All-in-one 3D Blu-ray
Remote not intuitive
Too small for 3D
No Freeview red button
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Notwithstanding some prototypes and product showcases from the likes of Sony, Toshiba and Sharp, the flatscreen TV with built-in Blu-ray player has yet to really emerge as a genre. Until now, that is.
Trust Bang & Olufsen. With a money-no-object approach that's almost unique in the world of flatscreen televisions, the latest incarnation of its BeoVision 7-40 has a built-in Blu-ray player that, naturally, can also handle 3D discs.
No surprises there, you may think, but this 40-inch LED-backlit TV - a complete overhaul of the 2008 Bang & Olufsen BeoVision 7-40 and different from last year's Bang & Olufsen BeoVision 4-85 - is the Danish brand's most advanced yet.
Interestingly, there has been no jump to the cheaper passive 3D system; it's active shutter all the way for Bang & Olufsen. If that means batteries and relatively heavy 3D specs, don't fret - a lot more power and cash is needed for the Bang & Olufsen BeoVision 7-40 to perform at its best.
The choices for blinging up your Bang & Olufsen BeoVision 7-40 are initially confusing, with several options for both audio and motorised stand. Yup, the TV moves at the touch of a button. This is useful if you have it in an alcove, or your sofa is set up to please the shape of the room rather than the aspect of the TV, but hardly essential stuff.
If you're set on swinging, options include a low or high floor stand, a table stand, or a wall bracket that swivels.
The most popular setup comprises a Bang & Olufsen BeoVision 7-40 with a motorised floor stand, a Beo6 touchscreen remote control, and a BeoLab 7.2 speaker (which sells for £2,700 alone) that can act as either a stereo soundbar or as a mono centre speaker in a surround sound setup.
That array is ideal for standalone use, but if you already have four surround sound speakers, consider instead fitting the BeoVision 7-40 with a BeoLab 7.4 mono centre speaker.
For the record, Bang & Olufsen sells myriad speakers for front/ear surround duties, including the BeoLab 9 (£6,300 per pair), BeoLab 8002 (£3,700 per pair) and BeoLab 6002 (£2,300 per pair).
If you're felling flush, the company also makes its 360 degree sound-spouting 2,500W BeoLab 5 'dalek' speakers for £14,000 for two.
The UK price for the Bang & Olufsen BeoVision 7-40 itself is £7,600-£10,950.
The real beauty of Bang & Olufsen TVs are that very few are sold, so any example is fairly unique.
The brand has taken that a step further here by offering complete customisation of colours on this TV's central column. You can stick with silver or add flashes of black, grey, blue, yellow or red. Either way, build quality is peerless, as you'd expect for this kind of money.
In terms of design, the Bang & Olufsen BeoVision 7-40 isn't particularly slim, at 174 mm, although the explanation for that is the built-in Blu-ray player and surround sound decoder.
Other B&O TVs
The BeoVision 7-40 is part of Bang & Olufsen's flagship TV range for the living room that also includes the 55-inch Bang & Olufsen BeoVision 7-55, which costs £16,200 with the same accessories.
Bearing the unmistakable square design that puts a rectangular speaker below the screen, the 32-inch BeoVision 10-32 (£4,500), 40-inch BeoVision 10-40 (£6,500) and 46-inch BeoVision 10-46 (£7,800) pair Edge LED backlighting with 200Hz processing.
All can be customised, colour-wise, to have a black or white reverse. At 64mm, these are the brand's slimmest screens.
The latest B&O TV is the 65-inch BeoVision 12-65 (£16,990), a plasma monitor that's designed only for wall-mounting, and whose integrated (but sleek, and very long) aluminium speaker-bar can act as a centre speaker. That speaker and integrated BeoSystem 3 processor replaces a separate AV receiver in a surround sound setup with the made-to-match BeoLab 12 speakers (£3,800 per pair).
And that's exactly what the flagship freestanding BeoVision 7-40 before us is designed to do, albeit on a much smaller scale, from its own BeoSystem 3-adorned chassis.
Jamie is a freelance tech, travel and space journalist based in the UK. He’s been writing regularly for Techradar since it was launched in 2008 and also writes regularly for Forbes, The Telegraph, the South China Morning Post, Sky & Telescope and the Sky At Night magazine as well as other Future titles T3, Digital Camera World, All About Space and Space.com. He also edits two of his own websites, TravGear.com and WhenIsTheNextEclipse.com that reflect his obsession with travel gear and solar eclipse travel. He is the author of A Stargazing Program For Beginners (Springer, 2015),