Call it what they will, this new BeoSystem 3 from Bang & Olufsen looks a lot like a silver slab on top of a black blob to us. B&O's stab at HD overkill takes the form of a souped up receiver with plenty of ins, outs and processing power. The system acts as a hub for shuttling your video and audio to multiple sources, and seems to do a pretty good job at it. There are dual DVI outputs, four HDMI inputs, and enough sound outputs to manage two separate 5.1 sound stages, or a 7.1 setup with dual subwoofers. Pictures are digitally optimised on the fly when pumped through the BeoSystem, and the device can even adjust picture contrast for the amount of ambient light in the room, or just hit the lights with included home automation controls. The system is almost assuredly overkill for someone who has no plans for juggling dual HD setups (such as a projector and a plasma) and/or isn't willing to pay an ungodly price for the privilege. You can currently find the BeoSystem 3 in select stores, for an estimated retail price of $7,700, and availability should be spreading now that it's "officially" released.

[Thanks, Alex C.]

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