FlatpanelsHD was given a unique opportunity to get some exclusive hands-on impressions with Bang & Olufsen's new 85-inch BeoVision 4-85, that is also Bang & Olufsen’s first 3D TV. In this article you can read about our experiences with the gigantic TV and its 3D picture quality.
Technical introduction to BeoVision 4-85
The new BeoVision 4-85 from Bang & Olufsen is not only the largest 3D TV on the market – it is also packed with an impressive array of patented technology. BeoVision 4-85 was unveiled in April as a smaller brother to the even larger 103-inch BeoVision 4-103, that also receives a 3D update soon.
Bang & Olufsen’s new 85” BeoVision 4-85
Before we move on to our hands-on experience let us start by looking at the technology inside this remarkable TV. We introduced the TV back in April 2011 but we would like to dive a bit deeper into two aspects; B&O’s choice of the plasma panel technology and B&O’s decision to support active 3D technology.
Bang & Olufsen has always used plasma technology in their large TVs, primarily based on the belief that the plasma technology still has superior picture quality when it comes to large-size panels. Also, Bang & Olufsen’s strong cooperation with Panasonics has given them an opportunity to create the world’s first 103-inch TV – and later this 85-inch – that incorporates actual TV technology and is not just a monitor.
Bang & Olufsen presents 85” BeoVision 4-85
It is no secret that BeoVision 4-85 is based on a Panasonic plasma panel. But from here onwards the similarities fade because even though Panasonic has supplied the 85-inch plasma panel, everything else inside the TV is based on Bang & Olufsen’s own technology. The picture processors are the primary enablers and B&O’s own VisionClear technology is the real secret to the impressive picture quality on BeoVision 4-85.
Another interesting aspect is the fact that Bang & Olufsen has chosen to support active 3D technology. Bang & Olufsen stressed that they have been looking at 3D technology for quite some time now but they wanted to wait until quality was high enough. Therefore Bang & Olufsen also chose not to follow the rest of the 2010 pack and instead lean back to observe.
B&O are still working on designing 3D glasses and until then they are providing these standardized 3D glasses
In 2011 Bang & Olufsen has taken the step into the third dimension, and Bang & Olufsen has embraced the active 3D technology that requires active 3D glasses. Bang & Olufsen believes this to be the right choice because they want to provide the Full HD 3D experience without compromising 2D picture quality. And Bang & Olufsen argues that they have accomplished just that with the combination of Panasonic’s plasma technology, their own image processors and active 3D technology.
The last thing I want to highlight is Bang & Olufsen's built-in calibrator. At the top of the bezel sits a very small calibration probe that automatically calibrates the TV when needed – and it is smart enough not to bother you while watching TV.
BeoVision 4-85 has an automatic calibration function
Ph.D. in motion control
Despite the massive 85 inches Bang & Olufsen has still managed to make an elegant TV offering customer’s with convenience of elevating, turning and tilting the screen.
Bang & Olufsen is not only one of the few companies in the world capable of delivering a TV screen this size; it is also the only one offering a complementary stand that will actually lift the 144 kg screen off the floor, and then turn and tilt it to the user’s preferred viewing position.
Bang & Olufsen’s new 85” BeoVision 4-85
When the TV is not in use, the screen itself will be “parked” only slightly above the floor, concealing all integrated applications, and thus reducing its prominence in the room. Yet, when you switch on the TV, the screen will elegantly elevate itself to the optimal viewing position, and at the same time the seamlessly integrated BeoLab 10 loudspeaker will emerge underneath the screen, moving forward until it is flush with the front frame of the screen.
In addition, the user will be able to turn (+/- 20 degrees) and tilt (+/- 4 degrees) the screen to his or her preferred viewing position via the remote control. When the TV goes into standby mode, the whole procedure is repeated in reverse – all at the touch of a button on the Beo6 remote control.
To lift the screen and move the loudspeaker, Bang & Olufsen uses electrical motors or so-called actuators. Mechanical Engineer at Bang & Olufsen Stanislav Cajánek explains:
“There are two actuators on each side of the stand frame which move in parallel up and down. The lifting movement starts out slowly, and then accelerates to full speed, before slowing down again towards the end. This is done to make the movement as smooth as possible. If a constant speed was used, the screen would appear to ‘stumble’ into position, and possibly the stand would even shake a little when it fell into place.”
