Do you also have countless invisible photos, like me? They are slumbering in my cupboard on a couple of hard drives. How do you make them visible? Have the 50 best ones printed on photo paper and hang them up? In a moderate size of 60x40cm, you can expect to pay about 2000 euros for prints and frames. Moreover, you'd need so many walls and good lighting! Or organise the photos in slide shows, buy a good beamer and then annoy friends and relatives with endless shows like in the good old days? No, of course not! Should one prettify the large black surface of the television in the living room with still pictures. That would be an option that costs little! However, you have to remember to switch the TV on and off depending on whether you are present or not. You also have to check the quality in which the images from a USB stick are displayed. I have seen TVs that seem to reduce the quality, which is annoying. In such a case, the only thing that helps is a computer through which you can display the pictures on the screen.
So we'll take the TV? We would if we had one! There are maybe 30 days a year when we watch TV, movies or music videos. For this occasional use, we have a TV on wheels that we roll into the living room when needed. Therefore we decided to buy a special TV for displaying images for our kitchen:
Samsung's The Frame 2021 43" has been hanging on the wall behind our kitchen table for three months now. The white bezel is an optional accessory. Behind the wall there is the pantry, where we placed the "One Connect Box". As a result, there is no cable to be seen. For size orientation: the table is 200cm x 96cm.
Our kitchen is a meeting point. The table offers space for up to seven people. But normally, my wife and I spend one to two hours a day at the kitchen table, using seats 2 and 3.
Despite some drawbacks, which I will address below, we greatly enjoy The Frame and would definitely buy it again!
When you switch off The Frame with the remote control after watching TV, it goes into Art Mode. This mode is specially made for displaying artworks or photos. Here you can also make various settings (brightness, sensitivity of the sensors) or load new photos into the device. For each photo, you can individually set the desired passe-partout. We prefer the display without a passe-partout, but that is a matter of taste. From Art Mode, The Frame can either be switched off completely or switched back into the TV operating mode. The automatic switching on and off of the screen in Art Mode works quite well overall. Apparently, however, it switches itself off completely under certain conditions. Sometimes you have to switch it on once in the morning using the remote control. As long as you are not too close to the sensor, the automatic brightness control works quite well. We have become used to manually selecting the photo displayed in Art Mode. However, you can also select an automatic slide show. The frequency can be set, for example to one day.
The picture quality in Art Mode is basically very good. The pixel density with UHD on 43" is also good. It is slightly higher than a usual 24" monitor with 1920x1200 pixels. Have a closer look:
I took this photo with my Df and 50mm lens from about 50 cm away from the surface of the screen. The original size is 27cm x 18 cm.
Below is a 50% crop from the same image. The original size is 88mm x 58mm.
As a TV, The Frame also works very well and leaves nothing to be desired from my point of view. The sound quality is also good.
The separation into the screen and the One Connect Box is well done. The screen is only connected to the box with a thin, silver cable. Even when laid visibly, this cable is not very noticeable.
From the factory, The Frame comes with a black bezel. With a magnetic attachment, bezels in other colours can optionally be put on. At first glance, the unit is hardly distinguishable from a conventional picture frame!
The bezel has a thickness of 25mm. The distance from the front of the bezel to the wall is 30mm.
The screen can also be hung vertically! If you have a lot of vertically formatted pictures and you can deal with 9:16, go for it!
In my eyes, the biggest problem with The Frame is the insufficient viewing angle stability. The problem concerns the contrast, which becomes weaker with a flatter viewing angle, but also the colours! To illustrate the colour problem, I loaded a uniformly grey image into the screen. I switched off the light in the kitchen so that only the weak light of the overcast winter afternoon fell in. Then I captured an image from each of the seats 2 and 3:
You can see quite clearly that there is a problem with orange tones. Seen from seat 1, the whole picture has that slight orange tint, which is ok. Thus, some images do not appear so well on The Frame. But there are still more than enough images that do not have a problem with it!
Finally, a minor problem: The Frame's software doesn't seem to be fully developed, yet. I haven't found a way to determine the order of the uploaded images (in my opinion, the file name would make the most sense as an ordering criterion). The order of uploading (descending) apparently determines the order for manual and automatic (slide show) navigation.