Since the first flat panel TVs were introduced, the holy grail of television (at least in the mind of manufacturers) has been a TV that didn’t look like a TV, but instead looked like a piece of framed art on the wall – a window to another world, if you will. It’s a tact that has been tried before, but Samsung’s new Frame TV (yes, that’s its name) perhaps strikes closer to this target than any of its predecessors. And you know what? It’s not even outrageously expensive.
In true art gallery fashion, the Frame TV is sold in two pieces: The display panel itself is available in a 55-inch model at $2,000, and a 65-inch model at $2800. But if you want it to look like art, you’ll need to buy one of the bezels available in white, beige, and walnut – think of it as the frame for your painting – for $200 or $250, respective to size.
Lest we be too quick to dismiss this as another gimmick, we must point out that Samsung has gone to great lengths to make this TV look like art – we’ve seen it in action, and it is convincing. Adding to the suspension of disbelief is Samsung’s Invisible Connection cable, a fishing line-like fiber optic cable that delivers the video signal from common components like a cable box, Blu-ray player, or Roku, also found in the company’s QLED TV line. Samsung also ports over its no-gap custom wall mount system for the Frame TV, so there will be no tell-tale gap between the TV and the wall.
An “Art Store” is also available for the display with a growing collection of works to choose from, numbering around 100 already. Frame TV owners can purchase works from “established and emerging artists, curated by several international organizations, galleries and museums, including Artspace, LUMAS, Magnum Photos, Saatchi Art and Sedition,” according to Samsung. The digital art will run $20 per piece, or an annual subscription is available for $5 per month.
When the TV isn’t being used as a … you know … TV, it goes into “art mode,” and changes its processing so that the still image really does look like art. Motion sensors will detect when nobody is present in the room, and the TV will go into a power saving mode until motion is detected, at which point the TV will reactivate. This is still a TV, though, and you can expect the best of Samsung’s technology here, including 4K Ultra HD resolution, wide color gamut, and HDR10 support.
The Frame TV will be available starting at $2,000 beginning Sunday, June 18.