Best Frame TVs

Updated October 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.

30 Models Considered
8 Hours Researched
2 Experts Interviewed
60 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 one item that spoils the aesthetic of the space 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 you can use them to display screensaver art when not in use.

Exceptional picture quality is a big reason why these TVs display such realistic-looking art. Most of them include a stand, but you'll probably want to wall-mount the TV for the best viewing angle. The TV should be easy to mount and slender enough that it looks like an actual picture frame. Size matters, but a bigger TV isn't always better, so consider which screen sizes would best suit your space and watching habits.

In this buying guide, you'll discover the TV reviews and information you need to select the best new frame television for your home theater.

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 incorporate your favorite streaming services.

Key considerations

Art display

The entire point of a frame TV is that, when you’re not enjoying shows and movies in your home theater, the frame looks like a work of art. Some manufacturers allow you to select famous works of art from a gallery they maintain. Often, there is a monthly charge to borrow from the gallery. If you object to paying a monthly fee just to display The Starry Night on your set, you can upload artwork and photos yourself. However, this can be tricky, and some models can only display a single photo or painting at once while others can cycle through many pieces.

Mounting

Most people choose to wall-mount their frame TVs, though all sets come with an optional base if you'd prefer to use a TV stand. Mounting is relatively simple, and the set should include the necessary hardware. However, we recommend calling in a professional if you feel uncomfortable with setup. Because they must mount flush with the wall, frame TVs are extremely thin. An accidental drop could see your new purchase smashed to the floor.

One slight annoyance is that frame TVs still have wires running about, so your new TV might not look quite as picture-perfect as you imagine.

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

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Size

Frame TVs come in various screen sizes, from 30 to 75 inches. TV sizes are measured diagonally, so potential buyers should note that a 40-inch TV measures 40 inches from the top left corner to the bottom right corner but only 35 inches across.

A smaller set of 32 to 45 inches may suffice in a small room or if you watch little TV. For the average living room, however, a range of 55 to 65 inches is ideal, especially if you enjoy movies and video games. Anything larger than a 65-inch TV is suitable for great rooms, huge living rooms, and elaborate home theaters. In any other space, however, such a television might overwhelm the space.

Picture quality

Resolution: Since frame TVs display high-quality images, it is difficult and perhaps impossible to locate one that offers less than 4K resolution. Older HD models with 720p or 1080p are outdated and best avoided, but what about 8K? The picture quality of 8K TVs is certainly impressive, but little to no 8K content is yet available. That said, some TVs do offer upscaling for the little bit of 8K content that does exist.

High dynamic range (HDR): HDR TVs offer a greater range of colors. Images are bright, vibrant, and closer to real life. HDR also makes the piece of art displayed look fantastic.

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

Features

Smart home compatibility

Some frame TVs come equipped with a digital assistant like Alexa. It's also useful if your TV offers compatibility with your existing smart home system.

Built-in storage

All TVs that can download apps and other data offer internal storage. Somewhere around 8 gigabytes is enough space for a wide range of apps and artwork.

Frame colors

Some frame TVs allow you to choose a frame color and finish to match 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 pricey, though you can find more affordable options if you select a smaller size.

Inexpensive: Compact 32- to 43-inch sizes start between $600 and $1,000.

Mid-range: Between $1,000 and $1,500 is the middle range, where TVs measure roughly 50 to 55 inches.

Expensive: Expect to pay $1,500 to $2,500 for the best TVs with the largest frames (60 to 75 inches).

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

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Tips

  • Unplug your frame TV when not in use for longer periods. 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 purchasing separate speakers or a soundbar
  • Check for monthly artwork fees. You should be able to upload your own pieces in art mode, but some manufacturers charge a monthly fee for the use of their gallery. 
  • Check that you have enough HDMI ports. You'll need one for each console, Blu-ray player, and other relevant device. You could switch them out if you don't have enough HDMI ports, but this is a tedious practice.
frame tv3
Some TV interfaces are simpler than others. If you already have a TV you appreciate, you may wish to adhere 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 illuminate the picture on the screen. Otherwise, it would just look dark. Edge lighting is located just around the perimeter of the screen, while full-array lighting is placed 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 piece of high-quality 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. High-quality frame TVs really can look like prints or prints of paintings from a distance, though they cannot look like original oil paintings due to a TV screen’s lack of texture.  

Q. What's the deal with HDMI 2.1? 

A. This newer version of HDMI allows you to transfer more data faster. 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 it yet, but if you want to future-proof your new frame TV, choose a model with at least one HDMI 2.1 port. If your TV already has them, there's no need to worry about replacing your standard cables and devices since it will be backward compatible.

 

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