Should You Buy a Frame TV in 2023? An In-Depth Analysis

Frame TVs seem like interior design magic. When powered off, they disappear seamlessly into the wall as decorative art. Turn them on, and the ultra-thin display transforms into a full-featured television.

This dual illusion as both entertainment screen and framed wall art makes frame TVs endlessly intriguing. But are their limitations worth the eye-catching aesthetic?

In this guide, we‘ll scrutinize the key drawbacks of today‘s frame TVs to determine if the elevated costs and compromises outweigh the artsy allure for most buyers.

You‘ll discover:

  • Frame TV model overview and pricing
  • The 7 top reasons to avoid frame TVs in 2023
  • Detailed analysis of the downsides and alternatives
  • Recommended picks for best value without limitations

Let‘s carefully weigh the pros and cons to decide: should you actually buy a frame TV this year?

What are Frame TVs?

Before judging frame TV merits, let‘s review what they actually are.

Frame TVs refers to ultra-thin television sets designed to hang flat against the wall like framed photos or art prints.

Rather than sporting the usual large bezels or wall gaps, frame TV boards and panels extend fully to the edges. Special wall mounts also allow hugging the TV flush without space between.

This neat illusion remains frame TVs‘ biggest selling point over regular flatscreens. Powered off, the display mimics any framed wall décor. Flip it on and the panel awakens for TV viewing.

For art lovers, decorative canvas prints can transform into an entertainment hub on command without sacrificing room aesthetics.

Currently, LG and Samsung dominate the niche frame TV category with their latest models shown below:

The Frame
32-75 inches$600-$2,500
Gallery Series
55-77 inches$1,300-$3,300

Samsung The Frame TV

Both manufacturers pack the latest display technologies into screen borders mimicking actual picture frames. Prices run from around $600 for smaller sizes up to $2,500+ for extra-large 75+ inch models.

Now let‘s analyze whether shelling out for frame TV wizardry makes practical sense.

The 7 Best Reasons to Avoid Frame TVs Today

Frame TVs may transfix design-savvy shoppers with artsy aesthetics. But formidable drawbacks also lurk behind the elegant illusion.

1. Shockingly Expensive Pricing

For their novel format transforming displays into wall art, frame TVs demand premium pricing. Entry-level 32 inch models still cost over $800. Sizes above 65 inches requite $2,000+.

**To put that into context, popular mid-range offerings like:

  • 50-inch TCL 4 Series TVs run under $400
  • 55-inch Hisense U6H QLEDs cost around $550.
    Yet equivalent frame TVs charge well over twice those prices before add-ons.

In an era of improving budget TV tech, frame TVs feel exorbitantly overpriced for core functionality. Their clever disguise commands steep upcharges despite uses as conventional screens for most of their lifespan.

You‘re ultimately paying extra for standby art capabilities and unconventional aesthetics rather than display performance. Difficult to justify for many shoppers wanting value matched with quality.

2. Annoying Extra Fees for Artwork

Another shock awaits frame TV owners in the form of compulsory artwork subscription fees.

Models like Samsung‘s The Frame push proprietary art stores and apps providing wall décor visuals. Accessing these services inevitability requires recurring fees, such as:

  • Samsung Art Store: $4.99 per month or $49.99 yearly
  • LG Art Gallery: $5 per month

These subscriptions quickly compound frame TV expenses on top of already towering purchase costs.

No doubt some artistic homeowners happily welcome endless artwork at their fingertips. But more budget-focused buyers will resent mandatory add-on costs simply to utilize core frame TV functionality promised upfront.

It seems unreasonable to charge extra for fundamental operation after spending big just to own the hardware.

3. Bothersome Customization and Accessories

Basic frame TV bundles only provide the standalone screen. Transforming their artsy aesthetic into a unified wall feature as depicted in ads requires even more cash outlay.

For example. curating frame TVs‘ appearance demands add-ons like:

  • Interchangeable bezel frames to match room décor ($100-$300 extra)
  • Custom wall mounts for a flush, floating look ($100-$200 additional spend)

Factor in professional installation fees so aesthetic touches sits precisely level without damage, and expenses compound further.

Moreover, smaller frame TVs needing height boosts to align with wall art require specialized stands running $200+.

The required tweaks allowing frame TVs to seamlessly blend into the wall as intended draw yet more dollars from buyers bank accounts. The pricing nickel and diming never seems to end.

4. Scarce Model Variety and Availability

Picture frame television remains a novelty format still gaining mass appeal. This rarity means frame-style options are extraordinarily limited compared to open market television deals.

