larry King. Cello are expecting to launch more channels in 2010.
Other than a couple of connectivity related hiccups the iViewer loaded programmes quickly and hassle-free, which is in part down to its simple user interface and intuitive remote control packed with enough buttons to have you covered in all areas.
There's integrated Freeview too, as well as the ability to access your home computer and view your multimedia content through the TV.
And with a dedicated search button, looking for your favourite vids and programmes is easy - you just need to use the alpha-numeric pad at the bottom of the remote. The iPlayer gets its own dedicated button too.
As well as streaming content through your TV, the iViewer also supports a range of widgets which currently cover the ever popular areas of news and sport - specifically designed for the iViewer by the BBC - and weather reports from the Met Office, with more expected to roll out in due course. They will appear on the home page and a simple press of the red button on the remote will pull them up when viewing your content. We're sure it won't be long before Facebook and the rest of the social network gang make it on there too.
The Cello iViewer TV will initially roll out in 32 and 26-inch offerings for £599 and £499 respectively - more sizes are expected to roll out next year. Going for the 32-incher will get you a full 1080p HD TV, whereas the 26-incher is HD ready and they both come with two HDMI ports each.
As it stands Marks & Spencers currently has dibbs on the two models which will be available online as of tomorrow. But if you were thinking about popping down to your local to pick one up, think again - they won't land in stores until after Christmas. Marks & Spencers will lose this exclusivity around March next year.
The iViewer also comes packed with a full web browser, but Cello have said that it won't be accessible to users unless there’s a reasonable demand for when it comes to feedback. Typing URLs on a remote control can be a frustrating but would definitely be an aditional bonus to for service.
Cello tells us it's a "product that's set to revolutionise TV viewing as we know it" and it does bring a certain luxury to TV viewing. But what do you think - would you buy one - do you want one? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below.