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Cosmic Ray

The Frame 2020 - After 3 weeks REVIEW - Impressions and suggestions

This is meant for new buyers as all the reviews I found online were for 2019 model and really don't spend a lot of time using it. They just poke around and are like, oh this is cool, all tests pass, 5 stars...

 

Installation:

I had the new 2020 the Frame TV 50 in for about 3 weeks. I mainly use it for art in my office. The installation and set up is pretty easy, the single cable is pretty long so I was easily able to put it in a wall. It does not disconnect from the plug so whatever you are feeding the cable through must be about half an inch wide to fit it through.

 

Image quality

No complaints, I wish it had Dolby Vision for the price but again you are probably buying it for the art capabilities.

 

The Art Mode

Overall I am pretty disappointed with the art mode. It feels like an afterthought rather than a finished out piece of software. I am not sure they will improve on it since this is the 3rd irritation of the TV and it still feels like it's something that was built without real-world testing. Here are the issues

 

Subscription supposes to get you access to all these cool artworks. In reality, there is a very limited amount of art. More then half of the collection is random stuff you would never want on your wall. I am an art history major so I expected a lot of classical periods, modern art, photography, etc. You are better off creating your own list and managing the collection yourself. 

  • Their art categories are not human-curated and there is no search.
  • Some of the art is not high resolution and is not scaled to the tv, so you see it as a square with shadow and frame around it. This is unacceptable for paid content and is just plain lazy. 
  • Some of the original classical artwork is weirdly cropped. So you might see a DaVinci piece with just 30% of the artwork shown and the rest is missing. For example,  this piece you just see them holding hands and the rest of the art is missing. I get there has to be some cropping to fit on the TV, but you cut off half of the art, either crop it better or have something better
  • If you want to permanently "own" a piece of art, they gladly sell you artwork for $123 apiece. I doubt you can get it off the tv though. Also, I was able to find a lot of classical art pieces and most of their curated work in the public domain on Wikipedia or on the author's websites. Sometimes even in higher resolution than in their art store.
  • The only filtering they have is by curated categories and A-Z list of artists. So you can't just be oh I want to see all modern art from this period or search for something specific.
  • Whatever categories they do have are terrible. Say you want to see landscapes or "travel", you select the category and it might have kids drawings in there, something from 1500 and an actual photograph. People match art in their home to a specific style they like, so having a Reansuacen painting follow some random photograph is annoying to say the least (you can't skip in the slideshow either). My plan was to set it in my office and forget it. I wanted to have modern art Mondays and on Tuesdays renaissance period and Friday: photography.  Right now you CAN'T do this even manually with Art subscription as categories are inconsistent...  
  • Considering this is what you get for $5 a month, this is a big slap in your face. I don't mind the price, i could even forgive their small library but the fact they couldn't even organize it for users is a joke.  Subscribe to trial, then have a laugh at it and then cancel. At least that's my plan


Your own art

The management of art is pretty poor. After giving up on the subscription I decided to create my own list. Well, welcome to 2003

  • There is no way to organize things other than to "favorite" them. So if you thought you could have some family photos in a folder for when friends come over and on Mondays you pull out your Renaissance folder you can't. Everything is thrown together. 
  • There is no way to have a random slideshow. So if you do find a category that you like and start a slide show the default switching time is 6hrs, and the lowest is 10min. So I was looking at the same 5 art pieces for the first week as overnight it resets itself. Also, why is 10 min the shortest? No random feature means every office day is a groundhog day. 
  • There is no way to crop photos so you better resize all your stuff to 16:9 ratio or you will have. a border around it. I honestly don't mind this as I can at least get them to look nice.
  • When you import photos from USB.. say you got 100 photos.. you have to select each one by one from the tv screen. There is no select all button. 
  • Even though you resized your entire collection to 16:9 so it would show up full screen by default it places a gray shadow around your photos so you have to go into each one.. one by one.. and select no shadow border. This could have been something that takes 3 minutes instead you will be spending 3 hours clicking through menus removing borders from your art.. after 30min i gave up 😂
  • While in slideshow mode there is no way to go to the next photo if you use the arrow keys on remote and select a next art piece it stops the slide show. 
  • TV comes with whopping 4gb of storage out of which only ~1.4gb is available upon first boot. You are only allowed to use 500mb for your own art. Also, you cant use USB drive for your art, you have to copy the photos to your tv.  After about a week of using tv normally all that storage mysteriously vanishes (Updates? Art Subscription downloads? Ambient mode files? Cache?). I have 100mb left  (2%) and i deleted all my photos and apps from the tv. Would be nice to check what's taking up space and delete it .. (you can't). 

