Feature Design BRAVIA KDL-40ZX1
Feature Design BRAVIA KDL-40ZX1

A slim television that even looks great from behind

Yuki Kubota

Kubota: This is a wireless television, and owners can install it wherever they choose. We even anticipated unusual cases where it might be installed right in the middle of a room. That's why the set looks attractive from all angles, even from behind.

The first trick was to conceal screws, as much as possible. And that's actually another reason for using an extruded aluminum frame. Build a slot into the frame at an early stage, and you can slip the back cover into it, eliminating the need for screws. Vents for the electronic components are also inconspicuous, thanks to some hard work by our engineers. As a result, the back surface looks beautiful.

The connection interfaces you expect to find exposed on the back of most sets are covered. Cables connected to peripheral equipment or the power outlet are routed through the arm supporting the panel, and they emerge at one position. Hiding the cords preserves the neat appearance in back.

The arm itself is slanted instead of rising straight up. This keeps it out of view when the set is viewed from the front, which makes the screen seem more buoyant. The mirror finish on the arm has a similar effect. By reflecting what's around it, in some conditions, the arm fades from view.

Matsuoka: Designers should stand up for what they care about—a vision of a great-looking set from behind, a way to conceal interfaces, how the arm rises from the base. The kind of dedication to details that makes a designer insist cords be hidden. Here, all these preferences are expressed naturally, in uncontrived shapes, by applying ideal fabrication techniques. It's a good example of Yuki's work. His vision inspired our engineers to help us make the back of the set this beautiful.

Irresistible lines and shapes, inevitable throughout design

Matsuoka: The speakers are separate from the monitor itself. Two types are available, each for a different mode of installation, and one type is integrated into the stand. By nature, speakers must open out toward the front, but boxy speakers would look bulky and unbalanced with the thin panel. To keep the stand as compact as possible, we adopted a round shape. Owners can also choose a bar-shaped speaker when the set is mounted on a wall.

Designing speakers for flat-panel TVs often involves a tradeoff in audio quality. But in this case, the design we adopted offers exceptional sound while complementing the thinness of the panel. Designer proposals made it possible.

Come to think of it, any way you install the set and from any angle, it's free of unneeded lines or elements. There are no embellishments, and everything you see represents concepts that proved inevitable. It's as if we tried to convey our design message as succinctly as possible. That's Yuki's style.

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