Samsung’s 'The Frame' Is the Big TV for People Who Hate TVs

Just pretend it’s not even there

  • The Frame is a TV that looks like a picture frame and displays art.
  • The 2022 model brings a new matte finish. 
  • TVs are too big for most rooms.
Person looking at artwork on Samsung's The Frame

Samsung

If you refuse to have a TV in your home because you don't want a huge black rectangle hanging on your wall, dominating the space, then Samsung may have the answer—a TV that looks like a painting. A really, really big painting. 

It's called "The Frame," and Samsung just announced a new matte-finished version that makes it look even less like a screen when turned off. The downside is that to complete the illusion, you can never, ever turn the thing off, or it will revert to being the familiar black hole in your living room. 

"The Frame is a great option for homeowners that love their tv but don't love the look. For me, I have a small historical home where a TV simply looks out of place, therefore the Frame is a great way to have the best of both worlds," discerning homeowner Samantha Brandon, who wrote about The Frame as a way to display art, told Lifewire via email.

Screen Real Estate

Modern TVs are huge. It used to be that having a big TV meant wrangling a 150-pound-plus monster into the corner of your room, a wedge-shaped behemoth that, despite its weight and size, might typically have only a 32-inch screen. Now, you can hang a 32-inch screen on the wall with picture hooks, and the picture is way better than those old CRTs ever managed. 

The Frame runs from 43 inches ($1,000) to 85 inches ($4,000+), has a 4K resolution, and larger models have a fast 120Hz refresh rate. But none of that counts for people who just don’t want a big TV on their wall. Apartments haven’t gotten any bigger, and all the while, screen sizes grow. In fact, Spanish newspaper El Pais recently published an article investigating big screens in small apartments and their adverse effects on our necks.

Samsung's The Frame on a wall in a large room

Samsung

Samsung even has a TV that is literally the size of your wall. It even calls it The Wall, proving that some of Apple’s minimalism rubbed off on the Korean electronics company. 

Movie buffs and sports fans might love the experience of a giant screen, and for them, the black rectangle that takes over the room is no worse than an audiophile’s big speakers or a musician’s piano. But for the rest of us, why don’t we buy smaller TVs? 

Some of us just do without a TV altogether. Netflix works just fine on a laptop, a 27-inch computer monitor, or even a 12.9-inch iPad. If you hold an iPad at watching distance, and then sit in front of a non-huge television, you’ll see that-for normal viewing distances, the screens appear to be a similar size. 

Art Mode

To complete the illusion, Samsung’s The Frame has an Art Mode, with “access to over 1,400 works of art from world-class galleries.” Art mode engages when you hit the power button on the solar-powered remote, and you can also opt to display your own images. 

The clever part is that the TV monitors the ambient light and adjusts the TV’s brightness to fit, although it doesn’t appear to change the color balance to match the changes in light temperature during the day. And now, the 2022 model brings in a matte option, so the artwork can look even more like an object and less like a glass screen.

Artwork on Samsung's The Frame

Samsung

The illusion is furthered by a wide, white matt area between screen and faux picture frame, making this really look like a framed print on your wall.

“Instead of buying a sofa-size painting, you can purchase a digital art piece that will display on the Frame TV,” digital artist Bonnie Vent, who makes her work available to display this way, told Lifewire via email. “ If you grow tired of one art piece, it is easily changed with a new one since it is digital instead of canvas.”

If you don’t need a big TV, don’t get one. But if you want one, and the only thing stopping you is the huge ugly slab you have to hang on the wall, then The Frame might be just about perfect.

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