Why Hidden TVs like Samsung’s ‘The Frame’ Are Trending—and Which One to Buy

WHEN YOU FALL on the extreme ends of the TV-consumer spectrum—either a hard-core gamer or a stubborn Luddite—choosing a set is straightforward: You go all in even if it dominates the room, or you get nothing at all. But what if, like most of us, you’re somewhere in the middle? As far as off-the-rack fixes go, few are less obtrusive than the Frame— Samsung ’s “lifestyle” TV designed to look just like a picture hanging on the wall. But if even a faux Modigliani is too much visual clutter for you, the Frame might not go far enough. The good news: There are alternatives. Namely, a handful of ultra-discreet sets that offer a peek at what the future of “invisible” A/V might hold. The bad news: For now, at least, they’ll cost you more (sometimes, a lot more). Are they worth the splurge? We spoke with tech experts, interior designers, and savvy homeowners to find out more about the Frame and its rivals.

The Modern Classic

When Henry and Inell Chase were setting up their new home in Arroyo Grande, Calif., last year, their TV selection was driven more by must-nots than must-haves. “We just knew we didn’t want something that hung there like a big black hole in the wall,” said Mr. Chase.