For most viewers, the most vivid images from Fahrenheit 451, the classic sci-fi tale of a futuristic society where printed materials are banned, are of books going up in flames. But for TV designer David Lewis, a peculiar television also caught his attention. The film features a flat, wide-screen TV that hangs on a wall like a painting. When the movie first came out in 1966, such television sets were pure fantasy.
Fast-forward to the twenty-first century. With technology catching up to science fiction, Danish manufacturer Bang & Olufsen called upon Lewis to make such a concept a reality. The longtime B&O chief designer, recalling the picture-on-a-wall motif from the film, created the BeoVision 5, a 42-inch plasma TV that doubles as a work of art, with a brushed aluminum frame that resembles the passe-partout used to frame paintings. Beyond its visual appeal, the BeoVision 5 offers the viewer a range of innovative technological advances that ensure a high-resolution picture and a powerful, crisp sound.
The 16:9 screen, the two active loudspeakers that reproduce high-quality stereo sound, and the processor are all enveloped inside the $19,995 set, which can be draped on a wall like your favorite Mondrian or attached to a motorized stand that rotates in a 70-degree arc. The frame comes in red, black, silver, blue or green, making it easy to complement the decor of your room. The wood cabinet behind the frame is handcrafted, a process that takes up to four hours.
The dark-colored coated contrast screen, which leans back at a 9-degree angle, helps reduce reflections from the light, and a picture control sensor on the top of the set monitors the amount of light in the room and enhances picture quality regardless of lighting conditions. The built-in speakers can belt out up to 96 decibels of stereo sound, and for surround-sound adventures, Bang & Olufsen offers a Dolby Digital system from its range of BeoLab loudspeakers, which come in the same striking colors as the sets.