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B&O Adds 1st 3D Plasma Systems

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

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

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

“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

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.