Why invest in a designer TV or projector? Despite TV viewing being at record highs thanks to lockdown (six and a half hours every day), for a good chunk of the day the average TV is still an eyesore. With blocky designs and cords splayed out everywhere, most 4K TVs simply aren’t very sleek and will stick out like a sore thumb in thoughtfully-decorated living rooms.
But that doesn’t need to be the case.
The world of designer technology continues to push limits technologically and aesthetically, from vertical video transitions to rollup screens and free-standing transparent designer frames – and manufacturers are really thinking about your color schemes to make sure you pick their model and not their competitors.
Samsung recently took this to the extreme and has created a paint range to complement its series of TV units. But if that doesn’t go far enough for your taste, Sedition aims to turn your TV into a modern art canvas that you can curate a collection with or rely on their suggestions. Form, meet function.
So now that you’ve got beauty on and off the screen, which unit is right for you? We’ve curated a collection of the best designer TVs and projectors that are really worth looking at – even when they’re turned off. Dive in and get yourself some gorgeous.
We’ve listed purchasable models first, and listed some more future-gazing models with limited availability or which are yet to officially come to market.
The best designer TVs for any chic home
Serif by Samsung
The ‘I’ design of The Serif has become iconic and synonymous with a design-led lifestyle. Thankfully now available in more colors and sizes (43, 49 and 55-inches), The Serif from Samsung is perfect for anyone who doesn’t want a TV hanging from a wall or if you change your mind a lot.
Perfect with or without the legs (which also hide the cables), the unit boasts 100% Color Volume by Quantum Dot, which means QLED 4K quality with over a billion colors. Thanks to the unique ‘I’ design, you can also play music directly from your phone with the built-in NFC on the top of the unit.
There are no more blank screens either: Ambient Mode+ turns The Serif into a digital canvas with two designs, leaf and fabric, created by The Serif’s designers, the Bouroullec brothers.
The Serif is available in two new colors – cotton white and cotton blue.
Read more in our Samsung Serif hands-on review
The Frame by Samsung
The Frame by Samsung is perfect for those with large walls or people with little floor space. With an option for every taste and color scheme, you can pick from slim, neutral, and minimalist to big, ornate, and bold. Thanks to the beautiful form, the unit already looks like art. Frame can alternate between +1,400 paintings, drawings, and photography from galleries and museums worldwide for an extra cost. (Alternatively, you can stick with your photos, too.)
The bezels are thin, like, really thin at 24.9mm (Samsung has halved the depth from previous versions) and come in various forms; slim, neutral, minimalist, big, ornate, and bold. That said, one bugbear is the ‘Near Invisible Cable’, which, while not so invisible, does handle all your connections from various boxes and gadgets. Alternatively, use the three-legs or’ Studio Stand’, although prepare yourself for possible ‘flower wreath/wake stand’ comments.
Read more in our Samsung The Frame (2020) review
Beovision Harmony by Bang & Olufsen
Whether on the wall or free-standing, the Beovision Harmony is a whole chunk of beauty and a lot of change. The top unit is 88″, over 12,000 pounds, and the look is pure glitz. With 8K OLED, the top of the range unit is a solid-looking audio and visual feast; however, the smaller units get capped at 4K resolution.
The motorized floor stand unfurls, pushing the unit upward when free-standing to display the speakers. When closed the unit is more sculptural than any of the other TVs reviewed in this list. The finished look remains contemporary but with a distinct nod back to the mid-century thanks to the various front options. You can mix bronze, walnut and brass options with ‘Smoked Oak’ for an elegant look whatever your color scheme. Likely a nightmare to keep dust-free, this unit screams bougie and opulence but then for around £12,000 ($16,000 in the US), you’d expect nothing less and can probably afford for someone to worry about the dust.
Read more in our hands-on Bang & Olufsen Beovision Harmony review
Or head straight to the B&O store here
The Sero by Samsung
Moving from the sublime to the ridiculous, Samsung’s Sero is an unsubtle nod to the Tik Tok generation, thanks to the vertical screen that twists from landscape to portrait. Hear us out, this unit does show the flexibility needed and where video standards are going, but right now, it’s a flight of fancy for most.
