One of the most unique TVs that you can buy for your home is the Samsung Frame. This is a TV which is designed to be just as interesting when it is switched off as it is when you’re watching it.
But what is the Frame, and more importantly, is it a good TV to own – or is it going to cause a massive electricity bill?
What is the Samsung Frame?
The Samsung Frame is a TV from Samsung that has a particularly special feature – when the TV is switched off, it doesn’t leave a plain black screen.
Instead, it displays artwork or photographs – it is designed to blend into the background of your home and become a feature, rather than a black rectangle which spoils the decor.
It’s very clever – it isn’t just a typically shiny screen, but instead, it has a matte-effect finish so that the artworks actually look more like paintings. And you can download imagery using the TV, or you can add your own family photos if that’s what you’d rather display.
It even has the option of clip-on frames that you can attach to the TV, so that it looks like a framed piece of artwork. You can catch out unsuspecting guests when you suddenly make that painting on the wall show ESPN.
But bear in mind the TV, and the optional clip-on frames, are expensive. You will pay a premium for the Samsung Frame TV, and it doesn’t have quite the same image or sound quality as other Samsung TV models.
How much energy does the Samsung Frame TV use?
The Samsung Frame uses a similar amount of power to typical LED TVs, typically between around 40 and 100 watts depending on the size of the screen. When in Art Mode, the TV uses a similar amount of power, although it can increase depending on the brightness of the room.
With any TV, the size of the screen impacts how much power it uses. The Samsung Frame is available in five screen sizes – 32”, 43”, 50”, 55” and 65”. The bigger the screen, the more power it needs.
When being used as a TV, the Samsung Frame will use similar amounts to most average TVs – maybe slightly more, as the picture quality and brightness are better than typical TVs.
|Samsung TV Frame screen size||Power consumed (average)|
Art Mode is designed to usually work at around the same power as when the TV is on.
However, the TVs have a sensor in them which detects the ambient lighting in the room. When the room is quite dark, it will dim the image a little.
But when the room is really bright – say you have the shades open and it’s the middle of the day – the brightness of the screen will intensify, so that the picture doesn’t look washed out.
This is great from a visual perspective, but it also means the TV burns through more power. In bright rooms, expect the Samsung Frame to use around 120% of the power it would normally use when watching the TV with it switched on.
Is the Frame TV energy efficient?
The Frame TV is not an energy-efficient TV. When used as a TV, it uses similar amounts of power to other TVs of the same size, although slightly more than average due to the boosted brightness of the screen.
However, with a typical TV, when you switch it off it is off, and barely using any power in standby mode. With a Samsung Frame, you will likely be leaving it in Art Mode for at least some of the time you aren’t watching it, which is using even more electricity than normal.
Say you watch the TV for a typical four hours per night. If you leave a Samsung Frame TV on Art Mode for another four hours a day, you’re using twice as much electricity. Slightly more than that if you use it in a bright room.
Can you leave the Frame TV on all the time?
You can leave the Samsung Frame TV on for as long as you want to. The TV has been designed to be left in Art Mode for sustained periods of time, so you shouldn’t burn the screen out too quickly.
It will shorten its lifespan, having it left on, but not to such an extent that you feel you’ve been taken for a ride. Even with sustained periods of time in Art Mode, the TV is designed to last for years.
Do you want to leave it on all the time though?
Let’s put some values against it. Imagine you have the 65” Frame TV and it uses 100 watts of power – so that’s 0.1 kilowatt-hours per hour of TV time.
And let’s go back to that 4-hour-a-night example. Within a year, that’s 1460 hours of TV time. And because each one is 0.1 kWh, that’s a total of 146 kilowatt-hours used a year.
The average cost of electricity in the US is $0.14 per kWh, so over the course of a year, watching the TV is going to cost you $20.44.
Not too bad, right?
But then if you have Art Mode enabled, and the TV is left in Art Mode for another 4 hours every day, that’s a lot more. For a start, we’ll assume it’s a bright room, so it’s using 120 watts now, or 1.2 kilowatt-hours per hour.
This means for Art Mode alone, the TV is costing you an extra $24.53 a year.
And that’s just from 4 hours a day. What if you leave Art Mode running for twice as long, or 24/7?
Read more: Does Leaving The TV On Waste Electricity?
Does the Samsung Frame ever turn off?
The Samsung Frame does turn itself off if you set it to. It has a sleep timer, but it also has motion sensors, and it will turn itself off if it detects that nobody is in the room with it.
After all, why show art if there is no one there to appreciate it?
It also has a brightness sensor and can detect when the room is completely dark. When this happens, it’ll also turn the TV off completely.
You can of course turn the Frame off using the smart remote too, and disable Art Mode at any time. You are always in control, and if you don’t want Art Mode to be active you can just switch it off.
But yes, don’t panic – if you accidentally leave it on, as long as you haven’t disabled the motion or brightness sensor it will eventually turn itself off.
How do I keep my Samsung Frame off at night?
Turning the Samsung Frame off at night is really simple. Just press the power button on the TV’s remote and it will scroll through the options – pressing it once when the TV is on will put it into Art Mode, and pressing it again will turn it off completely.
If you have turned the TV off completely, it won’t turn on when it detects motion. You will have to use the remote to switch it back on.
So you might prefer to leave it running, and let the motion sensor control whether the TV is on or off. That way, when you walk into the room the next morning, it’ll wake up and greet you with your favorite artworks or photos.
Is the Samsung Frame worth it?
Whether or not the Samsung Frame is worth it is very much a personal question.
For starters, it is not the best-performing TV on the market, and NEO QLED screens from Samsung will outperform it (as will some rival TVs from other manufacturers).
But it is still priced at a premium due to the unique Art Mode features.
And then you have to bear in mind the cost of running it – it is one of the most expensive TVs from an electricity bill perspective that you can buy.
OLED TVs use more power, but if you plan on using Art Mode instead of switching your Samsung Frame off completely, over time you will definitely use more power.
It’s a fantastic addition to a stylised room. If you hate having the TV as the focal point, it’s great to wall-mount the Frame TV and surround it with other, physical artworks. It’ll look amazing and completely blend in.
If that’s not something you’re into, I’d think twice before deciding whether Art Mode is a feature that is worth the higher cost of a Frame TV.