Before we even signed the contract to build this house, we knew we wanted a Samsung Frame TV. We have the 65″ version and couldn’t be happier. But what is the Samsung Frame TV? It is a TV that also looks like art and that’s exactly why we bought it. It looks so realistic and I still chuckle when I get DMs asking for my “artwork” above the mantel. It’s a focal point in our home and seamlessly blends into the room. Plus, it’s flush to the wall like artwork would be.
The Samsung Frame TV is not cheap, so I want to write your complete guide to the Samsung Frame TV review so you can make the right decision as to whether this TV is right for you. Is it worth the hype? For us, the answer is 100 percent. We absolutely love it and think it’d be perfect in any home. If you don’t want a big black TV to be the focal point in your room and absolutely need a TV in there, this is the perfect option.
For reference, the wall our Samsung Frame TV is mounted on is 85.5″ wide and our mantel is 85″ so I’m really happy with the proportions!
How Much Does It Cost?
Like I said earlier, this TV is not cheap. You really are paying for how it looks like art when it’s “off” and the flush mount. You can actually get these TVs at the best price on eBay, believe it or not! They have all sizes and the newer 2020 models. I have friends who have gotten their Samsung Frame TVs from eBay without any problems. You could probably save some money by getting an older version.
The Frame or Bezel is Separate
The TV comes standard with a black steel frame. That’s what we have and you can see it pictured here. You probably have also seen it with beige, white or other colored frames. Samsung calls these bezels and charge you a hefty price tag for it. No, that’s not ideal, especially since the TV is already pretty expensive. However, you can now order it with the bezel of your choice here. If you don’t want a colored bezel, I highly recommend ordering it from eBay for the price. If we had to pick a bezel, we would get beige.
How Do You Mount It?
OneConnect Box and Cable
I’m about to get a little geeky. Before talking about how to mount it, it’s probably best to explain how it works. Before the Samsung Frame TV, TVs housed both the “computer” part of the TV and the screen in one. Remember how thick TVs used to be? The Samsung Frame TV essentially took the “computer” portion of the TV out and put it in what’s called a OneConnect Box. It’s about 5″ wide, 16″ long and 2″ deep. It’s not massive, but it’s certainly not tiny either. This is how the Samsung Frame TV is so thin and can sit flush up against the wall without a gap because it’s essentially just a screen. If you want to plug something into your TV such as HDMI, gaming consoles and the like, you’ll plug it directly into this box.
The two communicate with each other via a OneConnect cable, which is super thin and clear. It’s easy to hide and tuck away. If you look in old photos here you can see the cable and how I used a garland to help conceal it. Ideally, you would hide the OneConnect Box in a media cabinet or maybe behind a big vase, stack of books, chair or any other piece of decor somewhere near your TV so it is out of sight. Make sure you plan for this before you purchase the TV.
The no-gap mount makes it pretty simple. Make sure you mount that to the studs and your TV will snap on.
Getting A Super Clean Mount
If you are super picky and a very visual person like me and Johnny you don’t want to see the box or the cable. Trust me, it drove me insane seeing that clear cable. There are a few ways to solve this.
If you are building a home, you will want to talk to your low voltage vendor about putting in an HDMI bundle to help with this. If you look at the photo below of the day we closed on our house, you’ll see an electrical outlet and HDMI bundle above the mantel. That bundle corresponds with the bundle on the left side under the picture window. You can plug whatever you need into the outlet and bundle on the left side and it’ll sync up with the bundle behind the TV. It also comes with what’s known as a smurf tube, which you can string wires and cables through safely. This cost us about $500 and in theory, it should have worked. What went wrong is our smurf tube is only an inch in diameter. The head of the OneConnect cable is an inch – so it doesn’t fit. Learn from our mistake and make sure your tube is at least 1.5″ inch and you’ll be good to go. Then, all you do is tie the string inside the tube to your OneConnect cable, pull it through and plug it in on both ends. Done!
Hiding the Cable
If you are up for it, you can Something important to note is the clear cable coming with your Samsung Frame TV is not safe for going behind your wall because it’s a fire hazard. Samsung does sell a cable you can purchase that is safe for going behind the wall for about $200.
Hiding the OneConnect Box & Cable
Another option to get a super clean mount for your Samsung Frame TV is to get what’s called a Versabox, which is actually placed inside the wall behind your TV. You can DIY this or have a professional do it. If you’re local to DFW, we highly recommend MediaHead. The owners Steve and and Jeff came out to our home and had this done in about two hours. They installed the box behind our wall after cutting into the sheetrock, make sure everything was hooked up, put the OneConnect Box in there and mounted our TV. They also organized our cables a bit.
It looks a million times better in my opinion. Now, if we need to plug anything into the TV, we use the HDMI bundle to the left of the TV since the bundle is plugged into the OneConnect Box.
How is the Picture & Sound Quality?
The first thing we noticed when we initially got this TV is how beautiful and sharp the picture is. Everything is nice is crisp, the colors are beautiful and it makes for great viewing. Is this going to be the absolute best picture you’ll ever see? Absolutely not, but being a bit of a techy and picky about picture quality, I love this TV and have no complaints.
We do not have an additional soundbar or surround-sound speakers. Even without it, I’m impressed with how lovely the sound is, even when I’m far away from the TV. Many nights, Johnny and I have the TV on while we’re cooking dinner in the kitchen and we can hear everything and it’s crisp.
Does Art Mode Use a Lot of Electricity?
Not at all! We haven’t noticed any spikes in our energy bill. Plus, there is a setting where it can turn off completely if the TV doesn’t detect any motion for 15 minutes. It’ll turn Art Mode back on if someone moves, too. Art Mode uses about 30 percent of the energy it would take to stream a movie.
All About the “Art”
The Samsung Frame TV comes with a free collection of both classic and contemporary art pieces. You can change the mat, adjust the brightness and warmth of the image to make it look realistic in your space. However, my favorite feature is being able to add your own photos. You’ll need to download the SmartThings app to use the TV (it’s also a remote!) and that’s also where you can add your own photos.
Before you pay for the subscription, I highly recommend you browse the National Gallery of Art‘s digital downloads section. Almost every national museum has a page where you can download art for free. You can also browse Etsy where you can purchase digital prints for a great price to upload.
An important thing to note is your images must be in the 16:9 ration for them to work on the Samsung Frame TV. You can use Canva to crop your images for free!
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