Ten years ago there was no such thing as a “Lifestyle TV” but today Samsung alone has six different TVs they class as lifestyle, and their competitors are pushing the boundaries of what we know as a TV too.
In Berlin at the annual IFA show I had the chance to sit down with the man who was part of the team at Samsung that created this whole phenomenon – Wonki Kim, Director and head of Global Lifestyle Products at Samsung.
He talked about how it all started back in 2015, saying “At the time, the TV market itself was very competitive, but it was mainly driven by consumers replacing their TV only when it’s broken”.
“When we asked people why did you change your TV, the constant feedback we got was simply ‘Because it’s not working’”
That simple market insight set Samsung on the path they are on today, Wonki Kim saying “we wanted to create a little bit more meaning to the TV so that even if you don’t have a TV, even if it’s not broken, or if there is a room without a TV; how do you make somebody want a TV”
This lead Samsung to work with Industry experts, Furniture designers and examine the space “we started with the idea of let’s look at the space where the TV already sits in, a living room where there’s sofas and chairs, all these part of interior aspects.”
With a simple goal in mind, “To collaborate and design a TV that will mean a little bit more in the living space.”
That first TV was the Serif, a very different style of TV in so may ways, not least the fundamental TV design but also that it could be freestanding, with four legs. A throwback to the olden days when the TV was a piece of furniture itself in the corner of the room.
Mr Kim described the Serif as being TV plus Design. Then with the Frame in 2017 and to today, this is more TV plus Art.
In 2023, Samsung has a collaboration with Disney, celebrating 100 years of Disney with artworks from the very start of Disney through to Star Wars, Marvel and Pixar films today. This TV is a Frame TV with a unique metal frame, that will be sold in some European and American markets, but unfortunately not in Australia.
However, Samsung Australia’s Jeremy Senior confirmed to EFTM that owners of The Frame TVs in Australia would get access to these Disney artworks without having to purchase a new TV. Instead, you just need to subscribe to Samsung’s The Frame Art Store, for $59.90 per year, and those Disney artworks will be there to display.
Having seen a lot of Art on The Frame over the years, I get it’s all very nice, but I’ve never been more impressed than when I saw this Disney stuff on display – well worth a look if you have The Frame.
Today, Samsung’s Lifestyle TV range includes the Serif, the Sero (That one that rotates so you can watch vertical content), the Frame, The Premiere, The Terrace and The Freestyle.
Samsung’s Freestyle Projector brought an outstanding portability to viewing content, take it to any room, or even outside and its smarts would auto adjust and focus the picture for you.
This year, the Second Generation Freestyle offers the chance for two to be sat together to blend their picture into one larger screen offering up to 160 inches of size!
Wonki Kim confirmed to EFTM that this edge blending technology was also coming to Generation 1 of The Freestyle by way of a software update later this year.
And not just that, but a generation one and two could be paired together for the blending and larger screen size.
The work of Wonki Kim and his team has paid dividends for Samsung, selling two million units per year of The Frame alone just a couple of years ago, and the data Samsung sees from the usage of the Frame proves the point that it’s more than just a TV.
On average owners of The Frame watch around 4 hours of “content” (TV, Netflix, Stan etc) per day, while the Artwork is on display for around 6-7 hours. Those are the hours when walking by the lounge room ensures you see nice artwork, not a boring black box. Exactly what the Samsung Lifestyle team intended.
EFTM’s coverage of IFA 2023 is supported in part by Samsung, as well as the many great companies who advertise here at EFTM.com. For more information read our full commercial interests disclosure.