BeoVision Avant review

Review: B&O BeoVision Avant

19 Aug 2014 | Torben Rasmussen


As one of the first publications, we have had a chance to do a full review of Bang & Olufsen's new Ultra HD TV called BeoVision Avant. Some of you may remember Avant from the 90s when the Avant brand was first launched. Back then, it had a VHS recorder built-in that was later upgraded to a DVD player. But besides the name and the fact that both products are TVs, the 90s model and the new UHD TV share very few similarities.

The 2014 Avant has no built-in optical media player. The old Avant actually had more in common with the current BeoVision 11 in that sense that the speakers were integrated. On the new Avant, B&O has opted for a fold-out speaker.

Avant is currently only available in 55", but larger versions have been rumored. We have the version with the advanced 2-section rotating stand and a BeoRemote One remote. The TV is available for $7,995 + $1,995 USD for the motorized stand. The TV can also be controlled with the Beo4 if you want. No 3D glasses are included - you have to buy them separately. It should also be noted that the TV is not VESA compliant, so you can only use B&O’s stand and wall bracket solutions.

Let’s take a closer look at what you get.

Important!
We used firmware 1.07.3503 for this review. The firmware is not available to the public yet. To reach the same results as us you need the latest firmware version as it introduces significant changes and improvements compared to the firmware from 24/6 2014.
The new firmware will be available to everyone by the end of August.


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Specifications

55"
Ultra HD (3840x2160)
VA LCD with edge LED
Active 3D
Stand (fixed)
Stand (motoriseret stand)
Wall (motorized mount)
(HxBxD) 79.3 x 128.3 x 9.6 cm (without stand, with speaker out)
55 kg
HDMI (3x 2.0 - 3x 1.4)
USB (2x)
Optical
PowerLink
8xWiSa
Headphones
3x2 RJ45
Right, center & left
7.1 surround module
Twin DVB T/T2/C/S2
WiFi (n-standard)
MPEG4
Ikke Smart TV
Beo One (infrared)
Smartphone app (BeoRemote)
Manual
Beo One
Microphone (for audio calibration)

Price and retailer:


First impressions

Beovision Avant looks quite different from the BeoVision 11 that we reviewed a few years again. BeoVision 11 had the distinctive "picture frame" design, but Avant presents itself as a single piece of dark glass with a metal frame at the back. The front is entirely glass and looks completely black, and you only see the metal frame when you move to the side of the TV. That also means that Avant looks smaller than BeoVision 11.

B&O explain that they have been able to reduce the price of Avant by focusing mainly on two things. The glass surface is smaller than BeoVision 11, but has no cut-out holes for speakers, reducing production costs. The integration of the mounting bracket is another reason that they could reduce the price. The mechanical design has been completely reworked so that stands and brackets better integrated with the TV. It is a simpler and cheaper construction without any major compromises.

BeoVision Avant review


But the Avant has a secret. If you take a look underneath it you will notice that B&O has managed to hide a center speakers as well as left and right speakers inside the cabinet. When you turn on the TV the speakers silently fold out. In addition, the right and left speakers slide to the sides once the module is completely out. It is a very cool effect, but the speaker grille looks a bit out of place.

BeoVision Avant review


At the top of TV you will find a room sensor; the most advanced 3D room sensor from B&O to date. The sensor measures ambient light conditions and adjusts the picture accordingly. It can compensate by using both brightness and color temperature.

The materials used on the front of the TV is classic Bang & Olufsen - glass and metal, with attention to detail. When you move to the back you see the same aesthetic expression, although not as clean. The back consists of three "layers". At top, the display panel is covered by a black metal plate, but further down there it a plastic cover that hides the electronics. In order to be able to access the connections and ports there are two metal plates that hide all the connections and cables (so that no screw holes are visible). The ports are hidden behind the left panel and here you will also find slots for a USB hard drive (for recording) and an Apple TV media box. Behind the right panel is the subwoofer.

