Best Frame TVs

Updated January 2021
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

52 Models Considered
28 Hours Researched
3 Experts Interviewed
85 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best frame TVs

You've got your living room looking close to perfect, but the only item that spoils the aesthetic is your television. If you don't want to give up having a television set, consider a frame TV. These are slender enough to hang on the wall like artwork, and they can display art as screensavers when not in use, so one looks like you have a print or photograph hanging on your wall.

Your frame TV should have exceptional picture quality because this is a big part of what will make the image look like a realistic work of art. Most also include a stand, but you'll probably want to mount the TV on the wall for the full effect. It should be simple to mount and slender enough to look like a framed picture. Size matters, but a bigger TV set isn't always better, so think about what size suits your room and your watching habits.

In our buying guide, you'll find all the information you need to pick out the perfect frame TV for your home. You can also take a look at our top picks, which represent the best in frame TVs.

frame tv1
All frame TVs, and almost all new TVs on the market today, are WiFi compatible and have built-in apps that allow you to use your favorite streaming services.

Key considerations

Art display

The whole point of a frame TV is that, when you’re not watching television, it looks like a framed painting or print. Some manufacturers allow you to select famous works of art from a gallery they maintain, but there's often a monthly charge for this. If you object to paying a monthly fee just to display Starry Night on your set, you can upload artworks and photos yourself, though depending on your chosen set, it can be tricky. Some models can only display a single photo or painting, whereas others can cycle through a number of chosen pieces.

Mounting

Most people choose to mount their frame TV on the wall, though all the sets come with an optional base if you'd rather put yours on a TV stand. Mounting is relatively simple, and the sets include all the hardware you need, but we'd recommend calling in a professional if you don’t feel comfortable doing it. In order to be mounted flush with the wall, frame TVs must be extremely thin, which is one of the factors that make them so effective. Make a mistake and your new purchase could end up smashed on the floor.

One slight annoyance is that frame TVs still have wires, which need to run down the wall to the outlet or attach to other devices, so it might not look quite as picture-perfect as you imagine. You might be able to get around this by positioning your TV above a piece of furniture to disguise the wires, however.

Size

Frame TVs are available in various sizes, from around 30 inches to 75 inches. Remember that TV sizes are measured diagonally rather than horizontally, so a 40-inch TV measures 40 inches from the top left corner to the bottom right corner but only about 35 inches across. 

32 to 45 inches: A smaller set may suffice in a small room or if you're only an occasional TV watcher. 

55 to 65 inches: For the average living room, somewhere in this range is ideal, especially if you like to watch movies and play video games

65 inches and larger: Anything over 65 inches is suitable for exceptionally large rooms only, otherwise the television will overwhelm the room.

Picture quality

Several factors influence a television set's overall picture quality. We're going to walk you through some of the most important: resolution, HDR, and refresh rate.

Resolution: Since frame TVs are on the higher end of the quality spectrum, we haven't found any that offer less than 4K resolution. Older HD models with 720p or 1080p are outdated now and best avoided, but what about 8K? With double the resolution of 4K, the picture quality of 8K TVs is impressive, but with almost no 8K content yet available, it might be wise to stick with a 4K set for now.

High dynamic range (HDR): In basic terms, HDR TVs offer a greater range of colors so that images are brighter and more colorful — closer to how they appear in real life. Not only is HDR great when you're watching TV and movies, but it will also make the art displayed look more realistic.

Refresh rate: This is measured in hertz (Hz) and is the number of times per second your set refreshes an image. A higher refresh rate results in less motion blurring, which is especially important when watching sports, fight scenes, and other fast-moving action. For the majority of TVs, the refresh rate is 60 hertz, though manufacturers have a range of methods to increase the effective refresh rate. The trouble is there's no single way of measuring effective refresh rates, so it doesn’t mean that much or reduce blurring significantly. However, you can find some TVs with a true refresh rate of 120 hertz, which does reduce blurring.

Your frame TV should come with all the hardware you need to mount it on the wall, but you'll need your own tools, including an electric drill.

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Features

Smart home compatibility

Some frame TVs have a digital assistant, such as Alexa, built in, but it's also useful if your TV is compatible with your existing smart home system. That way, you can easily control it using the system you already have set up.

Built-in storage

All TVs that can download apps and other data have internal storage. Somewhere around 8 gigabytes gives you enough space to download a wide range of apps as well as store a range of art to display when you aren't watching videos.

Frame colors

You can find frame TVs that allow you to choose from several frame colors and finishes so you can match the frame to your existing décor.

frame tv2
DID YOU KNOW?
While you can place your frame TV on an entertainment console or other surface, it will look most at home mounted on the wall.
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Frame TV prices

Frame TVs are on the higher end of the TV price spectrum, so don't expect to get one at a bargain-basement price. However, you can find some more affordable options if you're willing to go for a smaller size.

Inexpensive: Frame TVs start at around $600 to $1,000 for compact 32- to 43-inch sizes.

Mid-range: In the middle price range are models measuring roughly between 50 and 55 inches, which cost $1,000 to $1,500.

Expensive: Expect to pay between $1,500 and $2,500 for the best and largest frame TVs, those between 60 and 75 inches in size.

Use a soft microfiber cloth to dust your TV screen and keep the picture looking clear.

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Tips

  • Unplug your frame TV if you won't be using it for a long time. For instance, unplug it if you're going away on holiday. 
  • Consider a soundbar. If the audio quality on your new frame TV isn't up to scratch, consider buying separate speakers or a soundbar
  • Check for monthly fees for artwork. You should be able to upload your own photos or favorite pieces of art to display on your frame TV when it's not in use, but some manufacturers charge a monthly fee to use their gallery of famous artworks. 
  • Check that your frame TV has enough HDMI ports. You'll need one for each console, Blu-ray player, or other HDMI device you want to connect. You can switch them out if you don't have enough, but this quickly becomes tedious.
frame tv3
Some TV interfaces are simpler than others. If you already have a TV you love, you might want to stick to the same brand since the interface is likely to be similar.

FAQ

Q. What's the difference between edge lighting and full-array lighting on an LCD screen? 

A. All standard LCD screens must be backlit to light up the picture on the screen or it would just look dark. Edge lighting is located just around the perimeter of the screen, while full-array lighting is placed uniformly all over. Edge lighting is cheaper to produce and results in a thinner screen, but it can cause contrast issues, with the screen edges looking brighter than the center. 

Q. Can a frame TV really look like a convincing piece of art? 

A. For some buyers, the main reason to purchase a frame TV is so it will look like a convincing piece of art when not in use, but do frame TVs live up to this promise? It depends on the model you choose, but high-quality frame TVs really can look like prints or prints of paintings from a distance, though not original oil paintings because the TV images lack texture. Of course, for the most realistic effect, you'll need to find a way to hide the TV's wires.  

Q. What's the deal with HDMI 2.1? 

A. HDMI 2.1 is a newer version of HDMI that allows the transfer of more data more quickly. It allows for 8K HD, faster console gaming, dynamic scene-by-scene HDR, and quicker switching between connected devices. Not many TVs or devices use HDMI 2.1 yet, but if you seriously want to future-proof your new frame TV, choose a model with at least one HDMI 2.1 port. If your TV has HDMI 2.1 points, there's no need to worry about replacing your standard HDMI cables and devices since it will be backward compatible with standard HDMI.

 

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The BestReviews editorial team researches hundreds of products based on consumer reviews, brand quality, and value. We then choose a shorter list for in-depth research and testing before finalizing our top picks. These are the products we considered that ultimately didn't make our top 5.

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