What Is Art Mode (Ambient Mode) on TV?

All about this premium feature on high-end sets

Art Mode, which you might also see listed as Ambient Mode or Gallery Mode, depending on who made the TV, is an idle setting that aims to transform your screen from a dead, black rectangle when you aren't watching it. Rather than the usual screensaver that you might see on existing TVs or streaming boxes when they're inactive, Art Mode aims to make your TV practically disappear into its surroundings. Here's everything you need to know about this feature.

What Is Art Mode?

Even if you have a basic-model HDTV or streaming device, it probably has a screensaver option when it isn't showing a movie or TV show. It usually entails a slideshow of stock images, scenic views, or personal photos moving slowly across the screen to prevent burn-in.

Art Mode is a step above that. The images don't move, and the goal is to hide that there's a screen there at all. Art Mode gives the impression of a painting hanging on the wall, complete with effects that eliminate glare and adjust to ambient light to maintain the illusion. You can still upload your images. However, they'll look better in Art Mode than they do as a screensaver.

And while you're taking photos, Art Mode also lets you do something extra tricky: You can send a picture of the wall behind the screen and make the device all but disappear. Art Mode can also include videos and non-paintings, but its main appeal is disguising your set as a decorative piece.

What Is an Art Mode TV?

An Art Mode TV has a 4K or 8K display that includes some version of the technology that shows a high-quality, eye-tricking image in an inactive low-power mode. "Art Mode" is the general term; Samsung uses "Ambient Mode," and LG calls it "Gallery Mode."

The Samsung TV models that include Ambient Mode are The Frame and The Terrace, in screen sizes between 32 and 75 inches. You can see all compatible TVs on Samsung's shopping site, but you don't necessarily have to spring for a top-of-the-line (and expensive) QLED screen to get this feature.

LG's Gallery series of TVs has a version of Art Mode, which additionally hopes to leverage the already thin profile of an OLED screen to push the illusion that you have a massive painting on your wall instead of a TV.

Do All TVs Have Art Mode?

Most TVs and streaming devices include a screensaver, but only certain high-end TVs have the genuine Art Mode feature. Check for "Ambient Mode" among the specifications of a Samsung TV, or make sure you're buying a "Gallery Design" LG set to ensure you're getting one with Art Mode.

How Do I Get My TV to Show Art?

With a TV that includes Art, Ambient, or Gallery Mode, you'll usually activate the feature by switching off the set. Samsung TVs often also include an "Ambient Mode" button on their QLED remotes.

The Ambient Mode button on a Samsung TV remote

Samsung

Even if you don't have a TV with Art, Ambient, or Gallery Mode, you may still be able to customize the images that show when it's at rest, depending on your TV or streaming device model. For example, the Apple TV lets you use photos you've synced to iCloud to create a custom screensaver. The Chromecast can do something similar using Google Photos. Other devices may allow you to insert a microSD card to upload images directly, whether personal photos you like or high-quality images of your favorite paintings.

FAQ
  • How do I set up Ambient Mode on a Samsung TV?

    Ambient Mode on your Samsung TV displays artwork, pictures, stories, weather information, and more. To enter Ambient Mode, press the Ambient button on the Samsung Smart Remote. Alternatively, press Home and navigate to the Ambient icon on your TV screen. Select a category to see details, features, and content for your TV's Ambient Mode.

  • What Samsung models have Ambient Mode?

    Ambient mode is available primarily on Samsung's QLED TVs, including model numbers Q9FN, Q8CN, Q7FN, and Q6FN. Samsung QLED TVs with Ambient Mode will include a dedicated Ambient button on the Samsung Smart Remote.

  • How do I set up Gallery Mode on an LG TV?

    To enter Gallery Mode on an LG TV, press the Home button on the remote, and then scroll through the options on your screen until you see Gallery. Select Gallery to reveal your artwork options. Highlight a category and then click OK on the remote.

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