BeoCenter AV5

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Manufactured: 1997 - 2001
Designer: David Lewis
Colours: Black, Blue, Green, Red, Tan and Silver

" Picture this. The perfect picture "

BeoCenter AV5 was, at first glance, merely a television set. However, what you saw was just half the picture. The AV5 was in fact a fully integrated, compact digital home entertainment system, comprising a CD player, FM radio and powerful loudspeakers... as well as a television!

On top of the AV5 a CD player elegantly lifted open to allow you to drop in your CD and listen.

BeoCenter AV5 therefore offered the best of both worlds and allowed you decide. At the touch of a button, two motor-drive loudspeakers stretched silently out to each side of the TV set. It was a simple, welcoming gesture but one that also ensures a special performance every time you switch on. The extra width allowed the loudspeakers to combine with the ear-shattering centre bass to produce optimal stereo sound in its full perspective. It was something you could hear - and feel - every time you watched a movie or listened to the in-built radio or played a CD. Indeed, BeoCenter AV5 was so versatile that at the time of its introduction, it could also play CD-i discs.

Devoting efforts in creating the perfect sound didn't mean that Bang & Olufsen had forgotten what they knew about creating the perfect picture. On the contrary. The AV5's 63cm super flat picture tube, combined with the contrast screen's anti-reflective coating, delivered a sharper picture, with more depth and perspective, than you had ever seen before. So when the AV5's electronic curtains glided open you could be sure that what lay behind them was pure entertainment.

Another original Bang & Olufsen feature added to daylight viewing comfort. It was a small electronic sensor that registered the prevailing light conditions in the room and adjusted the picture, so that it was always sharp, no matter whether a reading lamp was lit or sunlight suddenly poured through the window.

Touch CD on the Beo4 remote control and the AV5 moved on its motorised stand to face the viewer's favourite viewing position. And active speaker stretched out from each side. On top, a CD player elegantly lifted open to allow you to drop in your CD and listen. The superior sound of the AV5 was made possible by the creation of a 'soundscape' that widened the perspective of the sound to make each individual instrument clear and distinct. Combined with an inbuilt, ear-shattering centre bass, the AV5 delivered a sound so rich and true that the effect was remarkably similar to a dedicated surround system.

Like every other Bang & Olufsen product, Beovision AV5 was designed and crafted with the greatest care. To ensure that the powerful centre bass unit didn't interfere with the steadiness of the picture, it was mounted on an intricate suspension system, which in turn was anchored to a special aluminium chassis. The CD unit was perhaps the most robust then, on the market, to allow it to cope with the demanding environment - electronic noise, hot air and interference - in which it had to perform. And on top of all that, the entire unit was 'torture tested' hundreds of thousands of times to make sure that it could cope with the rigours of daily use!

Beovision AV5 construction

The rear of the AV5 is removed by undoing four screws. It may have taken some 150 tools and six construction engineers to make the parts and components, but as far as possible, one size of screw was used to assemble the AV5. The result was, up to 1999, the most advanced piece of electronic design ever to leave the Struer assembly line. Yet everything follows a strictly modular pattern, making maintenance and servicing logical and straightforward.

How can 15 centimetres make a world of difference if you’re already sitting in front of the television, ideally positioned between the stereo loudspeakers?

If you want the full perspective of, say a symphony and you want to be able to identify each instrument in the orchestra, a distance of 80 centimetres is the absolute minimum. You must also make sure that the loudspeakers deliver exactly the same performance and have the same harmonic balance. This can only be obtained by the painstaking measurement, trimming, and pairing of every single tweeter and baffle that goes into the AV5 (or into any other Bang & Olufsen loudspeaker for that matter). Some manufacturers obtain "spatial effect" by reversing the signal phase on one side. This creates a broader perspective, but makes it impossible to locate voices or single instruments.

Flat as a pancake

The picture tube was a new 25" 'super-flat state-of-the-art' tube. It delivered excellent focus, which, combined with the anti-reflective coating of the contrast screen, was experienced as a sharper picture with more depth and better resolution.

The antlers

The fact the loudspeakers disappeared into the front wall, calls for a special bearing structure. In the AV5, the heaviest component was the picture tube, which was fixed to a set of aluminium "antlers", a moulded aluminium space-frame which also carried the loudspeakers and most of the wiring. Cast in two pieces, it was custom-designed to hold wiring and fixtures that traditionally, would have been mounted with additional clamps and screws. Aluminium has the advantage of being light, but rigid and non-vibrating. It will not conduct sound or allow oscillations that could affect sound or picture reproduction.

'Dance steady' is a term that B&O takes dead seriously. It refers to a product’s ability to perform effortlessly, no matter how animated the surroundings. The company's secret remedy is rubber suspension. Inside the AV5, almost every vital unit was isolated from the bearing structure by little rubber sleeves. The transformer, the CD print card, the CD drive and last but not least, the centre bass, since it was the source of a sizeable proportion of the vibration pattern. Dance steadiness is measured on a vibrating table to determine the design of each individual rubber sleeve.

On and on and on...

