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BMW Theater Monitor replaces rear-seat entertainment at CES


Outside color changing paint technology, BMW car unveiled a new concept for rear vehicle entertainment at CES. Welcome to the BMW Theater Screen.

The “theater monitor” is a 31-inch 8K ultra-wide screen that people in the back seats can watch movies or TV. BMW says the idea is to provide a cinema-like experience with an ultra-wide screen, as the screen comes in a 32:9 format. This isn’t just a concept either, as BMW seems ready to put the screen like so to their means of production.

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The screen extends out of the title through rotation (see video above), and the photos show it stretching from title to title. You’ll be able to adjust the angle of the monitor to match your recline. BMW says it’s partnering with Amazon, so you should expect the display to work just like the Fire TV. All the details are yet to be fully finalized, but BMW promises similar functionality to what you might expect from a home Fire TV. You will be able to control the display via touch operation or via touch pads that BMW will integrate into the rear doors. If the content you’re viewing doesn’t fit the format, BMW says you can choose to fit the screen or zoom and crop.

To complement the theater-like display, BMW is pairing the display with its new Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound system. The unfolding screen is designed to be an event, as Hollywood composer Hans Zimmer created the sound the screen makes when it folds out. Once in place, the roller blinds end their trip and the ambient light at the back is dimmed. BMW didn’t say whether the giant screen will be paired with the digital rearview mirror, but it seems that placing the screen in the driver’s rear view is essential. We’re also not sure what kind of BMW vehicles The Theater Screen will launch on, but we’ll be interested in spinning once it’s out. And if you’re worried about 8K streaming over a data connection (so are we), BMW says it will pair the display with a 5G connection.

BMW Art

In addition to the big screen, BMW also announced a new “Digital Art Mode” for the iDrive infotainment system. Coming to BMW vehicles in 2022, the Digital Art Mode will allow you to set your infotainment to different artistic themes. Designed by Cao Fei, a Chinese multimedia artist, the themes influence in-car displays and the mood lighting that accompanies them.

BMW doesn’t say every specific vehicle will receive the option, but the photos suggest it’s an iDrive 8 feature, as it was introduced in BMW iX. 2023 iX M60, also revealed at CES, will be the first BMW to get it, and other models will get it later in 2022.

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