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B&O Readies TV, Audio Launches


Bang & Olufsen expanded its 3DTV selection
to five models at CES, where it is also launched
its first flat on-wall speakers and a CD-ripping device for
its hard-drive-based BeoSound 5 music system.

Other introductions included 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 launched 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 2.52 inches thick, 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 the company’s
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 4×80-watt and 1×40-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 onwall
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, and
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 2×160-
watt amp, a 2-inch aluminum-cone
midrange driven by an 80-watt
amp, and a 0.75-inch coatedfabric
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.