While not in use, frame TVs display artwork and are designed to be both home decor and a means of entertainment. If you’re not an avid television watcher but you’d still like to have a TV hidden tastefully in plain sight, you might be considering a frame TV.
However, there are some downsides to consider before taking the plunge and purchasing one. Let’s take a closer look at the frame TV and why you may want to sit out this trend.
What is a Frame TV?
The frame TV is a television styled with a beautiful frame around it, just as you would frame a piece of art. It displays digital artwork while not in use. It adds an air of sophistication to an otherwise drab piece of technology meant for entertainment. The frame TV’s purpose is to look good and be functional.
Frame TVs: A Brief History
Digital frames have been popular since the start of digital photography in the early 2000s, and the frame TV takes it to another level of style and functionality.
It wasn’t until 2017 that the digital frame was applied to a full-size television when Samsung launched its first frame TV, The Frame. It was designed with art in mind to add to a room’s aesthetic but still function as a television. Samsung has continued improving its Frame TV and has sold over 2 million since the original launch date.
Today, Samsung is not the only brand selling TV frames. LG also has a frame TV. Some companies also sell frames that you can snap onto your existing TV. It’s a popular trend that’s likely to be around for a while.
Highlights of the Frame TV
It’s a great option for small spaces when you want art to adorn your wall with art and not a bulky, distracting TV. The traditional flat screen televisions in today’s homes are not always aesthetically pleasing. A frame TV is designed to blend well with your home decor.
If you’re an art lover, you can enjoy digital works of art on the frame TV. There are many classics to choose from, alongside digital photography depicting nature scenes.
It doubles as a smart TV equipped with all the streaming apps we have come to expect in a smart TV. It has a matte coating to prevent shine but can also subdue the vividness of the TV.
The 5 Reasons to Avoid the Frame TV
Because the frame TV is still a relatively new product on the market, only two companies produce it: LG and Samsung. They have a limited number of options to choose from. You might consider waiting to see if this changes as LG and Samsung continue improving their respective frame TV designs.
You must purchase the mounting setup and hardware you want separately. Some models sit flush against the wall, which can be tricky to install independently. Make sure you have all the tools you need if you’re going to install it yourself.
This TV hides unsightly cables and cords because it’s all about aesthetics. This can be an involved process, and you might consider hiring a pro to install it for you to get the look you want. It will cost extra to have it installed correctly for its intended purpose of looking stylish on the wall.
Custom Accessories May Be Needed
The frame is meant to be part of the artwork and enhance the room’s decor. You’ll need to purchase frames that match your room’s style. On some models, the frames must be installed, while others clip on or are magnetic. This is another additional cost and can be a hassle.
Frame TVs are significantly more costly than a traditional smart TV of the same size. You can expect to pay between $1,000 and $3,000 for one 55″ or 65″ frame TV. That’s quite a bit more to pay! You can purchase another smart TV with higher-quality features for much less.
After making the initial investment, there are some potential additional costs to consider. You can opt for an art subscription that comes with more options to display on your TV screen. However, there are not many options and this is completely optional to buy.
There are also a few different bezel designs that come at an additional cost, so the price may increase if you like these add-ons enough to purchase them.
The Speaker Sound Quality is Average
If you’re looking for a TV with superior sound quality, this TV is not for you. The speaker sound is just standard quality, and it doesn’t produce the crystal clear defining sound you would expect for the price you’re paying. There are TVs available for purchase with a much higher quality speaker sound if that’s an important feature for you.
The Best Alternatives to Frame TVs
If you’ve decided frame TVs aren’t for you after all, but you want a good alternative, we’ve got a few suggestions for you.
Amazon Fire TV 55″ Omni Series 4K UHD Smart TV
- 55" QLED 4K UHD
- Dolby Vision IQ
- Local dimming
- Hands-free with Alexa
Display your art and personal photos on Amazon’s Fire TV 55” Omni Series, just like you would on a frame TV at a fraction of the cost.
Enjoy all the latest features of a smart TV, including quantum dot display (QLED), hands-free Alexa voice control, ambient experience, and so much more.
- Brilliant 4k QLED entertainment
- Ambient experience for photo display
- Hands-free Alexa voice control
- Dolby Vision IQ, HDR 10, HDR10+ Adaptive, and HLG
- Automatic brightness optimization
Check out the Amazon Fire TV 55” Omni Series on Amazon.
LG OLED55GXPUA GX Series 55″ Gallery Design 4K Smart OLED TV (2020)
- LG's gallery design makes the TV look like a painting when hanging on the wall (mount included)
- TV stand sold separately
- Screen: 55 inches, 4K resolution
- LG's third generation alpha 9 4K AI processor auto adjusts your settings for the best viewing experience.
If you have the budget for a high-quality TV with superior features, we recommend the LG OLED55GXPUA GX Series 55″ Smart TV.
This one comes with a slim wall mount that holds the screen as close to the wall as possible and displays your picture with intense color and infinite contrast.
- OLED gallery design
- Slim wall mount included (TV stand sold separately)
- Self-lighting OLED with perfect black, intense color, and infinite contrast
- Alpha 9 (Gen 3) AI Processor 4K
- Dolby Vision IQ and Dolby Atmos.
- Smart TV webOS 5.0 with ThinQ AI and hands-free voice control
Have a look at the LG OLED55GXPUA GX Series 55″ Smart TV on Amazon.
Samsung 43 Inch Class SERIF QLED Smart TV
- QLED 4K
- I-Shaped Design
- Anti-Reflection matte display
- Portable Easel Stand
- Ambient Mode+
- Alexa built-in
Samsung combines technology and elegance with a sleek design in The SERIF QLED Smart TV.
This particular model is packed with advanced features and a few extras that make it an excellent substitute for the frame TV. Its I-shaped design doubles as a shelf that you can set down anywhere. Ambient mode allows you to display your favorite photos or digital artwork.
- Iconic I-shaped design
- QLED 4K w/ 100% color volume
- Anti-reflection with matte display
- Included detachable easel
- Quantum processor with 4K
Check out the The SERIF QLED Smart TV on Amazon.
What frame TVs lack in smart features, visual and sound definition, and limited screen viewing capacity, it makes up for in style. Its higher cost is purely for looks alone. You’ll pay more for its customizable features and add-on art subscription.
Suppose you enjoy watching TV with all the bells and whistles that improve the experience for a lot less money. In that case, we recommend looking into a quality smart TV. Many have great features intended to enhance your visual and sound experience as well as increased app selection.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Samsung.