BeoCenter 2

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Manufactured: 2004 - present
Designer: David Lewis
Colours: Aluminium

BeoCenter 2 is an integrated and versatile audio and video system offering easy access to CD audio, AM/FM Radio and DVD video. The philosophy behind BeoCenter 2 is to provide a physically compact system offering total integration of picture and sound. The high degree of compactness has been achieved by separating the Master Unit, containing the operation and disc transport mechanism, from the Socket Unit. The Socket Unit (shown right) contains most of the electronics, as well as all external connections. This greatly helps the organising and concealment of the numerous cables needed in a typical A/V set-up. In BeoCenter 2 only a single thin cable, available in 1.8, 3, 5 and 10 metre lengths, connects the Master Unit to the Socket Unit. A 1.8 metre cable is delivered as standard.

The Socket Unit contains most of the electronics, as well as all external connections. This greatly helps the organising and concealment of the numerous cables needed in a typical A/V set-up. In BeoCenter 2 only a single thin cable, available in 1.8, 3, 5 and 10 metre lengths, connects the Master Unit to the Socket Unit. A 1.8 metre cable is delivered as standard.

The Socket Unit is fitted with MasterLink, RGB, PowerLink, power connections and other connectors so that you may connect a pair of BeoLab active speakers or link it to a home cinema system.

A great advantage of the compactness and relative lightness of the BeoCenter 2 Master Unit is great flexibility in placement. It can be wall mounted, attached to a dedicated floor or table stand, or simply placed on a table or shelf.

Digital Radio Module

BeoCenter 2 DAB digital radio module: this module allows users access to terrestrial free-to-air broadcasting of high quality audio and data. DAB digital radio is a new way of broadcasting radio via a network of terrestrial transmitters. It provides listeners with more choice, better sound quality and more information. DAB digital radio is like analogue radio, only much better. When available - from 3 November 2004 - the module will become a standard feature of BeoCenter 2 in the UK.

In order to make the module compatible it has been necessary to update both the Socket Unit and the Master Unit. This, however, means that DAB will not be available with past and current BeoCenter 2 models. It was originally stated upon the launch of BeoCenter 2, that it would be possible to ‘upgrade’ to DAB. Where customers purchased the model on that understanding, Bang & Olufsen will honour that commitment. The first Master Unit serial number with software suitable for the DAB functionality is 18139286.

Note: To have the DAB module fitted to your BeoCenter 2 is essential that both the Socket Unit and Master unit are the latest versions. Mixing existing stock of Master Units (pre-serial number 18139286) and DAB Socket Units (part number 1280020) is not possible.

Master unit connections: MasterLink x 1, Digital Out, SCART, S-VHS, FM Aerial, AM Aerial, audio in (L&R), audio out (L&R), PowerLink x 1 (See Specifications).

By touching 'load' on the anodised aluminium top panel, BeoCenter 2 opens to receive your chosen media. The product is made up of two units linked together by a special cable: the Master Unit (or Media Unit which is the player itself) and the Socket Unit.

BeoCenter 2 Press Release October 2003

Bang & Olufsen's new music system, the BeoCenter 2, is in many ways a classic Bang & Olufsen product. It has mystique, it is elegant, it is simple and logical.

If you look at the BeoCenter 2 from a distance, the design says nothing about the many functions the system contains. Only when you make physical contact is the content behind the symmetrical polished aluminium doors revealed. If you press "load" lightly, the two wing-shaped aluminium doors slide aside elegantly to reveal a combined CD and DVD player. When the music or film is playing, the doors slide back to conceal the disc, clearly signalling that the experience is more important than the source.

It is by no means unusual for a DVD player to play CDs, but a system that offers radio, CD, DVD and MP3 CD playback is a new way of combining all sources of entertainment in one unit. "At Bang & Olufsen we always focus on integrating technologies and with the BeoCenter 2 we give our customers the chance to combine music and video sources in one unit," says President and CEO Torben Ballegaard Sorensen.

With the oval shape of the master unit, BeoCenter 2 is yet another design step away from the traditional box-shaped units of yesteryear for playing music and images. The size of the display ensures that it can be read at a distance and a light meter behind the glass adjusts the intensity of the display according to the brightness of the room. This avoids the display completely illuminating a dark living room.

In addition to RDS (Radio Data System), the tuner in BeoCenter 2 allows you to program and name up to 60 radio stations. And, of course, the BeoCenter 2 can be integrated into a Beolink network. When connected to a Beolink PC2 it can also play digital music files stored on a computer.

