The Bouroullec Brothers Turn Back the Dial to When TVs Were Furniture

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By Luke Hopping
The Samsung Serif TV is as weighty as a premium drama.

The new golden age of television has not been kind to TV sets. When the medium last occupied such a sizable place in the culture, at midcentury, receivers were built like boats. Today LED and LCD flat panels arrive on the market thinner each year, and as design objects, they’ve all but vanished against the living room wall.

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Running counter to the slimmer-is-better trend is the Samsung Serif TV by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, a heavyset small-screen theater that has a depth of seven inches. Inspired by the French sibling-designers’ background in furniture (and by the letter "I," from which it derives its silhouette), the Serif aims to restore the TV to its place of honor in the home. It even has the option to add legs so it can stand on its own. 

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While the concept of TV-as-showpiece dates back to the 1920s, the Serif comes with conveniences modern viewers expect, like the power to download streaming and web-browsing apps. The ultra high definition 40-inch model is available to preorder now from the MoMA Store and Samsung for $1,499. 

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