Let’s chat TVs today. Specifically – I want to talk about our Frame TV a bit. We often get questions both online and in real life about how it works, what we think about it, and if we’d buy it again.
We’ve had our Frame TV for about 2.5 years now, so I feel like I can give a really honest and thorough review of what we think about it!
We have a 55″ Frame TV in our bedroom, and a 65″ Frame TV in our living room above our electric fireplace. We originally purchased the one in our room for the living room, but as soon as we hung it up we knew it was too small. So, we bought the bigger one and decided to just keep the smaller one too!
What is a Frame TV?
The Frame is a Samsung TV that’s really thoughtfully designed to look like a piece of artwork. When it’s on, it’s a high-quality, 4K QLED television with a top-notch viewing experience. But, with a press of a button, it transforms into wall art and becomes a piece of your home decor. It displays digital art or photographs that you choose! It’s the perfect solution for someone who wants a great TV but doesn’t want it to look like a TV. Instead, it looks like custom art!
It’s not just a smart TV that displays art, though. A lot of televisions can do that. Here’s a rundown of the other features that make the Frame TV unique:
My favorite Frame TV features
- It’s slimmer than your average TV. It’s one uniform depth all the way down, which really contributes to the art look.
- It hangs really close to the wall. Thanks to a mounting bracket that’s inset on the back of the television, it hangs on the wall exactly like a piece of art would. Even low-profile televisions generally stick out a few inches from the wall, but this guy hugs the wall with almost no gap. Installation is incredibly simple, too.
- It runs off something called the One Connect box. This little box houses the technology that powers the entire television, and allows for there to just be one single cord running out of the TV. Any devices or consoles you want to add to the TV will be connected to this. So high tech!
- The art mode is very customizable and realistic. You can adjust the brightness and the warmth of the screen when it’s on art mode. You can also choose a mat, create a collage, and more. You can make it look exactly like a custom piece of art, and the best part is that you can change it up as often as you want!
- There are multiple frame options. It’s easy to purchase different customizable bezel frames for your Frame TV that slip right on with a magnet. We haven’t splurged on this yet (they’re about $150), but I will 100% be getting a wood frame for it sometime!
- The built-in brightness sensor. The screen brightness automatically adjusts to the lighting in your room. It’s so handy for a space like our living room which gets a ton of natural light throughout the day!
- The newer models have an anti-glare matte display. We don’t have this on our older model but MAN, it would be nice to have! A glare-free viewing experience is wonderful.
- It comes equipped with Google Assistant and Alexa. So, you can voice control your TV anytime you want.
Can You Turn Art Mode Off?
I think it’s important to note that YES, you can turn art mode off and have the TV go completely black! Otherwise, it would drive us nutty in our bedroom all night!
If you want to turn the TV to art mode, you press the power button once. If you want it to turn off you just have to hold the power button down for about 3 seconds, and it will go to a black screen.
What is Included with the Frame TV?
When you open your Frame TV box, you’ll find:
- The 4K QLED TV itself
- The no-gap wall mount
- A One Connect box
- The “invisible connection wire” (AKA: the small fiber-optic cable that connects the television to the One Connect Box.)
- The remote
The One Connect Box
So, what’s the One Connect Box? It’s what houses all of the technology for the television. It functions as a cable box and is the hub for all of your connections to the television, like the USB ports and other input options. It’s where you’ll connect any components like video game systems, Fire Sticks, Apple TV, etc.
Of course, the television itself is a smart television, so it can run apps like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO Max, and more without adding anything additional!
Where can you put the One Connect Box?
The invisible connection wire is translucent and just over 16 feet long. So, you can put it just about anywhere and it will be fully out of sight!
We chose to run our wire through the fireplace in our living room, and our One Connect Box in there sits underneath the drawer in our fireplace hearth.
In our bedroom, the wire runs through the wall and the One Connect Box sits on the floor underneath our dresser, fully out of sight! The One Connect Box can easily fit under or inside of just about any piece of furniture that you have near your TV!
Is It a High-Quality TV?
I think this is a top question from people looking into the Samsung Frame. After all, you want it to both be beautiful and be enjoyable to watch!
I’m happy to say the movie viewing experience is fantastic. The quality of the picture is great, the audio is really good (we haven’t even added external speakers), and it’s overall a really wonderful television. I’d buy it again even if it wasn’t so pretty!
But, Does the Frame TV Actually Look Like Art?
100%. It looks like art.
Without fail, almost every single person who has visited my home for the first time has thought we didn’t have a television in our living room. It’s the most fun party trick – when you turn the TV on, everyone is completely shocked!
I cannot tell you how many people have asked me about the art above our mantel, or casually commented that they can’t imagine not keeping a television downstairs. I’ve had people straight up not believe me when I tell them it’s not actually art.
