Why have a regular TV when you can have a work of art? The Frame from Samsung is a relatively new way to think about television sets, turning the screen into a sophisticated work of art even when the TV isn’t on. The latest generation of The Frame TV was recently released. Is this TV worth a closer look? Here’s an in-depth view of what’s new for the Samsung Frame TV.
What is The Frame TV?
Wall-mounted TVs are certainly nothing new, but they’ve always had a pretty significant design flaw. Namely, when the TV is off, you’re left with a shiny, black square mounted on your wall, which is very aesthetically unappealing. Samsung developed a way to better incorporate a turned-off TV into the overall design of a room.
Introduced in 2017, The Frame TV is a television set which, when turned off, looks like a painting hanging in the room. The TV has a variety of wood and metal frames, as well as a selection of different sized and colored mattes. Various famous works of art fill the screen as if mounted in a frame.
Even up close, The Frame TV display looks very real. But the overall concept is less about fooling the viewer than complimenting the existing décor of the room. Instead of a black square, the TV could display a variety of classic and contemporary works of art.
An Updated Look for 2018
The Frame TV for 2018 continues with the core ideas of the earlier edition, but with a variety of new features including more customization and additional artwork.
However, this year there is no 43-inch model. Only the 55-inch and 65-inch sizes are available with the new features. While this is disappointing, the smaller screen is an understandable reason for the discontinuation.
After all, the point of the Frame TV is to “cover up” a wall-mounted TV. Smaller TV’s aren’t as obviously eye-catching in a room. Plus, smaller TV sets are more common in the bedroom than the living room. Most customers of Frame TVs had been using them as their main TV in the family room, so it makes sense the sales of the 43-inch sets were falling behind.
New Updates and Features to Artwork
If the changes to the available artwork can be summed up in one word, that word would be “more.” You can now browse through a large selection curated from museums, archives and artist’s collections from around the world. Painting, drawings, photographs, illustrations and a variety of visual images are available – more than ever before.
Each work may be purchased individually. Samsung also sells a subscription to their online Art Store, which costs about $4.99 a month. The first month of the service is free to all new users. This allows you to change the image on your TV as often as you like.
Automatic Image Adjustment
A TV which doubles as a way display static images creates an odd technical problem. The display settings which look good when watching a show are different than the ones ideal for displaying a detailed work of art. The Frame TV uses motion and brightness sensors which automatically adjust picture output. Paintings will “pop” off the wall in surprisingly accurate representations of the real thing.
Updated Frame Options and Design
While the intention of the TV isn’t really to fool guests in your home, the overall design does attempt to camouflage as much “TV-ness” as possible. When displaying a still image, the entire unit can very much pass for a real picture within a frame.
Four frame options are available: black, beige wood, walnut and white. Each is made from four magnetic bezel options although the replicated wood does look very natural. Additionally, you’re able to customize the color and size of the matte to best suit each image.
Of course, the illusion breaks down a bit when your painting needs to be plugged into the wall. Samsung minimizes the distraction with their One Invisible Connection. This is a single slim cable which provides both power and AV data. Eliminates the need for a nest of cords.
Improved TV Performance
Aside from the Frame concept, the TV delivers high-powered performance rivaling the best in large screen wall-mounted sets. Like previous models, the 2018 model has a 4K UHD screen. However, improvements this time around include the HDR10+, a significant upgrade over the HDR Pro.
A wall-mounted 4K UHD TV doesn’t have to dominate the décor of a room. The 2018 Frame TV is Samsung’s best version yet, with a larger image library, better image balancing features and more framing options. Also the first version to include Bixby voice activation and Samsung’s SmartThings IoT dashboard. Overall, this is Samsung’s most advanced Frame TV yet, and an excellent direction for the line to be heading.