In brief: Bang & Olufsen at Milan Design Week 2019 has unveiled an all-in-one television and speaker system unlike anything we’ve previously seen. It won't appeal to everyone (the price tag ensures that) and will leave others simply asking, "Why?" But, it's unique, and if that's what gets you out of bed each morning, it'll certainly do that.
The Beovision Harmony is comprised of a 77-inch LG OLED C9 display that sits behind two “meticulously crafted oak and aluminum fronts” housing the sound system. When the set is powered on, the two front pieces fan out like a butterfly opening its wings and the screen rises from behind. Turn the set off, and the sequence plays in reverse.
Bang & Olufsen executive vice president of brand and markets, John Mollanger, said they wanted to create a meaningful object for interior that reduces the visual presence of the TV and transforms it into something that people will develop an emotional attachment to.
Samsung tried something similar with The Frame, a line of sets for style-conscious consumers meant to double as a digital picture frame when not in use.
Whereas Samsung’s offering is designed to attract attention, the Beovision Harmony is meant to blend into its surroundings as a piece of furniture.
The installation doubles as a standalone sound system when the television is not in use, complete with built-in 7.1 surround sound decoder that can connect with up to eight Beolab speakers for a truly immersive experience. Beovision Harmony additionally supports streaming from services like Tune-In and Deezer and can connect directly to your phone via Bluetooth or AirPlay 2.
Bang & Olufsen’s Beovision Harmony is scheduled to arrive in October 2019 at an eye-watering 18,500 euros (around $20,850).