New York - High-end Danish home-theater systems manufacturer Bang & Olufsen staged a press
conference in an art museum here Thursday to kick off the U.S. launch of a pair
of LCD TV systems in its high-styling BeoVision line.
In keeping with the modern art surroundings -- including Dom
Perignon champagne and an Aston Martin automobile to create that high-end
atmosphere -- B&O unveiled the BeoVision 10, which is a 40-inch edge-lit
LED LCD TV with the slimmest panel depth in the company's assortment. Resolution
is FullHD 1080p with a 240Hz refresh rate and B&O's proprietary
Capitalizing on that form factor, the company designed a special
mount and coordinating large cloth-covered speaker grille under the screen,
enabling the system to blend in with other artwork on a wall.
In fact, B&O has developed an in-store display for its
dealerships including additional artwork to play up the theme.
The design features a black glass square framed by a polished-aluminum
frame, which is angled and curved. The wall bracket allows the screen to swing at
an angle up to 45 degrees for viewing from different locations in the room.
The company will also offer a optional motorized stand that
enables the screen to be tilted forward and back for the optimal viewing
The BeoVision 10 has high-quality speakers and amplifiers built
into the cabinet, including a custom-made trumpet-shaped bass port that is said
to eliminate turbulent noise.
The removable cloth speaker grilles will be offered in a choice
of colors, including black, white, silver, dark gray, blue and orange. Pricing
for the BeoVision 10 varies by options. When it ships in the May to June time
frame, the base suggested retail for the TV will be $6,248, ranging to $7,675
for a showroom package including the TV, wall bracket, Beo4 remote and upgraded
The system includes built-in two-way speakers with center bass
reflex system, and 5.1-channel surround is supported with additional speakers
The company plans to add a 46-inch version of the system later in
The company also unveiled a 55-inch version of its BeoVision 7
FullHD 1080p, 120Hz, full -rray LED LCD TV home entertainment system.
Previously available in a 40-inch version, the new 55-inch BeoVision 7 features
the largest LCD screen size to date from the company. Previously, the company
had used only plasma displays for its largest screen sizes, citing the
technology's superior picture performance attributes.
North American product manager Dave Zapfel explained that with
the full-array LED system, which includes local dimming technology, the picture
quality of LCD had reached a point of acceptability for screen sizes up to 55
inches, in B&O's mind.
However, the company will continue to sell plasma products,
including its BeoVision 103-inch monster.
The BeoVision 7 uses 96-different quadrants of LEDs across the
back plane of the Samsung-made panel. Although the set uses a 120Hz refresh
rate, Zapfel said the LED system and B&O's VisionClear picture processing
technology creates motion images that look like 240Hz images.
The BeoVision 7 system will include B&O's new Adaptive Sound
Technology (AST), which Zapfel said was designed to create the perfect sound
for surround systems set up in an imperfect world.
The technology was described as a software solution to a hardware
problem, using an acoustic balancing principal to correct for unbalanced
surround-sound speaker placements. Used with a minimum of four speakers, the
AST will reposition the center sound stage around the room for optimal
listening from a variety of locations.
Zean Nielsen, B&O North America president, said the AST system
is an example of B&O's ongoing mantra that "technology should be the
servant of man, and not the other way around."
In addition, the BeoVision 7 features a built-in Blu-ray Disc player
that offers a strategically located prismatic spotlight that enables loading a
disc without turning on the room lights.
Suggested retail for the BeoVision 7 55-inch setup is $18,700,
including the TV, stand and center speaker bar.
company also announced that it will offer a free iPhone app through the Apple
store that will turn the phone into a remote control for its B&O systems.
The app will be available March 31 and will control B&O systems as well as
the company's MasterLink Gateway, which allows a Wi-Fi connection from the
iPhone into the B&O system.