Samsung Frame TV Review: Finally a TV I Don’t Want to Hide

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This Samsung Frame TV  review is honest and unsponsored. We paid full price for our television on Amazon. However, this post does contain affiliate links, which means I may make a small commission if you purchase something after clicking on one of them.

Modern marble slab fireplace, linear fireplace with Samsung Frame TV by Jillian Lare Des Moines Interior Designer
65" Samsung Frame Television

When we moved into our new house this summer, we needed to purchase a TV for our living room because we left our previous television behind at our old house as part of the purchase agreement with the new owners. I had seen the Samsung Frame TV floating around the blogosphere and thought it was the perfect solution for us.

Samsung Frame TV Over the Fireplace
Our Samsung Frame TV over the fireplace

The best spot for the TV in our new living room is over the fireplace. But, as a designer, I hate the look of the television over the fireplace or as the main focal point of a room. I also don’t watch a lot of TV on my own – almost never, in fact – and I didn’t want to stare at a black screen all day while home with the baby.

Not being a big TV watcher, I don’t care a whole lot about technology but I do care about aesthetics. Keegan is the exact opposite. The Frame appeared to be a great solution for both of us in that it looks awesome but has all of the latest technology packed inside.

When reading a lot of the blogger reviews on the frame, I noticed they talked a whole lot about how fabulous the TV looks, but they don’t mention very much about how it works. How it works is very important, and there are some particulars you need to know before you invest in this pricey and trendy piece of technology.

The Zero Gap Wall Bracket

The Frame is perfectly rectangular with crisp corners and a minimal frame that comes in three interchangeable colors – black, white, and wood. It also boasts a super sleek, no gap, wall mounting bracket that allows the TV to sit flush on the wall. If you’ve hung a TV in the past ten years, you know that this huge. Usually, there is some sort of gap, which drives me crazy.

Samsung Frame TV Review - Wall Bracket Gap - Jillian Lare Interior Design

In this photo, you can see that there’s more of a gap at the top than at the bottom. The bracket allows you to tilt the television forward slightly, which we opted to do given the mounting height.

Our electricians hung the television for us, and this was their first experience with this bracket and particular television. They grumbled at first because the fit is very tight. It definitely requires two people to hang the television and finagle the connections while doing so. But, in the end, they had to admit that the design was very slick.

The Box and Connection

The new Samsung televisions come with a sleek box and almost invisible clear cord, which means there are no unsightly wires running between the television and its peripherals. For cord cutters like us, the advantage is that the box has connection for an HD antenna, which means you don’t have to run CoAx cable to the TV.

Samsung Frame TV Review - Jillian Lare: An honest, unsponsored review of the Samsung Frame Television

That little white cord is the only connection between the TV and the box. It’s clear/white and nearly invisible. We thought about having it run through the wall and may still do that at some point, but we had just painted and didn’t want to tear up the drywall.

The television comes with a 15′ cord. If you need yours to travel a longer distance, Samsung has a 50′ cord available that you can purchase separately.

Samsung Frame TV Review - Jillian Lare: An honest, unsponsored review of the Samsung Frame Television

This photo shows the box (bottom) with our AppleTV, Amazon Fire, and universal remote receiver. We now have this little stack of boxes and our receiver, so it all takes up much less space than our previous set up.

The box itself is very minimal and thin with no lights or buttons on the face. The salesperson at Best Buy explained to me that the idea is to store all of the firmware for the TV on the box so that if there is a major upgrade in a few years, you will only have to buy a new box and not a new TV. If this turns out to be true, that will be pretty amazing, because I’m pretty sure this is the last TV we’re ever going to buy. An exaggeration but this thing wasn’t cheap, so it better last!

Setting Up The Samsung Fame TV

I set up the Frame myself after the electricians took off. We installed it several months ago, so I don’t remember all the details, but it took around five minutes, and I had no issues with it at all. The TV walks you through the process, and you use the remote that comes with it to control everything.

Interface & Remote Control

The Samsung Frame remote control is small, minimal, and white. The white finish is nice because it’s easy to distinguish from our other remote controls. FYI, we no longer use the Samsung remote except for Art mode. We use the Harmony remote instead…more on that later (link to newest version).

The power button at the top switches between the TV mode and the art mode. Volume and channel at the bottom are pretty self-explanatory.

The remote is programmable, but we didn’t get a chance to full customize it before we decided to switch to our universal remote. The 123 button is used for inputting numbers for channels. The button with the colored dots can be programmed for certain repeat functions. You can also control the TV by voice command, which can come in handy.

Samsung Frame TV Review - Jillian Lare: An honest, unsponsored review of the Samsung Frame Television

The Samsung Frame has a Smart TV interface that allows you to download apps like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video, etc. The Home button calls up the menu of apps at the bottom of the screen, and you use the wheel to scroll through them. The center button on the wheel is the Select/OK button.

