Bang & Olufsen has debuted its new Beovision Harmony television, sporting mechanical, rotating panel speakers that are meant to turn the TV into a sculptural object. When the screen is not in use, the TV sits low to the floor, partially obscured by the speakers. Then, when the TV is turned on, the screen lifts and the speakers fan out and down, “like a butterfly opening its wings.”
The television itself is a 77-inch LG C9 OLED screen — the same that LG sells for $6,999, although without the transforming speakers. As for the speakers, they house a three-channel, fully active DSP-based sound system. Their unique visual front pattern is made with alternating bands of oak and aluminum, and are supposed to “maximize acoustic performance.” It also has a 7.1 surround sound decoder, and can connect up to eight Beolab speakers, including the Beolab 18, Beolab 50, and Beolab 90.
When it comes to other smart capabilities, the Harmony is integrated with streaming services like TuneIn and Deezer, and connects with Apple AirPlay 2, has Chromecast built in, and Bluetooth. It’s also got LG’s webOS 4.5 platform, so you can use Netflix, Amazon, and YouTube.
Following in the footsteps of other television makers — like LG’s roll-up TV — Bang & Olufsen believes that TVs can be integrated design elements in the home instead of just a big, black screen on your wall. The Harmony is more pleasing to look at than the black bar of LG’s roll-up TV, but the addition of these grand reveal mechanics to the speakers make it feel less like a thoughtful solution and more like a wealth-flaunting ornament.
Sure, it’s a spectacle, but is a novelty television where the selling point is that it plays peek-a-boo worth the sticker shock of 18,500 euros ($20,843)? Bang & Olufsen bets yes. “We 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,” says John Mollanger, Bang & Olufsen’s executive vice president of brand and markets in a press release.
Should you want to shell out over $20,000 for a mechanically winged TV, the Harmony will be available in Bang & Olufsen stores starting October 2019. There will be two color options for the panels — oak wood and aluminum, or a combined gray melange two-tone fabric and aluminum — and it can be placed on the floor or used with a wall bracket.