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Christmas Gift Guide

Spot the TV

A picture is worth 1,000 words

Selectable matte color

TV remote

Framed

Framed times three

Magnetic attachment

Basic black

Never off

Motion sensor

Preloaded images

Drawing

Photograph

Brown matte

Your own photos

Photo layout options

Triptych landscape

Family photos

What about your stuff?

Breakout box

Wire thin

Flush wall mount

Legs to stand on

Sleek remote

Menu system

Bonus: Samsung Serif

An 'I' from the side

Top of the 'I'

Back of Serif

Hidden inputs

Power button

Smaller for Asia

The Frame by Samsung takes the concept of "TV as art" further than any we've seen before. Shown here with a wooden frame, this 55-inch 4K TV is currently displaying still art, complete with a white matte.

The Frame ships June 18 and costs $2000 for the 55-inch size and $2800 for a 65-inch version.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

It looks a lot like a painting, even from up close. The wood part seen here is the TV's actual frame, and the rest is screen. That includes the white matte, or border between the wood frame and the image itself.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

The matte can be colored according to taste. This preview screen shows what the matte color change looks like.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

The Frame has similar specifications to one of its midtier MU series TVs. The remote, however, is premium-grade.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

The natural wood frame doesn't look like any standard TV.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

Optional frame add-ons are available. They cost $200 each for the 55-incher and $250 each for the 65-incher.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

You can pop the optional frames on and off easily since they're attached via magnets.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

The Frame's default frame color is black. 

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

Instead of turning off like a standard TV, leaving a blank black rectangle on the wall, The Frame is designed to always show its picture when someone is in the room.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

How does it "know" when someone is in the room? Using this motion sensor. As long as it senses someone in the room it keeps up the image, but after a period of motionlessness the screen goes blank, saving power.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

The Frame comes with more than 100 art pieces, including landscape, architecture, wildlife, action scenes and drawings.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

The artists get credit.

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As do the photographers.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

Here's the same photo presented with a darker matte frame.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

Of course, you can display your own photos, too, either loaded onto the TV via USB or using the app on your phone.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

You can choose different layouts for custom images as well. You can also get additional professional art images from Samsung's library at $20 each, or subscribe for $5 per month to get access to the whole collection.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

Here's a landscape photo given the three-way treatment.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

Yes, you can also display your pictures of family members, even four-legged ones.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

Every TV has a bunch of stuff (cable box, Blu-ray player, Roku, game console, etc.) connected to it. The Frame connects to it in the same way as other Samsung TVs of recent vintage...

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

Your stuff connects to a separate breakout box with HDMI inputs (here's one from a 2016 Samsung TV; the one that come with The Frame will be similar). Then a single wire runs between that box and The Frame.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

That single wire is actually fiber-optic and extremely thin, so it's relatively easy to hide. Of course, a professional installer could also run it through the wall.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

The Frame sits close to the wall, thanks to Samsung's "no-gap wall mount," which is included.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

If you decide not to wall-mount The Frame for some reason, you'll use the included legs to set it on a table or other furniture.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

The all-metal remote looks great and felt substantial in my hand.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

Settings for controlling The Frame's art-centric features are part of the normal Samsung menu.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

The Frame is coming soon, but the Serif TV launched last year. It's a 40-inch design-focused set that costs $1,500.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

Font fans will appreciate the reference.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

Like The Frame, this set doesn't look like any other TV.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

The rear of the set is fabric.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

Peel back the fabric to reveal HDMI and other connections.

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That's a clean look.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

Other markets get access to an even smaller Serif TV, perfect for bookshelves.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
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