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Beo's Future ?

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BeoBoy68
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BeoBoy68 Posted: Sat, Feb 23 2013 12:42 PM
What our favourite Brand will do in the future ? Will Bang & Olufsen manufacture only speakers ? The line in audio component is empty now, no radio or CD player - BeoSound 4 is stopped. Just an old minimalist BeoSound 5. For the TV, it will be much harder to compete with others. Apple want cooperate with Loewe for his future iTV. The audio for luxury cars is a strong segment where Bang & Olufsen makes money. What do you think about Beo's Future ? Sorry for my French English ;-)
Chris Townsend
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When you look at what has happened to the AV market over just the last 10 years(CRT/Plasma/LCD/LED-LCD/OLED soon), it must be a nightmare for a small company like B&O to predict and plan ahead.

I hope TV's aren't eventually got rid of, but i'm more inclined to invest in speakers personally at the moment. I hope there is a killer Beosound 5 replacement.

Regards Chris

ps your national rugby team are going to get a damn good thrashing todayYes - thumbs up

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Electrified
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The future?

My thinking is that they will upgrade the firmware in the BS5 Encore, ditch the BM5/BS5 combo entirely, and focus on networking. I really don't see the Loewe iPad edition (if it comes) to mean anything. Apple isn't exactly venturing into untrodden territory here. Smart TVs are the defacto standard on new tellies, and you can use an iPad/iphone  with most smart TVs these days anyway.

I may well be in the minority here, but I really don't care much about televisions and their specs. I care more about audio and audio products. As such, B&O will certainly be able to compete, even with someone with as much money as Apple. B&O has their own little niche when it comes to flat screen tellies: They are definately not the slimmest out there, but they have great sound compared to other flat screen tv manufacturers out there. I can't even imagine that Apple would go after the specific segment B&O caters to. I mean, Apple will compromise on anything and everything to make a slimmer device (Tablet, Phone, desktop, laptop, whatever).

In any case, it seems they're already narrowing the scope towards more audio related products, and proper audio in screen-centric products. I see this as a good thing.

If you want a means to play a cd, you can either get one for the BS5/Encore, use your computer with the internal or an external disc drive or whatever you choose to.

All in all, I think B&O are doing the right thing, getting rid of something that supports a staggering 2GB sd cards (lol), only lossy files, and CD-drives that are prone to break down (as is all CD drives). They have come out with impressive active in-wall speakers, they have made the BeoPlay range which is almost all audio products, they make audio for some big brand car manufacturers, and as I've said before, I really think this focus will pay off, even if some people out there will buy into the Apple branded Loewe tv and pretend smart tv's was invented by Apple.

 

 

 

 

Raeuber
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Raeuber replied on Sat, Feb 23 2013 1:54 PM
I hope they will stop also producing BS5/BM5 also and introduce a new audio product, but I doubt.

If Apple cooperates with Loewe and introduce an iTV, I'm sure this will be the end of B&O. I can't believe they will survive with only some loudspeakers.

Regards

Räuber
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BeoBoy68 replied on Sat, Feb 23 2013 2:21 PM
I hope either that B&O will launch new audio system. Beo is synonym of Radio from the beginning. I think Bang & Olufsen will survive even if TVs are overpriced.
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DMacri replied on Sat, Feb 23 2013 3:44 PM
BeoBoy68:

I hope either that B&O will launch new audio system. Beo is synonym of Radio from the beginning. I think Bang & Olufsen will survive even if TVs are overpriced.

I agree - I want to see a new audio system as well.

Dom

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Søren Mexico
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DMacri:
I agree - I want to see a new audio system as well.

Thats what B&O were good at, analog audio and TVs, good quality and exclusive designs, the time they use today to get new items on the market is just too long, their prices are far to high for normal consumers, in my opinion they have to go back to the basics, good design, quality and user friendly.

Make good audio equipment that is compatible with other brands and with fast digital and internet connections, all automatic update able and with user friendly two way remotes and keep the prices not low, but lower than they are today. To sell equipment that cost 10 times more than other brands with the same functions is like trying to sell sand in Sahara or freezers in the Arctic.

Collecting Vintage B&O is not a hobby, its a lifestyle.

