Why You Should Turn Your Old TV Into a Digital Art Frame


TV technology is changing rapidly, so you may end up with an extra TV with no real purpose. It’s a first-world problem, but instead of selling the old decor, why not turn it into permanent art?

A story of too many televisions?

With so many improvements in quick succession, chances are you’ve been tempted to upgrade your first-generation 4K TV to one of the newer models with features like local dimming, Dolby Vision, QLED technology or even an OLED panel.

These new TVs are much better for movies, games, and TV shows. They display better levels of black, color and motion. So no one can blame you for pulling the trigger on something more modern.

However, your old 4K (or even 1080p) TV is still great at displaying a static image. Issues like motion clarity or dynamic brightness are overlooked in what is essentially a slideshow. So instead of trying to sell your old set for an amount that is hardly worth it, you can use it as a 21st century decoration for your home.

It can really tie the room together

Dedicated art TV in the living room
Sydney Butler

Considering that even generic portraits can cost hundreds of dollars and you already own the TV in question, it seems obvious that you can just mount the TV on the wall where a painting would usually go.

If your old TV is also a Smart-TVit can still serve as a digital jukebox to play Spotify playlists or make a great impression of when MTV still played endless reels of music videos.

RELATED: How to mount your TV on the wall

Preservation is easy with slideshows and art apps

Setting up the TV is the easy part, but you still need content to display on it. There are plenty of options here, especially if you want to manually collect the images you are going to display. You can follow our TV art display guide for tips on getting your Roku or AppleTV to play a slideshow of images.

However, there are apps that can do it all for you. So you don’t have to manage the content yourself if you don’t want it.

Browsing through the Samsung app store, we found an app called ArtCast which seemed to fit the bill perfectly. It offers high-quality artwork with over 100,000 pieces in the library.

Artcast App on Smart TV

There are organized galleries and the developers are working to ensure that all pieces are properly labeled with titles and years. If you don’t have a Samsung TV, the app is also available on Android TV, Apple TV, Roku, and Fire TV. You get a 7-day free trial and from there it’s $3 per month until you cancel.

Whenever you see a work that really speaks to you, just grab the remote and add it to your personalized list of favorite works of art. There are many themed galleries to choose from and even video content!

Great use of your main TV, too

Dedicating an extra TV to a digital art frame makes a lot of sense given that you have a dedicated space that needs a portrait. However, you don’t need an extra TV or a special dedicated space to turn your TV into art.

You can take your main TV or any TV you currently own and turn it into an art exhibit while it’s not being used for anything else. Of course, you have to consider power consumption and wear and tear, but for most people that shouldn’t be a big issue. Modern televisions are surprisingly energy efficient and unless you’re displaying the same static painting for hours on end, there’s no real risk of image retention. So why not give your home some extra class and add an endless gallery of the world’s best and most interesting works of art?


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