Beyond the Black Box
Conventional wisdom dictates that there are good reasons why A/V design is so homogeneous. Living with a chartreuse CD player and a fuchsia receiver doesn't exactly make for a calming home environment. If a manufacturer decides to add a hump to a DVD or CD player just to be shocking, as TeraOptix did with its Terapin CD audio/ video recorder, you won't be able to stack anything on top of it. Rather than calling attention to themselves, home-entertainment components are supposed to blend in and be interchangeable. Purposely muted in appearance, A/V equipment is meant to deliver the colors and excitement of the programs you watch or listen to - not be part of the entertainment.
Still, not everything has to sit unobtrusively on a shelf, and some manufacturers have made attempts to be different. Bang & Olufsen and, more recently, Nakamichi are notable for bringing flair to their hang-on-the-wall CD players. JVC has a champagne-colored editing VCR. Daewoo and Samsung came out with blueberry, lime, and strawberry VCRs made with translucent Lucite after Apple proved a computer doesn't have to be beige to be appealing. Recently, 3Com began selling Audrey, an Internet appliance, in such exotic colors as "Ocean" (blue), "Sunshine" (yellow), and "Meadow" (green) - for $50 more than its $499 "Linen" (white) model.