Clean up the Mess

It has always been important for Bang & Olufsen to make it nice and easy for consumers to enjoy music and moving pictures. Most obviously, the concept helps to eliminate the many remote controls that typically pile up on the coffee table, replacing them with one remote control - the Beo4 - which can control all the functions of all the appliances connected, plus the lighting in the room.

Another example is the tradition of concealing cables in stands and behind screens so that the necessary cables do not mar the visual appearance of the products. And where it is not possible to conceal the cables completely, special holders are provided for the cables, making a virtue out of necessity. Finally, there is the design itself. By avoiding visual trivialities and unsightliness, which can mar an audio/video product in themselves, the products look simple and elegant.

BeoCenter 2 is a continuation, a natural development, of this line of thought. The division of the product into two separate parts means that there is great freedom to place the elegant master unit where it is best suited in the room. This may be on a table, mounted on the wall or on an aluminium floor stand specially designed to match the oval shape of the master unit.

From the master unit there is just one cable to the socket unit containing the sockets for all the cables connecting BeoCenter 2 to the mains, speakers, TV, aerials, etc. The socket unit can be concealed under a piece of furniture or behind a curtain. This means that the visible part of the BeoCenter 2 is not spoiled by the jumble of cables required to integrate it into the network of the TV and speakers.

World Class Aluminium Processing

BeoCenter 2's two sliding aluminium doors were a challenge to Bang & Olufsen. Both doors are cut from the same piece of aluminium, but only after the front has been polished in the oval shape that follows the lower edge of the display. This ensures that all details in the polishing are echoed on both doors. Both these sliding doors stay together throughout the complicated process of milling and the two surface treatments. So the doors on the final product match perfectly.

The precision requirements Bang & Olufsen sets for the visual appearance of the product mean that the machine which grinds the edges of the doors works to very small tolerances. For every 1/100 millimetre along the edge, the machine calculates and self-corrects to ensure a perfect oval shape.

When the aluminium is surface-treated in the anodisation plant, tiny pores appear in the surface. These pores are used in the screen printing employed to apply numbers and characters to the front of the doors of the master unit. By pressing the coloured lacquer down into the pores and then surface-treating the doors, very durable printing is achieved. As a result, it is virtually impossible to wear the printing off, even with very frequent use.

Controlling the BeoCenter 2 is a masterpiece of precision. The area beneath the master unit is milled down to 0.5 millimetres. So when the user presses the unit, the thin aluminium sheet bends very easily. This activates the electrical circuits used for the control function. You can neither see nor feel this, but it is enough for it to make contact with the film of conductive material underneath.

The precision processing goes one stage further with the "wheel" on the right-hand door. In a wide circle around the control areas, a further 0.1 millimetre of aluminium has been milled off. The functions of the wheel include adjusting the volume, and it functions according to the same mechanical principle as the rest of the master unit.

Mounting Options

The socket connection box for BeoCenter 2 was supplied complete with a wall bracket in the box. For the head unit, in addition to the optional floor stand, a combined wall bracket / table stand was available.

Bang & Olufsen's preferred supplier for brackets and stands, STBbrackets, made a solution specifically for the connection box. Distributed throughout the World by the Bang & Olufsen store network, the STB option adds to the diversity of mounting options and positions available.

