Bang & Olufsen BeoVision 7-40 review

B&O gets TV moving with built-in 3D Blu-ray

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As a brand, Bang & Olufsen is almost always criticised for being obsessed with design and for not using the latest tech, but the BeoVision 7-40 provides an argument against that.

That Bang & Olufsen has take the same panel used in super-slim TVs and packed it in a chassis that's not only chunky and deep, but that also has a very wide bezel, tells us something about its stubborn stance on both sound quality and all-in-one design.

An integrated surround sound processor causes the depth, while the bezel frames the image nicely and helps make 3D more involving.

We liked

Despite being neither flexible nor faultless, images benefit from the use of a very good quality panel. It means - possibly for the first time on a Bang & Olufsen TV - that the BeoVision 7-40 can argue its place in a living room on picture performance as well as its unique design.

It's hard not to love the 'digital curtains', the all-in-one design, the motorised stand and, of course, the enveloping audio. We're also inclined to like a brand that sticks two fingers up to those who insist on ultra-slim design and a thin bezel without a second thought for picture or sound quality.

We disliked

3D, as ever, is a mixed bag, although on a 40-inch TV it's never going to be more than a must-have feature.

Our only other niggle - aside from that huge price tag and the lack of a red button for Freeview channels - is the Beo6 remote, which isn't wholly convincing, despite its obvious advantages.

Final verdict

Detailed, clean and versatile images with profound blacks make for an impressive overall picture performance, while that built-in 3D Blu-ray player and awesome audio options will be just as tempting to those with deep pockets.

The huge price is a massive barrier to almost all of us, but it's worth bearing in mind that for most of its potential buyers it's a toss-up between this TV, a luxury loft conversion and a five-star safari. Which one would you choose?

Also consider

If you're set on spending big on products from the likes of Bang & Olufsen, it's worth considering a couple of other posh brands' TVs, too.

How about the Bose VideoWave, which provides a built-in cinema system and all the connections in a separate media box, for just £4,500.

Loewe's 52-inch Reference system comes in at just under £10,000 and is also an eye-catcher, although movie moguls, millionaires and oligarchs should look no further than the 152-inch Panasonic TH-152UX1, a plasma TV with 4K resolution, of which no source yet exists. Now that's future-proofing, and it'll only set you back around £380,000.