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TV or Art? Digital Art Technology Brings Both


The latest digital art technology now makes it easy to transform your TV to beautiful, lifelike art that fits seamlessly into your home or office decor.

Some of best televisions currently come with a feature called Ambient Mode, Art Mode, or Gallery Mode. Manufacturers market this feature under various names, but they act the same way by giving the ability to transform a television from a giant black hole in your room to a gallery-quality piece of art that truly becomes part of your home’s display space.

What is Ambient Mode on a TV?

In short, when you’re not watching the TV, Ambient Mode transforms your black screen into something meaningful. With Ambient Mode, the TV can mimic the wall pattern behind it to help blend in or show you 8K videos, gallery-quality art and photography, or even personal photos, as well as soothing moving patterns or helpful information like the weather.

Which TVs have Ambient Mode, Art Mode, or Gallery Mode?

Samsung’s The Frame TV was one of the first, combining a completely flat TV screen with a proper art frame around the edges to transform the television from a piece of shiny, dark glass into a beautiful canvas without glare. Samsung continues to lead in this technology. Today, Ambient Mode is available mainly on its QLED TVs (models Q9FN, Q8CN, Q7FN, and Q6FN). QLED models with this function even have a special Ambient Mode button on the remote control to trigger the feature.

How does it work and what are your options?

When not showing the news, sports or a Netflix movie, the TV becomes a digital art frame, showing images from the user’s own files, or digital artwork from Samsung’s curated collection – about 100 pieces to choose from, and updated regularly.

Customers can select from a number of virtual matte boards to frame images in a digital shadow box, triptych, squares or other layout. A variety of matte colors are available in warm, neutral and bold hues.

The thing about these “Frame TVs” is that they don’t actually come with a frame. Out of the box, they look like ordinary Samsung TVs with a standard black bezel. Customers purchase frames separately with a choice of a variety of finish options.

What happens after repeated long-term use?

With high-end TVs like these, you might wonder what happens to the display panel after years of art — especially if you like just a handful of paintings. Manufacturers are conscious of this question and offer a no-burn-in guarantee. How much energy does something like this use if the TV is supposed to be off? Samsung, for example, says its Frame TV uses only about 30% of the energy on Ambient Mode as the TV does when it’s fully in use in video mode.

Is the TV adaptable to the environment so it can self-adjust?

TVs with this feature also have other technology built-in to help the TV realistically adapt art mode to the room. Samsung’s Ambient Mode is self-adjusting. Brightness can be set to automatically match the level of light in the room so the art always looks realistic. You can also set a timer for these modes to turn off automatically, say after your company has left. Some can use motion-sensing technology to only turn Art Mode on when the TV senses someone is in the room. The display has a brightness sensor to adjust the picture according to ambient light, as well as a motion sensor to dim the art when no one’s around.

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