Go to any big electronics store and check out all the humongous, flat screen, HD TVs with speakers that knock you down; they are at once terribly thrilling and immensely boring. There are black boxes and there are silver boxes. Boxes. The rationale certainly has something to do with decorating, matching anything, being inconspicuous. For anyone who thinks that is a little too drab, HANNspree provides an alternative.
Animal plushie? Smooth wood? Trucks and trains for your son? Fanciful crystals for your daughter? The sports fan can get a TV to match a favorite team, and kids of all ages can appreciate the Disney licensing. HANNspree is about expressing your personality not just through what you watch, but how you watch it. Their website proclaims, “Our televisions are meant to be bold declarations of individuality, pride, and personal style.”
However, it’s obvious looking at one of these perky sets in action that the screen quality isn’t quite up to what you’d expect from the mainstream brands. The staff at the Flagship Showcase in San Francisco weren’t hiding the fact that, “It’s definitely a trade-off,” between technology and personality, but they also were quick to note that the screens they do use are made by Hannstar, one of the top 10 LCD display manufacturers.
Another potential concern is the small size of the screens. To address this, the company will begin to release larger models. One example is seen here, and I was able to take a look at pictures of some others. It seems that with the screen enlargement, the televisions regress back into simple boxes. I, for one, would have no problem with a giant plushie giraffe. Hopefully in the future some of the whimsy of the smaller TVs will be injected into the big screens.
Prices are currently being tested in the range between $199 and $999, but look for them to settle somewhere between $249/99 and $999. The larger models will increase the range of prices, as well as products. Since many people are willing to pay thousands of dollars for a super hi-tech TV, it seems perfectly reasonable for others to pay hundreds for something that is so personal. At first, I was thinking kids would outgrow the more playful sets, but when I found myself picking out which one I would take home if I had a choice, I realized that’s probably not the case.