Designer: Torsten Valeur
Released in May 2014 for the 55” model, on 4 September 2014 for the 85” screened-model and announced at the CES 2015 on 6 January 2015 for the 75″ model, , the all-new version of the BeoVision Avant as designed by Torsten Valeur, the company’s brand new UHD (Ultra-High Definition) SMART TV (or 4K (or 4K TV, Super Hi-Vision, UHDTV, Ultra HDTV or 4320p, to give it its many other names) rotates, slides, extends and even moves towards the viewer wherever they happen to be sitting.
At rest the television looks much like any other modern slim-bezel set, but when switched on active speakers drop from underneath the screen and extend out in one smooth motion horizontally to become a sound-bar mounted to the bottom of the screen.
At the same time the “orbit” stand swivels around, bringing the television closer to the viewer.
The idea is that the TV and all the entertainment technology in the room is as compact and hidden as much as possible in the background when not in use, which extends to the components normally connected to a television like an Apple TV, Sky, Virgin Media or YouView box, or a PlayStation or Blu-ray player.
The set-top boxes can all be hidden away in a cupboard and controlled using the BeoVision Avant’s all-new, sleek aluminium remote: the BeoRemote One which can be pre-programmed to allow full control of many devices. There are other third-party systems that do a very similar thing, like Logitech’s Harmony universal remote system, but the difference is that the TV picks up the controls and transmits them to the Sky box or Apple TV hidden away out of sight.
The motorised Orbit stand allows the BeoVision Avant to adapt and face the person watching the TV. Viewing positions around the room can be programmed into the TV, so if the watcher is on the sofa the TV can rotate to face it, but if viewing TV from the dining table, or the kitchen, the TV can automatically rotate to give the best viewing angle.
Bang & Olufsen’s room adjustments go beyond the TV too, as long as everything else you own is made by B&O. Moving the TV’s orientation will change the pattern of the speakers around the room, for instance, adjusting the left and right channels to always be on the left and right of the screen, even if that means using one of the speakers at the back of the room.
Three personalised buttons on the remote can also automatically adjust the TV, switch channels, media sources and sound levels with one touch.
“There are three buttons on the remote which can control and adjust everything. One for Mum, one for Dad and one for the kids. Everyone can get what they want with one click” said Steve Devonshire, a product training manager for B&O.
While B&O states that its products aren’t about technology, statistics and numbers, the BeoVision Avant is certainly future-proofed and packed with ports, connections and high specifications.
The 55in LCD screen is 4K, with four-times the resolution of current high-definition televisions and local backlight dimming for enhanced contrast – something only high-end televisions currently feature. At the back it has five HDMI slots for connecting everything from games consoles to a Chromecast. It’s smart with upgradable software, something B&O says it is committed to keeping up-to-date, and has built-in video recording functions.
“People change their televisions every six to seven years on average, and we do not know how technology is going to change over that period, so we have put as much technology into the TV as possible to future-proof it, while being able to upgrade the software like adding Spotify and Deezer music services” explained Schmidt.
Powerful, integrated speakers are one the biggest differentiators for the BeoVision Avant over its competition. The television has eight separate speakers which create three channels of sound – centre, left and right – and which B&O call three-channel stereo. The idea is that speech and dialogue is much clearer when projected out of a single speaker in the centre of the screen rather than through both left and right stereo speakers, which results in interference and a muddying of vocals.
The BeoVision Avant goes beyond just built-in speakers and into the domain of multi-channel home theatre, connecting to up to eight more wireless Bang & Olufsen speakers as well as ten additional wired speakers, making a grand total of a 21-speaker surround-sound set-up possible for those with lots of money to spend.
“People are pressed for time, and they want entertainment that just works so they can focus on it – and each other – rather than the technology itself” said Bang & Olufsen’s CEO Tue Mantoni. “We believe the new BeoVision Avant will set the standard for what should be expected from a television in the future”.
In the UK the BeoVision Avant starts at £5,995 for the 55-inch model (without any of the motorised stands included). Given B&O’s usual pricing - the B&O BeoVision 11 launched last year for £5k without 4K - BeoVision Avant’s prices are not that bad (!)
Sales of the all-new BeoVision Avant commenced on 8 May 2014.
BeoVision Avant 55” specifications:
Materials: Aluminium, glass, fabric and plastic
Dimensions (W x H x D): Dimension of TV with speakers in off-mode: 128.26 x 71.94 (IR eye + 1.33 cm) x 9.64 cm
Dimension of TV with speakers in on-mode: 128.26x 79.4 (IR eye + 1.33 cm) x 9.64 cm
Weight: 54.5 kg
Front: Anti-reflection coated front glass, completely flush with black anodised aluminium profile. The hide-away sound panel containing integrated speakers is covered by aluminium and an extendable fabric front. The grill pattern is designed to ensure optimal acoustic transparency for the treble and mid-range units.
Back: Also designed with exceptional attention to detail, the aluminium back of the TV has no visible screws, vents or connectors. Apple TV and an external hard disk drive (HDD) can be integrated easily and invisibly. The connection panel collects all wires and cables in one central location simply and seamlessly.