Imagine that you’d turn the AV5 on and off maybe 10 times a day over the next ten years and multiply that by 5 for safety. That’s equivalent to turning it on and off 180,000 times over 10 years. In B&O's torture chambers in the dungeons in Struer, the loudspeakers on the guinea pig AV5 were stretched well beyond the first 500,000 times!

"It can’t be done"

Buffers, shielded cables and a couple of brave hearts went into one of the most challenging technical solutions in the AV5. To make room for the CD player in the upper corner, it was necessary to separate the drive from the control unit. In an environment as compact and loaded with "electronic noise" as the AV5, a lot of sources could create interference and laser is a fragile technology. Servo signals have to travel a longer distance and streams of hot air will not make working conditions any more stable. As a result, the AV5’s CD player was one of the most robust on the market at the time of the AV5's production.

BeoCenter AV5 Product Specifications

NEU 8200 (1997 - Jan 2002)
HK 8202 ( 1997 - Jan 2002)
GB 8203 ( 1997 - Jan 2002)
ITA 8204 ( 1997 - Jan 2002)
AUS 8205 ( 1997 - Jan 2002)
EEU 8206 ( 1997 - Jan 2002)
OTHER 8207 ( 1997 - Jan 2002)
F(GB) 8208 ( 1997 - Jan 2002)

Remote control included: Beo4
Stand turning function: +/- 35 degrees, remote operated
Picture tube: 63cm , Black line SF, Black Matrix
Visible picture: 59cm
Curtain: electronic
Contrast screen: anti-reflex coated
Auto picture adjustment
Auto cut-off
Wideband CTI
Adaptive Luminance Peaking
Scan Velocity Modulation 1
Teletext Improved Teletext, (about 350 pages)
FastText (FLOF), 7 languages, 4 memory pages per programme
CTV system B/G, PAL, SECAM, NTSC AV, Nicam (optional)
Tuner range 45 - 860 MHz, VHF, S, Hyper, UHF
TV programmes 79, named by Teletext

Sound Stereo, active speakers
Sound pressure level 97 dB stereo
Stereo decoders According to type:
A2 + NICAM B / G / L (optional)
A2 + NICAM B / G / I (optional)
NICAM I (optional)
Sound system bass reflex, 2 x two-way 'side-system' + 'centre bass'
Frequency range 55 - 20000 Hz
FM receiver tuner range: RDS 87.5 - 108 MHz
Radio programmes: 59
CD: built in
Disc size 12cm , 8cm
Frequency range 20 - 20,000 Hz +/- 1 dB
Signal - to - noise - ratio Typical 100 dB, A weighted in audio mode
Playback the following:
8200, -03, -04, -05, -06, -08
8202(HK), 8207(TAI) CD-A
CD-A, Photo-CD, Video-CD, CD-I, CD-Graphics, CD-Ready
Satellite module: (optional)
Tuner range 950 - 2150 MHz
Programmes 119 TV/ Radio
Sound systems Mono/ Stereo
Satellite radio: yes
Down conv. supply 14/18 Volts control, Tone control (22 Khz)
Input DiSEqC (One way control)
2 x F-connector (2 x 75 ohms) Connections: V.TAPE-AV-Decoder 3 x 21-pin sockets, AV for S-VHS in/out
Camcorder / auxiliary 3 x Phono sockets/YC input 4-pin socket
Stereo headphones Mini jack
Beolink 1 Master Link
Beolink video distribution System modulator according to type
I optional, G optional
RF out

Link compatibility: 1 Master Link

Optional features/modules: Satellite 4158
NICAM decoder 4144
Set-top box Controller 4167
System modulator 4155 (EU) 4160 (GB)
Positioner (external) 4170 (EU) 4171 (GB)
Power Positioner (external) 4172 (EU) 4173 (GB)
AV2 Expander box 8089086
Picture in picture module Not available

Specifications: Dimensions W x H x D/ Weight:
On mode : 63 x 97 x 55cm / 69 kg
Standby mode: 81 x 97 x 55cm / 69 kg
Cabinet finish: pearlescent shades of black, blue, green, red, dark tan and silver
Power consumption/ minimum: typical 112 W/ standby <1.5 W

Market specifications:
Market: Type: Country: Active CTV system Basic CTV system *)
NEU 8200 A-B-CH-D-DK-E-GR-I-N-NL-P-S-SF-Other B/G B/G
HK 8202 Hong Kong B/G/D/K/M/I B/G/D/K/M/I
GB 8203 UK, South Africa I I
ITA 8204 Itali B/G B/G
AUS 8205 AUS, NZ B/G B/G
EEU 8206 East Europe B/G/D/K B/G/D/K/M/I
TAI 8207 Thailand, Other B/G/D/K/M/I B/G/D/K/M/I
FGB 8208 North France, Cannel Island B/G/L/L´/I B/G/L/L´/I

*) Basic CTV systems can be switched ON in Service menu

Most recent S/W 3.4

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Created: 20th January 2007
Modified: 15th March 2007

Author Notes:

My BeoWorld

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