- - Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Already the one-stop shop for smart and compact home furnishing, Ikea has launched yet another product for your living room: the Ikea TV.

According to the Associated Press, the new furniture line, named Uppleva, the Swedish word for experience, integrates an LED TV, a sound system with wireless bass speakers, an Internet connection, and CD, DVD and Blu-ray players - all in one piece.

Although the TV and the other electronics are made by Chinese manufacturer TCL, Ikea has built everything around them, hiding the masses of cables that can be a nuisance and make a living room look shabby.

To further simplify things, Ikea and TCL have combined all the controls into a single remote control.

The furniture comes in three designs and will be sold first in Sweden, France, Poland, Germany and Italy in June, with a few more markets due to launch in the second half of the year. By the first half of next year, it will be available worldwide, with the cheapest costing about $955.

“We’ve realized that people are watching more TV and are using electronics in their living rooms more and more,” Ikea spokeswoman Ylva Magnusson said. “We came up with this because we found that people want to get rid of the cables and they don’t want those mountains of remote controls either.”

Martin Rask, a 38-year old from Stockholm, said the all-in-one concept sounded interesting but wondered how it could keep up with new technologies.

“The furniture is a tempting idea - I’m wrestling with a bundle of cables at home myself at the moment -but the problem is that so many new things are released all the time,” he said. “I’ve had three different Internet suppliers in the past year for example, and imagine if you had an old VHS player built into your furniture that no one is watching.”

Hezbollah leader interviewed in premiere of Assange show

The opening episode of Julian Assange’s new talk show featured an interview with militant leader Hassan Nasrallah, whose Syria-backed Hezbollah militia is considered a terrorist organization in the United States and Europe.

The half-hour segment aired on Kremlin-backed broadcaster RT on Tuesday and featured questions about Israel, Lebanon, Syria, theology and encryption.

Nasrallah, who rarely gives interviews, largely stuck to well-established positions, but he did reveal that his group had been in touch with opponents of President Bashar Assad, whose bloody crackdown on Syria’s protest movement has claimed thousands of lives.

Nasrallah told Mr. Assange that Hezbollah, long an Assad ally, had “contacted elements of the opposition, to encourage them, to facilitate dialogue with the regime.”

Speaking via video and through a translator, Mr. Nasrallah claimed that Hezbollah had been rebuffed.

The premiere of “The World Tomorrow” marked the launch of Mr. Assange’s unlikely career in television, and a partnership with a Russian state-backed station that many have found uncomfortable.

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