B&O Readies TV, Audio Launches


Las Vegas - Bang & Olufsen is expanding its 3D TV selection to five models here at CES, where it is also launching its first flat on-wall speakers and a CD-ripping device for its hard-drive-based BeoSound 5 music system.

Other introductions include an Internet radio app that can be used with an iPod Touch, iPhone or iPad docked in the company's $999 BeoSound 8 docking speaker.

In TV, the company is launching the $19,749 65-inch BeoVision 12-65, an active-shutter 3D plasma TV that joins another 3D plasma model and the BeoVision 7-55 LED LCD TV, a spokesperson said. The new model is only 6.4cm thick (2.52 inches), and the TV appears to be even thinner because of its cosmetic design, the company said.

The TV's frame is only a few millimeters wide to give "the impression of one uninterrupted glass surface with no visible joints," the company added.

The TV uses a slim NeoPDP display panel, said to use phosphors with a very short retention time to improve 3D performance as well as 2D motion performance.

The BeoVision 12-65 will be available in B&O-branded stores at the end of February only in a wall-mountable version. The wall bracket is partly integrated into the rear cabinet to maintain a thin profile.

Like other B&O TVs, the BeoVision 12-65 uses an Automatic Color Management system to compensate for the effects of age on plasma panels' color performance.

The TV's Automatic Picture Control uses a light sensor to pick up a room's ambient lighting conditions, enabling automatic adjustment of the screen's brightness for optimum performance in light or dark rooms.

The integrated speaker, which doubles as a center channel in a 5.1- or 7.1-channel surround-sound system, consists of four midrange drivers and a tweeter driven by a 4x80-watt and 1x40-watt ICEpower amp, respectively. The speaker system is matched to the company's amplified speakers to create a multispeaker surround system when used with the TV's included surround-decoding module.

The speaker, which is below the screen, uses DSP to raise the height of the sound to mid-screen level.

The TV can be used with the company's first flat on-wall speakers, the $4,684/pair BeoLab 12, an active triamplified speaker due in stores at the end of January with included wall bracket.

The 37.2 inch by 8.66 inch by 4.33 inch aluminum-finish speaker features a sculpted shape three embedded ICEpower Class D amplifiers delivering a total of 480 watts. Frequency response is rated at 45Hz-to 10kHz. Each speaker features two 6.5-inch bass drivers driven by a 2x160-watt amp, a 2-inch aluminum-cone midrange driven by an 80-watt amp, and a 0.75-inch coated-fabric dome tweeter driven by an 80-watt amp. The tweeter uses Acoustic Lens Technology to disperse high-frequency sounds in a 180-degree pattern to widen the sweet spot.

A three-position switch adjusts speaker response according to speaker-mounting location.

For its existing $3,500 BeoSound 5 hard-drive music system with Internet radio, the company is launching a companion $370 CD ripper that attaches to the back of the system's book-size controller/display unit, which features 10.4-inch color LCD screen. The combination can be wall-mounted or placed on a table-top or floor stand.

Previously, BeoSound 5 owners had to rip discs on a networked PC for transfer to the BeoSound 5's hard drive, or they went through a B&O store to contract with a CD ripping service.

With the ripper, users insert a CD, and the device automatically rips all tracks and adds cover art and metadata. If metadata information isn't available, consumers can manually add it via networked PC. The device, in stores at the end of January, rips CDs into WMA Lossless.

Two other new products include the BeoPlayer Internet radio app for mobile Apple devices. A free "light" version accesses a select number of stations, but the $15.99 version accesses 13,000 stations. All stations can be played back through headphones or the company's docking speaker system. It's available at the end of the month.

The other product is a firmware upgrade to the company's one-way RF Beo6 remote to enable two-way communication with the BeoSound 5 music system. The remote's color screen will display song, artist and album information and album art streamed in real time from the music system's hard drive, letting users select songs for playback from anywhere in the house.

BeoSound 5 music systems already in consumers' homes have received a free update through their home network to enable two-way communication. To update the Beo6 remote, consumers must take the remote to a B&O dealer. Pricing of the remote's firmware update was unavailable.

The remote also controls other B&O systems, but only the BeoSound5 is capable of two-way communications with the remote.


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