Hands-on with the Bose VideoWave Entertainment System
Today we got to check out the new Bose VideoWave Entertainment system for ourselves, and boy does Bose gets an A+ for presentation. Before unveiling the product, they brought in a few journalists at a time where the VideoWave system was set up. Besides for the TV mounted on the wall, all around the room were little cloths, which seemed to be covering something that was about to unveiled. We sat there and listened to all kinds of sounds and music tracks as I impatiently waited for the napkins to be pulled off, expecting to see the mysterious new speakers and subwoofer that was drowning us in surround sound.
The presenter finally whipped the cloths off, but there was nothing underneath them – kind of like the Emperor’s New Clothes. It turns out that the VideoWave Entertainment system has all of its speakers built into the back of its HD display – all 16 of them. That might not sound like such a feat off the bat, but unlike a traditional HDTV display with built in speakers – the VideoWave produces a true surround sound experience. I was sure that there were speakers hiding all around me – but they were all actually coming from the TV. The VideoWave System features an ADAPTiQ audio calibration system that recognizes a room’s size, shape, even furniture, and automatically adjusts the sound for that room. When the VideoWave System played a pop song, I actually felt like I was sitting in the front row of a concert. When they played a scene from August Rush where August explores a busy New York City street, I felt like I was in the middle of the street with him with environmental sounds coming from all around me. The idea behind the VideoWave System is to eliminate the need for a complicated home theater setup with lots of wires and speaker boxes. Not only is it simple – it will also save you space. If you ask us, this is good news for the women of the family who abhor those beastly home theater system speakers. And it might be bad news for the men of the family who used to enjoy showing them off.
But invisible speakers aren’t the only cool tech that makes up the VideoWave system. The system’s HD display itself is a super sharp and vivid 1080P LED TV. But instead of connecting your component’s cables directly to the TV, you connect all your component’s cables to the VideoWave’s external console. This console is where all the HDMI ports and other inputs reside for connecting your PS3, DVR, iPod and whatever else to the TV.
Bose has also set out to replace all the piled up remotes in your home theater system with not just any universal remote, but with their minimalist new Click Pad Remote. The Click Pad Remote only sports a few sets of dedicated buttons – like volume, channel up and down, and input, etc. At the top it has a touch sensitive click pad. The idea here is that you can touch, glide and click around the VideoWave’s onscreen interface, without having to look down at the remote. But it gets better – the VideoWave System and its Click Pad Remote are smart enough to only show you the onscreen controls for the input that you are using at the moment. So when you’re playing a Blu-ray disc, you’ll only see controls for the Blu-ray Player, and when you’re playing videos and audio off of your iPod, it will only show you controls for your iPod, and so on.
Another neat feature of the VideoWave System’s interface is that when you switch input sources, you get to see the name of your sources before switching to them, eg: ” Blu-ray player, cable box, Xbox, iPod, etc” instead of seeing the usual and confusing “HDMI 1, HDMI 2″ etc.
Finally, one last feature of the VideoWave System that really helps take advantage of its amazing invisible speakers, is the ability to turn off the video and picture on the display when listening to music on your iPod, so that the system can really operate like a regular standalone speaker system.
Bose’s VideoWave Entertainment system goes on sale October 14th for $5,349, and will only be available at Bose retail stores. That pricing is actually not outrageous at all, considering you’re getting a complete home theater system with a TV included. Plus, Bose will not only deliver the system to you, and optionally remove and recycle your old system for you, but they’ll also set-it up for you in your home, and they’ll even train you how to use the system before leaving. This white glove service is included for free. Personally, I’ve never felt compelled to spend more than a few hundred dollars on a home theater system – partially because my blogger lifestyle doesn’t really let me consider doing so, but after experiencing the VideoWave Entertainment system for myself, I’m seriously tempted.