by Dan Blacharski
With elements like thinner bezels, “floating” screens and aircraft-grade aluminum materials, your TV was designed with aesthetics in mind. TV manufacturers have further integrated your TV into your home décor with a built-in wallpaper mode. Some televisions -- the Sharp AQUOS® LED TV among them -- transform the blank off screen into a work of art that you control.
The best part is that your wallpaper is completely customizable. You can choose a preset photo like Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” or add your own photos and artwork via a USB drive. For a canvas-quality picture that appears as soon as you press the TV's "off" button, simply select "System Options" and scroll down to the wallpaper setting prompts. Choose your desired art from the data source, select "Quick Start Mode," and choose a display timer setting to set how long you want the wallpaper to display after the TV is off.
On the set’s low power setting, the wallpaper feature uses about the same amount of energy as a 30-watt lightbulb or typical nightlight. In typical cases around the United States where you have the TV off about 12 hours overnight, that amounts to about $1 per month in energy consumption costs on the Sharp AQUOS® HD TV. Using the feature creates beauty in your room for minimal expense without any impact on the backlight or the overall operational life of the set.
Another option for wall art enhances your wallpaper selection, or the blank TV screen itself if you prefer, with some thoughtful framing. You can choose from a wide range of materials and shapes to truly showcase the TV-screen-turned-masterpiece. Choose a classic rectangular black frame in finished steel, or a more asymmetrical frame -- some even have narrow shelving and other built-in features. And if hemp fabric braids or copper Asian birds work with your theme and scheme, go for it! These and countless other options exist for making your TV framework both personal and fully functional.
One option for that prime space in the living room traditionally has been the decorative mirror, but even the mirror has become a TV-screen technology. The latest mirror overlays hide your blank screen when it’s not in use, but allow for the same optimal viewing experience when it is. If you’re thinking of going with a mirror overlay, be sure that your TV mount will support the additional weight of the glass and any frame, too.
With a little creative thinking, you can even create a striking visual impact with a screen that’s mounted on a stand instead of the wall. For example, a sturdy artist’s easel retains that minimalist studio look and gives you the chance to upcycle a second-hand or antique find (be sure to reinforce the mounting as needed). There’s also the TV Barrow, a clean-line mount designed from spare bicycle parts that allows you to freely move a TV from room to room as an added “art” bonus.
With so many choices, it’s time to think of that blank screen as more of a blank slate waiting for your inspiration...and a great time to express yourself while artfully making the most of that flat TV screen.
Tip #1: Wallpaper mode.
Some of the best artwork (and most readily available) is already integrated into your smart TV system through the wallpaper mode function. Before exploring options that take more time and money, be sure to learn all there is to know about displaying the existing art or adding your own.
Tip # 2: Weight matters.
Carefully consider the size, shape and additional weight that any screen framing elements or mirror overlay kits will add to your existing TV set and hardware. You’ll avoid disappointing design results and downright dangerous conditions by determining what you can and cannot do first.
Tip # 3: What else is there.
Remember that the TV wall art doesn’t exist in a décor vacuum. An inexpensive, bright-red frame in a monochrome room is eye-catching, but even more so when paired with a few red candles, shelved books or a red planter. Keep overall design in mind, and that means the entire room.
Tip # 4. Why pay more.
Sure, you can spend $18,000 for a motorized 10-foot track kit that slides your TV in and out of a closet, but that may not be a realistic option for your budget. Consider the simplicity and sustainability of the standard wood pallet. With a little love, a re-purposed pallet makes for an interesting wall mount with shelf space tucked below -- and there’s a world of ideas between the two.
References & Resources
About the Author
I am editor-in-chief of Techie.com, a destination web presence for emerging technology and disruptive trends. A "dotcom boom" veteran, I am at the forefront of what I've termed the "dot cloud boom," the next wave of innovation that is driven by new cloud enabling tech. I have written several books, including "Cloud computing made easy", and have written several articles for prominent trade journals as well as on techie.com.