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B&O Unveils Its 1st 3D Plasma TVs

5/23/2011 12:01:00 AM Eastern

NEW YORK – High-end Danish A/V systems
manufacturer Bang & Olufsen (B&O)
has just debuted its first 3D-capable Full
HD plasma TV system — the $85,000
suggested retail Beovision 4-85.

Like the preceding 103-inch Beovision
4-103 that has been on the market for a
couple of years, the 85-inch Beovision
4-85 uses a plasma panel sourced from
Panasonic and driven by B&O video processing
extras to produce very high-end
image quality in both 2D and 3D.

The set, which is available in the United
States through 51 B&O showrooms and
from the B&O website, is designed for
custom installations, which B&O accommodates
with a nationwide network of
trained installers.

Each Beovision 4-85 is built to order
and ships approximately five weeks from
the time the order is placed.

The system includes a motorized floor stand that
slowly and quietly lifts the screen from its low-riding
“off” position to the optimal preset viewing level, and
tilts the screen left-to-right and forward and back to
accommodate any seating position.

To ensure the picture quality is always in synch with
the surrounding environment, a motorized meter drops down in front of the screen to measure light from a
gray scale chart automatically every 100 hours to adjust
for optimal color performance.

When it ships in June, the system package will include
the 85-inch plasma screen, floor stand, central
processing unit, a BeoVision 10 center channel
speaker mounted in the stand and a specially designed
remote control.

Active-shutter 3D glasses needed for the 3D effect
have been optimized for the B&O 4 and sell for $145 a
pair. The glasses are produced for B&O by Xpand3D
and use a proprietary IR code to synch to the display.

The stand and TV bezel are available in a choice of
colors including black, silver, gold and gray, to coordinate
with almost any room décor.

The complete system with display, stand, speaker
etc. is said to weigh 1,052 pounds, and the panel requires
220 volt electrical current, underscoring the
need for B&O custom installation services, the company
said.

“You won’t find televisions of this size in traditional
retail, simply because they are not equipped to handle
it,” said Zean Nielsen, B&O America president, adding
a delivery requires three piano movers just to get
the set in the home without damaging it.

Explaining why B&O decided to go with 3D at this
time, Zean Nielsen said “if we are going to launch a
television it needs to be truly unique, and we believe
that 3D experiences need to be big, enveloping and
engulfing. So, having a 3D television measuring 32
inches makes no sense to us. It has to be big. We
didn’t feel the raw materials, the screen and actually
3D content were ready for us to jump in, until now.”

He added that the company recently opened showrooms
in markets with bigger homes that can accommodate
the larger screen sizes, optimizing the timing
to entry.

The company said that at the same time the Beovision
4-85 starts shipping it will upgrade the preceding
Beovision 4-103 version with the latest Panasonic
NeoPDP panel and the same 3DTV capability. That
model will keep the same $112,000 suggested retail
price with the improvements, the company said.

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