at IFA 2017 in berlin, bang & olufsen introduces ‘the ultimate TV experience’ with the ‘beovision eclipse’. as the first TV developed by the danish brand and LG electronics partnership, the ‘eclipse’ – as the name suggests – merges the best of two worlds to create something even more spectacular. detailed design, leading acoustics and careful craftsmanship have been combined with OLED TV technology to deliver an immersive audio and visual performance with absolute black, infinite contrast ratio and high dynamic range.
designboom was present at the exclusive unveiling of the bang & olufsen ‘beovision eclipse’ in berlin, where we interviewed josé barreiro-lopez, their business director for TVs, who discusses the product’s advanced technology, craftsmanship details and adaptability.
all images courtesy of bang & olufsen
as a television and music system in one, the bang & olufsen ‘beovision eclipse’ has an integrated, 450 watt 3-channel soundcentre that delivers stereo performance and center channel control, as well as built-in internet radio and music streaming services. the OLED TV enhances LG electronics’ technology to reproduce life-like images through advanced pixel dimming control, which renders perfect black, infinite contrast and an expanded color gamut. referencing the danish brand’s ideal of aesthetic simplicity to highlight the importance of sound, the slim glass surface continues beneath the elongated and dividing soundcentre to create an even more expansive yet slim form. the television is set upon the floor ‘planet’ stand that, with a simple push of a button, can move soundlessly across surfaces to the user’s desired position.
at the special presentation of the ‘beovision eclipse’, designboom talked to bang & olufsen’s business director for TVs, josé barreiro-lopez, who gave exclusive insight into the landmark product.
designboom (DB): the ‘beovision eclipse’ marks the first result between bang & olufsen and LG. how significant is this partnership and what benefits has it established with this TV?
josé barreiro-lopez (JBL): what we have unveiled is bang & olufsen’s first flagship OLED premium TV, and this is the first result from our partnership with LG electronics. we have married the technology from LG, in terms of their unrivalled OLED 4K HDR DOBY VISION TV technology, as well as inherited their TV platform with WEB OS built in. we have actually adapted this platform so that it is more bang-&-olufsen-ish as it were, so we have our own sound and other network settings built in to the WEB OS. this ensures consumers can connect and enhance their experience with the acoustic performance of the TV and the rest of the B&O work – the beosound and beolink for example. users are also able to modify the picture settings on the TV itself through the soundcentre.
DB: in spite of all LG’s input, how were you able to ensure that this remains a bang & olufsen product at its heart?
JBL: we focused on delivering the best of the best in terms of the picture performance and acoustic quality from the soundcentre first and foremost. we have the unrivaled OLED technology, we have life-like images which seem almost unreal as it is so good, we have the absolute black which is essential to getting this picture depth, and of course the stunning colors in terms of bringing the TV experience alive. when we designed the ‘beovision eclipse’, we always aimed for the goal of creating an immersive experience. we have always said that sound is more than half the picture, and as part of this concept, we wanted to have the television reach and really embrace the consumer, like a story-teller, bringing them in and immersing them into this reality. in this instance it is through a brilliant audio and video experience. furthermore, as part of this partnership with LG, we have really been able to focus on the design language, craftsmanship, and the overall acoustic performance of this particular product.
DB: how does the acoustic technology deliver the famed quality of the brand?
JBL: the ‘eclipse’, in terms of its naming strategy, is symbolic – it is the coming together of two celestial objects to create something even more spectacular, and this is exactly what we have achieved. from our perspective, we have truly focused on the acoustic elements. it has the world’s best integrated sound – 450 watts of room-filling bang & olufsen audio. we have two left and right drivers, which are basically focusing on recreating stereo sound. we have a center channel which is focusing the mid-range tones and frequencies, as well as a tweeter too. the center speakers are 100 watts each, combined with the 50 watts of the tweeter.
DB: how does the product enhance smart technology to better fit and connect it to its environment?
JBL: from a conceptual perspective, we also really focused on creating a flexible solution, as well as an integrated one for our consumers. this is in the sense of having a lot of built-in content and services, such as spotify, tune-in radio, and deezer. this allows consumers to really have the ability to cast in a very easy way, as well as thread across our entire portfolio with the so-called connected audio experience, so what you see in beoshape and beoplay products follows this. we have also given users the ability to extent the audio experience so you are able to connect up to 16 extra speakers; eight wirelessly through our visor technology, and another eight through our power link technology. it features a built-in surround sound processor with seven-1 digital sound technology, which allows the consumer to further enhance the audio experience and have the ability to customize how certain frequencies, be it low or high, are shared across the different speakers that are connected in the environment.
coupled to that, we have smart home functionality built-in, which also gives the consumer the ability to connect third party products. you also have the ability through HDMI and hock control to be able to connect set-up boxes to the beocenter, such as sky, which can all be controlled by the bluetooth remote. we have always had this one remote philosophy, so the technology that we have built in basically allows the consumer to plug in any set-up box or peripheral unit, connect to the network, and transmit to the remote control so that it will be the only one that operates everything.
DB: now with LG providing the advanced visual technology, and the acoustic quality also achieved, how did bang & olufsen focus on the TV’s design?
JBL: one of the most important elements of the design has been the craftsmanship. it has a huge amount of elements in terms of really making sure that this is, as well as a domesticated solution, something that is very elegant and graceful for your home and your living environment. we were able to adapt the placing of the TV through either a manual or motorized wall bracket which gives the product a floating appearance, or the floor ‘planet’ stand which is motorrized. the latter basically allows the TV to rotate left or right and move outwards towards the consumer so that you can angle it depending on your position.
furthermore, in terms of the craftsmanship perspective, we really focused on the finish of the product. we were able to customize the soundcentre with fabric colors, which are similar to those on the ‘beoshape’. we have a selection of five different fabric covers, and we also have the aluminum grille, which fits on the sound system and follows through on the back of the TV. the aluminum cover has been crafted and moulded out of one piece of solid metal. the laser pattern has also been designed and crafted to allow certain frequencies, high or low, to flow through its smaller or larger perforations. all in all this creates a truly immersive audio visual experience, which I think really addresses the way our modern consumers are expecting to live. it has the flexibility to allow users to actually adapt their living space through this technology, but without this technology being constant and overwhelming.
DB: how do you see the partnership with LG progressing in the future?
JBL: the important thing to mention is this is a step into the future and really embraces the partnership that we have taken with LG to a new level. its about getting the best of both worlds without compromising either the audio or video quality. we want both partners to really focus on their core properties; for bang & olufsen this is the design and acoustic, and for LG it is the TV quality. however, the partnership is much broader than just this TV. in the future, we will progress further into fields such as mobiles.
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