In the increasingly design-savvy world of home entertainment technology, the humble television receiver box can be easily overlooked. Hardly surprising that manufacturers would rather spend their time refining the big-ticket items, but annoying for consumers forced to endure the ugly and cumbersome (but essential) bit of gear in their otherwise immaculate living rooms.

Le Cube

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French pay-TV broadcaster CANAL+ might be about to change all that, offering a sleek, functional and, dare we say it, attractive alternative that you won’t need to hide in a cupboard. But Le Cube, created by San Francisco-based industrial designer Yves Béhar and his team at Fuseproject, isn’t just an exercise in empty aesthetics.
The web-connected unit incorporates a backlit LCD graphic area able to transmit information, display programming, or organize a recording with the TV switched off – a mini command centre and a functional step beyond the competition. The screen flips vertically and horizontally, thanks to an in-built gyroscopic sensor, so the cube can be positioned either way, and the device is easily refurbished for multiple use. A welcome upgrade to a tired technology and a good reason, in France, to start loving Channel 4.