Bang & Olufsen is jumping into the UHD fray with the BeoVision Avant, a 55-inch 3940 x 2160 LCD panel housed in an impressive hunk of aluminium. But it wouldn't be Bang & Olufsen if it didn't come with some luxury automation features — and a crazy price tag.
We had the opportunity to check out the BeoVision Avant at media event in New York, and more than the extra resolution, this TV is all about automated movements that you can program to the exact specifications of the room it lives in. You can either use a wall or table mount or a burly silver stand. All three are motorised and move to different positions depending on the use case and the layout of a room.
The default standby state is supposed to be tucked out of the way. The idea is that the TV should stay out of your way when you're not using it, rather than serving as the default centrepiece of a room. When you turn the TV on, it springs to life, popping out from the wall or rotating on the stand to one of several settings. For example, you might, have one setting that points the TV right at Dad's easy chair, and another setting for watching movies with the whole family. Flipping on the TV also reveals, a three-channel built-in sound panel that slides out from a hiding spot. All, this movement is controlled by a slender unibody aluminium remote, that Bang & Olufsen said is programmable so it can be the only one you need.
The 4K panel didn't look remarkably different to others we've seen — not without a direct and more detailed comparison anyway. The motorised movement, however, is elegant and impressive, although it's a little slow, and I could see it getting annoying like a painfully sluggish automatic minivan door.
The BeoVision Avant comes with usual connectivity options: 5x HDMI , 2x USB, plus Wi-Fi and ethernet. At $12,490 (Australian RRP), the price tag is way higher than the 55-inch UHD panels offered by Samsung and Sony, but as with all Bang & Olufsen products, this baby's for people who can afford to pay for a cut above the rest. It will be available sometime this month. [Bang & Olufsen]
This post has been updated with additional details we learned at the New York unveiling event, as well as with additional photography.
Pictures: Nick Stango