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Editor’s Pick: Samsung The Serif for the Discerning Tastemaker

Why choose between style and function when you have The Serif—a new lifestyle TV that has practicality and beauty at the same time. Visual artist, photographer, and furniture designer Jar Concengco shares some of his insights on this gorgeous design piece

Go to the appliance store and you’ll notice that television sets are all looking the same—thinner than ever with a black frame. People mount it on the wall so that it won’t be in the way or even hide it behind shutters so that it won’t ruin your aesthetic. Not much thought has gone into how a television can actually take part in your space in the last decade until recently. 
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Iconic 360° design with a detachable floor stand

Design siblings Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec (who also designed the minimalist Palissade chairs for HAY)  didn’t want to create another flat screen TV. They wanted to veer away from that direction and reimagine how we can accept the television again in our interiors as an actual design element. They designed one that can stand on its own in the shape of the letter I in a serif typeface—giving it its name The Serif. The Serif’s shape is influenced by typography! Its black, metal legs create a sculptural silhouette and gives the television a presence in a room. 


The Serif is also designed to look good in all angles. Even its backside is clean and has a clean cable management behind the removable panel to help keep things neat. This allows users to place the television practically anywhere you want and not necessarily only against a wall. You can also detach the legs and place The Serif on a console or shelf. One thing you can’t do is mount it on a wall (which defeats the purpose anyway of purchasing a television that was designed to be free from the wall).

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The Serif’s shape allows you to adorn the top with objects and use it as a small shelf. I placed some of my favorite items there such as a small, potted plant and an Ishinomaki Bird. The television will wobble a bit when it is bumped (my robot vacuum has bumped its legs several times while cleaning), but it is stable enough that it won’t topple over. I don’t have pets, but Samsung’s ads for The Serif show a cat perched atop the television (and even one cat jumping off the television), making it seem stable enough for pets around. What I do have running around the house are 4 small children. So far, no accidents.
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One thing I enjoy about The Serif is its quick and simple user interface. You can learn how to use it in an instant and connect it to all of your favorite streaming platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Apple TV. Its remote control is just the right size and fits perfectly in your hand. The television responds quickly to the remote as well. I have two other TVs in the house that I get impatient with at times since it takes longer for it to respond to its remote control. The Serif’s remote also has a mic function so you can search by voice (which is quite helpful when my younger daughter who can’t spell just yet wants to search for something on YouTube Kids).
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Ambient mode and integration

If you have a smart home and other Samsung devices, you can have The Serif be a part of certain routines using SmartThings via NFC technology. For instance, every morning at 7am you can have The Serif turn on in Ambient Mode and display information such as time and the weather. The Serif also has a virtual assistant named Bixby. Other regions have Google Assistant and Alexa installed in The Serif, however our region does not. 


Ambient Mode is a feature that I found to be using more and more. It may sound like what we call screen savers on our computers, but the pattern designs included are mesmerizing. The Bouroullec brothers have even designed their own pattern for Ambient Mode and is included in The Serif. So even while you’re not watching TV, it can definitely help create a mood in the room. 

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Amazing Color Display

Picture quality hasn’t been better than with The Serif’s QLED technology. Colors are vivid, and with HDR10+, The Serif can analyze each scene frame by frame and make sure you’re seeing realistic visuals. I thought The Serif’s picture quality definitely delivers and has a punchy and more dynamic feel. 


Another intelligent innovation that The Serif has incorporated is the Active Voice Amplifier. When you’re watching a show and the TV detects sound in your environment for over 3 seconds, it automatically amplifies dialogue so you don’t miss out on important matters on the latest episode of Money Heist.

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In an effort to reduce waste, Samsung is encouraging for consumers to repurpose the box The Serif comes in. The box cleverly has precise dots to help guide you to create various household items and even small housing for pets. I plan to make a magazine holder with mine. You can check this out for step-by-step guides.


One small detail that I adore is when you turn on and turn off The Serif, it imitates how a retro cathode-ray tube television would turn off—with a horizontal line in the middle. This evokes an older time when the television was a gathering place in one’s home. In my home, The Serif definitely has brought my family together for more movie nights or kids doing homework in the room while the Ambient Mode is on. 


Samsung’s The Serif television design is iconic. It may not be for everyone as it does take up more space than a wall-mounted television. For design lovers, however, and for those who want their television to be more, The Serif straddles the line between furniture, art, and technology.

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Read more about Samsung The Serif at the Samsung.com Philippine site 
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