HolidayBuyer's Guide

A range hood? Or just a lot of hot air?

Is a combination range hood and LCD monitor really a good idea?

You know how it is. You spend all this time in the kitchen cooking. Still, you desperately want to keep up-to-date on your soaps, so you really do need a television in the kitchen, but counter space is at such a premium. What's a chef supposed to do?

Sometimes an appliance just tries too hard.Photo by ILVE

According to the good folks at ILVE, you should replace your ordinary range hood with "the most advanced kitchen rangehood on the market"--the VELA, which comes with a built-in LCD TV screen.

According to ILVE, this is the "ultimate indulgence." And I want to believe, but I'm just not feeling the love. First of all, most of us don't have kitchens the size of showrooms, so you're not getting the distance necessary to make this a comfortable viewing angle.

Second of all, when you look more closely at the specs for the VELA, you notice that it has a 10-inch flat LCD monitor with a remote control, an RCA cable outlet, and DVD input. In other words, you've got a monitor, and how you get it to display content is really your problem. I'm picturing cords draped festively across the kitchen, and it's really killing the whole "space age" look the company's going for.

The actual hood part of the appliance is made from stainless steel and has touch-screen controls, a filter light indicator, and a washable grease filter. If you're in Australia, you can check it out at your local ILVE showroom.

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