It should be noted that Avant currently has no HDMI 2.0b port, but it will get it in a later upgrade. Right now it only works as a HDMI 1.4 port. The TV does not support HEVC either - neither in the tuner nor USB port. HEVC will not be added in a later upgrade.

BeoVision Avant review


On previous B&O TVs you could hide the cables in the stand, but Avant has a new kind of stand. The challenge with large TVs on a swivel stand has traditionally been that you would have to decide how you to place it in the room. If you place it up against the wall it will not be able to rotate, and if you place it farther away it will take up more space in the room. The stand on Avant has two axes. First, the TV can rotate around the center metal bar, but the actual base can also rotate along its periphery.



Effectively, this means that the TV can move out from the wall and turn more freely. You should really see it for yourself. You quickly get used to the benefits as you can program the TV to turn into different positions depending on what you want to use the TV for at any given moment. The downside is that cabling is no longer hidden.

When comparing the finish of Avant to BeoVision 11 we noticed some differences as well. The BV11 has a flat streamlined back side, but Avant does not. Instead, the metal plates have been made a part of the design. The subwoofer casing is not very pretty to look at. You can look directly down into it, but B&O insist that all elements have been designed with careful consideration. Some of the holes on the back side act as ventilation for example. B&O also highlights that the way the stand is mounted centrally on the back side of the TV makes it seem like an integral part of the TV instead of a mounted solution, whereas the BV11 looked different.

BeoVision Avant review



The Avant comes bundled with the BeoRemote One, which is intended to be the successor to the popular and aging Beo4. The old Beo4 has a cast zinc base with a very solid feel, and a monochrome LCD screen on top. The One is now spruced up a bit with a aluminum unibody design. All electronics are hidden inside beautifully. You even find the same eject hole as on the iPhone, which is used for changing the battery on BeoRemote One. We had feared that such an aluminum design would easily get scratched after a few weeks of use, but that was actually not the case. The One still looks neat and polished at the time of publication. Anodizing aluminum is after all one of the Bang & Olufsen’s trademarks.


BeoRemote One and Beo4



At the top of the One sits a small 128x128 monochrome OLED display that lights up as soon as you push the buttons that relate to input control. At all other times it remains off.

BeoVision Avant review
OLED display at the top


One has a few other tricks up its sleeve, and the best trick is the three MyButtons that are customizable. For example, you can make one of them turn on the TV, go to Spotify and start playing by the push of one button.

Most of the buttons from the old Beo4 are also found on BeoRemote One, but at the same time it is better suited for today’s needs. The display is much more customizable and can show exactly what you want it to. The "List" feature now feels like a very natural part of the experience. I was a fan of the small joystick on the last edition of Beo4, but it simply does not fit on the One.

BeoVision Avant review


The new One feels markedly different in the hand than the Beo4. It is lighter and narrower. If you have big hands it is not quite as comfortable to use. However, the One really stands out because of its tactile feedback - or lack thereof. On Beo4 buttons were divided into sections and many buttons had small bumps, which meant that they were easy to find even without looking - only after you learned the layout, naturally. On new One there are no sections or groups of buttons and the buttons are almost completely flat. It is pretty much impossible to identify the different buttons with your finger. Besides the round GO button it is hard to really know what you are doing unless you look down at the remote. We often had to turn on a light during our review to navigate through the menu systems, which was frustrating.

Test tools

Our TV signal is DVB-C (cable). Testing is done with the DVE (digital video essentials) and Peter Finzel test DVD. Testing is also done via Blu-Ray and Media center/PC.

We use our own monitorTest. The software supports some of the traditional test patterns used to evaluate displays as well as some new and unique test patterns developed by the people here at FlatpanelsHD.

We use a Dune HD-TV101 for movies and a Sony S7200 Blu-ray player that Sony has been kind to let us use for this review. This player will help us evaluate the 4K upscaling in the TV.

All contrast measurements are based on the ANSI methodology.

