Samsung’s Serif TV is the Retro Answer to the Rise of the Flatscreen

Nowadays all TVs look the same. Okay, so that’s something of an exaggeration, but even though some are certainly more visually appealing than others, their designs tend to not stray too far from the beaten path, with the general rule of thumb from manufacturers being that the thinner/larger they are the better chance they have of making their way into consumers’ homes.

But Samsung has taken a different approach to the tried-and-tested formula, partnering with French designers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec in order to create the Serif TV, which not only provides users with a way to watch Netflix (or, if you still live in the Dark Ages, cable), but is also a particularly eye-catching piece of designer furniture that is intended to blend in with your living room. 

Taken at face value, the Serif TV solves a problem that we didn’t really know existed – that TVs these days don’t particularly match their surroundings, i.e. your home. Instead they sit in a corner, their big screens peering out over your blue fabric sofa, looking like a futuristic visitor beamed to Earth in order to allow you to watch sports. We don’t really realize this is the case when we purchase a TV because we’ve all come to accept that’s just the way that TVs look, so when you plop a 50-inch screen next to your fireplace, no one mentions how incongruous it is with the rest of your home, because that’s the standardized design we’ve all grown accustomed to. 

However, Samsung is turning this perception of the flatscreen TV on its head with the Serif, as it serves to complement its environment rather than stand out from it. The Serif achieves this by way of a design that shares similarities with the wooden TV cabinets of the ’50s, in that it is simultaneously a TV set and a piece of furniture. However, its unique, framed design lends itself perfectly to the modern home, and with its largest, 40-inch model also boasting the capability of ultra HD support, it’s no slouch in the specs department, either. 

The TV’s frame, which takes the appearance of the letter “I” when viewed from the side, features a fabric panel on its rear that covers its multiple ports, while its screen also features a “curtain mode” that lays a filter over its user interface, obscuring the images into the background and granting them access to a list of services, including a clock, Bluetooth speakers, apps and their photo gallery.

One aspect of the TV that isn’t so easy on the eye, however, is the electrical wire that dangles beneath it when it is placed on the floor using the legs Samsung provides with it, which makes it look more like a cheap portable television than something created by two French designers in collaboration with one of the world’s biggest television manufacturers. While this is certainly an option if you just want to watch TV, and it does give it more maneuverability, those who purchase the Serif will undoubtedly be doing so due to its looks, and therefore it is much more suited to being placed on a shelf, cabinet or some other form of furniture in order to obscure the wiring protruding from its back panel.

The Serif TV will initially go on sale in the UK, France, Sweden, and Denmark, and will be available in three different sizes – a 4K 40-inch mode, a full HD 34-inch model and a standard HD 24-inch model. Pricing has yet to be announced.