It’s very convincing. Especially if you take the time to adjust the warmth and brightness to realistic settings! I find that it’s best to keep it a little warmer and a little darker than might be your instinct. The glow of the TV is what’ll give you away, so keeping it dark is wise!
I’ll also note that while Samsung only offers the same frame in different colors (a very minimal, modern frame), you can get other frame styles from third party sellers! Places like Deco TV Frames have tons of options, but the Deco frames are much pricier than the Samsung ones.
How Do I Add Art to the Frame TV?
Of course, the best part about the Samsung The Frame TV is that you can make it look like a canvas hanging on your wall! So, how do you actually put the finishing touch on the whole setup and add art to your television?
Here’s a quick rundown of your options.
The Samsung Art Store
Samsung has an Art Store where you can download free art, or purchase art, for your television. There is a limited number of options that you can add to your television for free, along with a much bigger selection of art you can add with a subscription. They have lots of classic art pieces, along with some exclusive options that you can’t find anywhere else.
The Samsung Art Store subscription is $4.99 a month and allows you access to their full library of art. You can change it as often as you want, and there are thousands of options.
I had a subscription to the Art Store for a little while, because I liked how easy it was to swap out my art. But, I quickly learned that it wasn’t really worth it for me overall. I don’t change my art that much, and I’d rather grab something from somewhere else that I can pay for once and leave up a long time!
Where to Get Art From For the Frame TV
This is what I generally do! I love to pick out art for my television, and I usually change it up seasonally. But, I’m not changing the art often enough that I need a monthly subscription!
My favorite place to get art for my Frame TV is from Etsy. You can find tons of options (most of them well under $5) that you can easily upload to your television.
Here’s a quick list of all the places I like to shop for art for my Frame TV from:
- Juniper Print Shop (their horizontal digital downloads have a size that works on the TV!)
- BFF Print Shop
And, here’s a quick roundup of a few of my current favorite pieces – just to give you an idea of the sort of thing you can put on your Frame TV!
How to Upload Your Own Art to a Frame TV
Once you’ve downloaded art, it’s time to get it onto the TV!
It’s important to note, this process doesn’t just apply to art you’ve downloaded. You can create your own art or even upload your own images from your phone directly onto your television. Here’s a rundown of how it works:
- Download the Smart Things app and connect your television to it, following the steps in the app
- Go to Art Mode, choose “Add Your Photos”
- Select the photo you want
- Choose the mat and settings you want
- You’re good to go!
In theory, it’s a very simple process. You can even set up a slideshow, if you prefer!
But, for full transparency, I’ll note that the app is my one complaint about the television. I find it to be incredibly glitchy. My television often won’t show up without a bunch of finagling, and when it does, my photos often won’t shop up in the app for some reason. I find I have to put the photos into a folder on my phone, then go to that folder. I have no idea why. I’ve heard lots of other people complain about the functionality of the app, so I know it’s not just me.
Maybe that’s why I don’t change my art very often? Hah!
But, dealing with a glitchy and annoying app is something I’m more than willing to do in order to have a television that it’s just a black screen above my fireplace all the time. So, I’m not complaining!
What Are the Alternatives to a Frame TV?
Many smart televisions these days have options that can display art. However, most of them do it as a “screensaver” and it turns off automatically after a certain amount of time. The beauty of a Frame TV is that the art mode turns on automatically when you turn the TV off, and stays on as long as you’re in the room.
Many other television can’t display art all the time because of the risk of the image getting burned onto the screen. But, Samsung’s Frame has LED Quantum Dot Technology, which prevents that from happening.
The television also has a motion sensor that will turn it fully off when there isn’t movement in the room for a certain amount of time (you can adjust this). Because of these features, I really don’t think there’s a direct alternative to the Frame TV on the market right now!
But, if you just don’t have the budget, lots of people have made beautiful DIY frames for their regular TV sets to make it look like a picture frame TV. It just requires a little creativity!
How Much Does the Frame TV Cost? And Where Should I Buy it?
Obviously the price depends on the size of television you get. The televisions go up to 85-inch, and can be found at most major retailers that have TVs!
I’ve found that the best place to get a good price is either eBay or Amazon. I’d recommend keeping an eye on it for a bit before purchasing to get a good idea of the costs and find the best discounts. As I write this a new 55″ Frame TV is about $1,400 on both sites.
But…Is the Samsung Frame TV Worth It?
In my humble opinion? Absolutely YES!
We adore our Samsung Frame televisions and would buy them over and over again. The TV quality is fantastic, we don’t need an external speaker (the built-in ones are great!), and it really does look like a real work of art when it’s not in TV mode.
I would say that there’s no doubt in my mind that a Frame TV is worth it. I hope this post helps answer any questions you have about potentially getting one!