“That’s your TV?” is the first thing people exclaim when they see our Samsung The Frame 2020 hanging in the living room. Not in person, obviously, because #pandemic. But every time I share pics on social media at least.
I myself fell in love with the concept of a TV that looks like art when I saw it on Instagram. But the reason I’m writing this review is because after purchasing 2 Samsung The Frame TVs I can confirm they are not just an Insta-fad but a pretty cool piece of technology.
I was as dubious as some of you might be about a TV that doesn’t look like a TV. My husband worried about the picture and sound quality and I wasn’t completely sure how often we’d use the art mode function. But we’re both converted. So much so, we bought two of them!
While the Frame TV obviously doesn’t exactly look like a painting under close scrutiny, it certainly makes a really cool and attractive feature out of a TV. I turn the TV off more often now because I prefer to look at the art rather than have the TV running needlessly in the background.
In our lounge, where we’ve created a fireplace TV wall, the Frame is every bit as impactful as the fire, and changing the art to suit my mood is so much fun too.
My husband has no complaints about the quality of the sound or picture (phew) and even he gets a kick telling people all about it.
Please note: This is not a sponsored post. We purchased our Frame TVs and art ourselves and just think they are awesome. This post may contain some affiliate links. Click here for details.
What is a Frame TV?
So, the concept of the Samsung The Frame is that the TV displays art when you’re not watching it. You style it with a customizable bezel frame (sold separately) to match the look of your room and hang it using the no-gap wall mount (which is included) so it sits flush to the wall like a photo frame would.
We purchased both of our Samsung Frames from John Lewis but they also sell them on Amazon. If you’re sold already, go check out the links. Otherwise, read on to find out what we think are the best things about these art TVs, plus how to find cool art to display on them.
The best things about Samsung The Frame TV 2020
At the switch of a button your TV turns into a work of art. I go into detail about how to find art for the Frame TV here but the cool thing to note is that the TV has a motion sensor so it will switch the Art Mode off when there is no one in the room and turn it back on again when it senses movement.
Beware: the Frame TVs do not come with a bezel frame – you have to buy them separately. However, you can choose from a couple of different colours (ours are the natural wood which is listed as ‘beige’ on the website) and they are really easy to change if you want to switch your colour scheme in future. They clip on and attach using magnets – no tools required.
I also came across a company on Instagram just this week who make ornate antique style frames. They are based in the US so I’m not sure if they’ll ship to the UK but check them out at @decotvframesif you’re interested.
Near-Invisible Optical Cable, One Connect Box and No-Gap Wall Mount
Part of what makes the Frame TV look more like a convincing work of art is that you can’t see the cables. With the exception of the 32-inch model, the Frames come with a near invisible single cable and a One Connect box that is operated via Bluetooth so it doesn’t need to be visible.
If you’re mounting your TV above a sideboard it’s really easy to hide the One Connect Box in a drawer (it’s the size of a DVD player) and place a vase or lamp discreetly in front of the optical cable.
The 32-inch model has a less discreet grey cable. Scroll below to see the solution we found for hiding ours.
SmartThings Mobile App
The SmartThings Mobile App is pretty cool for when you lose the handset down the back of the sofa as you can control the TV via your phone instead! It also allows you to upload photos from your camera roll onto the TV to be displayed during Art Mode.
Which brings me to…
How to display art on the Samsung Frame
The Art Mode really is the piece de resistance of this product. There are a couple of ways you can add art to the TV.
- You can immediately access a library of 20 free artworks found in the Samsung Art Store.
- You purchase a subscription to the Samsung Art Store and access a wider collection of over 1200 pieces. (£3.99 a month, £39.90 a year.) This is the world’s largest collection of art on TV and features special curations and collaborations with the likes of the V&A Museum, BBC Earth and Vinted. You can search by subject, colour, medium and artist. New pieces are added intermittently – the seasonal selection was fun for Christmas – but we did start to feel like we were bored of the selection and I struggled to find pieces to fit the exact aesthetic of our home. So…
- You can upload your own images or digital art prints. Using the SmartThings App you can upload images from your camera roll to display on the TV. If you’re a keen photographer or have some family portraits you want to share, this is a cool way to display them. You can also purchase digital art prints and upload them via your phone. I wanted some abstract and landscape paintings so purchased some of the prints featured in this post from the Juniper Print Shop and Collection Prints. Both stores have a handy ‘how to’ in their Instagram highlights, which show you how to add your digital art prints to the Frame TV.
Click here for the best places to buy digital art for the Samsung Frame TV
How we mounted our Frame TVs
As I mentioned, we have two Samsung Frame TVs in our travel home.
We have the Samsung Frame 2020 50 inch TV in the lounge, which has been mounted above a fire place. Read all about that here. As we built a faux chimney breast for our fire place we were able to conceal the One Connect box and cables inside this. We have a small access door built into the side of the chimney should we need to access them. As I mentioned before, the great thing about the One Connect box is it is operated via Bluetooth so you don’t need it on display.
We also have a Samsung Frame 2020 32 inch in the dining room, which was a little trickier to hide the cables for as it doesn’t come with the Near-Invisible Optical Cable.
Instead, as we had a builder doing other jobs at the time, we had him drill a hole behind the TV and another next to the nearest plug sockets and then he thread the cables behind the wall for us. The One Connect Box sits on the floor besides the sockets and concealed by the sideboard.
Is it a good TV though?
Yes! Not only does the Frame look pretty, it’s really good to watch TV on too! You can read more of the specs here but we’ve been enjoying everything from Netflix to Apple TV, Prime and iPlayer on ours and don’t have a bad word to say about the picture or tech quality.
(Note: We don’t have a Sound Bar as we have small room sizes and don’t feel the need for it.)
I hope that answers any questions you might have about Samsung The Frame TV as well as gives you a few ideas about how to make it look good in your own home. Hit me up in the comments if I can help with anything else.
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