Having purchased many a Bose product, I strolled into a Bose Store over the weekend to take a close look and listen to their recently launched VideoWave TV system. Upon mentioning the VideoWave we were instantly routed to their special demo room, where a surprise would await us. The big surprise of course was that there are no speakers, except for the large array hidden in the TV’s backplane enclosure.
Here are my observations about the Bose VideoWave system
- The screen shows decent blacks, but contains an LCD that still does not match 7-year old Pioneer’s Kuro plasma technology.
- Contrast seems artificially high to reach deep black levels.
- The surround sound was full and rich, yet lacked deep bass apparent to the discerning listener.
- Surround sound mimics 5.1 by dynamic phase shifting technology (only effective in smaller rooms).
- The system uses RF remotes meaning no line of sight control is needed to control the system.
- An innovative on-screen navigation simplifies the operation of the system, including external devices (did not check the ability to create macros, to make the system one-button “family friendly”).
- The system can drive other IR operated devices within the vicinity (out of reach devices require the good old IR blaster).
- The TV is not standalone and requires a base module to integrate with other equipment.
- The system does not include a (Blu-ray) DVD player.
- The module contains only 4 HDMI inputs, restricting main living room integration.
- The base unit does not have internet capability nor supports Apple’s airplay.
At roughly $5,000 better integration, image and sounds quality can be achieved by buying separate components.
The Bose VideoWave is a nice attempt to minimize the audio and video components that can make an interior designer’s dream so ugly. But it misses the mark on video and audio quality for those with sharper eyes and ears, and who find the presence of speakers and home theater equipment less off-putting.
Strategically it is too late for a speaker system producer like Bose to attempt to own the operating system of the modern home theater monolithically, as emerging technology vendors like Apple already own the video and audio distribution and technology to which a large and more modern audience is glued to.
The Bose VideoWave system incorporates some impressive audio engineering that lacks the proper positioning to meet the needs of modern and informed home theater users, or for that matter my daughter’s bedroom.
The Bose VideoWave is therefore in our opinion a strategic misfit, dragging some impressive engineering with it into its demise.
[Links: Bose VideoWave]
Full disclosure: I have no equity in products or companies I evaluate publicly on this site except that they – according to my review – adhere to the promises they make. I pay for the products I want myself and receive no promotional fees of any kind. If you agree with the discretionary role technology should play in our lives I describe in my blogs so frequently, you will find my observations of the implementation of innovation useful in determining whether or when you should buy them.