We’ve seen some pretty out-there TV designs in our time, but this is one of the most audacious yet… and even better, it’s not just for show. This is actually going on-sale.
This is the C SEED N1, and as you can see in the picture above, it transforms from a piece of sculpture into a huge, super-advanced 4K TV – and back again, when it’s not in use. It comes in 103-inch, 137-inch and 165-inch sizes – so you can imagine that the metal sculpture is pretty large and imposing on its own, and then it unfurls into a screen fit for a home theater experience to rival the best projectors.
The incredible concertina design is based on micro-LED tech, which is set to be the next big thing in TVs after OLED and mini-LED. Like the best OLED TVs, micro-LED pixels generate their own light, so you get perfect contrast and color precision. Unlike OLED, though, micro-LED can go very, very bright, so you get astounding HDR.
But micro-LED has one other trick up its sleeve, which is what makes this folding design work: screens can be built from individual panels that are fitted together without visible joins. That’s the smartest part of C SEED’s design here: all the parts of the screen fold out into a flat panel, and then use a patented tech called ‘Adaptive Gap Calibration’ to make sure there are no seams left in the image.
The screen is 4K at all sizes with HDR10+ support, and the set has automatic rotation built into the design – it can turn a full 180 degrees horizontally, which is very rare. It also has two 100-watt speakers built in, so there’s no small amount of audio power.
It’s made from aerospace-grade aluminum, which helps to give something so large and elaborate the strength to work, and also gives it such a stunning clean look when it’s folded back into its base.
On that topic, C SEED says: “it discreetly folds back into its base, a stunning piece of kinetic art.” While we agree with the second part of that sentence (it may not be especially artistic in the sense of communicating an emotion, but we do think it’s a beautiful piece of industrial design), we’re having trouble with the idea of it being discreet. It’s a bench-sized hunk of aluminum! Striking? Sure. Bearing a resemblance to the robots from Interstellar in a way I find extremely charming? Absolutely. Discreet? Not so much.
Anyway, here’s a video of it in action.
Now, as you might have surmised from the size and general vibe of this thing, it’s not going to come cheap. C SEED makes deluxe products, and the N1 starts from €180,000. We also don’t know which countries it’ll be offered in, though in some ways it doesn’t matter. It’s not like you’re waiting for Amazon in your region to get this in – if you have this money and want one, your dealer can probably have a word with the right people.
But we like this for two reasons. One is… y’know, look at it! It’s just incredible.
The second is that it’s a great showcase for what micro-LED can do. The tech is fascinating, but there hasn’t been much imagination around it how it’s used in designs yet – Samsung (which is leading the way in making it available for home use) has offered micro-LED panels that can be connected into a screen of whatever size you want, and a much-delayed series of regular-looking TVs.
This is the first micro-LED TV to take what’s unique about the tech and to imagine something totally new from it, and we’re absolutely in love with it.