Danish high-end AV equipment manufacturer Bang & Olufsen (B&O) has taken the wraps off its first OLED TV at the IFA 2017 consumer electronics trade show that’s taking place in Berlin this week.
What’s interesting is that B&O and LG Electronics have jointly issued press releases celebrating the launch of the BeoVision Eclipse, revealing that the television is a partnership between these two companies. Delving deeper, it appears the underlying picture processing (including Dolby Vision HDR) and WebOS Smart TV platform will be provided by the South Korean brand, whereas the Danish firm will be responsible for the design, acoustics and craftsmanship of the final product, which presumably account for much of the price hike versus LG’s own OLED TVs.
This situation is very different from this year’s Panasonic and Sony OLEDs, where the Japanese manufacturers directly sourced WRGB OLED panels from LG Display, and then applied their own video processing and operating system. A cynic might say that the Bang & Olufsen BeoVision Eclipse is simply a rebadged LG OLED, with added value found in design and sound but not image quality.
Not that we’re not impressed with the mesmerising audio and design of the B&O Eclipse, of course. The TV’s integrated and 450 watt powerful 3-channel SoundCentre not only offers stereo performance, but can also act as centre channel in conjunction with additional speakers (for example Bang & Olufsen’s own high-end BeoLab loudspeakers) via the integrated surround sound decoder, thus delivering superior acoustic performance to most integrated solutions and soundbards on the market.
The design draws on the classic Bang & Olufsen ideal of aesthetic simplicity, highlighting the importance of sound. The slim glass surface continues beneath the SoundCentre, which in turn expands beyond the screen on both sides, creating some exciting contrasts between image and sound, as well as slimness and volume. However, at the same time, the styling naturally integrates all elements in an appealing design.
The motorised floor stand sets BeoVision Eclipse further apart. With a push of a remote button, you can move the display silently across the floor, as if it were floating towards you. No matter where you’re sitting, the television can always be optimised for your position, heightening not only your viewing experience, but also the entire room decor. As an alternative to the floor stand, the B&O BeoVision Eclipse can be placed on a motorised or manual wall bracket.
The Bang & Olufsen BeoVision Eclipse will be available to buy from European retailers in September in 55-inch and 65-inch sizes at a recommended price of £8,290 and £11,590 respectively (including wall bracket, fabric speaker cover and BeoRemote One).