BeoBoy68
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BeoBoy68 replied on Sat, Feb 23 2013 5:30 PM
Completely agree with you Søren ! In the past, Bang & Olufsen was not cheap but was affordable in time. You could buy a BeoTv or BeoMaster for many years. Nowadays technologies are speeding too fast for B&O. Many items are overpriced. I am passionate but not crazy. 😜😉😄 Beo must return to The Basics and work with expert designers.
Jeff
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Jeff replied on Sat, Feb 23 2013 5:37 PM

As much of an old timer as I am, and how much I hated to see things like the BS9000 go, in today's world there really isn't much of a reason to sell a CD dedicated player. Same for radio, though I think FM/AM should remain on the devices. Still and all, at least in the US outside a few major metropolitan markets, FM is a wasteland, even the NPR stations are mostly talk and almost no music. Back when I lived in Orlando the only decent radio station in town was the local college station that played real jazz. The others were Clear Channel all commercials and little music cookie cutter crap, or talk. AM was even worse. Even the only semi decent light jazz station got bought out by a Latino music/talk thing. So, even losing the radio isn't a big deal.

From what I can tell, the BS5 and Encore have some issues with s/w and interface/use(so does iTunes). But, I think the Encore is the approach for the future, B&O could focus on perfecting a sexy, well made interface device to whatever data storage you have, big disk, computer, NAS, whatever, and stream internet radio...hey, sounds a lot like a BS5 Encore! I think the future should be making it better and more flexible, improving the linkage with iPads and other tablets, re Android, Win 8, etc. Let someone else manufacture and take the risks for the tablets, and the data storage devices. Just make the interface, the speakers, and the network distribution at least for audio. Add in their video products, networked, and I think they're good.

While I think that's the future, it pains me in a way because I have a lot of legacy stuff, LPs, tapes, CDs, and Masterlink stuff that is kind of being left behind. But, for a small company it's pretty hard to justify keeping support for connecting to an ever decreasing base of legacy products. I recognize I'm not the market they need to be focused on for future sales.

 

Jeff

I'm afraid I'm recovering from the BeoVirus. Sad

linder
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linder replied on Sat, Feb 23 2013 7:11 PM

Unfortunately it is difficult to see a way forward for Bang & Olufsen.  The world economic situation and the problems with the Euro are only making it worse.  At one time as a true B&O fanboy, I had hoped to be able financially to buy a completely  new B&O system in which everything matched technologically  and is the latest design.  I can afford to do that now but there nothing I really want to purchase.  The current product line is a mix of mostly old or old technology.  Beoplay is interesting but is nothing special.  I did buy a Beolit 12 but I mostly use it as a table radio.

I think I would like a Beovision 11 but i am put off by having to buy a converter for $900 to attach my ML equipment.  For this converter, B&O wanted me to buy a new router that they would configure.  That is not going to happen.

I am still an optimist and will continue to wait to see what happens.  However if there are more announcements like the Vertu collaboration, I will probably become more disappointed.

 

 

BeoBoy68
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BeoBoy68 replied on Sat, Feb 23 2013 8:22 PM
You are not alone Linder to be disappointed by the Beo's marketing. Right nothing special in the line. Like many Beofans here, we are waiting for new models. Hoping they will come.
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StUrrock replied on Sat, Feb 23 2013 9:23 PM
Raeuber:

I hope they will stop also producing BS5/BM5 also and introduce a new audio product, but I doubt.

I can't believe they will survive with only some loudspeakers.

If they do not produce a new audio system soon I fear B&O as a retailer will cease to exist in their current form.

They will be relying as you say on sales of loudspeakers and a few stand alone BeoPlay products.

They will be the Danish version of B&W.

BeoBoy68
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BeoBoy68 replied on Sat, Feb 23 2013 9:41 PM
I thought also that maybe B&O will be in the future only a factory of loudspeakers but they have a big experience on TV too. Hoping they will react positively. Shame Bang & Olufsen don't communicate enough and not tell what they have planned to launch this year.
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jk1002 replied on Sat, Feb 23 2013 10:48 PM

I don't think its so hard:

 

- High end home installations

- Beoplay for the Iphone crowd

- A single digital music system, think a Beosound 5 with Airplay to cover the spotify crowd and ironed out kinks for serious listening

 

Is not too hard, they just need to get their products right. They do not do a good job understanding their products. Digital music player without gapless playing? A customer base using predominantly macs and no apple lossless support? 

