Spot the TV
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.
A picture is worth 1,000 words
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.
Selectable matte color
The matte can be colored according to taste. This preview screen shows what the matte color change looks like.
The Frame has similar specifications to one of its midtier MU series TVs. The remote, however, is premium-grade.
The natural wood frame doesn't look like any standard TV.
Framed times three
Optional frame add-ons are available. They cost $200 each for the 55-incher and $250 each for the 65-incher.
You can pop the optional frames on and off easily since they're attached via magnets.
The Frame's default frame color is black.
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.
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.
The Frame comes with more than 100 art pieces, including landscape, architecture, wildlife, action scenes and drawings.
The artists get credit.
As do the photographers.
Here's the same photo presented with a darker matte frame.
Your own photos
Of course, you can display your own photos, too, either loaded onto the TV via USB or using the app on your phone.
Photo layout options
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.
Here's a landscape photo given the three-way treatment.
Yes, you can also display your pictures of family members, even four-legged ones.
What about your stuff?
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...
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.
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.
Flush wall mount
The Frame sits close to the wall, thanks to Samsung's "no-gap wall mount," which is included.
Legs to stand on
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.
The all-metal remote looks great and felt substantial in my hand.
Settings for controlling The Frame's art-centric features are part of the normal Samsung menu.
Bonus: Samsung Serif
The Frame is coming soon, but the Serif TV launched last year. It's a 40-inch design-focused set that costs $1,500.
An 'I' from the side
Font fans will appreciate the reference.
Top of the 'I'
Like The Frame, this set doesn't look like any other TV.
Back of Serif
The rear of the set is fabric.
Peel back the fabric to reveal HDMI and other connections.
That's a clean look.
Smaller for Asia
Other markets get access to an even smaller Serif TV, perfect for bookshelves.