Functionality

The Avant user interface looks very much like the UI on BeoVIsion 11. There are a myriad of options to personalize the Avant, such as preferences for speakers, position of the stand, the function of the MyButtons on the One remote, external speakers (which can be calibrated with an included microphone) and the option to create groups or favorite lists for TV channels.

BeoVision Avant review


It also has the same electronic program guide, which is also available in BeoVision 11 and BeoPlay V1. It is an overlay over the actual TV broadcast. It works as intended, but we are still not sure why it is necessary to double-click to change TV channel.

Avant has an integrated twin-tuner that allows you to watch one TV channels while recording another. Each tuner can use a dedicated decoder card, so you can even record and watch two encrypted cable TV channels. The twin-tuner can also be used for picture-in-picture so you can watch two football games at the same time.

It is worth noting that Avant does not support HEVC - not even via a future software or hardware upgrade. This means that when broadcasters move from MPEG4 to HEVC in the future, you will need an external set-top box to watch TV on Avant. It is a shame because it also means saying goodbye to all of the twin-tuner and recording features. And you probably already know how bad most set-top boxes are. B&O is not alone here, and says that there was no option to implement HEVC in the Avant before its launch. Instead, you have to rely on an external box and the PUC system for the remote when the time for HEVC comes.

HbbTV is available on channels that support it.

To enable the recording features you need to connect an external USB hard drive. We used a 500GB Toshiba disc that was easy to hide on the backside of the TV. When connected you must format the disc, erasing everything on it.

It is easy and fast to access your recorded shows (with direct access via a menu on BeoRemote One) and navigation is smooth. Say you want to skip to 1:55 in a movie, you simply type 1, 5, 5 on the remote. You can also pause live TV and even record from the point where you changed to the TV channel - if you have already watched it for half an hour. You also have the option to trim recordings at the beginning and end, but unfortunately there is no option to cut out commercials. All recordings are locked to the Avant - you cannot move recordings to a PC.

BeoVision Avant review


The menus generally feel quick, and navigation is minimalistic and well executed. Whether you like the look or not is probably a personal thing. There is a hint of "Windows Phone" in B&O’s menus. Or maybe vice versa.

Just like on the BeoVision 11 you should consider using the Quick Start feature, which can be set up to be active at different time intervals. The start-up time usually takes well over half a minutre without this feature.

One thing we want to highlight - because B&O is not really talking much about - is the option to control other devices via the 6 IR ports. Simply connect a IR diode cable in one of them and connect the other end of the on for example your Blu-ray player. You can now control the Blu-ray player directly from the BeoRemote One. If you connect other hardware via HDMI, Avant also know s(via HDMI CEC) if the device is on of off. This means that all connected devices are easy to control from BeoRemote One and it feels like connected players are part of the Avant experience - very useful.

BeoVision Avant review
IR diode on a Sony Blu-Ray player


You can connect the TV to the internet via cable or WiFi. B&O recommends the former. With internet you have access to Internet radio, DLNA streaming from your network, Spotify, Deezer and a Smart TV platform. The first two components essentially make the Avant a Beosound 5, enabling you to use it as a complete music system. This makes a lot of sense - far more than in your typical TV - simply because of the powerful integrated speakers.

BeoVision Avant review
Deezer


The TV is able to control up to 10 speakers connected via cable and a further 8 speakers wirelessly (via WISA, for example the new BeoLab speakers). You can configure speakers in all kinds of ways, for example groups. This audio system in Avant is - by far - the most advanced any TV maker has produced to date.

BeoVision Avant review
Internet radio


We heard no noise from Avant in use. The stand is not 100% quiet when moving into position, but still very impressive. The TV became quite hot on the upper part of the back side, but this is by design and B&O has taken it into account when mounting it on a wall bracket.

