Bose, $7999 bose.com.au
AUSTRALIANS spent more than $1.4 billion on bigscreen televisions last year. But while the television picture received a lot of attention, many ignored its sound, according to Bose Asia Pacific technical product manager Alexander Healy.
‘‘ Only a third of households hook up a home-theatre system to their TV,’’ he says.
‘‘ We know that’s the case for the US and we think that’s true of Australia as well.’’
The complexity, the many wires and all the remote controls turned consumers away, Healy says, and presents a problem for the audio company.
After 10 years’ research, Bose has developed a potential solution. Very simply, it took a sound system and ‘‘ strapped it to the back of a (TV) panel,’’ Healy says.
The result is the Bose VideoWave Entertainment System, with a new type of television that offers prominent bass, room-filling audio and a fake, but convincing, 5.1-channel surround-sound delivery.
The television is the first sold by Bose and delivers a full high-definition picture on its 46-inch LCD screen.
But it’s the back of the TV that is the most technologically interesting.
Where most TVs would have electronics, the VideoWave TV has six bass woofers, placed back to back to minimise vibration.
Seven miniature speakers sit at the top edge of the screen, fed by a new tube-shaped element called a Bose PhaseGuide.
Sound flows down this tube, is directed through a fine mesh and pushed into specific areas of the room. This creates a surround-sound feel, even though there are no speakers around you.
Healy says the company had to overcome several challenges to add the speaker system to the back of a TV, managing heat, ‘‘ so you don’t cook the panel’’, limiting vibration and ensuring the TV was not too big.
The VideoWave TV is bigger than a normal screen, at 15cm thick and 48kg. It also features CCFL, rather than modern LED backlighting, a throwback to its origins.
In addition to a TV, the VideoWave system includes a Control Console for plugging in sources such as a Foxtel iQ2, TiVo, Blu-ray Disc Player, Apple TV or set-top box, as well as an iPod Dock and a new type of remote control.
Called the Click Pad, the new control can take charge of any connected device, offering a contextual menu for each that can be accessed by moving a thumb around its touchsensitive pad.
The new remote control is only available as part of the VideoWave system.