 

i do sense they ware waking up. Fo rme, I chose the Playmaker, would have paid more for it with better packaging but it can do what I need a music player to do.

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moxxey replied on Sat, Feb 23 2013 11:35 PM

Maybe it's just me, but I was thinking this week how quiet it is in the world of B&O. No new catalogue/magalogue, nothing from Tue in terms of an inspirational message to their customers, little speculation about new BeoPlay products and so on.

As for the future? Who knows. Hard to speculate. Some old-school B&O customers that I'm aware of appear to have completely drifted away from the brand. Indeed, I was introduced to the brand about 11 years ago by a couple of B&O-owning friends and they've not bought anything B&O since around 2005. Another couple I know, who regularly attend the local B&O launch parties, stopped going over a year ago. The last item they bought was the BeoSound 3, which promptly broke (top plate) after 4 months. That damaged their opinion of the brand.

Loudspeakers are perhaps the way forward, but then you really need to be able to connect these to a TV as B&O are producing fewer and fewer audio systems (to connect the speakers) and, let's be fair here, no-one is going to spend £799 on their LG TV and then go out and buy a pair of £6000 BL9s, are they? If B&O aren't producing new audio systems, TVs aren't selling, who will buy the speakers?

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Jonathan replied on Sun, Feb 24 2013 2:05 AM

I wrote this in another thread, but I think it is also apt here:

The big problem I see is not the loss of the Beosound 4, but the fact that B&O is becoming less and less a complete audio/visual solution for everyone.

B&O seem to be going through a period of being lost in what they do. They're bringing out products that suit different needs, but not looking at the complete picture like they used to...

x:________________________

Electrified
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I don't see a problem. It is what is to be expected while they shed all the legacy stuff (including ML).

I'm glad they're killing off those old products. It would be nice if they simultanously updated/revised the Encore, killed off the BM5, and came out with more, modern TVs than the BV11.  They should also update the BL5s with a more capable DAC, and perhaps introduce a DAC to the BL9s.

With that said, I'm not really a fan of the BeoPlay products. I think they're mostly catering to the iPhone crowd, and I don't find that original, nor interesting. And the Form2 headphones? Why would people walk around with huge advertisements on their ears? Seriously, that's not in the spirit of Scandinavian design, is it?

 

 

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BeoBoy68 replied on Sun, Feb 24 2013 4:10 AM
Jonathan , Completely agree with your nice sentence : B&O seem to be going through a period of being lost in what they do. They're bringing out products that suit different needs, but not looking at the complete picture like they used to.
Aussie Michael
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Who knows what future is in store for B&O. I sadly have gone away from the brand for the time being.

I don't want to bring Apple in to this, but a nice little metaphor.

Apple really started gaining popularity once it convinced the larger purchasing public that it moved to intel, their once competitor.

Once people could compare specs apples for apples well at least on paper they were more comfortable plus now they could add something familiar , windows, even if traditional apple customers saw this as sacrilege, but it gave the necessary launch pad for customers to get familiar.

Perhaps it's time for B&O to embrace what they may not have been wanting to do with their competition , but get rid of DIN adapters for good and allow their compelling speakers to be mated with more and more other audio solutions natively.

It's time B&O.
moxxey
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moxxey replied on Sun, Feb 24 2013 9:22 AM

Electrified:

With that said, I'm not really a fan of the BeoPlay products. I think they're mostly catering to the iPhone crowd

I think they are trying to cater for a younger audience, an audience that never (!) go in to a B&O store.

I walk past our local B&O store on the way to football, twice a week. I'm often wandering with other footballers - guys who are between say, 25 and 40. Occasionally they mention something that's in the B&O store window. None - I repeat none - of these people, over the years, has been in to the store. None of them would consider going in to the store. Frankly, they don't have the cash and view the brand with the likes of Jaguar cars or Rolex watches. Something that's way beyond their means.

We seem to forget most people under 35 are cash-strapped these days. Everything in life has gone up in value: food, rent, gas bills, you name it. The last thing they have is thousands of pounds to spend on BL3s or a BV11.

The reason B&O brought in the BeoPlay products was to try and get these users in to the brand and perhaps the stores. Without these young people getting introduced to the brand, there will be no future.

