Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Bose VideoWave fits surround sound into TV, custom UI aims to simplify set-top box clutter (video)


Keep it simple, stupid. That seems to be Bose's driving philosophy in its just-announced VideoWave entertainment system, and it's all about integration. There's no separate sound system to speak of: everything is built into the 46-inch 1080p LCD display. There are 16 speakers in all, including six woofers in a magnesium enclosure -- yeah, that's heavy; the total weight of this sucker is just under 100 pounds, according to PR. The surround sound is calibrated automatically via Bose's own Adaptiq, and its PhaseGuide sound radiator technology shoots high frequency audio waves to bounce off adjacent walls to recreate the effect of surround sound (i.e. a surround sound bar). The bare minimum of wires runs out of the TV, connecting to the separate console set-top box. There are three HDMI and two component ports on the back, and on the front are composite, HDMI, and USB ports (one apiece). There's an IR emitter in front for controlling other consoles, and while Bose claims you won't need IR blasters if the STBs aren't hidden away, they're bundled just in case.

The second pillar of VideoWave is a radio-frequency ClickPad remote control, and it's as basic as it gets -- power, input, channel selection, volume, and mute. Bose claims that this remote will run all the connected boxes, with the console detecting what they are and automatically adding to the input list. Now, here's where it gets interesting: running your finger along the surface activates a border of options around your screen (the video source is shrunken) and you can select options that are custom-tailored to the source (DVR, cable boxes -- there's even a custom iPod interface with a proprietary dock). Like we said, the company believes it's got a handle on the set-top box scene and has custom-tailored border interfaces for pretty much everything out there, which can be upgraded via firmware (hence the USB input on the console). In person, the software and control is pretty slick and snappy.

And now for the price and release date. It's actually just around the corner, October 14th, and sold exclusively through Bose stores. The upfront cost is mighty steep at $5,349, and that includes a mandatory personal delivery and installation. Then again, if you have much money to spend, is a 46-inch screen really large enough? And what of any number of other TVs with integrated sound bars? (Mitsubishi's similar Unisen series, for example, starts at $1,699.) Too early to say, but it's Bose, and that name alone packs a premium. Video after the break.

Continue reading Bose VideoWave fits surround sound into TV, custom UI aims to simplify set-top box clutter (video)

Bose VideoWave fits surround sound into TV, custom UI aims to simplify set-top box clutter (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 28 Sep 2010 14:00:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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