The Smart TV platform looks just like on the BeoVision 11 and is not particularly impressive. The biggest miss is probably the lack of 4K Netflix, but since Avant has no HEVC it is impossible. It also means that it is very hard to input 4K content into Avant - mostly because there are very few 4K players out there at the moment. We asked Bang & Olufsen about their plans for the Smart TV platform, and we were told that B&O has decided to focus on external players such as Apple TV, controlled via the PUC system, instead of the built-in Smart TV platform. So do not expect video apps int here, probably only a few music apps. This is quite the departure from when the BeoVision 11 was launched.

BeoVision Avant review
Only a few apps in B&O’s Smart TV


Like most other Smart TV, Avant has the ability to playback media files from your network via DLNA or via a USB stick. Unfortunately, the integrated media player cannot handle 4K content either, maximum is Full HD. We tested various video files and formats. It eats MP4 and MKV containers (for example in H264 compression) as well as the codec on DVD / Blu-Ray discs without any issues. It also supports language selection, but not embedded subtitles.

B&O’s app for smartphones has not been given much attention since the last time we looked at it. It is not even optimized for iOS7 and is essentially just a reflection of the functions of BeoRemote One. This is such as shame because it clearly communicates with the Avant regarding source names and the current TV channel. Why not take it one step further and put the EPG inside the app - just like Sony is doing? B&O needs to rethink what a TV remote app for a smartphone or tablet should do - they have a beautiful touchscreen to play with.


On occasion we experienced some lag when using the remote. The TV simply could not follow our enthusiastic pace of pressing buttons. We hope that B&O can fi this as it degrades the overall experience somewhat.

Energy consumption

Compare power consumption measurements on different TVs and monitors with our interactive power consumption applet here.


Standby 42 W (sleep) / 0,2 W (standby) 42 W (sleep) / 0,2 W (standby)
SD+HD 130 W 130 W
3D 150 W 150 W


As mentioned the Avant has a light sensor and when activated power consumption will vary depending on the ambient light conditions. However, as an owner you should be mostly concerned about the high stand-by power consumption when the Quick Start setting is activated.

We measured 42 W with Quick Start activated. As said, you can schedule Quick Start in the menus, and when off stand-by consumption is reduced to just 0.2 W. But 42 W is quite significant.

Besides that power consumption is moderately high for a 55-inch TV.

Calibration of BeoVision Avant

Since the BeoPlay V1, B&O has integrated several different color profiles in its TVs, one of which is in line with the industry’s picture standards, namely the Movie profile. BeoVision Avant also offers this color profile, but the default color profile is based on B&O’s own preference, dubbed "Custom"

The light sensor at the top of the TV continuously adjusts the image depending on the ambient light and surroundings, but you can deactivate this feature in the menu if you like. This sensor has three modes: Full (which is adjusting color temperature and brightness), Regular (which adjusts only brightness), and Off.

BeoVision Avant review
The light sensor


For this test we used an X-Rite ColorMunki Display sensor and the HCFR applications to measure and calibrate colors.

Let us first take a look at the "Custom" profile, which is the default profile that you see after turning on the TV for the first time. As is always the case for B&O, the default profile is cold / bluish. Notice how there is an excess of blue. The delta values peak at more than 30, which is a very significant and visible deviation compared to the industry standards.



This can be confirmed by looking at the color temperature curve, which hovers around 10,000 Kelvin. As said, this is not unusual for B&O (or others for that matter), but it is very far from the D65 (6500 Kelvin) white point that the industry aims for.

The default profile also has a high level of artificial sharpness added, which actually degrades the detail level in the picture. It is possible to turn down the sharpness by adjusting the setting of how far you sit away from the TV in the menu (to minimum) and by decreasing the sharpness setting in the advanced menu. You should also deactivate noise reduction.

Calibration of BeoVision Avant starts by switching to the Movie profile - just like on BV11. However, there are very limited calibration options in the TV as there is no way to adjust the RGB (red, green, blue) channels separately. There is only one color slider in the menu. During calibration we tweaked contrast slightly (with the "Brightness" setting option) and "Contrast Enhancer" was deactivated. All this is a very conscious choice on B&O's hand. And we support that, we support removing all these adjustments options, but only when the image is correct.

