New York - Those lucky enough to be floating atop the hardship that the crippled economy is bringing to more mainstream homes, may delight in the news that high-end Danish A/V systems manufacturer Bang & Olufsen (
) has just introduced 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 the 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 dÃ©cor.
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.
The company also announced that it has co-developed with Aston Martin in-car 3D audio systems for select Aston Martin automobiles. The systems use multi-speaker arrays with the number of speakers determined by specific car models.
In Aston Martin Rapide models, for example, a 15-active-speaker array is tailored to the interior of the car, offering total amplifier power of more than 1,000 watts. All the speakers are mounted in closed cabinets to optimize the sound and prevent it from escaping the car. The systems use ICEpower technology, which B&O calls a fusion of high output power and hi-fi sound quality with ultra-compact design and low power consumption.
The motorized tweeter units include automatically operated ALT (Acoustic Lens Technology), with 180 degree horizontal dispersion of high frequency sounds for improved special staging and realism regardless of the listening position in the car.
The sound systems are offered standard in the Aston Martin Rapide and DBS models.
The Aston Marton V-8 Vantage S models make a 13-speaker B&O/Aston Martin audio system available as an option.