Other things 

  • The motion sensor stops working overnight. Works during the day but after the tv goes to sleep at night it never turns back on. 
  • The sound sensor notification randomly keeps popping up (been reported by many users here). There is a physical switch to turn it off though 
  • If you are marketing this tv as "Art Frame" that always shows art, there should be a way to automatically turn it on, on schedule. (You can set it up to power on using Smartthings app but it will power on tv all the way and not just the art mode)
  • No way to adjust picture settings in art mode (for your own photos you can though, but not for Art subscription)
  • There should be a better way to calibrate brightness. How about let me set Art Mode brightness for different ambient light. As their "Smart" sensor is pretty dumb and inconsistent. Sometimes things are really bright sometimes to dark, you can override it but then it switches back again.
  • TV randomly freezes, sometimes the slideshow gets stuck on a single photo for hours. Sometimes you can't switch from one slide show to another and you have to pull the wall plug and plug it back in. 
  • The ambient mode is cool but there is no way to disable the sound so you can have some cool "wall art" but you have to listen to the birds chirp, yes you can bring the volume all the way down (since muting displays annoying icon), then you have to bring the volume back up to use the tv.
  • Numerous times the ambient mode refused to turn on at all until I reset the tv. At this point, I gave up on ambient mode as well.

** UPDATE **
Storage Issues

  • Comes with about 1.5GB of storage free out of the 4GB available
  • Slowly eats storage until no storage is available even if update is turned off no extra apps are used or installed
  • Have to reset the TV each 2 months to factory defaults to get the storage back

Basically the list goes on and on. This could be forgivable for a first-generation tv but we are 3 years in. I thought I was going to be disappointed with hardware, but the hardware is great. It does look like an art piece from far away and blends in pretty good. I do like the tv, I just wish Samsung would put more love and care into their software as much as they did into design and marketing. 

 

To put this in perspective the software and UI from my parents' no brand name photo frame from Walmart has more capabilities and is more stable (no exaggeration)

 

So if you want an alpha level product with pretty good hardware and you can throw your own art on it (like 5 pictures maybe), but do know you will probably just set it up once (since you will get frustrated every time you mess with it) and that will be the end of it then this tv is for you. It's also for you if you want something in your room that doesn't look like a TV, it achieves this pretty well or if you don't care what art is shown. 

All they have to do is make the developers that build the firmware use it for a week and take notes. I've never had soooo many issues with using a tv, but then again all my other tv's I just turn it on and use a 3rd party app like Netflix. 

 

Overall i'd say 2.5/5 but it can easily be 5/5 if they update the software. 

13 REPLIES 13
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Asteroid

Re: The Frame - After 3 weeks Impressions and suggestions

You can use device-USB-slideshow and it will show all your personal pics on tv as slide show. You can set up duration (slow/norm/fast) . It works very well
The motion sensor will turn back ONLY is detect LIGHT and motion.
There is option to adjust brightness in ART mode.
And i agree, this TV should have many more options since ART is the bigest point of sell. I bought it only for that reason. My amazon alexa has better sensor and options for pictures / slide show than this tv

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Cosmic Ray

Re: The Frame - After 3 weeks Impressions and suggestions

Dont know why my audio sensor was going crazy but in a quite room it kept constantly spaming the corner with notifications. Thankfully there is a physical switch on the bottom of the tv to turn it off completely. 

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Constellation

Re: The Frame - After 3 weeks Impressions and suggestions

Thank you so much for the helpful review.  I've considered getting The Frame TV for quite a while but have held off due to the lack of actual-use information, suggesting the TV hasn't taken off well and will not get much more development attention from Samsung.

 

In my case it would be hung over the fireplace mantle and serve the dual-purpose of TV and artwork.  "Artwork" includes family and travel photo "playlists" to be on display most of the time, ideally in a matte type display mode.   Picture management is important, and I could live with 1600x900 cropping but not the lack of management options. 