The calibrated picture looks better, with DeltaE values below 2 over the entire grey scale. We also hit our 6500 Kelvin target nicely. It was necessary to decrease the color temperature a bit in the menu. B&O did not agree that the 6500 K setting was off based on their own calibration sheet for our Avant sample, but our measurements gave a results slightly above 6700 Kelvin. The latest, just-released firmware makes it possible to adjust the color temperature when the light sensor is turned off. However, this was not possible in the first firmware from B&O. All in all, a rather good result.

The latest firmware also allows us to completely turn off the dynamic contrast, which made it possible to get a almost completely smooth gamma curve.

Measurements Out-of-box Calibrated
Black level 0.07 cd/m2 0.04 cd/m2
Brightness 304 cd/m2 128 cd/m2
Contrast 4163:1 3390:1
Input lag 200 ms 85 ms

Power consumptionOut-of-box Calibrated
On 130 W 130 W
3D 150 W 150 W
Stand-by 0.2 W (42 W sleep) -

Picture
Calibration SettingValue
Picture mode Movie
Backlight 18
Brightness 32
Distance to screen 0.5 m
Avancered Piuctre stabalizer Off
Room adaptation Full/Off
Quick start On/Off
Expert Backlight 32
Brightness 32
Color 32
Noise reduction 0
Sharpness 0
Color temp 30
Contrast enhancer 0
Overscan Dependent on source


Please note: If you want the dynamic contrast feature to make sure that black bars during movies appear pitch black you should set "contrast enhancement" to 6 and set "Backlight" to the default value of 32. You sacrifice some color accuracy by doing this, but not much, so try it out if you want. If you deactivate the light sensor, you should lower backlight in the advanced menu to around 21.

Picture quality on BeoVision Avant

BeoVision Avant has a antireflective coating just like the BeoVision 11. It is effective in reducing reflections, but you should still keep in mind that the TV has a glass front so reflections are certainly not eliminated.

BeoVision Avant review
Reflections


Reflections can be seen under normal viewing conditions, but we felt that the reflections were slightly less annoying than on BeoVision 11. If you use the light sensor on Avant it can also compensate by turning up brightness, which helps "block out" other light sources in your room.

If you have the "contrast enhancement" setting activated you will experience sudden changes in the picture at times. At times it changes from being dark to being brighter. This is mostly the case when subtitles appear in a scene. Avant uses edge LED as a backlight source and is therefore limited in its ability to accurately control the light. However, the dynamic adjustments is not as aggressive as in other TVs out there.

BeoVision Avant review
Too much dynamic contrast (very high camera exposure)


We found posterization / banding to be a problem on BeoPlay V1 and also on BeoVision 11, but the issue is not found in our sample of Avant. Banding is not a problem either.

As always, it is recommended to reduce the sharpness and noise reduction settings options to the lowest value to avoid artifacts. When we did this on Avant we saw no issues during our test pattern testing.

HD picture quality on the BeoVision Avant is great, but B&O’s upscaling is not reference class. It is good, but it could have been better and at the moment it is essential, simply because there is very little 4K content to watch. This means that all content has to be upscaled to fit the UHD panel inside Avant. We found 4K upscaling on Sony’s Blu-Ray player to be marginally better in our 1080p->4K tests - however, mostly in stress tests. We should also make it clear that 4K upscaling does nothing to improve your 1080p Blu-ray movies. This is very easy to confirm by running the same movie on two separate HDMI inputs, one in 1080p and one in upscaled 4K.

BeoVision Avant review
Pacific Rim upscaled from 1080p to 4K


SD picture quality is not fantastic. We noticed some issues with de-interlacing. The effect was mostly visible during horizontal pans, for example on news channels with text running over the bottom of the screen. De-interlacing is still not impressive on Avant and unfortunately a lot of TV channels still broadcast interlaced SD content.