As mentioned earlier, only Samsung‘s The Frame and LG‘s Gallery series genuinely embrace the concept with commercial success so far.

Other brands dabble with slender bezels but avoid overtly framing the display in their model lines. So outside the two leaders, shoppers have essentially zero alternate frame TV suppliers.

Limited retail availability further frustrates buyers. Long wait times for stock and custom installs are common. Frame TVs don‘t share abundance with cheaper flatscreen deals flooding big box stores. Finding ideal sizes and variants requires perseverance.

In short, novelty television formats entail the usual pioneer costs of scarce variety, limited production scale, and low marketplace ubiquity. Be prepared to compromise preferences or buy whatever‘s available.

5. Artwork vs Genuine Wall Décor

This bears restating: frame TVs only showcase digital reproductions of artwork. The screens themselves produce no actual textures, colors or light shadowing of real-world art pieces.

Instead, LED/OLED pixels try their best to digitally recreate what hangable paintings, prints or photos may look like in analogous sizes and resolutions.

But even 8K, HDR-enabled frames cannot match the physical depth, lighting variances, brush strokes, paper textures and intricate details of fine art hanging in its original form within an actual picture frame.

There‘s an inescapable difference between emitting simulated copies and naturally reflecting source artwork that no current technology can bypass.

Those desiring genuine wall art textures and materials must still seek out the real versions or compromise immersion through digital interpretation.

6. Cramped Viewing Real Estate

A core function expected from any television is displaying video input from feeds and devices with maximal immersion. Frame TVs fall substantively short here by avgas over 1/5 of potential viewing space to their boundary frames.

For example, a 55-inch Samsung The Frame only offers a 43-inch visible video area within its faux bezel perimeter. Over 22% of the panel goes unseen behind framing.

That wasted screen space permeates every viewing experience, forfeiting considerable 4K resolution area and requiring lens zooming to restore sizing lost to ornamental masking. It strains enjoyability.

Similarly, physical control buttons and logos along frame borders impose further into sightlines. While arguably minor gripes, buyers wanting pure unadulterated screen space will feel continually irritated by symbolic intrusions on their content.

7. Niche Aesthetics rather than Mass Appeal

There‘s no skirting one fundamental reality: frame TVs remain niche devices catering explicitly to the designer television medium. Average entertainment enjoyment is not their end goal.

Instead, frame TVs prioritize form over function in transcending gadget perceptions. They sell first as lifestyle interior elements rather than uncompromised video devices. Their aims stay firmly in enhancing room aesthetics rather than strictly maximizing viewing performance.

As such, pragmatic television shoppers wanting straightforward equipment to enjoy movies, games and sports will find frame TV eccentricities largely superfluous. Their exceeded budgets buy limited fringe benefits.

In fairness, frame TVs don‘t attempt resonating with mainstream buyers. But recognizing their deliberate targeting of artsy upmarket demographics makes paying steep premiums more reasonable.

Home theater enthusiasts should acknowledge these devices weren‘t designed with traditional television viewing priorities in mind beyond their capability to do so as a secondary benefit.

Top Alternatives to Frame TVs in 2023

Clearly frame TVs exchange hefty pricing and niche formatting for standby art illusion. Typical video performance, streaming access, gaming responsiveness and connectivity take a backseat.

Many buyers will balk at the ticket premiums and ergonomic constraints. So what other options in 2023 supply better all-around television excellence?

Here are some best picks for different buyer priorities wanting to skip frame TV limitations:

![Sony A90K 4K OLED TV]( =250x)

Sony A90K

Best Home Theater Enjoyment

![LG C2 OLED Evo Gallery Edition TV]( =250x)


Best Flagship Display Tech

![Hisense U6HF Performance TV]( =250x)

Hisense U6HF

Best All-Around Value

Sony A90K

  • Superb picture processing
  • Next-gen cognitive intelligence
  • Custom spatial sound
  • Inputs optimized for PC/console gaming

Pricing: $2,300+ (55 inches)

If you want world-beating entertainment without aesthetic distractions, Sony‘s 2023 A90K series delivers phenomenal theatrical sights and sounds. The dedicated Bravia Cam sharpens images perfectly for your optimal viewing position while Acoustic Surface Audio+ creates deeply immersive built-in sound.

For show-stopping entertainment that flat out performs instead of just looking unique for guests, the A90K wins hands down.


  • Brighter, punchier colors than prior OLEDs
  • Deep black levels, vibrant highlights
  • Dolby Vision & Dolby Atmos support
  • Gaming response comparable to pro monitors

Pricing: $1,300+ (48 inches)

The LG C2 strikes an ideal balance between beautiful design and best-in-class picture quality. The upgraded Evo panel introduces increased brightness for astonishing HDR and realism unmatched by past OLED generations.

