Beolink - Part 2

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Beolink® Press Release

Beolink® - A revolution in home entertainment

Imagine a system that allows you to watch the rest of the video that you were half way through in the sitting room the previous night in the bedroom without having to get out of bed to organise it. Picture the system that allows you to move from the shower to the bedroom to the kitchen clearly hearing the same CD the entire time without having to move the sound system - imagine this pleasure and ease of use. That experience is the Bang & Olufsen Beolink® system.

At the push of a button, Beolink® can give you sound and pictures anywhere in the house. Based on the concept of moving the experience and not the equipment from one central location, Beolink® brings technology into the home as well as a positive addition to our modern lifestyle.

This innovative creation comes from Bang & Olufsen, the company that produced the world's first mains run radio in 1925 and recently has discovered ICEPower, a unique amplifier technology that can reduce energy demands by over 90% whilst improving the sound quality.

Bang & Olufsen has over 11 of its products on permanent display in New York's Museum of Modern Art and in 1990 it was awarded the ID Classics Prize - the first time that the prize was given to a company and not a product. These tributes are not given away lightly and stand as a symbol of Bang & Olufsen's ability to integrate design and technology and its drive to consistently challenge the boundaries of the home entertainment experience. Beolink® is another unique product that does just that.

Beolink® is based on the simple fact that all of Bang & Olufsen's products "speak the same language" and therefore can be controlled from one remote control, the Beo4, from any room in the house. The control can operate all functions on Bang & Olufsen's linked product range.

In practical terms adding Beolink® to a house means pleasure and home entertainment at its best. Even the cable for Beolink® goes through Bang & Olufsen's torturous testing procedures - it will work equally well in the heat of a desert or in the sub-zero wastelands of Greenland. It will remain unaffected and shielded from noise from antennae, television sets, coin meters or whatever it may pass on the way to the speakers. This again demonstrates Bang & Olufsen's commitment to excellence and attention to detail.

With the help of infra-red receivers Beolink® is sound and vision distributed around the modern household as naturally as electricity, water and gas.

Connections are crucial

A Beolink® cable must perform equally well inside a heating duct in Tunisia as under a timber roof in Lapland. It should withstand unfair treatment like twisting and curling around skirting boards and door frames. And it should transport CD signals over distances of up to 400 metres without losses of any kind.

Its stereo signals are balanced in twisted pairs: each channel runs differentially with a plus and a minus signal wrapped around one another, and shielded for protection against noise from antennae, TV sets, coin meters or whatever they pass on their way to the loudspeakers.

The data wire follows the same strict principle. On top of these three twisted pairs, and an earth wire for reference, there are three normal lines for power distribution. They are there to ensure the full performance in the Beolink® system, no matter how many unintentional dropouts may appear on the network.

In other words, if you happen to disconnect a loudspeaker while vacuum cleaning one room, the performance will not be affected in the rest of your home.

Beolink® has a history of two parts - the earlier Master Control Link and the present Master Link systems:

Master Control Link: you have central heating.. so why not central high fidelity?

Bang and Olufsen in the mid-1980s developed the totally unique Master Control Link system - the first and only one of its type in the world at that time - which made users of B&O equipment independent of the music system's placement. No matter which room you were in, you were able to control the music system and switch from radio to records to tapes, play, record, fast forward or rewind, and even program the system to awaken you in the morning, for example.

The secret behind the advanced but simple Link system was the discreet Master Control Link that conveyed the two-way communication between the music system and the remote control unit, be it a Master Control Panel (like Beosystem 5000's MCP5000) with visual feedback, or a Terminal. Every command which you gave the remote control unit was transformed into infra-red signals which were sent through the Link to the music system. A Link enabled you to take full advantage of your Bang & Olufsen music system. With the added advantage that you didn't have to give up space in the connected room to more than a pair of speakers and the Master Control Link, which wasn't much larger than an audio cassette. The small relay unit could be placed discreetly out of sight - under the bed, in a cupboard or by the skirting board, for example.

Compared with other 'obvious' installations in your home, central high fidelity was both simple and manageable. And it was so flexible that new rooms could become part of your system - to the extent and in the order you desired.

And in the same way that you could vary furnishings from room to room, you could vary your round-the-house-music, with large powerful speakers in large rooms, smaller speakers elsewhere, and the most compact speakers in the most modest rooms.

Master Link

Master Link perceived as an interconnection method, offers some convenient benefits not available with the MCL system.

An example is that whereas the interconnection in the main room previously had to be carried out with one type of cable (Audio Aux Link) and the interconnection between the main room and the link rooms with another type of cable (Master Control Link), the new Master Link connection offers a bus-type connection that caters for all interconnections between the main room audio and video systems as well as connections to the link rooms.

Another benefit is for completely individual volume control and tone adjustments in each link room, due to the distribution of audio signals at line level and the application of power amplifiers in each link room.

Contrary to the previous signal distribution system, Master Link signals are distributed as balanced signals, permitting distribution of CD-quality sound, even when the cable distances are fairly long.

Finally, the distribution hardware has been improved, e.g. by the introduction of a reduced signal cable diameter and new cable termination methods. The benefit of this improvement is that installation has become simpler and more elegant. The simplification is most evident in smaller installations, e.g. the installation of an intelligent kitchen loudspeaker being intuitively and more quickly accomplished, whereas larger installations still require some planning and installation skills.

Through Beolink® you may extend your choices with a range of dedicated Beolink® products. They offer the maximum convenience when it comes to moving and controlling sound and pictures around your home:

BeoLab 2000 loudspeakers

BeoLab 3500 loudspeakers

Beolink® PC2 - PC Office

Beolink® distribution covers the ability to distribute both audio and video signals. In the Master Link system audio and control signals are distributed by means of one single cable, whereas the distribution of video signals requires a coaxial cable network. Only more recent Beolink®-compatible products can be fully integrated in a Beolink® system, but previous system products may be integrated to a limited extent. At the end of 2001, only the BeoSound Century and BeoSound 1 could not be linked via Beolink®. The rest of the product range could be linked up and operated around the house.

Created: 11th February 2007
Modified: 23rd November 2007

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