Technology and televisions both have come a very long way in recent years. These advancements have made for some very creative collaborations between the two. Each seems to find a way of enhancing the other in new and unpredictable ways. With exciting new products coming out every new product cycle, the advancements are coming at us quicker than ever, bettering and simplifying our lives with every new product launch. Just a couple short decades ago, a television had to take up quite a large space in the home, not only on the wall but in thickness as well. The idea of a flat screen was unheard of, and a larger sized TV could take up to several feet in depth depending on the model. Things have changed since then, and now it’s possible to have curved plasma screens that stretch as far as some movie theater screens. Because of this, it’s been possible to create a lot of unique uses for them. The invention of the picture frame TV (also known as an Art TV) is one of the most exciting.
Picture frame TVs are beautiful in that they don’t take up a lot of room. The idea behind this model is that it can blend seamlessly into the wall, displaying a beautiful piece of art while not in use, and then can come to life with the press of a remote. Many modern homes prefer designs such as this one because they allow for minimalist aesthetics, and don’t take up unnecessary space on the wall. They come in multiple sizes, ranging from 49 inches up to 65 inches for the largest model currently available. They’re just as easy to use as any other flat screen, and can be used easily with the most modern home automation systems, such as Savant Scenes, or Lutron Wall Plates. Universal remotes have no problem with them either. There’s just a small catch with installing one of these beautiful televisions — the wiring.
Another important thing to consider other than the wiring is the price. It might be more cost effective (Art TV models can be fairly pricey) to install a regular TV instead depending on a few factors. The picture frame TV has a very niche market, and one must understand the real reason they’re installing it, other than a “wow factor” or just plain novelty. If hiding the wires isn’t the most important thing, or if you want a larger than 65" TV installed, then it might be better going with a regular model. While you can still hide wires on any regular TV, it’s not as necessary as with one of these televisions. If you’re in a situation where the art aspect of the TV isn’t practical, a regular and less complicated model might be a better choice as well.
When it comes to sound quality, there’s another caveat to the picture frame TV. Due to its inherently minimalist design and purpose, it doesn’t work well with sound bars. While you can install one, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense than spending a lot less money on a regular model instead. The picture frame TV doesn’t work as well in 5.1 or 7.1 Dolby style setups as well, because in order to properly work as intended, in-wall speakers would have to be very well hidden in order to not distract. In order to have a true 5.1 or 7.1 Dolby setup, front firing speakers are required for all intensive purposes. Most setups involving the picture frame TV consist of ceiling speakers only, which might be unfit for some who don’t like their dialogue coming from above. In a traditional setup, you’d have speakers coming from the front on either a bar or bookshelf style speaker as well. These are important considerations to take into account when deciding if you’d like a picture frame TV or just a regular old TV with a soundbar to go with it.
Because the idea of a picture frame TV is the inconspicuous nature of its placement, some wiring expertise is needed to hide any evidence of its true purpose as a television. Without it, you’ll be missing the point of why you forked out a bit more cash for one of these pieces of art. You’ll need a wall in which you can run wires through, and the possibility of hiring a Bay Area installation service such as Regent5 to help make sure everything is done properly. Once you’re all finished, then you’ll be able to enjoy a minimalist setup that feels right at home.