B&O Ultra HDTV Has All The Right Moves

Bang & Olufsen, the Danish firm best known for the high performance and high-tech industrial design of its audio and video gear, has introduced a unique, motorized HDTV.

In what amounts to a wow-inducing visual treat, the show on the new BeoVision Avant starts well before you begin watching TV. Pressing the power button on the set’s one-piece, milled aluminum remote control causes the stand-mounted, 55-inch Avant to begin shifting. As the base spins slowly and deliberately to position the mounting post out and away from the wall, the post itself swivels to point the screen in whatever position the user has programmed in, presumably one that faces off-center seating, or perhaps temporarily toward a connected kitchen area in a dual-purpose family room. Up to nine different positions can be memorized.

But there’s more. While all this is happening, the screen image is revealed as black virtual “curtains” slide open from the center of the screen, and the front speaker array, invisible while the set is off, drops down from the bottom and then mechanically expands toward the edges of the TV. It’s all very sci-fi/Hollywood.

And making it happen was no simple task, B&O execs say. There are 160 moving parts in the set, and a few tricks to insure that all the uber-smooth motion occurs with solid surety—not too fast, not too slow. And not only with the pedestal floor stand, but with an alternate motorized tabletop stand that elevates and lowers the set (sorry, no lateral swiveling), and a motorized wall mount that swings the TV away from the wall and points it in any direction.

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A cutaway of a floor stand prototype shows the various gears and motors required to both rotate and spin the TV simultaneously.

B&O execs say the set and its mounts have been under development for more than two years—the fulfillment of a philosophy that says a TV need not be hidden but, rather, should be beautified to allow it to live in plain sight while better meeting the lifestyle and interior design sensibilities of customers.

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No detail has been overlooked—even the back of the Avant is made to look pretty, or at least, not offensive, when it swivels into view. The clever construction offers no visible screws or venting, and uses aluminum and plastic panels to cover the rear of the TV and connection area. Those wires which, by necessity, must make their way to the TV, are carefully and aesthetically loomed to give the most finished look possible.

Sound All Around
As with it’s more recent BeoVision HDTV models, B&O has integrated a full 7.1-channel surround processor into the Avant. Following the introduction of B&O's WiSA-compliant wireless speakers late last year, its HDTVs include the required high-resolution transmitter to send up to 8 channels of 96 kHz/24-bit sound to speakers around the room, which could now include the new Beolab 17 ($3,990/ pair) or Beolab 18 ($6,590/pair, $7,980 with oak lamella grille) full range speakers and the Beolab 19 subwoofer ($3,395). Wired preamp-level outputs to feed user-supplied outboard amps are also available, with the end result that up to 21-speakers can be fed from the TV to accommodate up to nine different seating areas or even remote rooms; any speaker may be assigned any channel.

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COMMENTS
Michael in Dallas's picture

I'm sorry, but all that trouble for something so stupid. B&O is so pretentious and silly these days with design for the rich and stupid who like an expensive gimmick.

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