Is the TV that displays art worth it? I’m sharing my honest Samsung Frame TV review as a home decorator who didn’t want to give up the decor space above the mantel!
You’ve probably seen this picture frame TV all around the internet. It’s the TV that displays art when it’s turned off and I’m here to share my honest review and answer the question: is the Frame TV worth it?!
Short answer: yes! Long answer: also, yes! 😜
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We’ve had our Samsung Frame TV for more than a year now and we love it so much. I wanted to wait a while before sharing my thoughts, because I wanted to live with for a bit. But for my husband and I, it lives up to the hype.
It’s the TV we all want to watch even though we have two other TVs in the house and it’s constantly just our favorite.
Our Story of Buying the Frame TV
It was time to upgrade our out-dated, un-smart TV for a larger smart TV. Coach (my husband) requested something a bit larger than our 32″ TV we bought when we got married 11 years ago. And I decided that if I was giving up decor space on the sides and above the TV, I’d rather look at art on the wall than an ugly black rectangle.
We settled on the 55″ Frame TV (and you’ll see why I’m so glad we didn’t get a larger one in a sec).
I know nothing about the fancy 4K UHD Dual LED Quantum HDR business, but I guess that’s code for “it looks good” because it does have great picture quality. 😜 I mean, it’s way better than the 10-year-old TV we had before it. My professional opinion, of course. 😉
But the thing I cared about the most was that it displays art when the TV is turned “off.” This is actually called ambient mode or art mode. This is how it displays something on the screen while the TV isn’t on.
The other great thing that makes the Frame TV look like art is that you can mount it flush to the wall, like an actual piece of art. This is because the brains of the TV are in a separate “connect box” connected to the TV with a very small, clear wire.
Every Frame TV comes with a no-gap wall mount, but you will have to have a completely flat wall (no outlets or sockets) to achieve the gapless wall mount. Ours sticks out just a smidge because we didn’t use a recessed outlet cover, but you can’t tell because of our mantel trim.
In our old house, we just ran the wire down behind the TV and housed the connect box inside our media stand. We never got around to hanging it on the wall before we decided to move.
Then we moved in December 2019 and the new, smaller living room presented a whole new challenge.
Putting a TV above the Mantel in the New House
Ahh, the age old question: do we put the TV above the mantel or somewhere else in the room?
Since our new living room was smaller and we had a large sectional coming, there really wasn’t an option other than putting the TV above the mantel. Womp. womp. I was sad to lose my prime real estate for decorating.
But if you have to put a TV above the mantel, the Frame TV is the one you want, right? I’d say so!
Thankfully we chose the perfect size TV for the space above the mantel and it was like they were made for each other!!
While you can buy a magnetic frame to go on your Frame TV, we don’t have one because I like how the black edge blends into our navy walls. But maybe some day we’ll try one. I think if I did buy one, I’d get the beige bezel frame.
We even figured out how to run the TV cord behind the wall and store the TV box in the closed cabinets on the right side of the fireplace.
I will say that wall mounting the TV it was job for two strong people. We did it ourselves, but if you aren’t confident in your ability to hang the TV on the wall, then I would hire it out. Most people I know hire someone to mount it on the wall.
Decorating around the Frame TV on a Mantel
One of the biggest questions about putting a TV above the mantel is, how to decorate around it? It’s such a widely asked question that I wrote a blog post years ago explaining how to decorate around a TV above the mantel.
Home decor is my jam, so I’m always thinking about these things. The good news about the Frame TV is that you can change the art on it whenever you want! Some of my favorite places to find art, other than the Samsung Art Store, are: Etsy and Juniper Print Shop.
I don’t have room for much more than the TV up on my mantel. So, I’ve been putting a pair of trees on either side. This Christmas will be challenging since I’ve always enjoyed decorating my Christmas mantels in the past. But, I have a plan and I think it will look really good!
In the future, I may put some pretty sconces on the moulding on either side of the TV, but it’ll be way on down the road when that happens!
But as a decorating blogger, I’ve been happy with the Frame TV above the mantel and how it has looked with my decor.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Frame TV
How do you Get Art on the TV?
A few digital art pieces come pre-loaded on the TV, but you will probably grow beyond that collection quickly. If you’d like to use the Samsung Art Store, you’ll have to pay a small monthly fee to use that art.
You will have to download the SmartThings app and make sure your TV and phone are using the same router in your home. Then you can follow the instructions on the app to upload your art to the TV. I keep a folder in the photos app on my phone for “TV art” and just keep everything there.
What size digital art works on the Frame TV?
You will want to resize your art to 3840×2160 pixels if you want it to fit perfectly and not require a mat. If the image is too small, your TV will require the image of a mat and I don’t prefer that. But it’s personal preference.
I don’t think there’s an option to fill the frame with a wrongly-sized photo. I may be mistaken, but I’ve found that I either have to buy digital art specifically sized for the TV or resize it myself.
If you purchase Frame TV specific art, it should already be sized properly.
Do you have to have the Connect Box out in the open/behind glass?
No! 🎉 You can put it anywhere close by because it works on an “invisible connection” – which is simply a radio frequency. ☺️
So, I don’t have to have my cabinet doors open for my remote control to work. Yay!! No need for glass front cabinets or a screen or anything. It’s awesome.
Does it turn all the way off? Does it emit light when it’s turned off?
It DOES turn all the way off. It’s completely black with only a small red light at the bottom. And that teeny red light would be covered if you have a frame on it.
The TV has motion and ambient light sensors, so if it detects no light or movement for a certain amount of time, then it will turn completely off on its own. But you can also hold down the power button for 2-3 seconds and the TV will turn completely off.
Overall, we love it! We’re so glad we purchased the Frame TV. We have other TV’s in our home and it’s our favorite, hands down. While the Samsung TV we bought last year for our bedroom is the same in a lot of ways, I prefer the remote control that comes with the Frame and the flush mount with the art mode.
Let me know if you have any more questions in the comments below and I’ll do my best to answer them!
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