Waiting in anticipation for Apple to drop the bomb and reveal its HD TV sets with Apple TV super powers? What if we told you that you could buy one tomorrow? And what if we also told you that it wasn’t made by Apple? We’re talking about the B&O V1: The TV that’s just beaten Apple to it.
The V1 sits in Bang & Olufsen’s ‘Play’ range, which caters for not-yet super-rich, but probably far richer than you, sorts. It’s a range of two black or white sets with Samsung LED tech providing 1080p HD video, and B&O ICE Power Speakers powering the sounds. And the sounds are good. Very good.
“You can use this to replace any speaker system you have in your house,” boasted B&O’s CEO Tue Mantoni at the launch this morning. And in practice, the sound is awesome for a TV set – deep, bassy and crystal clear.
And the looks are swish, too. The TVs have been designed by Danish guru Anders Hermansen, who has designed the sets around two pieces of sheet metal, folded together. “I’ve been to Japan and seen how they fold the paper, and I think it’s beautiful,” he says. You can put the V1 sets on a table stand, hang them from the ceiling, on the wall or leave them freestanding on the floor. Yep, the floor. You know; if you’re all modern.
Ok, so: picture’s good, design’s great and sound’s superb, but what’s all this about Apple TV? In a stroke of genius, B&O has decided to integrate Apple’s set top box in the back…
The first Apple TV
If you have an Apple TV box and decide to buy either the 32 or 40-inch B&O V1 sets, you’ll be able to stuff the former into the back of the latter. The V1 has a specially designed segment taken out of the back (concealed behind a removable panel) that lets you fully integrate both. What’s more, B&O’s remote control is able to control every aspect of Apple TV.
This is done by way of clever built-in software that’s able to download control APIs from the web. Connect a PS3? You can control that with the remote. Connect a Blu-Ray player? You can control that, too. But it’s the Apple TV integration – and the specially-carved slot for it – that’s the talking point here. You can also use the built-in tech to access your iPod or iPad’s content wirelessly, whether you’ve got an Apple TV set or not.
We’ve no idea what extra powers the real Apple HD TV sets will proffer when they land, but in the mean time B&O is providing us with a way of buying an early version. The only catch? Price. Despite being pitched in B&O’s ‘more affordable’ range of devices, and that Tue Mantoni is desperate for people in the UK to “get back into spending money,” the 32-inch B&O V1 is £1,999, and the 40-inch V1 will set you back £2,500. Both are on sale from tomorrow.
For a TV without 3D that’s an awful lot of cash, but for Apple fans and audiophiles, this could be the Apple HD TV set you’ve been waiting for. Keen? Let us know below.