Bang goes 4K, provided you have 12K to spend

If you’re spending big on a new TV, you better hope it has the guts to last the next few years, and if you’re paying over $10K, you’ll want Ultra High Def on that bad boy.

There aren’t many people, mind you, who spend that sort of moolah on a television, but if you do, chances are you’re buying something really big, or something made by Bang & Olufsen, one of the only TV makers that can command that sort of cash.

This year, B&O’s TVs won’t just be expensive, though, and they won’t just feature the same signature Danish design you expect from the company. Nor will the TVs include a bonus feature that no other TV maker throws in, such as a stand that moves in position as past models have.

Sure, it will include a feature like that, but it won’t be the only big deal feature.

No, this year, Bang & Olufsen is throwing Ultra High Definition into a television, with a reveal of the BeoVision Avant, the company’s first 4K TV, displaying a resolution of 3840×2160, just like the ones made by LG, Samsung, Sony, and TCL.

“Our research shows that consumers want more and more from their televisions,” said Tue Mantoni, Bang & Olufsen’s CEO.

“People are pressed for time, and they want entertainment that just works so they can focus on it – and each other – rather than the technology itself. BeoVision Avant delivers on all counts. The name Avant is a nod to our most successful TV to date, the Avant launched in 1995. Just as the first Avant was a game changer in an analogue era, we believe the new BeoVision Avant will set the standard for what should be expected from a television in the future.”

If you’re spending more time in front of your TV, the argument is likely one that suggests you want the best quality, and that is what the Ultra High Definition content should bring, delivering a higher resolution picture to a higher resolution display, with four times the quality of a Full HD display.

The downside to this argument is content, however, and while there’s no 4K format outside of something you can download, there isn’t much to download yet. In Australia, the problem is even worse when you consider few have speeds before 20Mbps, making Ultra HD downloads less likely.

That said, if we were spending big money on a TV, we’d want it to support the new technology, even if Australia’s lack of a high-speed broadband infrastructure was the bottleneck, with the knowledge that eventually (eventually, eventually) the government would provide a fix for this.

Until that time, however, B&O’s BeoVision Avant will upscale Full HD content to the Ultra HD display, taking care of noise with noise reduction, adapting to light using Bang’s Chromatic Room Adaptation, and including modes developed for both movies and games to change the temperature and speed of the display.

Internet functionality is also thrown in, with Bang & Olufsen’s Smart TV software, support for DLNA to send content from your mobile or tablet to the TV, and even support for the Hybrid Broadband TV (HbbTV) that is gradually being rolled out.

You’ll also find six HDMI connections — five of which are compatible with UHD — and two USB ports, with a three channel speaker system built into the TV, made up of a 2 inch midrange speaker on the left, a 2 inch midrange on the right, a 2 inch in the centre, and a 4 inch woofer for the bass, all of which is powered by a 60 watt Class D amp.

Testing it with our ears at a briefing, the sound is very impressive for a TV, and manages to shoot most other built-in TV sound in the foot, producing an experience which not only has more depth, but fails to sound at all tinny and hollow, which appears to be a problem of many of the TV speakers we’ve heard in the past.

There’s also a surprise feature because hey, it’s Bang & Olufsen, and that’s what it does, and since previous BeoVision TVs had a degree of movement thrown in, the Avant is no different, but while other models would pivot and change the angle of the TV, this newbie will move its stand.

Thanks to the circular stand it sits on, the TV is able to move forward, rotating slightly on its base so that the picture appears closer to you.

We’re not sure why this would be of much benefit since the movement isn’t that close, and it’s not as if the TV is moving forward like a robot on its own feet or tracks, but hey, if this sort of awesome factor helps you love your TV better, more power to you.

One thing worth nothing is the size, because the B&O BeoVision Avant isn’t a big TV. In fact, at 55 inches, it’s one of the smaller 4K displays you can buy, especially since it carries a recommended price of $12490.

Yes, you read that correctly, and with a price of over $12K, B&O’s first 4K telly isn’t cheap, but being a Bang & Olufsen product, we’re not surprise, with a quality display, high-end sound, and some neat other technology thrown in for good measure.

That said, if you have the money and are interested now, you’ll find it in stores within the next week or two.