B&O Unveils BeoVision 10 and 7 LCD TV Systems

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New York - High-end Danish home-theater systems manufacturer

Bang & Olufsen

staged a press conference in an art museum here Thursday to kick off the U.S. launch of a pair of LCD TV systems in its high-styling BeoVision line.

In keeping with the modern art surroundings -- including Dom Perignon champagne and an Aston Martin automobile to create that high-end atmosphere -- B&O unveiled the BeoVision 10, which is a 40-inch edge-lit LED LCD TV with the slimmest panel depth in the company's assortment. Resolution is FullHD 1080p with a 240Hz refresh rate and B&O's proprietary film-judder-reduction technology.

Capitalizing on that form factor, the company designed a special mount and coordinating large cloth-covered speaker grille under the screen, enabling the system to blend in with other artwork on a wall.

In fact, B&O has developed an in-store display for its dealerships including additional artwork to play up the theme.

The design features a black glass square framed by a polished-aluminum frame, which is angled and curved. The wall bracket allows the screen to swing at an angle up to 45 degrees for viewing from different locations in the room.

The company will also offer a optional motorized stand that enables the screen to be tilted forward and back for the optimal viewing position.

The BeoVision 10 has high-quality speakers and amplifiers built into the cabinet, including a custom-made trumpet-shaped bass port that is said to eliminate turbulent noise.

The removable cloth speaker grilles will be offered in a choice of colors, including black, white, silver, dark gray, blue and orange. Pricing for the BeoVision 10 varies by options. When it ships in the May to June time frame, the base suggested retail for the TV will be $6,248, ranging to $7,675 for a showroom package including the TV, wall bracket, Beo4 remote and upgraded anti-reflective screen.

The system includes built-in two-way speakers with center bass reflex system, and 5.1-channel surround is supported with additional speakers connected.

The company plans to add a 46-inch version of the system later in the year.

The company also unveiled a 55-inch version of its BeoVision 7 FullHD 1080p, 120Hz, full -rray LED LCD TV home entertainment system. Previously available in a 40-inch version, the new 55-inch BeoVision 7 features the largest LCD screen size to date from the company. Previously, the company had used only plasma displays for its largest screen sizes, citing the technology's superior picture performance attributes.

North American product manager Dave Zapfel explained that with the full-array LED system, which includes local dimming technology, the picture quality of LCD had reached a point of acceptability for screen sizes up to 55 inches, in B&O's mind.

However, the company will continue to sell plasma products, including its BeoVision 103-inch monster.

The BeoVision 7 uses 96-different quadrants of LEDs across the back plane of the Samsung-made panel. Although the set uses a 120Hz refresh rate, Zapfel said the LED system and B&O's VisionClear picture processing technology creates motion images that look like 240Hz images.

The BeoVision 7 system will include B&O's new Adaptive Sound Technology (AST), which Zapfel said was designed to create the perfect sound for surround systems set up in an imperfect world.

The technology was described as a software solution to a hardware problem, using an acoustic balancing principal to correct for unbalanced surround-sound speaker placements. Used with a minimum of four speakers, the AST will reposition the center sound stage around the room for optimal listening from a variety of locations.

Zean Nielsen, B&O North America president, said the AST system is an example of B&O's ongoing mantra that "technology should be the servant of man, and not the other way around."

In addition, the BeoVision 7 features a built-in Blu-ray Disc player that offers a strategically located prismatic spotlight that enables loading a disc without turning on the room lights.

Suggested retail for the BeoVision 7 55-inch setup is $18,700, including the TV, stand and center speaker bar.

Meanwhile, the company also announced that it will offer a free iPhone app through the Apple store that will turn the phone into a remote control for its B&O systems. The app will be available March 31 and will control B&O systems as well as the company's MasterLink Gateway, which allows a Wi-Fi connection from the iPhone into the B&O system.


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