We forget on here that most of us are very blinkered about how we see B&O. That's why were subscribed to a B&O forum, with respect. We view B&O with a passion and can't see the wood for the trees. Problem is, we're not a large enough userbase to guarantee B&O's long term future.

Chris Townsend
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If anyone is after some new headphones, I'd wait just a few weeks longer cough cough

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Orava
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Orava replied on Sun, Feb 24 2013 10:34 AM

BeoBoy68:
I hope either that B&O will launch new audio system. Beo is synonym of Radio from the beginning. I think Bang & Olufsen will survive even if TVs are overpriced.

I do like to see B&O as "audiocenter", in my opinion it is useless to try to make short lifespan items like MP3 players or such. Beo should be like UI between user and source, like before, user - B&O - casette/record/cd... I mean, B&O didn't make own casettes, records and so, why now make MP3's? (imo they are mostly storages for audio). Imagine B&O as music center with Beolabs, if neceseary with Beovision, and you could adapt any source you prefer to it. B&O should have it own "OS" and modular interface to other media, whatever it will be. Customers could choice moduls they want, airplay, ethernet, bluetooth or future liveware, what ever. B&O "OS" makes internal stuff like masterlink, no need to go outside to airplay or so, it is up to updateable interface. Like before customer had choise between casette, record, cd or could choise all of them.

B&O could have high quality digital players, DACs..., but they should also be updatealbe, otherwise they will die very soon as technology moves fast, but that could be area best to leave those like apple or samsung.

 blah-blah and photographs as needed

Seanie_230
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Seanie_230 replied on Sun, Feb 24 2013 11:41 AM

Hi Everyone

I read this thread with some real interest as i have been feeling like im stuck between a rock and a hard place with B&o over the last few months.

 

Why did i fall in love with B&o? It was the intergration, automation, futuristic way the system worked, I had friends come over and they were impressed with my latest TV or my 20 year old beocenter that still looks like it was made in 2040 :)

My TV BV7 MK4/5 cannot remember which at the mo is excellent and i love my beemer output and SD distrubution around my home, its warentee has run out and i wanted to upgrade it BUT..... there is no replacement for the BV7 apart form the BV11 which means i would loose my ML setup which is why i wanted B&o in the first place, i would loose my SD dist unless i spend ££££ on some HDMI sender that i dont actually need with the BV3 in my bedroom.

My stereo is perfect beocenter 9300, it did have some lab 12's conencted but they were gutless and was the first time i experainced my friends saying you spend how much on speakers that dont perform? So they went back and i ended up buying some B&W speakers powered by a Rotel AMP that is triggered by the 9300 - Perfect solution sounds excellent but not possible with B&O unless i spend many many thousands on another pair of lab 9's that are great but not good for parties as they are to low for ear height.

I asked a dealer what i should buy that will intergrate my current setup and give me the future possibilities and there was nothing that will do it.

B&o have not listened to their customers and what they want, they should tell there customers what is coming or failing that at least tell us what will not be possible so we can make choices.

The change from ML to NL has been poor as no one knows what is possible or when anything will appear, i feel sorry for the dealers who cannot tell their customers the basic concepts behind what they can buy.

Modern products seem to be produced in China - the lab 12's had made in china stamped on the back and that is not the service we want.

Im not being negative as trust me i love(d) the brand and the concept behind ML etc but now if you look at this forum its quiet, we have nothign to talk about with new products, changes ML/NL etc. It feels like its a company with nothing coming and people are getting board waiting.

If you remove / dont announce any more intergration eventually people will drift away and i fear its already underway.........

 

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Raeuber
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Raeuber replied on Sun, Feb 24 2013 11:59 AM
Hi Seanie,

I also use ML and RF link for audio and video distribution and I won't miss it.

With the new NL products without ML anymore, there is no way to integrate one of these new products without disadvantages in audio and video distribution.

So the only way to go is waiting if NL will also be able to distribute audio and video all over the house. If so, you must change all your video and audio sources at the same time, you can only keep your Beolabs. So which products will old B&O customers buy until then? None! Very dangerous for a small brand like B&O!

Regards

Räuber
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Seanie_230 replied on Sun, Feb 24 2013 12:31 PM

Raeuber:
Hi Seanie,

 

 

I also use ML and RF link for audio and video distribution and I won't miss it.

 

 

With the new NL products without ML anymore, there is no way to integrate one of these new products without disadvantages in audio and video distribution.

