Samsung Frame wants to blend its TV into your home through the power of art
For the most part, TVs are boring. When switched on, they’re glorious windows into other universes, people’s lives or the world around us. When turned off, however, they’re awful black slabs gathering dust in the corner of a room or slapped on a wall.
Samsung’s Frame TV addresses this issue. The aesthetically conscious TV owner can now hide their TV in plain sight when switched off thanks to the Frame TV. This wooden-framed panel from Samsung is designed to look exactly like a hanging picture frame when mounted on your wall or a focal piece when placed upon Samsung’s elegant cable-hiding tripod stand.
As a TV, the Samsung Frame is simply another HDR-enabled 55in Ultra HD TV from the South Korean manufacturer. It comes with all the features you’d expect from a high-end Samsung screen, complete with support for Bluetooth audio output, Dolby audio, Samsung’s Smart TV services and a whole host of AV connections on its rear.
What makes the Frame TV so interesting, however, is what it’s like when it’s switched off. Instead of turning into a black slate like every other TV on the market, it turns into a picture, complete with bezelled photo surround. It’s gorgeous in the flesh and, thanks to an ambient light sensor, it automatically dims and brightens the image to ensure your selected photos always look natural on the display.
When complimented by other photos surrounding it, Samsung’s Frame TV really does look exactly like another picture on your wall. It turns the TV into a far nicer focal point in your home when it’s off, than when it’s on.
The wood frame surround on each TV is also completely customisable, allowing it to blend in with the other artwork featured in your home. Unfortunately, bezels are sold separately, but having seen the Walnut and Beige Wood finishes – there’s also a straightforward White – they really do look beautiful in the flesh.
There is one sticking point here though. Samsung’s Frame TV is priced at a rather eye-watering £2,000. Conversely, you can buy a standard 2017 model HDR-enabled 55in UHD Samsung TV for under £700 from the Samsung website.
Samsung is also somewhat coy in how much energy is consumed. The TV has an “A” energy rating, and Samsung lists it at 160W maximum, and 0.5W in standby. Unfortunately, it’s unclear if standby is when the screen is completely switched off, or while it’s displaying art. Either way, running costs shouldn’t be too high, but you do have to wonder what the environmental cost is of leaving a TV set running 24/7 in your home.
Clearly, Samsung isn’t intending this to be for everyone. However, it’s aimed at the people who buy Bang & Olufsen’s terrible and overpriced TVs purely because they blend into their homes more than your average set. Not only does Samsung’s Frame TV undercut the price points of B&O’s TVs, it also offers something truly unique.