We also experienced two other issues when watching TV channels. The first appeared shortly after turning on the TV. Here, the picture had very visible artifacts, which disappeared after about 10 seconds. We also experienced some signal error issues. Instead of the characteristic purple pixel errors that you often see with poor signal reception, the Avant just paused the picture for a short period of time. This could be an error with our TV signal, but it did not show up with other TVs connected to the same TV antenna cable. Avant seems to be more sensitive to poor signal reception.

Color reproduction on BeoVision Avant is overall very good. The setting option to turn of dynamic contrast that was added with the latest firmware improves color accuracy visibly. This is an improvement over BeoVision 11.

BeoVision Avant also has a 100 Hz frame interpolation system that is designed to make movement smoother. The negative side effect is that it also makes video look strange and artificial. We recommend turning it off completely. We did not see any improvement in motion resolution by enabling it, so there is no point in using it. The latest firmware update also improved motion. We are very pleased with the result - very good for a LCD panel.

Below we have measured black level and contrast ratio. We measured black level on a black background and with an ANSI pattern (checkerboard) to reduce the effect of the dynamic contrast. When measuring black on a completely black background, the display panel simply turned off. Below we have reported the ANSI result.

Black level 0.07 cd/m2 0.04 cd/m2
Brightness 304 cd/m2 128 cd/m2
Contrast ratio 4163:1 3390:1
Black level +/- 0,005 cd/m2


The black level was measured to 0.04 cd/m2, which is slightly higher than on BeoVision 11 (however, measured with two different sensors), but on par with the latest Samsung LED models (Avant uses a Samsung VA LCD panel). In practice, black level is very good and ensures vivid and deep color tones, even in a dark viewing environment. Please note that we used 130 cd/m2 as a target for brightness, but this is mostly suited for dark-room viewing. For a bright living room you should aim for a higher brightness level or activate the light sensor, which does a pretty good job in this regard.

Below we have taken a photo of BeoVision Avant in a dimly lit room to examine for clouding / bleeding. Shown for a 3% grey and 0% grey (black) and heavily over-exposing both photos to expose any uniformity issues.

BeoVision Avant review


BeoVision Avant review


As you can see, the panel is not completely uniform. The dark spot in the center suggests that Avant did not quite know what to make of the plain-colored grey background. The above photo is of course blown out of proportion as a 3% grey is a very dark colors, and leaving the dynamic contrast on makes the problem invisible in real life. De-activating the dynamic contrast does reveal some clouding in the corners, which is not on par with the Beovision 11 we tested earlier.

Avant has some clouding in the sides of the panel where the edge LEDs are placed. The spots were only visible on a light background when looking at the TV from an angle. This is often the case with these edge LED based TVs. In practice, we never found it to be a problem, but it is obviously not as perfect as we are used to from Bang & Olufsen.

Input lag was measured to 200 ms in the Movie profile and 80-90 ms in the Game profile, which is too high if you are hoping to use the TV with a game console. Input lag was also a problem on BeoVision 11. We still believe that it degrades the gaming experience, but assessed, subjectively, it felt a bit better than on the BV11 - but still very far from for example Sony’s latest TVs.

3D picture quality

B&O uses VA LCD panels in its TVs, which usually comes with active 3D. This is also true for BeoVision Avant. Compared to BeoVision 11, the design of the 3D glasses have changed.

The new glasses are now rechargeable. However, the design is not very good and the glasses are not very comfortable. The part resting on the nose is just too sharp.

BeoVision Avant review


The 3D experience received a tremendous boost after the latest firmware update. It went from being completely unacceptable and useless to being OK, but not impressive. This is not reference class 3D, but you might find it fun and useful. Still, we cannot recommend Avant for those who expect great 3D picture quality.

Crosstalk was also visible in several video sequences. The BeoVision 11 had better 3D picture quality, despite the much higher resolution in Avant that could theoretically improve things.

PC and Media Center

You can get 1:1 pixel mapping via HDMI without changing to picture mode or any other changes.

