Digital picture frames are a great way to view your favorite pictures, family vacation pictures, baby pictures, well, you get the picture. You can display either one picture, or run a slideshow of many pictures.
This article explains the features you should keep in mind when purchasing a digital picture frame as well as give some interesting uses of how this handy device can be used in your home or business.
What To Look For
Today’s digital picture frames range in size from 2 inches to up to 40 inches! Yes, that’s right, 40 inches! The most typical size purchased though is from 7 to 10 inches – big enough to display a 4×6 or 5×7 picture. The larger the size, the larger the price.
Decide where you want to place the digitalisierung kmu schweiz frame first (and make sure it’s near a power source), then you’ll have a better idea of how big the screen should be for viewing.
With digital frames, you have the option of buying a standard 4:3 aspect ratio size or a widescreen 16:9 ratio. The 16:9 ratio will stretch your photos and/or cut off your pictures. Most cameras produce pictures in the standard 4:3 ratio, so choose a picture frame with this standard.
Digital picture frames come in all sizes and looks. You can buy ones with metal, wood, or even plastic-looking frames. Many models now come with interchangeable plates (frames) so you can choose the look that best works with your decor. There are two types of picture finish, matte, and glass. A matte finish works best as a glass finish can create glare.
Resolution refers to how many pixels are on the screen. The more pixels the better the clarity and richness of the picture. Lately, there have been a lot of good deals out there for digital picture frames. Prices have come down these past few years. However, check the specs on the picture frame carefully. Many of these “great deals” have low resolutions which mean poor display quality. Ensure the picture frame you buy is no lower than 640×480 in resolution. Typically, a 7-inch frame should have a resolution of 720×480, an 8-inch should have 800×600 resolution, and frames over 10 inches should have at least 1024×768 resolution. (1)
The best way to ensure you’ll like the digital frame is to test it out first. How does the picture quality look? Do the pictures look vibrant? Do the pictures load fast during the slideshow? If you back away 7 feet, can you see the picture fine? What if you move to the left and right, does the picture show well, or is there glare? Most stores do not let you see the picture frame in action, so you might not be able to test this until you get the picture frame home.
All digital picture frames need to be plugged into a wall outlet. Some models have an internal battery or allow for rechargeable batteries so you can pass your picture frame around the room to others without cables. To save money, look for an auto on/off feature in a digital frame. Frames with this feature can be programmed to come on only at night but turn off at a certain hour. This is a great feature and will allow your frame to be enjoyed more. Otherwise, you either 1.) let the picture frame run day and night or 2.) unplug it when you’re not using it – which is most of the time, thus not enjoying your frame, and then you’ll forget about it.
Digital picture frames can do more than just display pictures. Many frames also play songs (MP3s) and videos. Consult the instructions on the box as to which type of formats the frame takes. Different brands accept different formats.
By uploading mp3s into your frame, you can now show your picture slide shows along with your favorite music. The speakers in the frame offer decent sound and guests are often surprised by the novelty of seeing your pictures along with the music.
Video is another cool feature you can upload into your digital frame. You can upload any videos (ensure the format is supported by your frame). The possibilities are endless – home movies, music videos, movies, tv shows, you name it. Nonetheless, the smooth playing of a video depends on the quality of the picture frame you purchase.
The main benefit here is having your home movies readily accessible to watch at a moment’s notice. If the frame’s internal memory you buy is not large, this is not a problem. You can add your home videos to a large memory card and plug them into your digital picture frame. The video will still play very well.
Most frames come with a remote control so you can change pictures or settings without getting up from the couch. You’ll want to keep the remote nearby as some of the digital picture frame’s functions can only be accessed by the remote control.
How Pictures are Imported
Surprisingly enough, there are several ways to input your pictures into a digital frame:
- Memory card – you can take the memory card from your camera and plug it into your digital picture frame to display the pictures right away. Most picture frames take several types of memory cards. If needed, you can buy an adaptor that plugs into the picture frame and allows for additional memory card types. One nice advantage of memory cards is that you can plug your memory card into friends or family members’ digital frames while visiting them. Furthermore, if you bought your parents or your grandparents a digital picture, you can give them or mail a memory card to them so they can plug in the latest pics.
- USB – to cut out an extra step, you can connect your digital frame to your computer with a USB or mini USB cord. Using either the software that comes with the digital picture frame or My Computer on Windows PC’s, you can copy pictures directly into your frame. There are also some digital picture frames which allow you to use a USB thumb drive to download your pictures.
- Wireless – some digital picture frames have Wi-Fi (wireless) capability to connect to your wireless network in your house. The digital picture frame can connect to a specific folder on your computer, so anytime you update that folder with new pictures, your digital picture frame will display them automatically. You can also upload pictures from any device that is Wi-Fi enabled such as camera phones, media players, etc. In addition, with WiFi’s digital picture frames, you can connect to your online picture sites, such as Flickr or Facebook. Wireless works well but be aware that sometimes setting up the digital picture frame to work with your wireless network can be problematic. Furthermore, digital frames with Wi-Fi tend to cost more.
- Bluetooth – allows you to send pictures or music from your Bluetooth enabled phone or mobile device to your picture frame. You may also be able to print pictures to your Bluetooth enabled printer.
- Phone Line – some frames have a phone line connection. This is handy if you have older parents or grandparents are not familiar with technology but love having the latest pics of your kids. From your computer at home and the software provided with the picture frame, you upload pictures directly into your parents or grandparents’ picture frame, even if they live across the country. Typically, however, there is a fee for this service.