VRR, 4K/120 fps inputs and sub 1ms response then combine for sublime gaming that outclasses most dedicated monitors. Paired with Dolby sound technologies and LG‘s acclaimed webOS smart platform, the C2 series brings perfection without aesthetic excess.

Hisense U6HF

  • Quantum Dot wide color gamut panel
  • Full array local dimming (over 500 zones)
  • IMAX Enhanced / Dolby Vision certification
  • 120hz high motion fluidity

Pricing: $500 (50 inches)

Blending flagship innovations at bargain pricing, Hisense‘s exclusive ULED technology in the 2023 U6HF series epitomizes premium performance on a working family‘s budget. Over 500 local dimming zones make HDR content pop with specular highlights across the extensive color range. Built-in Google TV offers unlimited shows, movies and apps too.

If you want near frameless design with flagship display prowess at 1/3 the price, look no further than the jam-packed value of Hisense‘s latest U6HF editions. Their fidelity crushes far pricier models for less investment without aesthetic markups.

The Reality: Few Should Buy Frame TVs Today

We‘ve just scrutinized frame televisions in greater depth than any brief showroom spiel or product page ever could. Upon careful examination, these stylistic feat of engineering clearly trade heaviest in the areas of pricing, viewing practicality and hardware availability.

Their fortes instead reside in endowing displays with standby decorative elegance reminiscent of hanging framed artwork. When operational as everyday TVs, frames imposed around the perimeter betray key weaknesses.

In summary, specialty frame television designs inject aesthetic appeal at significant cost to core functionality and equipment flexibility enjoyed by mainstream flat panel models — especially for their exorbitant price tags.

Casual room impressions ultimately supersede more hours spent critically watching content from center seats. Form takes priority over function.

That skew leaves frame TVs ideally targeted at artsy, style-conscious interior design die-hards rather than pragmatic home theater devotees. Their issued trade-offs cater to imparting ornamental uniqueness upon spaces rather than maximizing viewing performance pound-for-pound.

So broth down to basics, does exceptional standby beauty offset ergonomic and pricing inferiority for you?

If visual appeal matters above all else, frame TVs bring extraordinary decorative flair during downtime. Just temper expectations for daily viewing greatness jockeying with more evenly balanced (and affordable) flatscreen display options whenpowered on.

Otherwise, pass on frame TV model limited run for now. Their{} nichey formatting still has some maturing until widespread buying advice earns green lights.

FAQs: Frame TV Questions Answered

Are frame TVs worth buying over normal TVs?

If standby wall art aesthetics matters most, frame TVs bring compelling decorative appeal. But their pricing, viewing and equipment issues discussed above make overall value dubious to most mainstream buyers.

Typical flatscreen TV alternatives like Samsung‘s QLED lineup or Sony‘s X90K series supply better all-around blend of quality, practicality and features for similar money. Frame TV specialty formatting stays extremely niche.

What content plays on frame TVs while idle?

Samsung‘s The Frame and LG‘s Gallery TVs open their own dedicated art stores for downloading select pieces, photos and NFTs to display when not watching regular video input. Users pay monthly/annual fees to access these official collections.

Alternatively, digitized third party artwork can be loaded from USB keys and online repositories. Subscriptions aren‘t strictly required to enable blank screen artwork.

How difficult is installing a frame TV?

Frame TVs strongly encourage professional installation. Their specialty flush mounts and centered, level hanging for aesthetics are extremely exacting. Using included basic wall brackets leaves ugly gaps not mimicking actual framed art hanging.

So while you can self-install using standard VESA mounts, ideal positioning and spacing required for frames TV illusions will almost surely require hiring pros and paying $100+. Do it right or don’t do it.

What about gaming, sports and movies on frame TVs?

Make no mistake — frame TV panels utilize the same best-in-class OLED/QLED technologies powering peak performing flagship televisions. Color, contrast, motion handling and input lag match respective LG, Sony and Samsung displays.

Gaming and movies still look amazing despite aesthetic framing borders. But limited sizes, lower brightness/HDR compared to mini-LED TVs, and reduced overall display space inhibit full viewing potential. Lack of Dolby Vision support also disappoints home theater fans.

If peak video performance trumps design appeal for you, many regular flatscreens handle entertainment and play better at lower cost.

Did you like those interesting facts?

Click on smiley face to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

      Interesting Facts
      Login/Register access is temporary disabled