Loewe Reference ID flagship TV sees UK launch, bespoke customisation an option
Loewe first unveiled the Reference ID flagship television at IFA 2012 in September, but it has now seen an official launch in the UK, with sets being available from July 2013.
This being Loewe, however, this is no ordinary TV. Everything is about quality of design and manufacture, as well, of course, as picture and sound quality.
The Reference ID will be available in three sizes, 40, 46 and 55-inches, which - wait for it - will cost £4,500, £5,500 and £6,500 respectively.
In terms of picture quality you get a 400Hz Full HD 3D panel with LED backlighting, finished with an anti-reflective coating and a contrast system that will detect the ambient lighting and adjust the picture accordingly. From what we saw at the UK launch, the picture looks good, but we'd need longer with it to really judge the outright quality.
There's a large built-in speaker beneath the display that's one of the distinctive design features of the Reference ID, with 160 watts of power. There's an integrated multi-channel decoder and Dolby Digital, as well as plenty of options to expand the sound system.
There's a Subwoofer Highline, as well as external speakers, designed to match the television, so you can easily convert this into whatever configuration you want, be that 3.1 or 7.1 surround, with the built-in speaker becoming the centre speaker.
There are piezo touch-sensitive controls integrated along the top of the set: fine if you have it floor-standing with one of the additional stand options, but there's always the chance you'll be wall-mounting this beast, in which case you'll be using the remote to navigate the intuitive user interface.
You get the normal tuner options, as well as an integrated 1TB internal hard drive, plus the option to stream content from one TV to another over your network.
But much of what the Reference ID is about is the design. Manufactured in Germany, it uses premium materials to give you a television that's not finished in flimsy plastics, but is altogether more solid.
The Reference ID is actually rolling out in three stages. The initial launch, aimed at July 2013, will see the aluminium-framed set coming with a choice of four speaker cover designs.
Following in Q3 2013 a further range of personalisation options will be available, adding a new range of frames and speaker covers - meaning you'll be able, for example, to match the frame of your TV to the décor of your house.
Finally, in Q4 2013, Loewe will introduce full bespoke tailoring for the Reference ID, so you'll be able to specify the design exactly. You'll be able to incorporate the materials you want, as well as any design or motifs, so that the Reference ID is completely individual.
This final option won't come cheap. The Reference ID set pictured here is for Fazioli, an Italian piano company. As you can see, it has custom leather motif on the speakers and bespoke finishes to the frame, rear and stand, for a completely unique showpiece television.
Loewe doesn't have a fixed price on the full customisation option, because it obviously depends on the materials you specify and the work needed. There was a brief utterance of £30,000 from a Loewe staffer, but if you're looking to get your family crest on your TV, then you can expect to pay a hefty sum for it.