The little icons off to the left are for Settings, Source, Search, Apps, and Art mode, respectively. Like I mentioned above, we use the Frame with Apple TV and Amazon Fire. We have an antenna for our local channels and PlayStation Vue for cable. PlayStation is accessible through both the Apple TV and Amazon Fire, which are added and managed using the Source icon.

The sources are where the interface broke down for us. We were easily able to add all of our sources and had no issue with selecting Live TV from the list of apps on the Home screen. You can also see an option for Amazon Fire in the photo above but no option for Apple TV. They worked at first but eventually got confused. We would select Amazon and the Apple TV menu would come up. Sometimes Amazon would be frozen, and I would have to reboot the box multiple times for it to work. Then one day Amazon Fire got stuck on the screen saver, and nothing we could think of seemed to fix it.

Finally, we switched to the Harmony remote, which we had used with our previous TV.  We use the programmable buttons on the remote to select the source vs. the Smart TV interface, and everything has worked fine ever since. To be fair, this issue is with the box which comes with all of the new Samsung Smart TVs and is probably not specific to the Frame.

The Frame TV Art Mode

Photo via Samsung

Finally, we get to the good stuff. I never thought I would be convincing Keegan to pay $2800 for a television, especially now that you can get a perfectly nice one for under $1000, and neither did he. However, for someone who doesn’t watch a lot of TV – I don’t usually turn it on at all until Keegan gets home for the day – married to someone who enjoys sports, shows, and movies as a way to unwind on a daily basis, the Samsung Frame is the perfect solution because, unlike TVs that stream slideshows while they are on but inactive, it displays static artwork when it is actually off.

The Frame comes loaded with several galleries of artwork, with more available for purchase, in various categories. They include both photographic and non-photographic high-quality imagery such as action, landscape, architecture, still-life, and pattern. Keegan likes many of the landscapes, while I am particularly fond of the abstracts, still lifes, and patterns. In general, the included art leans towards a more modern design aesthetic. You can see the available artwork on Samsung’s website.

You can also upload your own photographs or digital art and add mats to them in several different layout formats. We haven’t played with this too much yet, though I did upload some digital art I purchased online.

The ARt Settings

The available settings allow you to configure the screen brightness, color temperature (cool to warm), sleep timer, night mode, motion detector, and sound mirroring. The settings for brightness and temperature can be used to make the art appear more “art-like” and less like a glowing LED screen. The appropriate values will vary according to the amount and quality of light in your space

Samsung Frame TV Art Settings

Our living room is quite bright during the day with a northern exposure, so I have my settings slightly towards the dark side and slightly warmer. I think the temperature setting could also depend on your paint color. My walls are painted Benjamin Moore White Dove, which is a warmer white with a touch of gray. The cooler setting for the screen looks very blue with White Dove behind it.

I think one big improvement Samsung could make for the art mode settings would be to have a default setting for day vs. night, triggered by the sunset or a user-defined time, much like the night-mode on the iPhone. The current Night setting allows you enable the TV to turn off the image (black screen) automatically if no other lights are sensed in the room. Since I’m often up all night with the baby, I’ve had more opportunities to observe this setting in action. The Christmas tree lights will keep the screen on, otherwise, it generally turns off.

Does the Samsung Frame TV Actually Look Like Art?

stacked stone fireplace samsung frame tv revere pewter

Yes and no, but if it doesn’t look like actual art, it comes pretty darn close. Here is the truth no other (sponsored) blogger is writing: the tv doesn’t look like the marketing photos in real life. It is absolutely discernible from other pieces of art in a gallery wall. It obviously has light to it and a faint glow that is definitely perceptible. Does that outweigh the positives? Absolutely not! We observed it fooling several of our visitors who weren’t aware that it was a television.

Is the Samsung Frame TV worth the price?

As an interior designer who values aesthetics and constantly struggles with the television as the focal point in a room, the answer is an unequivocal yes. The positives definitively outweigh the negatives, which are small and picky, and justify the somewhat outrageous price tag (a 65″ model with similar specs is $1000 less). I will be strongly recommending the Frame to all of my clients who want a large television in their primary living space.

Personally, I know it was a huge splurge, and I am thrilled with it and get a lot of pleasure from the art on a daily basis. It’s one of those purchases that just makes me happy.

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Samsung Frame TV Review

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19 thoughts on “Samsung Frame TV Review: Finally a TV I Don’t Want to Hide

  1. Excellent review. I’ve had this TV for about 3 months now and I love it, specifically for the aesthetics! In the UK there is nothing like it.

    Can I ask you, have you found anyway to automatically bring up the artwork when you enter standby mode using the Harmony Remote?

    I know when you hit the power button on the white remote, it works perfectly, however I’m trying to get this working with Alexa and via Harmony hub, I’m getting just the standard black screen. I won’t go into too much detail on that, but if you could let me know the answer to the above question, I’d be most grateful.

