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FlatPanelsHD has their review up.


BeoPlay V1 is an interesting TV in many ways. It is the first
not to rely on Bang & Olufsen’s MasterLink system (surely to be missed by existing B&O owners) and the first one to employ a more open integration with other products. With BeoPlay V1 the MediaPlayer (DLNA) can connect to a range of devices, including PCs, Mac, smartphones, tablets, network HDDs (NAS) and more. This means that you can wirelessly stream movies, music and pictures. It is a pretty neat implementation and it is functional but it is not a novel feature in the TV industry. And then there’s the Apple TV integration. You can mount an Apple TV box on the back of BeoPlay V1 and set up the Beo remote to control everything. Apple TV is already a proven product and even though it still lacks some content, it has great features such as Netflix, iTunes and AirPlay – and possibly more to come. Instead of developing a new “Smart TV” platform, B&O has used an existing one; and it outperforms every single TV manufacturer’s Smart TV platform on the market today. However, you can achieve almost the same by connected the Apple TV box to any other TV on the market. We did not dive deep into the external speaker possibilities but BeoPlay V1 has a complete 5.1 surround decoder built-in.

When it comes to picture quality, BeoPlay V1 has some of the characteristics of the more expensive BeoVision 10 but the meticulous attention to small details that we praised in the BeoVision 10 review is not found in BeoPlay V1. It still has very decent SD and HD picture quality and it excels in black depth, picture detailing, light homogeneity and shadow detailing. It also has different picture profiles if you prefer to be in charge. But we also found some problems with color banding / color gradation. It still competes in the good end of the LED market and is a great TV for movies and TV channels but it fails in the gaming area due to high input lag.

To summarize, we need to underline that BeoPlay V1 is more than a simple TV. You need to remember that it has a complete sound module inside and can enter into a B&O sound setup. The missing MasterLink implementation will affect existing owners but new B&O customers will enjoy the more open approach. Picture quality is generally good but we had hoped to see some of the great systems from the more expensive Bang & Olufsen TVs move down into the BeoPlay range - maybe we were too hopeful. We obviously need to compare BeoPlay V1 to the broader market, and even though it competes with many top LED models from popular mainstream brands, it remains a contender; not a champion.
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