America’s B&O Retro TV – The MX 5000 CRT

When it comes to luxury televisions of the 20th century, you will find no better than the CRT TVs produced by Bang and Olufsen.  These TVs are beautifully designed and have many unique features.  One of the more alluring features of these sets is a built in scart input on the televisions.  This input supports analog RGB video without the need of any modification.  Another unique feature is the glass covering over the CRT screen.  There is also a stand that could be attached to these televisions that allowed for remote controlled rotation of the TV.  It also featured a hidden kickstand for people that didn’t buy the stand and wanted to set the TV on the floor.  The kickstand can be used to improve the viewing angle when using the TV on the floor.

This TV is legendary in Europe, Japan and other countries but never made a big splash in the American TV market.  They did attempt to sell a TV in the late 1980s in the US market.  This was the MX 5000 TV set which released in 1989.  However, the set did not do well in the US marketplace and for reasons unknown, the company quickly pulled out of the US marketplace and focused on their dominant foreign market share.  Today, there are a few of these MX 5000 TVs still in circulation.  They have become a bit of a collector item due to the rarity and since it is pretty much the only B&O TV to make it into the US.

How does the MX 5000 rate as a CRT?  I’d like to start off with the negatives about this TV.  Firstly, there are 8 circuit boards inside this TV.  The capacitors on these boards are over 30 years old.  This means that the TV needs to be professionally serviced, and that will be costly to have it done right.  In comparison, many other home TV CRTs from this era contain 2 to 3 boards on average.  That means a MX 5000 restoration is about 3 times the work of a normal consumer CRT restoration.  The next issue is the remote control.  This remote is needed to get the TV to function and change inputs.  If you are looking at getting a set, have a plan for the remote if one is not included.

Now to the good, this TV looks incredible when displaying analog video.  The Hitachi shadow mask tube is bright and vibrant.  It’s also a great size TV coming in at about 26″ to 27″.  When using RGB, you get a wonderful scanline look that is similar to an arcade cabinet from the early 1990s.  It has a good amount of video inputs.  You can use scart, s-video, composite and RF with this TV.  It does support NTSC video.  It is an analog TV, so any resolution over 480i will not display properly.  Lastly, the CRT is gorgeous.  I find the design to be intriguing, elegant, and functional.  Most people will not have an opportunity to own one of these amazing TVs, but you can see more about the MX 5000 in the video above.  Thanks for checking it out.


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