First 17" under cabinet SMART TV offering a digital TV tuner and also running Android with a huge library of downloadable apps.
Help us to complete the development of a brand new under cabinet TV
What is an under cabinet TV?
An Under Cabinet Kitchen TV is specifically designed for use in the kitchen. It mounts underneath a wall cabinet or shelf with a screen that folds down and rotates to be viewed from various locations in the kitchen. It tends to be a similar size to a DVD player with the addition of an LED fold down screen. The principle is that is does not take up valuable worktop space and ensures a clutter free work surface.
The Under Cabinet Kitchen TV still offers the best practical solution for the small to medium sized kitchen. The kitchen is different from other rooms where you may have a TV. You move around the kitchen and work and eat in different areas and being able to move the screen easily is a great feature.
We have sold Under Cabinet Kitchen TVs since 2004 and they have been extremely popular. Up until now we have purchased the TVs from manufacturers and sold those. We have sold lots of them but in the last couple of years we have experienced difficulties. The problem we have are the limited number of Under Cabinet Kitchen TVs available are less popular than they were as the TVs have become outdated. The manufacturers of those TVs have not moved forward in terms of design and have not improved the product in terms of features. For example, the screen size has not been increased and is not large enough anymore.
The Under Cabinet TV is a niche product that large electronics manufacturers do not invest in but we know that, although it is a niche product, it still sells in large volumes – just not the volumes that the massive manufacturers need from a product. We know the market for the Under Cabinet Kitchen TV and we know it will continue to do very well if it is moved on in design and features.
Because we currently purchase the existing Under Cabinet TVs from manufacturers we have no control in the styling and screen sizes. We really do know our market and customers and we know what they want and what the features the TVs should have. We are constantly contacted by prospective customers to see if we have any new, better models with larger screens. Some of those customers are trade customers that would order many hundreds from us. It is so frustrating not having the product to sell to them. That is why we have decided to develop our own TV and we can produce a product that the customer wants. The existing Under Cabinet TV is only available with small screen sizes – typically 10.2” – and we know a larger screen is wanted.
Our Under Cabinet TV will address the styling issues. We have researched what will suit the modern kitchen and what will fit in with existing appliances.
The screen will be larger – 17” and additionally it will be a SMART TV!
The look of fitted kitchens and all the appliances is extremely important – it’s not just about functionality in a kitchen. All other appliances, such as ovens and hobs, that you will find built in to the kitchen are stylish and complement the kitchen. Why should the TV be any different?
We wanted to produce a new Under Cabinet SMART Kitchen TV which will offer not just style, but a great deal of functionality.
In order for this new product to tick all the boxes we needed to address the following:-
Style – to blend in and match the styling of other built in kitchen appliances such as ovens and microwaves. It should be of a slim appearance and to be far more integrated than any of the Kitchen TV’s currently available.
Quality – we want our TV to be a luxury, quality product. It is necessary for the components such as remote controls, keyboards and speakers to be high quality.
Screen Size – Our screen will be 17”.You may ask why 17”? Why not a larger screen? The simple answer is a larger screen won’t fit! The principle of the Under Cabinet TV is the fold down screen and there is only so much room between the wall cabinet and the work surface.
Functionality – the TV needs to offer digital TV, digital radio, external media support and internet browsing. With internet browsing the user has the ability to download any of the thousands of android apps available on the market.
Expandability – to be able to add on extra components. These would include external speakers which music lovers could add for an even better sound experience. These would be in addition to the internal speakers within the TV.
Control of the TV – have ability to control the TV through the supplied remote control and keyboard, or through iPhones, iPads and Android devices. The TV will even give people the ability to stream music from their hand held device through the Kitchen TV.
Who are we?
Coolvision is a small but innovative company specialising in discreet audio visual products. What we mean by discreet audio visual products is products that mount under wall cabinets and shelves, that fold away, or are hidden behind glass and mirror. We like to supply innovative products and our products particularly appeal to the ‘built-in’ furniture designers and interior designers. The company was established in 2004 and our first product was an Under Cabinet Kitchen TV, which took the market by storm and we quickly became the leading supplier in the UK. We are therefore looking to launch our own brand new 17" SMART under cabinet TV under our new brand name of eidola.
A word from our Managing Director
Our target market for the product
Our first Under Cabinet SMART Kitchen TV will be for the European Market but if the demand dictated we could produce a TV for the US market.
The product will be sold through:-
Kitchen Retailers who install into new fitted kitchens. We have many existing customers and are always establishing new customers.
A selective group of internet based electrical sellers who will cater for retro fit.
What we have done?
Identified a requirement.
Drawing from our own experience in being the leading supplier of Under Cabinet TVs in the UK for the last 8 years and talking to our customers we have been able to identify the need for a new TV and the features of the TV.
Drawn up the specification.
The TV is a larger size – it has a 17” screen.
The styling will complement the range of built-in appliances produced for the kitchen.
The functionality meets customer demands. It features digital TV and digital Radio and Internet Browsing, connectivity with other devices, superior sound quality and offers expandability to take advantage of the many Android applications available on the market.
Done the design work on the casing.
The casing had to be of a slim design.
The width of the casing is 400mm.Wall Cabinet width sizes range from 400mm and increase in increments of 100mm.Therefore the positioning when fitting the TV under the cabinet is easy to calculate and gives it a more symmetrical look.
Depth of the TV casing has been determined so it will fit under the smallest cabinet depth available of 300mm cabinet and obviously easily under any larger cabinet size.