 

 

So the only way to go is waiting if NL will also be able to distribute audio and video all over the house. If so, you must change all your video and audio sources at the same time, you can only keep your Beolabs. So which products will old B&O customers buy until then? None! Very dangerous for a small brand like B&O!

 

 

Regards

 

 

Räuber

Hi there

I prob wont miss RF and ML distrubution also as long as i dont have to spend thousands on replacement of a system that is already working. when MCL became ML everything was considered by the look of it, this time around its all like one big secret.

Also i agree very dangerous to assume people will follow the trend, back to your core business is what i think.

Control 4 looks very interesting but same setup dealer only so not my cup of tea not being in control of my setup.

its disappointing that they dont announce something at least to kepe us chomping at the bit.

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wonderfulelectric
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Very all in one loudspeaker centric I am afraid. I think it is high time for B&O to dive into the competitive PC soundcard/videocard field too. Perhaps an all in one TV from B&O sooner rather later? 

And B&O really has to be more audio-centric if it is going to survive that is I mean the video giants are churning out video technologies faster than we can spell them. Perhaps be a little more invested in the audio industry marketing wise? Like how Linn and B&W have their own recording etc... And no 24bit support really?! 

Speaking of Video OMFG my new neighbor has a Beovision 4 100 inch monster in his living! IMHO for that price and size I'd rather buy a piece of art or something. Speaking of rapid devaluation!

Actually recently I am into jewelry so if there are any sugar daddies or mommies out there.... I get into anything!!!! ... lol...

I am only half joking... 

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duplicate

StUrrock
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StUrrock replied on Sun, Feb 24 2013 3:39 PM
jldmelb:

I wrote this in another thread, but I think it is also apt here:

The big problem I see is not the loss of the Beosound 4, but the fact that B&O is becoming less and less a complete audio/visual solution for everyone.

B&O seem to be going through a period of being lost in what they do. They're bringing out products that suit different needs, but not looking at the complete picture like they used to...

Got it in one!
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Flappo replied on Sun, Feb 24 2013 3:40 PM

Bleak

Electrified
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wonderfulelectric:
Very all in one loudspeaker centric I am afraid. I think it is high time for B&O to dive into the competitive PC soundcard/videocard field too. Perhaps an all in one TV from B&O sooner rather later? 

What do you mean when you say "all-in-one TV"? A smart tv can definately be used as an all-in-one, playing all your music, listening to (internet) radio and so on. I don't get that comment.

As for PC audio cards, I can't see why they should enter that arena. I can't see what they would add to the table at all. Other companies do those things better and cheaper. It's just a component, not a retail product.

wonderfulelectric:
Perhaps be a little more invested in the audio industry marketing wise?

Making a plethora of speakers, making ICE power and selling that to third-parties, and not ignoring the audio on flat screen tellies is not being audio centric? Really?

wonderfulelectric:
Like how Linn and B&W have their own recording etc

Why would they? Go buy your music elsewhere. It's a waste of money running that sort of thing (edit: a retail high resolution niche record company). Except, of course, if you cater to the audiophile crowd who think they can hear a difference between properly sized cables.

wonderfulelectric:
And no 24bit support really?! 

What are you on about? The Encore plays 24bit/96kHz just fine. I don't know about the playmaker or the BM5. But you do have a choice to play 24bit files.

wonderfulelectric:
Speaking of Video OMFG my new neighbor has a Beovision 4 100 inch monster in his living! IMHO for that price and size I'd rather buy a piece of art or something. Speaking of rapid devaluation!

That's the nature of the beast. Technology moves fast in that arena. Personally, I won't buy a big telly until it gets to 4K (and reasonable in price for that).

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moxxey replied on Sun, Feb 24 2013 4:54 PM

wonderfulelectric:

Very all in one loudspeaker centric I am afraid. I think it is high time for B&O to dive into the competitive PC soundcard/videocard field too. Perhaps an all in one TV from B&O sooner rather later?

It's called a BV11? I thought B&O promoted this as an all-in-one TV on launch. They made a special effort to promote the smart features and apps.

But based on the fact that B&O haven't added any new apps to the BV11 'app centre', I'm not convinced this is B&O's forte. Looking at recent Samsung TVs, there are all sorts of apps available. We shouldn't have to connect an Apple TV to a BV11 in order to view streaming movies. B&O should have partnered with Netflix or others and added this app to the BV11.

