Art, meet television

Samsung seems to have pulled one out of hat at the global TV launch and it’s got our vote!

Buying a 65in TV is rather cool. Except that it is not when you’re not watching Netflix on it and it becomes a big, black mass of emptiness. Samsung has decided to do something about this since no one else was seemingly bothered by this phenomenon for the last 50 years. The solution is actually quite brilliant and they simply call it ‘The Frame’.

Basically what is the latest generation QLED TV, but wrapped up in a more artisanal bezel, The Frame range more party tricks up its fancy sleeve. So, when you switch off the TV, instead of becoming Stephen Hawking’s latest muse, it turns the “Art Mode” on and adjusts the picture brightness, backlight intensity, colour saturation and white balance to make the arty images look as real as prints or paintings on a canvas!

 

Art of choice

Two sizes will be available at launch, topping off at 65in and the choice of bezels include real wood oak finish, walnut or an elegant white. More custom prints and designs are on their way, which will allow users to swap frames on their own, but as of now, India is not on the road map for the Frame TV, although we love the idea of owning one. Samsung won’t reveal the special calibration required to make this TV look like a real painting but says the tech is proprietary and very “special”.

On a wall full of real paintings and prints along with a few Samsung Frame TVs thrown in, we really couldn’t tell which is which, especially with the shadows around the bezel done so authentically. The only time we could tell a TV image was when the print shown on the screen had a lot of white (think snow) and the unevenness of the backlighting gave it away. Anything else with dynamic contrast, colourful subjects or dark tones was nearly impossible to tell from the real thing.

Samsung is working on getting more artists on board by licensing their work to be used on the Frame and users will eventually have an App Store to choose from. How quaint! It is liberating for an artist to showcase his or her work to more than one person at a time and this comes as close to making art as mainstream as possible.

 

Innovation under the hood

Having just won the CES Best Innovations award at the CES 2017, the Frame TV is well thought out. Its multitude of sensors ensure the screen switches off if it doesn’t detect any motion in the room, conserving energy. It also adapts its picture quality in art mode to the ambient lighting, changing colour, brightness and white balance parameters ever so subtly to make the artwork look as real and authentic as possible.

Underneath all that, you still get a perfectly useable Samsung 4K UHD TV that has all the smart TV features and picture quality benefits as their state-of-the-art QLED TVs, making it a no-compromise product in every sense and something of a trailblazer. We can’t wait to leave our philistine roots behind and own up to the Frame concept.