I wish I could buy this stunning OLED TV inspired by a speaker design legend

Toshiba concept OLED TV on demonstration stand
(Image credit: Future)

I visited IFA 2022 to hunt down the latest and greatest TV and audio tech, and as is often the case at these things, some of the coolest stuff I saw was conceptual rather than a product you can actually buy. But some are more conceptual than others, and unlike Panasonic's clever wireless OLED TV, Toshiba made an OLED TV prototype that I think is not just a phenomenal design, but could practically be released in the future – and if it did, I'd find it completely irresistible.

There's nothing technologically ground-breaking in here – it's all about the look and the overall approach to making a TV. And the fact that the whole thing appears to be deeply inspired by Dieter Rams' legendary designs for Braun.

So many of the best OLED TVs (and TVs generally) today are obsessed with their designs being slim, or being unobtrusive, or both. But the electronics needed to power a TV are chunky, so there tend to be all sorts of shenanigans put in place to hide thick parts of the TV, or to design them as super-thin in some areas and then apologetically thick in other parts.

What I love about the Toshiba OLED TV's design is that it's thin where it makes sense to be thin, and where it needs to be thick, it's totally unapologetic about it. The thickness in the bottom half is woven right into the overall design – there are two different proportions in balance here.

Toshiba concept OLED TV on demonstration stand

(Image credit: Future)

The thick area and the chin at the front are also covered in aluminium which actually draws attention to them compared to the dark glass screen portion. And on the front, the 'chin' section is all chunky dots with the dial-like circle at the end – the asymmetry is something you basically don't see in TV design today.

And the legs are key to the whole thing looking so good too – the dual-arm design is both simpler (in that it's just tubes of metal) and more complex (in that the result is more ornate) than other TV stands.

Toshiba concept OLED TV on demonstration stand

(Image credit: Future)

The whole thing basically looks like a careful mash-up between something like the LG C2, the Braun LE1 speaker, and the Braun T3 radio – the latter of which is widely considered to be a heavy inspiration for the iPod, and therefore had a massive effect on technology design for years past its own existence.

If you removed the top thin part of the screen, the resemblance to the LE1 speaker would be near-complete – except the offset dotted drill and circle combo on the chin is pure T3 radio.

Braun T3 radio on left, Braun LE1 speaker on right

(Image credit: PeterAjtony CC4.0 / René Spitz CC1.0)

With mid-century home design such a big thing at the moment, stretching from furniture to the look and colors of kitchen appliances, it only seems natural that tech should follow if it wants to fit in with our homes.

Toshiba's OLED design isn't made to be hidden in a corner as if you don't want people to realise you have a TV at all – it's made to stand proudly between a nice Danish armchair and some vases. I wish more TVs would do the same, though at least LG has started pushing in this direction with its new LG Posé OLED idea, and the LG Objet TVs.

As far as TVs that you can buy that Toshiba announced, its new cheap QLED range looks like a real winner based on our brief time with it so far… but the design isn't quite the same.

Matt Bolton
Managing Editor, Entertainment

Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Entertainment, meaning he's in charge of persuading our team of writers and reviewers to watch the latest TV shows and movies on gorgeous TVs and listen to fantastic speakers and headphones. It's a tough task, as you can imagine. Matt has over a decade of experience in tech publishing, and previously ran the TV & audio coverage for our colleagues at T3.com, and before that he edited T3 magazine. During his career, he's also contributed to places as varied as Creative Bloq, PC Gamer, PetsRadar, MacLife, and Edge. TV and movie nerdism is his speciality, and he goes to the cinema three times a week. He's always happy to explain the virtues of Dolby Vision over a drink, but he might need to use props, like he's explaining the offside rule.