Placement and stand options
Motorised table stand: Turn on the TV and it calmly rises to the occasion by moving into an upright viewing position, unfolding the sound panel, and drawing back the electronic curtains – all in one coordinated movement – so it’s ready to watch in seconds after gliding into place. The stand is completely concealed inside the TV.
Motorised floor stand: Turn on the TV and it rotates into the optimal viewing angle, up to 90 degrees from the wall, to allow for many different viewing positions when in use, but to hug the wall when not in use. The sound panel descends simultaneously in one coordinated movement. The motorised floor stand integrates two movements: the plate moves the tube and TV out from the wall, while the tube rotates the TV around its own axis, so even this relatively large screen can be turned as much as 90 degrees from the wall and back again. The top of the stand is completely concealed inside the TV.
Motorised wall bracket: Available in left-hinged or right-hinged versions, the motorised wall bracket simultaneously moves the TV out from the wall and turns it to the optimal viewing angle – while the sound panel glides into place – all in one coordinated movement. The motorised bracket is completely concealed inside the TV and turns 60 degrees from the wall.
Fixed wall bracket: Places the TV flush against the wall, in one fixed position.
Sound: components, features and specs
The integrated three-channel speaker solution provides exceptional stereo performance with optimised speech reproduction and enough cultivated bass to satisfy even the most discerning listener. Each of the eight integrated drivers are driven by its own dedicated class-D amplifier giving a fully active speaker solution all managed by the latest Digital Sound Processing technology.
All but the largest woofer are built into the hide-away sound panel that glides beneath the television when it is turned on to provide unobstructed high-fidelity performance. Both woofers use Coscone™ drivers, originally developed for high-end automotive sound systems, to provide superior bass performance from a very compact and lightweight design:
Magical mechanics: When the TV is switched on, the sound panel elegantly emerges below the screen, and slides to the sides, to deliver superior stereo separation. It automatically retreats inside the television screen when not in use.
Immaculate Wireless Sound: An integrated wireless transmitter lets a user connect even more speakers, up to a full 7.1 surround-sound solution, without adding cable clutter to the interior. Sophisticated digital processing detects wireless speakers during the setup process, and adapts sound performance to deliver a completely optimised acoustic experience without wires.
Bass adaptation and management: As proximity to walls directly affects bass performance, BeoVision Avant features a new automatic sound equaliser for bass adaptation. When the motorised wall bracket is in use, the bass is automatically adjusted depending on whether the TV is playing against the wall or after having been turned to a free-hanging position.
A unique Bass Management algorithm directs low frequencies to the most suitable speaker(s) or sub-woofer in the system setup.
Thermal protection: Driver temperatures are constantly monitored, and all drivers have thermal protection with heat sinks to eliminate the risk of damage due to overheating at high volumes – and still deliver high-performance sound.
Flexible sound staging: BeoVision Avant offers a full digital surround decoder module which delivers up to 16 audio channels using Bang & Olufsen’s TrueImage™ processor. TrueImage™ technology dynamically handles up- and down-mixing of audio signals to match the number of audio channels in the incoming signal with available loudspeakers, yielding audio performance unparalleled by any other television.
BeoVision Avant makes it easier than ever before to set up a surround system. With the introduction of a microphone that quickly plugs into an easy access panel, the Automatic Speaker Calibration adapts gain and delay on all connected speakers including sub-woofers. A specially developed all-pass filter ensures perfectly balanced system performance that coherently integrates a sub-woofer.
BeoVision Avant offers a Sound Staging System that gives you exceptional flexibility:
Sound modes: nine pre-programmed modes for films, drama, sports, music, gaming and so on. The mode presets can be customised in the advanced settings menu. Automatic detection and switching to dedicated sound sources (e.g., gaming console or Blu-ray player).
Speaker groups: define up to nine different speaker groups, or use all connected speakers simultaneously in one speaker group.
Video: components, features and specs (Overview and screen type):
BeoVision Avant introduces Bang & Olufsen’s latest user interface improvements which make operation more uniform, easy-to-recognise and convenient than ever before.
Conceptualised with the BeoRemote One remote control, BeoVision Avant builds on classic Bang & Olufsen User Interface and navigation elements. It also adds more intuitive visual icons and introduces a new feature, ‘MyButtons’, which takes a ’snapshot’ of scenarios that include multiple settings – for example watching a film on your Blu-ray player or listening to one of your favourite Internet radio stations – and lets you enjoy the same combination of settings again with one-touch simplicity.
Setup wizards have also been improved. New on-screen illustrations make it even simpler to connect an external set-top box, Blu-ray player, Apple TV box or IR blaster.
HbbTV is a major new pan-European initiative that is intended to harmonise the broadcast and broadband delivery of entertainment content. HbbTV will provide a wealth of new consumer services from content providers and brands, including catch-up TV, interactive advertising, personalisation, voting, gaming and social networking. It will also provide programme-related services such as digital text, EPGs and supplemental information during broadcast. BeoVision Avant supports HbbTV. Content is defined by broadcasters, and not all broadcasters will offer the service.