C SEED: The perfect TV for a baron or a Bond villain

Tech^2 started the week with an incredibly tiny projector, now we’ll finish with an incredibly huge—and unprecedentedly indulgent—TV set.

What’s fascinating about the C SEED TV is not that it’s billed as the world’s largest outdoor TV set. It’s the way-over-the-top physical design, which would do any James Bond villain proud. The concept and industrial design are a joint effort of C SEED and Porsche Design Group.

All you see at first is a motorized hatch that looks like it was swiped from an Arleigh Burke-class missile destroyer. The panels rise and move aside, and a rectangular metal column rises from underground. Just when you’re thinking maybe this thing’s going to vaporize you with a laser beam, the seven segments of the video display section unfold, accordion-style, and snap into a flat, 201-inch display.

OK, stop here and just watch the video. I lack the talent to describe this product adequately.

Like outdoor billboards and the large video displays at ballparks, the C SEED TV delivers a bright picture even in full sunlight, using pixels made of individual, super-bright LEDs. C SEED claims 5,000 nits brightness, which equals 1,459 footlamberts—or 44 times as bright as the Panasonic ST60 plasma Geoff Morrison just reviewed.

The height and viewing angle of the display are adjustable. At a touch to its 2.4 GHz radio-frequency remote, you can raise the screen up to 15 feet high and rotate it over a 270-degree range.

I found out about C SEED from California Audio Technology (CAT) president Brian Barr, whom I bumped into at CE Week NY. What was a guy who specializes in six- and seven-figure audio systems doing at a show devoted largely to Bluetooth speakers and headphones? Turns out CAT is designing a new audio system for the C SEED display, with six speakers along the bottom edge of the unit, and three 10-inch subwoofers built into the base.

You can’t just go dropping this monster into any old suburban backyard, though. In order to keep everything water-tight for an in-ground installation, it requires a hole about 6 feet in diameter and 18 feet deep. C SEED marketing manager Linnea Nilsson told me that the TV can be installed even in places with ground water problems or extreme heat or cold conditions.

You might have figured by now that this is one of those, “If you have to ask, you can’t afford it” products, but I know you’re curious, and I know you’ll feel tacky for asking, so I’ll just tell you: about $700K plus installation.

According to Nilsson, several U.S. installations of C SEED are now in the planning phase, with the first scheduled for completion in September in Los Angeles.