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Anything made by Bang & Olufsen is bound to be high tech, exceptionally stylish, with quirky features and absolutely gorgeous (oh, and very expensive!!) - and this Beovision Avant TV is no exception. These models were first introduced in 1995, initially with a VCR option (which I have), and later replacing that with a DVD option. Brand new, I believe that they cost was a few thousand pounds (a typical high price when you buy Bang & Olufsen products). Somehow I managed to get one in excellent condition for considerably less from a second hand shop because it didn't have a remote control with it, nor any instructions. Managed to buy a B&O remote for it off of eBay in the end for about £30. So what do you get for all that money? Well the TV itself is a CRT (the type of TV with the deep back) wide screen, surrounded by a stylish black border. It sits on top of a large speaker set with 4 hidden speakers which looks like a black wall below the TV, with borders that run up either side of the TV part, making it look like the TV is particularly buried in a sound wall. This wall also houses the VCR element just below the screen. You wouldn't notice the VCR bit normally unless you were looking for it because all you get here is the slot to put your tapes in. That all then sits on top of a circular base plate. The whole lot at 108 cm high is as one unit and doesn't come apart, which means it is very heavy at 80 kg and can be cumbersome to move. My TV is 32 inches, but with the speakers and the stand, all in black, it is almost like a sizeable piece of furniture. The back of the combination is a maze of sockets and plugs with a variety of SCART sockets, various aerial inputs and connections for external speakers and aux outputs. The remote control itself is also a feat of excellence. In the first place, it is quite heavy being made of metal. Very slim with an LCD screen, it appears to have minimal controls and also has expansion capabilities to control other B&O products. It is also renowned for being one of the most powerful remote controls on the market. Point it anywhere in the room, press the button and then watch the B&O magic begin. The first thing that happens is that the whole TV assembly begins to slowly and quietly turn to face you. The screen then comes to life and the picture appears as if showing behind a set of electronic curtains being opened. The speakers then open up with surround sound that engulfs you and the whole lot comes to life. You then realise why this creation is worth a few thousand pounds. Turn it off again and the reverse process happens with the TV quietly and slowly turning back to the parked position. Rather than just being a TV, this is a piece of technical expertise. The wide screen has an excellent picture quality, and the speakers have a number of settings and Dolby Digital to create the perfect sound for your room with clear enough treble and deep enough bass to satisfy any sound quality connoisseur. You can set the stand to any 3 different positions for it to turn to as it comes on, or to change to when you are viewing it. VCR playback controls all operate from the designer remote control. The whole quirky feature of having it quietly turn towards you always amazes our friends and family when they come round. Admittedly it is very expensive because you are buying a top of the range product from a designer brand. But what you do get in return is undoubtedly a technical creation that will have you and friends talking about and admiring it for years to come.
Similar to the B&O CD System I have also just reviewed, this is also a built-in feature of the house I have been living in temporarily. This particular TV says it is '32 DVD' inch, which I am presuming means it is 32 inches and the DVD is because there is a built in DVD System which is amazing!! Every DVD I have inserted to watch has had a HD/3D type quality about it, whereby the picture looks as though so realistic, as though it is a camcorder recording. This totally wowed me the first time I saw it, and it continues to make any DVD viewing a pleasure. This I really will miss when we move out!! The screen could be bigger, but this may be because of the size of the room, and the fact that we actually have a 50" Sony - going down to this size while all our electrics were being tested was something we got used to, but when the football is on (and we are all avid footy fans) we really do miss our larger screen!! Additional features include the stand being controlled using the remote control - meaning that it can be swivelled around to the position whih suits the viewer best. It is quite a bulky TV, so where with my Sony I would physically get up and just move it gently (and it swivels on it's stand as it is quite thin), this one is huge and I can't even push it further back into the corner, never mind swivel it around - I say this because prior to realising the remote controls the stand, we had to try so that we could adjust the screen to our preference! When the TV is switched off, it does revert back to it's original position but when the TV is switched back on, it remembers the position it was in last. There is a small, neat LED display above the TV which shows the time and this is in sync with all the other display units around the house. There are also smaller icons which show what is active (if anything is). I am not sure how much use this is because if the TV is on, you can see it is on and don't necessarily need to read that above it... Same with the DVD option!! I guess if someone was walking into the room and wanted to see what was on, then they could - but it really hasn't been of huge benefit to me personally. I have no idea how much this system cost, but it is built-into the house and runs through 6 different areas - also I have no idea how old it is, but know that it is at least 4 years old from what the agents have told me. Judging by the TV, it may be older, because updated TV's have been purchased and installed into other areas of the house, so for the age of the TV, I feel the picture and sound quality is amazing, and while on my other review I stated that I would not miss the CD System or felt it worthy to be purchased in my own home - this B&O TV is the opposite and I do think my next purchase would be a B&O - just with a larger screen to satisfy our footy passions!!!
B&O have a long tradition of making sublime audio and TV's for many years and what a TV this is. I bought mine about three years ago, I chose the 36" and added to the set uo with a pair of Beo 2000 floor speakers which sit either side of the TV. Picture quality has rendered me and many others speechless, the technical gimmicky works a treat as well on TV, Video and DVD. DVD's come into their own, the sound quality is epic as well. You can of course angle the TV whever your fancy takes you, or in my case where I am sitting. The tv can be programmed to prest positions depending on your preference, (one thing tha never fails to amuse me is the when you move the screen the sound follows!!) Worth paying a few extra quid for is the updatable chip that allows you to expand the range of settings, you can divide the screen into up to 5 different channels all at once if you are a TV addict. Quality of finish is amazing and it should keep going for a loooong time at least one would hope having spent absurd amounts of cash for a tv...I did and I can say i never regretted it !! One thing I should say is find a good dealer, they genuinely give a shit about your purchase and look after you regards the set up in your room etc and in my case carrying the TV up three flights of stairs!!