An area that we have experienced difficulty with in the past has been the depth of the casing in addition to a space for cable connections at the back making the TV too large to fit neatly under a 300mm wall cabinet. Cable connections such as power supply and aerials insert into the back of the TV unit and there needs to be a space. We have designed the casing to allow for cable management. It has a recessed area centrally at the back to allow for multiple cable connections. Because it is recessed it is not visible from the side.
Identified the material for the unit casing.
We looked at several options for the materials and production method of the unit casing. The possible options were Plastic Injection Moulding, Vacuum Casting, CNC Machining and SLA.CNC Machining and SLA are processes mainly used for prototyping, therefore would not be used for volume production. That left Plastic Injection Moulding and Vacuum Casting. Plastic Injection Moulding has an extremely high investment cost to produce the one-off mould but then a low unit production cost. The investment required can be in the region of £100,000! A mould produced in this way would be used to create many thousands of units. A major disadvantage of this method is that it does not allow for any future adjustments in the product. We do not want to incur such high costs or have this inflexibility and so this method is not the option for our product.
Vacuum Casting is a much cheaper option for producing a mould but with a higher unit production cost. We would be comfortable with the investment costs for this moulding method. and importantly it gives us the option of ‘tweaking’ the design in the future. We can be sensible with the initial outlay and factor in the individual unit production costs in the pricing of the TV. We have made the decision that Vacuum Casting process is the right process for this product.
Designed the bracket that connects the screen to the unit casing.
We have been fortunate to work in conjunction with the Department of Engineering Design of a major UK University to design a new bracket. We wanted a bracket which allowed the screen to fold down and rotate whilst taking the minimum amount of space in order to keep the screen housing as slim and as attractive as possible. The bracket is of a all metal construction which makes it highly durable for constant, repetition use. The bracket has been designed and tested and does a great job.
The screen we have selected is a 17” LED backlit HD screen with a resolution of 1366 x 1768 and a 16:9 format.
During the development stage we have used 2 standard motherboards sourced from the Far East. One was an Android with DVB-T tuner and the other was a Video board and we linked these 2 motherboards with a couple of Audio Video cables to give us LVDS output to drive the screen.
We want to develop our own motherboard. We want a single motherboard solution built to our specification which will not need internal link cables.
The first priority is to create a Geber file for the motherboard.
We have selected a company that specialises to PCBA to manufacturer the Motherboard for us.
We also need to develop the user interface further.
A prototype has been produced and tested. We have tested the functionality of the case, screen bracket and electronics. Once we have created a new motherboard it will be retested.
What are we working on now and what do we need to do?
We need to create a Geber file.
We need to complete the design of a motherboard.
We need to develop and improve the user interface.
Working with the Design Council
We are excited to have the involvement of The Design Council in our new product. The Design Council’s mission is to champion the standard of design. The Design Council was established in 1944 and is the UK Government’s advisor on design and sets the benchmark for promoting design nationwide.
We are now well underway to producing a truly striking product which will complement any new kitchen.
Our Under Cabinet Kitchen TV is British designed!!
What will we use the money for?
The money will be used to develop the design of the motherboard and the production of the Geber file. There is a cost for the first batch of motherboard testing and evaluation.
We will produce the first batch of vacuum cast cases and fold down brackets and again there is a cost of the testing and evaluation.
The money will also enable us to develop and improve the user interface.
Finally, and vitally, the cost of completing the safety testing of the product and to ensure it complies with EU regulations for small electrical appliances and the subsequent certification obtained.
Final part of any new electronics product is to obtain all the necessary testing and safety certification. Testing will therefore be carried out to comply with all EEC regulations as necessary to put a thoroughly tested safe product onto the market.
Meet the team
Dave Spicer - DipM
David Littlefair BA(Hons) – Product Designer
Tom Abram - Senior Project Engineer
Gary Moorcroft BA – Software Developer
Ed Curwen – Technical Consultant
Dr Dongjie Xu – Software Developer/Flash Developer
James Edward Thomas BA – Project Engineer
The eidola T-Shirt
Available in Black in Small/Medium/Large or Extra LargeThe Under Cabinet DAB Kitchen RadioA great Under Cabinet DAB Radio with a host of features:-* 20 DAB + 20 FM Pre-sets* Automatic or Manual search* Electronic Volume Control* Brushed Aluminium front* Cooking Timer 1 min to 23 hours* Duel Alarm* Built In Calendar* 12 or 24 hour display The Android Media Station
7” Android Media Station-a revolutionary smart speaker, a 7" tablet PC. It is an innovative portable speaker embedded with a multi-touch screen that features an Android platform. With built-in WiFi for uninterrupted streaming of music and videos from most popular apps, it will bring you all your entertainment at your fingertips without relying on other devices.
Designed with performance and convenience in mind, the all-in-one design of maximizes both volume and audio quality in a compact design. A simple out-of-the-box set-up, similar to that of a smart phone or tablet, allows you to start enjoying content quickly and easily.
The 17" Under Cabinet SMART Kitchen TV
Risks and Challenges
We are closing on the final design of the case but we now need to concentrate on the final design and production of the electronics. One of our biggest challenges is to meet our own tight production schedule, when using other companies to produce components we run the risk of a supplier failing either on quality or timescale. We minimised this risk by ensuring we always have more than 1 supplier for each component. We will also carry stocks of all components to ensure we have at least 2 months of buffer stock.
All the companies we have identified meet our stringent quality standards and they are reputable companies that are well established in their area and have accreditation such as ISO9001.
Once this is completed we then need to market the product. We know the UK market pretty well but another challenge will be to also hit the larger European and US market. You guys could therefore also help in providing any contacts or suggestion of contacts in the Kitchen Industry in Europe.