I love good design. I love beautifully designed products that are examples of great craftsmanship and quality. I also believe in a good value for what you are getting and I really believe that good design does not mean expensive. Today Bang and Olufsen introduced the new BeoVision 10. A wall mounted LCD TV with integrated speakers. This is a 40 inch HD TV in a brushed aluminum case with speaker grills that come in a variety of colors.
In many cases I get the high price for well designed object. I get that a Porsche costs more than a VW, they make less of them and many portions of the car are hand assembled. In addition you are paying for engineering that is in many cases truly cutting edge. I get that a Patek Phillip watch is gonna set you back at least 15 grand. In the case of the watch, you are paying for a hand built chronograph, produced in limited numbers, with rare jewels embedded in the movement though.
What I don’t get is B&O and how they are trying to sell this TV for almost 44 thousand dollars. Lets get something straight people, B&O is using a number of off the shelf components to make this TV. The actual LCD is probably manufactured by Samsung which B&O has been in a partnership with for years. It’s probably the same glass and tuner that are being used in a higher end Samsung TV you can get for around 3 grand. The electronics are probably sourced from the some of the same top 5 world manufacturers that every other LCD TV maker uses. Yes people, the parts all come from a limited number of vendors. I get that B&O puts them together in a unique way. A way that their engineers have designed in order to create a better viewing experience, but unless this things case is cast in 24 karat gold I am not buying the price tag. There is no way in hell that the picture quality of this 40 inch TV is 30 thousand times better than the leading 40 inch LCD on the market by the top vendors (Sony, Samsung, LG). I’m sorry the price of this, like almost everything that B&O makes is kind of a joke.
Look, I love the way their stuff looks, and I really love the way they design the end user functionality of the product. In many ways you are buying something that is like a piece of art. If we use the analogy of the Porsche, a 911 would cost half a million dollars using the Bang and Olufsen pricing model. You might sell one or two to people with more money than brains, and at what cost? B&O has always been expensive, it used to be a bit more reasonable though. If you were to buy into this system for your home theater you would end up spending close to 60 grand for a TV, DVD player, and Remote. Now think about how much more you could do with that money.
I know what you are all thinking, “When Wade wins the lottery, he is so gonna buy this”. Who am I kidding. Yes if I were independently wealthy I probably would.