The unit is solid with 4K QLED and multi-channel 60W speakers. How many turns until this breaks is unclear, but you can’t ignore the ingenuity and nod to the vertical content explosion. Pair with your phone, and you have a great, fun TV that takes up more floor space than is necessary but, thanks to some smart algorithms, your content gets whooshed up to 4K. Speakers could be more robust, but overall, you can’t deny the design is unique.
Read more in our Samsung Sero TV review
Z9 OLED88Z9 by LG
If the Bang & Olufsen price tag made you gulp, look away now. Clocking in around £29,999 / $30,000, the Z9 is a thing of beauty that will slim your wallet drastically.
LG’s largest OLED 8K TV to date, the unit is a beast but a minimalist one that is packed full of features including Dolby Atmos, HDMI 2.1 connections, AI assistants, in addition to the crisp, almost clinical, design.
Before you worry about obsolescence, fear not, the Z9 comes with an 8K upgrader box, so you’ll buy something that lasts.
Read more in our LG Z9 OLED (OLED88Z9) review
Sony VPL-PHZ12 4K projector
Ok, so this isn’t a TV, but here us out. The Sony VPL-PHZ12 is a minimalist’s dream, proving sleek and powerful for the price. With over 5,000 lumens of brightness, you’ll see the blacks and the colors you want, even with the sun beaming through windows. The 3LCD laser projector is intended for the office but works well in home environments too.
With multiple HDMI, USB and other ports, whether on a surface or hung from the ceiling, you have numerous options to run all your services.
Find out more at Sony’s official website
LG Signature Series OLED TV R (65RX)
We’re getting into a luxury apartment in a sci-fi movie territory with LG’s 65-inch rollup screen. With a single base design currently, the 65RX is…boxy, but the unfurling is next level.
The screen has different heights for different events after rising from the flat surface – a thin bar when listening to music mode, a full mode and a ‘mood mode’.
This rollable OLED is cautious about complimenting your space rather than dominating a room, and it’s a technological marvel with a price tag to match. It’s hard to predict the future, but there’s a chance that, eventually, companies may make all TVs this way.
It’s currently only available in South Korea – where it’s reportedly only sold a handful of units since its 2020 release – but it may well come to the US and UK in the near future.
Read more in our hands-on LG Signature Series OLED TV R review
Panasonic Vitrine transparent OLED
A transparent OLED TV? Sold. What looks like a glass cabinet becomes a full TV that blends into the background of any sideboard.
Designed by Daniel Rybakken for Vitra and Panasonic, the unit is a frame for items when not in use that then fade away when watching content. A nod towards the desire for TVs to blend away when not in use, this design is fanciful rather than the future but still gorgeous to look at…or not as the case may be.
Unfortunately the Vitrine By Panasonic is still a prototype for the moment, but the rumor is that the unit will be available by the end of 2022.
Read more in our Panasonic Vitrine first look
Xiaomi Mi TV Lux Transparent Edition
Another transparent model, but you actually can buy this one. The edge-to-edge display is transparent and then shows images that some describe as ‘floating’. Far from hologram territory, though, the unit boasts a 55″ screen with a 150000:1 static contrast ratio.
The killer? The 1.07 billion colors the display throws up are far beyond what the human eye can perceive, so the image looks magical. Latency? What latency! 120Hz refresh rate and 120Hz MEMC technology mean even gaming is smooth.
For around £5,500 (around $7,700), there’s a lot of tech squeezed in.
Read more: Xiaomi’s new transparent OLED is one of the weirdest TVs ever
Loewe Bild 5
Available with multiple stands and in numerous finishes, the Bild is a thing of beauty in whatever configuration you choose. Wall-mounted or free-standing, the Bild is sleek and packs a powerful 80-watt soundbar or pick modular speakers (extra costs involved).
Available in 55 and 65-inch versions, the Bild is a beautiful, modular unit that offers you flexibility and sublime built-in tech that elevates most interiors.