Here in the UK, new Samsung TVs include a BBC Sport, ITV Player, Netflix, LoveFilm and other essential apps.

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Flappo replied on Sun, Feb 24 2013 6:14 PM

personally i think bno are living on borrowed time , once apple inevitably come out with their tv , they're finished

the best bet they had was to entice apple to buy them , the last ceo was such a pro microscuk dickwad he screwed that up for them , now they're courting loewe ( oh the shame )

sad , but true

just as well david lewis isn't around to see what  mess it's gonna be

he , like jensen had high design standards , unlike the talentless cretins who are designing the crap bno put out nowadays

Flappo
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Flappo replied on Sun, Feb 24 2013 6:14 PM

personally i think bno are living on borrowed time , once apple inevitably come out with their tv , they're finished

the best bet they had was to entice apple to buy them , the last ceo was such a pro microscuk dickwad he screwed that up for them , now they're courting loewe ( oh the shame )

sad , but true

just as well david lewis isn't around to see what  mess it's gonna be

he , like jensen had high design standards , unlike the talentless cretins who are designing the crap bno put out nowadays

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BeoBoy68 replied on Sun, Feb 24 2013 6:38 PM
Completely agree with your thoughts Flappo. When Apple will launch his iTV for 2000 euros with a nice aluminium design and all Apple Applications included, B&O's TV department will be dead.
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linder replied on Sun, Feb 24 2013 7:18 PM

BeoBoy68:
Completely agree with your thoughts Flappo. When Apple will launch his iTV for 2000 euros with a nice aluminium design and all Apple Applications included, B&O's TV department will be dead.

I agree Apple will introduce a new television but not anytime soon and maybe this is good for B&O because they will have extra time.  This article in Forbes explains why it is difficult for Apple to get into the TV business.  The article suggests Apple may have to buy a large movie studio.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/roberthof/2013/02/21/5-reasons-apple-cant-disrupt-tv-and-one-crazy-way-it-could/

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linder replied on Sun, Feb 24 2013 7:22 PM

Chris Townsend:
If anyone is after some new headphones, I'd wait just a few weeks longer cough cough

Thanks.  It might be possible I do need new headphones.

 

StUrrock
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StUrrock replied on Sun, Feb 24 2013 7:31 PM
One of the reasons B&O are struggling is that their user interfaces are so dated and hard to use.

B&O used to woo and beguile its customers with interaction such as sliding doors and moving TV stands. Customers today want smooth interfaces and seamless integration. B&O are awkward at both and it shows.

Also it is a bit embarrassing selling a 'smart' TV (bvis11) when there seems to have been no apps for it released since launch nearly 5 months ago!

The BVis 11 great sound/picture, but smart it most certainly isn't!!!

The writing is on the wall I'm afraid, in a few years there will be hardly any B&O showrooms left.
moxxey
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moxxey replied on Sun, Feb 24 2013 7:37 PM

StUrrock:

Also it is a bit embarrassing selling a 'smart' TV (bvis11) when there seems to have been no apps for it released since launch nearly 5 months ago!

Yeah, I'm totally perplexed by this. They clearly license the apps from another company, so they must be relying on this third-party to come good with new apps. If it is Philips, as was rumoured on here, then this could be a reason why there are no new apps, as Philips have decided to pull out of the A/V market and I guess pulled their dev team from producing new apps for their TVs.

Seanie_230
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Think we can all see where things are going. So sad, I was looking at my bv7 and thinking what will replace you?

Would need to be super pretty, enable TV distribution, sound distribution, have projector control. That lead me to think about control 4 as it has the best interface but does not allow DIY which is irritating so say the least.

I don't think there is a TV out there that looks as lovely as the BV7

 

 

Eclipse 65
V1-32
Beosound M5
Essence MK2
BLI

Chris Townsend
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As a 10-46 owner I actually agree with you. Thankfully I hear there are some David Lewis designs to be used for future use.

On a side note, I want to keep my all in one set up, which i have in the 10 but want better sound. The 7-40 Mk6 with its smaller screen, or some extra speakers(which cosmetically I'm trying to avoid)????

Beovision 10, Beolab 2, Beosound 2(old Skool) Beolit 15, Beoplay A2 Active

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