 

The TV would be positioned too low for proper artwork placement so I do not intend to try to disguise it as artwork as everyone would wonder why the picture is mis-hung. 

 

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Cosmic Ray

Re: The Frame - After 3 weeks Impressions and suggestions

if you are going to hang it over the fireplace make sure you have a space for the big black box. You cant mount it behind the tv unless you build a specific niche for it behind it. I think it can go pretty much anywhere but the fireplace because of this Smiley Happy 

 

- You probably won't spend much time managing photos, it's nice to play around with in the beginning...  then you just wish you can select a collection and forget it. Which you can do.. it just sometimes doesn't work well either Smiley Happy 

- At this point, I just wish it could slideshow through my own uploaded photos at random. Even though i favorited 40 or so photos with 10 min changing interval i think i seen the same 10 photos over and over again in the past 3 weeks. 

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Highlighted

Re: The Frame - After 3 weeks Impressions and suggestions

I have a 2017 and love it but as an engineering student took not one class in art. Betting most of Samsung's engineers the same...they would do well to expand their market by catering to folks such as yourself! Instead, I believe their first thought was Doctor/Dentist/Lawyer offices where they don't want "the news" on all day.

 

As another said the remote has both light and color temp adjustments, after which the ambient light sensor takes-over (for brightness) and that can be problematic depending on your space.

 

Five bucks a month is nothing for the people that would pay 2x for a set like these Frames, much less "a slap in the face". Heck I don't even change the image every month yet I think it's a fine price.

 

As for family photos, I suspect any TV would present those and it was never intended as a feature for the Frame--I think that's what Ambient Mode is for on Samsung's conventional TVs.

 

I appreciate that you've taken the time to post, and hope Samsung has someone who speaks English on their Marketing team and presses to improve the Frame i.e. not only for  "business office" use but also toward the "art appreciation" user as yourself.

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Cosmic Ray

Re: The Frame - After 3 weeks Impressions and suggestions

Completely agree on the $5, it's a drop in the bucket and I would actually love to use it if it was more organized and had a better selection.

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Highlighted

Re: The Frame - After 3 weeks Impressions and suggestions

Re: the Art Store, your Post #1 inspired me to look at it again (I tend to leave the same artwork up for weeks) and was very surprised to see how many new works were available. Another of the many ways Samsung is "missing the boat" with this TV is that they don't update customers IN ANY WAY about the Art Store. I get monthly email Receipts for my payment and that is all! Good grief they should at least send "Here's what's new in the Art Store" or something fer cryan' out loud. Instead customer is left to hunt-around every time he/she wants to look for another artwork to display.

 

And of course the Smarthings app, even when it works (which is not much of the time) is not a good tool to explore with.

 

I love the Frame but wish Samsung would Do Better with it!

 

p.s. they should have a website where we can logon with our computers and explore Art and make Settings...

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Astronaut

Re: The Frame 2020 - After 3 weeks REVIEW - Impressions and suggestions

I agree with you review. But I have a question, you don't complain about storage size. After I uploaded about 25 personal pictures the memory was full. It was about 200MB pics. I only installed Disney+ app and Netflix. The TV has 4 GB storage space, only 1 GB free with factory settings. A lot of unused apps which can't be uninstalled and not even hidden from the main menu. Thought this was 2020, 4GB is really sad for a €1899 tv. 

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Asteroid

Re: The Frame 2020 - After 3 weeks REVIEW - Impressions and suggestions

I had the same issue, as initially I loaded some images that were large .TIFF files. They absolutely should have more storage, it's the cheapest component in electronics nowadays. I just bought 2x 128GB USB sticks for a combined $13.

 

That said, we have the TV now, and need to use it as best as we can. I took all my images, cropped most of them to 16:9 if that was possible, and saved them as a JPG at 3840x2160. The images average 2-3MB, and I have about 75 loaded now and more room to go. For some guidance on how to get access to all the mattes available, you can follow the guidelines in my post from yesterday:

 

https://us.community.samsung.com/t5/Qled-and-Frame/Tested-FrameTV-usable-resolutions-for-full-matte-...

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