Bang & Olufsen's reasonably priced BeoPlay V1 TV with Apple TV slot leads strong 2012 line-up
Bang & Olufsen has unveiled not one but two new products and two modified versions of existing kit under its BeoPlay branding. And its new TV, the BeoPlay V1, will come as a relative surprise to B&O fans - it's purposely designed to be affordable.
Described by Tue Mantoni,the Danish company's president and CEO, as a product that “more people can afford”, the new set has signature B&O design, but comes in at £1,999 for the 32-inch model, £2,499 for the 40-inch.
It's also clearly designed with Apple fans in mind as, although it's not necessary to do so, there's a slot on the rear with connections for an Apple TV.
Both sizes of set are LED side-lit, Full HD (1080p), 100Hz, have five HDMI inputs, and feature a USB port for connection to a media stick or hard drive in order to play music or view picture files.
The BeoPlay V1 has been created by designer Anders Hermansen, and features a steel cabinet that's powder coated, giving a very industrial feel to the aesthetics. Both sets come with a steel mount, but others are available as optional extras, from around £250.
There are four ways in which the TV can be placed: with a floor mount, wall mount (that allows the viewer to swing it out by up to 180 degrees), table mount and hung from the ceiling using anchors and wires.
But the feature that Mantoni and the rest of the B&O team are keen to highlight is the BeoPlay V1's audio prowess. Pocket-lint has had a listen and, while the cabinet is necessarily deeper than an average flatpanel TV, the stereo sound that comes from within outperforms any other conventional TV speakers.
Both the 32-inch and 40-inch models feature an effective frequency range of 30-20,000Hz, but they differ in the driver array and technologies inside (behind the one-piece speaker grille).
The 32-inch has two 2.5-inch full-range drivers in a closed box cabinet and one 32-watt Class D ICEpower amplifier per channel. The 40-inch has a beefier output as it sports two 2-inch full-range treble/midrange drivers in a closed box cabinet, one 4-inch centre bass unit in a closed box, and three 32 watt Class D ICEpower amplifiers.
Both sizes of the BeoPlay V1 go on sale tomorrow, 3 May. They come in black or white.
In addition to the V1, the Bang & Olufsen has announced a speaker solution for the iPad and iPad 2 that effectively turns the tablet into a mini-television or media centre.
The BeoPlay A3 is an iPad housing with adaptive stereo speaker technology and three speakers that allow you to get a full, beefy stereo sound effect no matter the device's orientation. It has a "stable wedge" design that lets you stand it landscape, portrait or even rest it on its back slanted slightly for typing purposes.
The idea behind the dock is that it helps to make use of an older iPad that you may have lying around now that you've bought the new one, Mantoni tells us. You can put it on your desk, watch TV on it with full audio, or use it with Skype, he suggests.
However, be wary about handing it over to your kids to play Angry Birds on, as the CEO and president himself says: "When you play it through this, you still get the stupid music, but very loud."
The BeoPlay A3 comes with an internal battery that runs independent of the iPad's, which should last up to eight hours on a full charge. You can also use it with a power cable, and when charging, and it will also charge the iPad itself.
It will be available on 21 May in B&O shops, priced at £449. It initially comes in black only, but a white version is planned for later in the year.
Finally, new versions of the company's BeoSound 8, now called BeoSound A8, and the Beolit 12 are available now. The latter portable Airplay speaker now comes in silver and gold colour schemes, while the larger iPad and iPhone dock now has Airplay compatibility too (hence the new "A" prefix).