B&O is focused on design, sound and its distinctive craftsmanship, while LG is supplying the OLED TVs. In addition to the 48-inch Beovision Contour, B&O has launched upgraded Beovision Eclipse and Harmony OLED TVs.
Three new OLED TVs
Bang & Olufsen has announced a refreshed line-up of TVs together with its strategic direction for late 2020 and onwards. The new TVs once again have roots in classic B&O values. The company focuses on design and sublime sound. LG supplies the OLED TVs inside.
- "It is what we do best. It's where we focus," Ole Moltsen, Product Manager at B&O, told FlatpanelsHD.
Earlier this month, Bang & Olufsen unveiled the Beovision Contour, its first 48-inch OLED TV and one of the first 48-inch OLED TVs on the market. In addition, the company is rolling out two other new upgraded TV ranges in Europe, the US and other regions.
First there is an upgraded Beovision Eclipse mk2 (based on the 2020 LG GX OLED) with a motorized floor stand and a motorized wall bracket. Furthermore, the company is rolling out an upgraded Beovision Harmony mk2 (also based on the 2020 LG GX OLED) with new floor stand solutions available in various colors. Design has always been a key factor for investing in a B&O product. These are costly products designed for customers that demand sleek TV design to match their decor.
- "Our TV products still appeal to consumers who are thinking: Now that I have bought my favourite sofa, the beautiful lamps and have an elegant floor, why then place a black plastic thing in my home? Our role is still to offer TV products that meet such demands," said Kresten Krab-Bjerre, Creative Director at B&O.
A new motorized floor stand for Beovision Harmony in silver, brass tone, bronze or gold. Photo: B&O
Bronze-toned floor stand
B&O places emphasis on meeting the specific demands of discerning buyers through flexible placements options and design refinements such a floor stands that make the TV appear as it is almost "floating" around its own axis as well as cable managements solutions that eliminate the cable clutter.
Bang & Olufsen's Creative Director highlighted the company's Colour Material and Finish (CMF) division that is tasked with coming up with unique TV designs and details. One of the division's latest creations is a new version of the Beovision Harmony TV with a bronze-colored frame and floor stand, which stands in striking contrast to the grey and black materials that you would usually see on a TV.
Also read: Beovision Contour is B&O's first 48" OLED TV
The new 48-inch Beovision Contour is also available with a gold tone aluminum frame that you are unlikely to find on any other TV on the market.
The new Beovision Contour is available with three aluminum frames, including one in gold tone aluminum. Photo: B&O
Begone black plastic
Besides the great picture quality made possible by the LG TVs inside, B&O pointed to its soundbar Beosound Stage, with its powerful sound that does not require an external subwoofer. Beosound Stage was designed to serve as the household's main speaker system, even when the TV is off.
- "Many soundbars on the market are made from black plastic. Our soundbar is made from the finest machined aluminum that you will find. This also applies to the choice of fabric, and quality has a price. You get something for your money, in our view," said Kresten Krab-Bjerre.
The Beosound Stage soundbar is not new but is has a new role. The hardware has been repurposed as the speaker system inside the new 48-inch Beovision Contour, providing powerful sound in an integrated design.
Who are the customers?
Whenever the Danish company launches new TVs, speakers or other products, it is difficult not to point to B&O's challenges in the market and consumers' changing habits and preferences. The company acknowledges the situation and the tough competition from the competitors' many, increasingly cheaper devices.
- "That is not us. We are not participating in the global mainstream market, as a Danish company with 1000 employees. We aim to serve customers that yearn for long-lasting quality, customers who seek a product that can stay in the home for a longer period of time," said Ole Moltsen, Product Manager at B&O.
- "There are today three types of customers for our TV products. There is – and has long been – a market for very large screens, and we were among the first to come up with a 103-inch screen. But some also seek smaller screens, our dealers tell us, for use in other rooms. And there are of course households where the TV is required to take up less space, either due to space restrictions or for decor reasons. Many of the B&O customers live in smaller apartments in big cities, for example London where we see high demand for smaller devices that still offer a sublime viewing experience," said Ole Moltsen.
He declined to provide figures or elaborate on the size of its customer base, locally or globally. However, he did say that most of B&O's TV customers are based in Europe.
Beovision Eclipse mk2 has an upgraded LG TV and a motorized floor stand. Photo: B&O
The TV is alive and well
It is true that traditional linear TV viewing plays a smaller role today than 10-15 years ago but the demand for large razor-sharp TVs has never been greater. Paradoxically, the amount of new well-produced movies and TV shows that viewers stream daily call for outstanding pictures and sound, the company argued.
- "The TV medium has been declared dead many times. But it isn't, quite the contrary. TVs have become app based – gone is the logistical nightmare of having too many set-top boxes. No one wants to stare at pixels, so good sound and pictures have great justification," said Kresten Krab-Bjerre.
Beovision Contour is available now in Europe starting at 5700 Euro or 5150 UK pounds, with global availability from February 2021. Beovision Eclipse mk2 is also available in Europe starting at 9955 Euro or 8650 UK pounds, with global availability from February 2021. Beovision Harmony mk2 is available globally now starting from 17400 Euro or 15100 UK pounds.