Bang & Olufsen has launched its new television, the Avant, yet its moving parts and precision manufacturing stops you from seeing this television as simply another rectangular goggle box.
Despite its good looks, it is the literal opposite of a head-turner; the television is able to swivel to face you on a mechanical stand, gliding the screen into the best viewing angle for where you are seated (no more craning of necks or repositioning of furniture).
55 inches of ridiculously good ultra high definition, 4K video performance and jaw-dropping acoustic authenticity are built in, as you’d expect from a piece of kit expected to hold its technological edge for around 7 years.
Yet it’s the moving parts that really separate it from the crowd, with Bang & Olufsen having some amazing form in this area, producing products that have real functional beauty.
To make such amazing sound possible from a flat screen television, the designers have created a discrete but powerful sound panel that mechanically unfolds when the television is on, then retreats inside when you turn it off.
The sound panel’s movements are coordinated with those of the new stands so the television is ready for viewing and listening in one choreographed flow.
All of this was developed by extensive use of prototyping models, built time after time to develop the right action, first using cardboard, then adding movement with Lego gearing and wheels.
Even at a plush global launch the company recognises this level of honing design using physical prototyping, letting the assembled journalists see the Lego mechanism that helped develop the lowering sound bar.
The finished aluminium and glass unit is flush and smooth even on the reverse, without a visible screw, and managing to conceal an incredible sound system of eight driver units and eight dedicated amplifiers built in.
Its remote control shares in the decadent yet functional ethos – machined from a single piece of aluminium, the slight bend and weighted lower section make it tactile and robust.
The BeoRemote One enables the user to create up to three personalised settings available at one simple touch.
A setting can include channel, volume setting and even stand and directional positioning of the TV. This allows you to recall all settings by the touch of one button.
At £5,999 it’s an expensive purchase, but given the vast amount of focus that has gone into producing it, the materials and manufacturing that have taken place in Denmark and the Czech Republic to make such a seamless product… you too are probably talking yourself into buying one.