My Honest Thoughts on Our Samsung Frame TV
As you probably know by now, Finn is the main chef in our household. I’m not the best cook and he really enjoys spending time in the kitchen.
In our condo, he would spend all day Sunday prepping food for the week and then make a delicious Sunday night dinner. He would turn on the TV in the family room so he could watch football or TV shows while preparing food for hours. It was kind of his happy place.
Well, in our new house, the television in the family room is far from the kitchen. That’s totally fine for normal TV watching, but not ideal for Finn’s love of cooking and watching sports at the same time.
During those first few months of living here, he really didn’t cook very much. He tried to get into his Sunday routine but he was constantly running back and forth from the kitchen to the family room to catch big moments in the game.
Instead of putting a huge flat screen in the kitchen, we settled on a Samsung Frame TV. And just so you know from the start, this is in no way sponsored (Samsung has no clue who I am. Ha!). I’ve just gotten so many questions about the TV on Instagram stories and figured I would share more in a full blog post.
What’s a Samsung Frame TV?
If you’re wondering what the heck that is, it’s essentially a regular TV when it’s turned on. But when it’s turned off, instead of being a big black box on the wall, it turns into wall art! It comes with a frame (hence the name) so it looks like a real piece of art on the wall. It’s also flush to the wall, unlike a traditional TV. Most people who come over think it’s an actual picture frame.
I have seen the Samsung Frame TV all over the place, and my brother, Harry, has one, so I have always loved this genius product. It solves the problem of having a huge black box in an otherwise nicely-designed room.
I figured this was the best solution for our kitchen because we had a big blank wall and putting a honking TV on it was going to be an eyesore. At least with the Samsung Frame TV, it would look like a nice piece of art when not in use.
Samsung Frame TV – The Cost
This TV definitely isn’t cheap. We hemmed and hawed over buying it and finally pulled the trigger on Black Friday! We ended up getting a good deal on Amazon. If you’re interested, I would keep an eye on it, as it goes on sale every now and again. Black Friday was the lowest price I had seen.
We bought the 55″ television with a black frame. I would have done a wood bezel (love that one the best), but with our beige kitchen and wood floors, it just seemed like a lot of wood going on! Deco Frames also carries more ornate frames if you don’t like the basic options from Samsung. It’s nice that you can choose a different color and find a customizable bezel.
Installing The TV Without A Visible Cord
Once it arrived, we realized that we had a problem. The TV comes with a box that needs to be connected to the TV in order for it to function. Most people place the box in a console underneath the TV and then it’s totally fine. Since ours was on a big blank wall, we didn’t have anywhere to place this box.
Luckily, Finn came up with a plan to hide the box in our storage room directly beneath the TV. We tested it out and realized that the box would still work even on a different level of the house.
I don’t have a tutorial on how we did this because, honestly, we were just figuring it out as we went! Essentially, we drilled a hole in the wall behind the TV and dropped the slim cable behind the wall, in between two studs, until it hit the floor in the wall. Then, Finn drilled a hole into the ceiling from the basement to pull the wires through. Somehow this worked!
The cable itself is clear and they call it an invisible connection cable. So if you had to have it on the outside of the wall, it’s not the end of the world. If you just want to hide your cords and plug them into a box inside a console, it will be a heck of a lot easier. No cable clutter here! You just drop them behind the wall (if you have drywall) and pull them out in a hole behind the console.
How Does The Picture Frame TV Work?
It works just like any other TV. You have a remote and you turn it on. It’s also a “smart TV” (as most are these days) and it connects to all of our streaming services (Netflix, Apple TV, etc.) through wifi. We also have it set up to our cable so we can watch any channel, just like we would on our living room TV. We can watch all of our favorite shows here.
I didn’t know if the picture quality would be that great, but it’s actually really nice and clear (although I’ll admit, I don’t know much about that stuff!). When you turn it on, it can either go into TV mode or art mode. We pretty much only have the television on when Finn is in the kitchen cooking. The TV emits sound, but he directs the audio through our Sonos speakers in the kitchen ceiling for better sound quality. (You will find more about our Sonos audio equipment in this blog post).
How Does Art Mode Work?
When the TV is off, you can use the option for art mode. And it really does look like an art display…not a bright pixelated screen. There’s a screen brightness sensor that automatically balances the screen’s brightness, depending on the time of day.
The Art Store
The TV also comes with an app called “SmartThings” that you connect to your TV. You can then change the art and settings directly from your phone.
We ended up signing up for the Samsung’s art store which is $5 a month and gives you access to thousands of pieces of art. Or, you can buy art individually if you don’t want a monthly subscription service. This is an additional cost to factor in when buying the Samsung Frame TV.
I’ve spent some time going through and “liking” some of my favorite pieces so I can easily access them and put them up on the TV. But I’ll admit, I don’t use this feature as much as I probably should. (Note: In writing this post, I realized that you can “favorite” art and then set it up to change whenever you want. I have mine changing every two hours and it’s great).
You can also upload your own photos or art images onto the TV, directly through the app. I’ve actually purchased a few pieces through the Juniper Print Shop that I save on my phone and then upload to our Frame TV. It’s a very cool feature, but again, one I don’t take full advantage of. I think it could be fun to take pictures of your kid’s artwork and display it up there – and it would lead to less clutter around the house.
A few people on Instagram were concerned about energy consumption with the art being displayed continuously. There’s actually a built-in motion sensor on the TV so the art displays when you’re around and it turns off when you’re not around. We use that feature and it works well for us.
Free Vintage Art For Your Own Home
I recently found this public domain print shop and love her mission. This blogger curates the content, honors the artists, and still offers these gorgeous pieces for FREE! This post goes into more detail about the process and how it all works. I browsed through the hundreds of fantastic pieces, read up on the artists and the stories behind each one, and ended up downloading a few.
You will have to edit the size of any art you download to a 16:9 ratio to fit on your Frame TV. I just do that in Lightroom, but you can use something free like Canva or even your mobile device to get the correct ratio.
I think if you’re in need of a new TV, then this is a great option! For us, it was the perfect compromise. Finn got the TV he wanted and I got the look I wanted. We both won!
If you just want a tv and don’t care about the “art look”, then it’s definitely a pricey product and one that you may not need. If you do opt for it, I would also have a plan for the box that comes with it because that was something we completely overlooked.
P.S. We’ve renovated our kitchen since this post was first published. You can see how we incorporated the Samsung Frame TV into the new space above. Everyone thinks it’s real art. You can find all of the details about our new kitchen in this blog post.
And here’s a look at the Frame TV all set up in our bedroom (notice, no cords or wires to be seen). For more details about that process, head to this blog post.
I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m married to Finn & mom to Rory and Ellis. Together we’re creating our dream home in Chicago, one DIY project at a time.