    1. Hi Gareth, thanks! So it always goes immediately to the art when I hit the power button from the Harmony remote. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it not go to the art. Sometimes I have to hit the source button twice to turn it back on after it’s been on standby though. No idea on Alexa, though I wish I had one!

  2. Hi Jillian, I’m wondering if you could answer a question for me…I am looking to buy this as a solution to hide the tv above the mantle, but I read somewhere that it needs to be connected to the internet to display photos in art mode. Maybe it meant to upload photos, but I am out in the country where I have to pay for internet by the GB, so I couldn’t have it sucking up my data just to display pics. I am a photographer, so I plan to upload my own images. Would you know anything about this? Thank you for your post. It’s very informative. I too am in this mostly for the art mode.

    Laura

    1. Hi Laura,
      That’s a good question, and I’m not exactly sure. You add your own art through the app on your phone, so I’d assume you just have to be on the same network, whether that network has outside internet access or not. I don’t know why it would need to use data just to display the photos. We’ve had our internet go down, and it’s not like the art goes away.

      Sorry I’m not more help!

  3. I’m trying to wrap my head around how you installed the bracket with an uneven stone surface as in the photo of you client’s installation. Is there a section behind the tv with no stone?

    1. Hi Steven, yes…when we’re mounting a TV on a stone fireplace, we’re creating a flat space behind the TV with no stone for the bracket and the electrical and cable connections.

      1. Hi, I am also curious about the client installation with the stone fireplace. Are the cords running on the outside of the fireplace to some hidden spot in the built-ins? We are moving to a new house with a brick fireplace and will need to place the TV above the mantel. There is an electrical outlet on the fireplace for a TV, but it’s not recessed, and there are windows on either side, so no good place to hide the One Connect box. Any tips based on how things were done for your client’s install? Thanks!

        1. Hi Jenny, this was a new construction home, so we planned for the TV in advance. All of the peripherals for the media in the house are located in the basement. Often times, you can achieve a remote connection for your TV now, but I work with an A/V team to achieve this, so I’m not sure about the particulars. At our house, we could have run the tiny Samsung cord back behind the TV and brought it out the wall, but we had just painted, and I didn’t want to mess up the drywall.

  4. Hi Jillian,

    I recently moved back to the US from abroad and am helping a friend/client purchase “the frame.” All is good – except where to hide even the clear wires near her mantel/fireplace. I read above and noticed you didn’t hide yours in the wall – so did you hide yours at all? Or what did you do with yours? It’s amazing the information out there about the beauty of “the frame” but not much about the actual frame…especially wires and set up. So I really appreciate this post!

    Thanks!
    Jana

    1. Hi Jana, we didn’t hide ours yet because we had just painted and were in a hurry to move in. We didn’t want to mess up our drywall. The electricians told us it would be no problem once we were ready. The other reason we didn’t hide it is that we knew we’d have to buy the longer cable, and I think it was fairly expensive. I don’t notice the wire at all now, and our toddler has never even noticed it, which is saying a lot.

  5. Hi There,

    This is just what we’re looking for. How much can the TV actually tilt forward? We’re looking to mount the TV above mantel as well but being above the fireplace, the TV would sit pretty high. How high is it above your fireplace if you don’t mind sharing. Your picture with the tilt doesn’t look like much, and can it be moved back to flush by simply pushing on the top?

    Hope to avoid normal tilting mount or a mantel mount for such a lovely TV.

    Thanks!

    1. Hi, it really doesn’t tilt forward much more than we have it tilted. It’s meant to sit flush and look like art and not like a TV so the bracket is very tight to the wall. If you truly need it to tilt down, you might need a different bracket. I would say our TV is about 6′ off the floor to the bottom.

  6. Hi,
    We are in the process of new construction.
    I have been looking at the frame tv for above our stone fireplace. It’s a open floor plan kitchen/family room. My husband is worried about hearing/sound with open space, wanting to do a sound bar? Defeats the purpose for art look I think? Thoughts on sound?
    Thanks!

    1. Yes, a sound bar will totally defeat the purpose, and I wouldn’t do it even if you were going to use a regular TV. If you’re in new construction, you should be talking with your builder about an A/V consultant who can wire your home with speakers.

      1. Thank you so much for replying! I agree! Yes, I did lineup audio guy.
        Thanks again! Happy Holidays

  7. Hi Jillian! I just bought your same TV and a basket and blanket to go underneath. Can you please answer a question? Did you also hid the cable box for your TV?

    1. Hi, our cable box is off to the side in a media cabinet.

  8. Hello! Where you able to flush the tv completely? I’ve the same problem you show on pic and drives me nuts.

    1. Our TV is not completely flush because my husband wanted it tilted since we had to hang it pretty high. However, at my clients’ homes, we’ve been able to get it pretty flush.

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