The way we watch TV has changed, and television design is changing too. No longer the focal point of a room, but more a functional and decorative element of our interior design, a TV must look beautiful, work effortlessly and blend in with its surroundings, complementing a room’s aesthetics, materials and ambience.
Yun-Je Kang, Head of Design in Visual Display at Samsung Electronics, and his team have been watching the way people watch TV very closely over the past few years; observing living spaces and the lives, schedules, interests and habits of their products’ users. ‘We found out that, on average, a TV is only used for around five hours a day,’ says Kang. ‘For the other 19 hours it remains a black screen. We wanted to find a way for the TV to be used for 24 hours a day, so that the experience can be enjoyed all the time.’
The concept of The Frame TV was born. Employing state-of-the-art technology, Samsung’s 4K UHD is a thing of slender, high definition, picture-perfect beauty. With The Frame’s 4K Ultra HD certified technology, the screen delivers a viewing experience that is sharper and four times more detailed than conventional Full HD. Moving and static images come alive on your wall with both bright and dark scenes presented with incredible clarity. Created in collaboration with Yves Béhar, The Frame sits flush against the wall, just like professionally hung artwork, or on its elegant easel-style ‘Studio’ tripod stand. Thanks to Samsung’s ingenious Invisible Connection system, there are no ugly wires or cables visible.
A simple but handsomely executed picture-frame moulding (in your choice of finish, such as walnut, beige wood or white) raises the screen’s glass to art-gallery standard and when The Frame is not in conventional operation – streaming films or catching up on broadcast news channels – it can be switched to ‘Art Mode’. So, instead of fading to a dull black box, The Frame’s display transforms into a work of contemporary art, with users granted access to more than 100 custom-designed digital images. Samsung is also partnering with galleries, museums and artists to help users curate their own gallery of pictures.
Mindful of avoiding needless energy consumption, The Frame’s motion and light sensors turn off the screen when there’s no activity in the room. The screen adjusts the brightness and colour settings of the display based on ambient light levels, which means that the art work displayed looks like real art and personal photos match their original colour and brightness settings.
In the first of our short, Wallpaper* + Samsung film series, documenting The Frame’s design journey and interviewing some of the artists and curators collaborating on its artwork library, Kang talks about ‘a new screen experience’.
‘The Frame caters to a new type of lifestyle,’ he says. ‘For Samsung, it is not just about the technology. We focus on understanding future trends and lifestyles, designing in a new way. The whole design process is supported by Samsung separately from the technology. We approached it from the user’s perspective and provided a solution to the black screen. Our goal is to get involved in people’s lives in a meaningful way. We wanted to make a product that was cooler than anything else out there.’ The Frame is television reborn, cool and minimal, exhibited as contemporary art in your personal gallery space.