Hands-on: Bang & Olufsen BeoVision Avant 4K UHD TV review
Bang & Olufsen undoubtedly has a reputation for beautifully designed consumer electronics, but is sometimes criticised for favouring aesthetics over technical prowess, most often when it comes to the brand's TVs.
The BeoVision Avant however bucks that trend and then some. Not only is it a gorgeously crafted product, but it can bat against the very best when it comes to specifications and features.
For a start, the 55-inch TV, which was launched globally today, features a 4K UHD LED panel with 3D so is as future-proofed as they come. It has six HDMI inputs, of which five are UHD capable, two USB ports and connections for external speakers. There's also an integrated wireless audio transmitter that is compatible with B&O's recently launched wireless speaker set-up, allowing you to hook it up to rear speakers, for example.
And along the bottom of the set is an integrated, moving soundbar containing eight speakers, each with their own amplifier in order to provide three channel sound - left, right and centre.
But perhaps the biggest feature, and certainly the one primarily illustrated at the London event where Pocket-lint got to see the TV in action, is the fact that the BeoVision Avant can move. It can rotate to your seating position and effective retract to become almost anonymous when not in use.
This depends on optional stands, of which there are floor, tabletop and one for wall-mounting. There is also a static wall-mount, but that seems almost a shame as the TV moves so elegantly that you'll want the mode for sure.
The speaker bar rises and lowers whenever needed and, when on the tabletop stand, the TV also rises and comes forward to its optimum position. However, the floor stand is the most impressive as it introduces an enormous degree of rotation too.
Bang & Olufsen has created rotating TVs before - a family member even owns one - but nothing on this scale. Because of the size of the screen, the TV has to come forward in order to clear enough space to effective twist and the floor stand allows that motion. It is an extraordinary thing to see.
Apart from the fancy design gimmicks, the BeoVision Avant is a Smart TV and comes with plenty of applications from the off, including BBC iPlayer, YouTube, Spotify and Deezer. DLNA support means it can stream content stored on devices around the home too, and everything is controlled through the new BeoRemote One, which includes three "MyButtons" across the top that can each be set to remember a family member's most used preset. Sound levels and positioning, channel or source and the TV's direction can be programmed onto one of those buttons.
The remote also controls all other devices, through the TV itself. You needn't have your Sky or Virgin Media TiVo box even in the same room, they will be controlled via the set.
In picture terms, we would love to spend more time with the television before passing definitive judgement - in better lighting conditions than the launch event afforded. However, we can say that the contrast levels specifically were impressive. We also loved the feel of the new remote, solid yet dainty and sleek at the same time.
The Bang & Olufsen BeoVision Avant 55-inch 4K UHD TV is available from B&O stores now for £5,995. Stands are extra with those featuring motion coming in at £1,195 and the static wall-mount costing £695.