However, the high input lag makes it extremely difficult to use the TV as a PC monitor. 200ms is very frustrating when using a PC mouse.

Viewing angles

The viewing angles on BeoVision Avant are very similar to those of BeoVision 11. That is no big surprise as both TVs use a VA type LCD panels. VA panels are typically characterized by good black and contrast, but mediocre viewing angles. At a 45 degrees angle colors are visibly changed, so use the motorized stand to make the TV move into position

BeoVision Avant review


BeoVision Avant review


Sound

The built-in speakers in Avant consist of three channels. You can use it as a dedicated TV speaker or use it as a center unit in a complete surround setup. You can connect 10 wired speakers and in addition to that 8 wireless speakers (based on WISA, for example the new BeoLab). All of the extra speakers can be calibrated by using the included microphone, allowing you the get the most out of your surround system. You can also assign roles and listening zones to the many speakers. Visit your local B&O dealer to get a demonstration. The new wireless high-end system is very impressive.

BeoVision Avant review


Sound is not quite as rich as in BeoVision 11, despite the fact that the backside of Avant leaves more room for a subwoofer. Compared to all other TVs on the market (non-B&O) there is no competition. Sound is so much better. However, we also have to point out that the TV did not receive the best conditions for a proper audio demonstration. The TV needs to know how far away the back wall is, which helps optimize the bass response from the rear subwoofer. However, during the test there was TV furniture behind the TV.

As on BeoVision 11, you can control sound presets for each separate input. The TV is even able to analyze a sound scenario and find the sound preset best suited for the purpose. We were not super thrilled about the sudden shift in sound balance, so for the sources used for movie playback we set the sound mode to "Movie". The TV is also a music system, but if you have a large living room you might find that the speakers are a bit too weak, even though they can go to quite high audio volumes. On the other hand, if you buy an Avant you have plenty of options to connect multiple speakers.

It should be mentioned that even though the TV can handle 7.1 channel sound, it does not have a decoder for either DTS-HD MA or Dolby TrueHD. If you want HD audio on Avant you should let your external player send a 7.1 channel LPCM audio signal via HDMI.

Conclusion

B&O is riding the Ultra HD wave with the new Avant, and despite four times the pixel resolution they have launched a TV at a price point significantly lower than what we are used to from the Danish manufacturer.

As in previous TVs, B&O puts emphasis on the sound experience and has integrated a 7.1 surround module that can power up to 18 external speakers, 8 of which can be wirelessly connected with high-end, lossless audio. The TV has access to internet radio, Deezer and Spotify, making it a potent music player and a real alternative to for example the BeoSound 5. B&O has also implemented a twin-tuner and recording functionality. If you want to connect an external box you can operate it with the BeoRemote One.

Picture quality is great and more or less on par with BeoVision 11, but the 4K upscaling is not reference class. It also has some de-interlacing issues on poor SD TV channels so do not expect wonders for SD content. However, HD material looks amazing and motion reproduction and colors are beautiful.

We are willing to accept B&O’s argument that Avant can go without HEVC, since external boxes can be connected and controlled via the PUC system, and B&O's argument that they have chose to focus on external players like the Apple TV instead of the built-in Smart TV platform. But that also implies that the Avant is not a "Smart TV" and that the "Smart TV" platform inside is dead.

Overall, the Avant offers a more advanced package than the BeoVision 11 on sound and picture, and at the same time at a lower cost. Despite the price reduction, you still get a thoroughbred Bang & Olufsen TV with everything - and more - that BV11 had to offer, and therefore Avant receives our Top Recommendation Award.

Price and retailer:



Black depth
Colors in ”Movie” mode
Good motion reproduction
Can control thrid-party hardware
Dual tuner / recording functions
Very nice remote
Amazing sound + 7.1 surround module
Finish and build quality


Out-of-box settings
Input lag
Bad smart TV & no HEVC
Stand-by consumption
Not clouding-free
Reflections
Not world-class scaling







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