Hands-on with BeoVision 4-85
We have tested and experienced many 3D TVs here at FlatpanelsHD and believe that we have a solid foundation for evaluating 3D picture quality. So let us try to make use of our experience in order to examine 3D picture quality on B&O’s BeoVision 3D TV. BeoVision 4-85 surely delivers beautiful 2D picture quality – we cannot deny that fact – but the interesting part here is if Bang & Olufsen’s endeavors to create amazing 3D picture quality are meeting expectations.
Bang & Olufsen 85” BeoVision 4-85
B&O started the hands-on session with a demonstration of the Grand Canyon 3D Blu-ray on BeoVision 4-85. And 3D picture quality was really impressive. We are familiar with the Grand Canyon documentary because we use it for our own testing here at FlatpanelsHD and therefore it was interesting to see how this 3D disc was turned into a very intense and realistic 3D experience on BeoVision 4-85.
But it got better with the next demonstration. Some IMAX underwater scenes gave us an opportunity to experience life under the sea. The depth was amazing and in a sequence where a big fish circled around in the water and slowly swam towards the viewer, we felt the presence of a real being that popped so far out if the screen that we felt we could reach out and touch it. It was not just us; everybody in the room seemed to agree.
Bang & Olufsen 85” BeoVision 4-85
I have never really been a supporter of these out-of-the-picture 3D effects because they tend to get blurry and tiring but this was an incredible experience. And it proves to me that 3D has a far greater potential than we have seen so far. But it requires a combination of a very large-size 3D TV, beautiful 3D picture quality and a film instructor that knows how to use the 3D format to its full potential.
I myself am a keen diver and with a range of exotic dives with sharks, dolphins, sting rays, humpback whales, sea turtles, shipwrecks and more, I know what the underwater world look and feel like. And with this reference I tried to compare the IMAX underwater scenes to reality, and it was pretty amazing to see how a combination of a great 3D documentary and BeoVision 4-85 managed to capture the realism.
Bang & Olufsen’s first 3D TV
And it only confirms what I have been saying in previous reviews; 3D is better on a large-size TV. I can only imagine what it would look like on Bang & Olufsen’s 103-inch TV. And once again I must say that I am impressed with the results of Bang & Olufsen’s minute sense of detail and quest to deliver the absolute best in video and sound. BeoVision 4-85 is without doubt the best 3D TV I have ever had the pleasure to experience.
If you feel tempted, see the price list below.
BeoVision 4-85 incl. BeoSystem 3, DVB-HD and Beo6: 50.350 Euro BeoVision 4-85 Floor Stand: 16.520 Euro BeoVision 4-85 bracket: 990 Euro 3D glasses: 140 Euro
Full HDwith 3D technology based on use of active shutter glasses.
The renowned BeoSystem 3 video platform.
Customizable Beo6 remote control operation.
Motorised stand which lifts, turns and tilts the screen.
VisionClear technologies; a range of advanced of technologies which work dynamically to ensure excellent performance under all viewing conditions: – Automatic Colour Management, a proprietary Bang & Olufsen technology which adjusts the colour temperature of the plasma screen to compensate for the effects of aging that normally cause an increasingly yellow picture. – Automatic picture control, which automatically monitors light conditions in the viewing room and adapts the picture to these. – And many more in BeoSystem 3
Advanced Surround Sound module and Adaptive Sound Technology that uses advanced Digital Signal Processing (DSP) to enhance the sweet spot and allow you to seat yourself anywhere in the room and still be at the centre of the experience.
Anti-reflection coated contrast screen designed to make even day-time viewing a pleasant and clear experience.
Electronic curtains; a Bang & Olufsen speciality for the truly cinematic experience.
BeoSystem 3 video platform with 3D processing and with HDMI output
Bespoke BeoLab 10 centre speaker featuring patented Acoustic Lens Technology, which controls the directivity and dispersion of the high frequencies for the closest possible reproduction of the original timbre, not only in one sweet spot, but all across the room.