An Evening with Art and The Frame from Samsung

Just over two weeks ago, Samsung released their newest innovation in TV, The Frame in New Zealand. Last night Samsung held a belated Launch Party for the TV, giving us the opportunity to check out the TV that turns the centerpiece of your lounge room from a big black hole of wasted space (when turned off) into a gorgeous piece of artwork.

That’s the selling point for The Frame. Jens Anders, Director of Consumer Electronics at Samsung New Zealand tells us that Kiwi’s can’t get enough of big screen TVs, purchases of 55 & 65-inch TVs are some of the highest in the world. Based on that I think we can all agree that Kiwi’s really do believe that size matters! When The Frame was released Jens said that, ““For New Zealanders, the TV is a central part of many homes – and it must match seamlessly with their lifestyle, tastes and existing home design.”

When you see The Frame up close it’s clear that Samsung is catering to those Kiwi’s that want a TV that matches their personal tastes. Right down to the actual frame on the TV, consumers are able to choose which type of Frame they want whether that’s, Walnut, Beige Wood or White, the choice is yours. One thing that stood out was that the frame can adapt with your tastes as it just clips on to the TV making it easy to change the style as your decor changes.

To showcase The Frame, Samsung commissioned three local artists to produce works specifically for The Frame. Amy Blinkhorne, Ayesha Green and Danial Eriksen each put a lot of thought into produces their work for The Frame which has its challenges, trying to bring out to life in a non-traditional way and making it comes to life in the digital format, which for a painter means completing their work on canvas then having it photographed in order to get the digital print. When asked about those challenges, Amy Blinkhorne pointed out that her work is very textural so she was unsure how that would translate digitally. When asked the same question about challenges, Danial, a photographic artist was also unsure of how his work would turn out but made mention that once he saw his work on The Frame that the TV “was no Joe Bloggs gimmick.”

When the talking was all over we got the opportunity to see the commissioned pieces on full display on The Frame. Danial’s photography jumped off the screen beautifully, the 4K HDR panel that sits inside The Frame does a fantastic job of bringing out the scene, as it bloody well should being a 4K panel!

I was sceptical of how well, Amy and Ayesha’s work would look on the TV, after all they are painters and painting is a medium that needs canvas to highlight texture and subtle detail in colour. Imagine my surprise when I looked at Amy’s piece and saw the brush strokes and texture in the image, right down to the way colour bounced between those brushstrokes just as you’d expect when you see a painting up close. If you stand back from the TV you get a sense of depth that almost makes you think the image isn’t behind a flat screen. The dead giveaway though, that glass screen that reflects glare. Glare isn’t a new thing and before you complain about how you shouldn’t get glare on art (as I did), allow my Wife to correct you (and me) that if you have a picture frame at home then the glass on that will reflect glare as well, score one for the Wife there! Her old man was an Artist so she does know way more than me on the subject so I’ll trust her judgement that the only thing that didn’t seem right about paintings on The Frame is that Oil and Acrylic art isn’t meant to sit behind glass so for art lovers that may seem a bit off.

Other than that, The Frame is a good concept that does its job well. Displaying fine pieces of art is a great touch but the best use, at least in my opinion, is using The Frame to display photography. Photography is a more natural medium for a digital medium and with the ability to put your own photos on The Frame and choose your borders or finish on the image you can turn that big TV into a lovely way to show off some great family photos or some great holiday shots. Samsung also has a large range of images, both art and photography that will display on the screen as well. The TV also has an ambient light sensor that will adjust the brightness based on the light in the room so that the images being displayed don’t look out of place.

Something I really enjoyed seeing was the Studio Stand which makes it look like the TV is on an easel. The idea of the Studio Stand is to make The Frame look like a standalone piece of art but for someone like me it just wouldn’t work. I’ve got a soundbar, Xbox One S and PS4 Pro all plugged into my TV at home so having all those scattered on the floor surrounding the Studio Stand would detract from the art style the Studio Stand is going for.

I will tell you one thing that was in the back of my mind when looking at The Frame. This is a TV that is meant to be in Art Mode when you aren’t viewing TV so displaying anything on screen is bound to use up power. Power is money so the concern was power consumption. A Samsung rep on the night informs us that in Art Mode the TV will consume 30% less power than when it is displaying standard TV. Yes, you will consume a fair bit of power to keep this thing on but it’s less than when watching normal TV and it’s probably fair to say that if you are buying The Frame then it’s the style you are going for and power consumption isn’t much of a concern for you.

The Frame looks like it is going to serve its design purpose well. This is a TV for the decor conscious consumer, a TV that shows off your style and appreciation for the Arts. The 4K UHD HDR panel ensures that any art displayed on this TV will jump off the screen and reveal intricate, subtle detail. Yes, this is a bit of a niche product for Samsung but between The Frame and the QLED’s, Samsung is making sure they have a TV that fits the lifestyles of their consumers.

The Frame is available now for $3,999 for the 55-inch version and $5,999 for the 65-inch version.


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