»Mounting Bracket

Hide your BeoCenter 2 connection box at the rear of your B&O TV

BeoCenter 2 Product Specifications

Market: Type: Year of introduction Part Numbers:
Master unit: ALL 2801 2003-12 Master Unit 1280014
Socket unit:
Socket Unit 1280005
EU2, DVD region 2 2811 2004-01 Floor Stand 1217011
EU3, DVD region 3 2812 2004-01 Wall Bracket 1217111
EU4, DVD region 3 2813 2004-01
EU5, DVD region 4 2814 2004-01 Cables Part Numbers:
GB2, DVD region 2 2815 2004-01 1.8 metre 6270086
GB3, DVD region 3 2816 2004-01 3.0 metre 6270087
US1, DVD region 1 2817 2003-12 5.0 metre 6270088
US4, DVD region 4 2818 2003-12 10.0 metre 6270089
JP2, DVD region 2 2819 2004-01
AU4, DVD region 4 2820 2004-01
TW3, DVD region 3 2821 2004-01
KR3, DVD region 3 2822 2004-01
LA4, DVD region 4 2823 2004-01
Specifications:
Master unit
Dimensions W x H x D, Master unit 372 x 50 x 243 mm (without standard feet)
37 x 15 x 23 cm (with standard feet)
Weight, Master unit 4.5 kg
Cabinet finish, Master unit Silver
DVD/CD Disc sizes 12 cm and 8 cm (in adaptor)
IR-remote control Beo 4
Close-up operation panels Sensi-touch piezo-electrical keyboards
Display type Vacuum Fluorescent Display with automatic light intensity control
Loader Motorized doors and loader
Contains DVD, DVD-loader, Display, Keyboard
Socket unit
Dimensions W x H x D, Socket unit 536 x 150 x 55 mm (without wall bracket)
54 x 15 x 6.5 cm (with wall bracket)
Weight, Socket unit 2.8 kg
Cabinet finish, Socket unit Black
Power supply, EU, GB, US, KOR
Power supply, JPN, US, TWN 187 - 264 V / 50-60 Hz
85 - 132 V / 50-60 Hz
Power consumption typical 22 watts / stand-by < 2 watts
Contains Radio, sound processing, video switching, power supply, main microprocessor
Audio Performance:
CD naming: 200 discs can be named
Sampling frequencies: 44.1, 48, 96 kHz
D/A Conversion: Sigma-Delta type
Frequency range: 20Hz - 20kHz CD/DVD/AUX, 30Hz - 15kHz Radio, FM
Playback: DVD-Video, Video CD, CD-DA, CD-R, CD-RW, CD-MP3
Signal-to-noise-ratio: > 105dB, A weighted, in CD mode
Tone controls: Bass, Treble, Loudness, Balance
Radio, FM: 87.5 - 108.0 MHz, 76 - 90 MHz JPN, De-emphasis 50/75ms, Grid 12.5 kHz to 50kHz
Radio, AM: 150 - 1710 kHz in two bands, Grid 225, 250, 300, 450 or 500 Hz
RDS: Name, RadioText, Clock
Naming: 60 stations
Digital output: Stereo and Encoded surround sound
Linear PCM, AC-3, MPEG-2, DTS
Video Performance:
Formats RGB, S-Video (Y/C), CVBS (Composite video)
DVD Zone According to Region
Colour system PAL/NTSC depends on region setting
Signal/Noise ratio > 60 dB, typ 70 dB
Crosstalk (video/video) < - 55 dB
Diff. Phase < 3o
Bandwidth ³ 4.8MHz PAL, ³ 4.3MHz NTSC
Widescreen Signalling Data to signal the aspect ratio.
Analogue copy protection According to DVD standard dependant upon disc copy protection ON/OFF bit (DVD discs only)


Connections:
Master unit
Headphone / Mini-jack 1
Special transmission cable between Master and Socket unit 1, special transmission cable between Master and Socket unit
Socket unit
AV (SCART) 1 AV Link 21-pin socket, CVBS, Y/C, RGB selectable output
S-video (Y/C output) 1 Mini DIN, 4-p
Control (CTRL) 1 mini-jack
Video (CVBS output) 1 Phono socket, yellow
Audio Line out 2 Phono socket, L/R
Audio AUX 4 Phono socket, inputL/R / output L/R
Digital output 1 Phono socket, orange
Master Link 1
Power link 1
FM antenna, 75 ohm 1
AM antenna (dedicated) 1
Mains connector 1
Loader unit 1, special transmission cable between Master and Socket unit


Most recent S/W Non Dab 1.3 Dab 2.0 Socket unit 3.2

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Created: 2nd December 2006
Modified: 19th September 2012

Author Notes:

Beoworld says:

The new face of B&O, designed to take over as the flagship model from the BS9000, sporting DVD playback and after a false start the ability to have a DAB module, this model seems to be a bit of a sleeper as it does not have the initial drama of the BS9000, until the disc is loaded. Later models are preferable as they gain audio feedback of key presses; the absence of this makes operating an older one slightly less pleasurable despite the clever touch sensitive aluminium.

A later version was designated the BC2 audio though the only difference was a stripped out switch unit. Shame as a model allowing SACD playback (something the drive is quite capable of) would have allowed it to be aimed at audiophiles.

Here is a user review by a BeoWorld member:

Thought I´d share some experience after having used the Beocenter 2 Audio, a couple of weeks:

Usability:

Excellent. Very easy to handle up close. The volume control, using the "circle", is sometimes a little awkward. Menus are very easy to handle and understand. The separate box with all the connections makes sense, even though the box could have been smaller on the "Audio only" version. Good that you can play two different sources simultaneously on your link system (that I could not with my old BS3000).

Design / B&O "WOW factor"

Feels still more contemporary in it´s design, than the Beosound 3000 that I replaced. This is very much a personal thing, but that's what I think. If I listen to visitors in my home, the Beocenter 2 certainly have that "wow factor". When opening the wings and presenting the CD tray with light, it certainly impress. Maybe even more than the BS3000....

Sound

Cannot tell any difference from the BS3000. I don´t know if I shall expect any, either !

My BeoWorld



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