Entertainment & Technology

The Frame

Samsung is bringing art into your home — it’s a pretty good use of a TV when you’re not watching it.

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Was it that long ago?

When we decide to watch something on Netflix, we have to go through Chromecast. Because we’re not the most tech savvy couple,  it usually takes us some time to get our show uploaded and running. But it doesn’t matter, because the photos that stream on the TV while we’re trying to figure out how to put on Netflix are incredible.  Sometimes they’re much better than what we end up watching.

Wouldn’t it be great if a TV could do that all the time? When a TV is off, it’s useless. You just have to tolerate it as an another appliance that sits amidst the rest of your decor. But what if you could leave it on and have beautiful works of art stream by? Well, the reality is you can, just by leaving on Chromecast, as my techie son had pointed out. But Samsung has taken things to another level. They’ve made your TV — yours, that is, if you buy “The Frame” — at least as useful when it’s off as when it’s on. It’s a TV screen you can place in any setting in your home — in fact, you’ll want to give it some prominence so you have ready access to the show.

The Frame

As implied by the name, The Frame is designed to look like a framed piece of art, which can either be wall-mounted or placed on a stand. The screen has an actual wood frame and matting, and comes in a variety of colors. Critics and reviewers seem to like this set-up, but what really astounds them is the picture quality. They claim the color and sharpness are without equal, and the paintings look so real you can almost see the texture.

Here’s how it works. When you’re not watching programming, The Frame switches over to “Art Mode”, and photos and paintings stream across the screen. There’s a built in motion-detector, so the screen is always playing unless the room is empty. To give you a live demonstration, we loaded a few of the paintings from our emerging artists collection on the screen below. We’ve sped up the animation on our screen, but in reality the switching from one work to another would be much slower. We also can’t show the actual frame around the paintings, but you get the idea.

It comes loaded with 100 professionally curated digital pieces of art by several contemporary artists, dubbed the ‘Samsung Collection. It has 10 different genres, including landscapes, abstracts, wildlife, still life, digital art, etc. But if you don’t like what they’re offering, you have other options. You can upload your own photos, or you subscribe to the Samsung Art Store. They’re constantly adding new works from world-renowned artists, museums, and galleries.

Right now The Frame costs about $2,000 for the 55-inch model or $2,800 for the 65-inch. In other words, it’s priced for the early adopters, those who must have any new technology as soon as it comes available, regardless of the price. If you can hold off for a bit, the prices will undoubtedly come down, and when that happens, this is likely to be the TV of the future, at least until the next breakthrough comes along in a year or two.

To learn more, go to samsung.com

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