TV as a Digital Photo Frame?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Keebler, Feb 11, 2017.

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  1. Keebler macrumors 68030

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    Canada
    #1
    Hi folks,

    Has anyone deployed a TV as a digital photo frame?

    I saw an ad for this frame: https://mementosmartframe.com/?switch=1

    But it hasn't garnered great reviews plus the cost had me thinking of a TV + an AppleTV instead. I think we have a version 2 or 3 right now. If I upgraded and added a 4 downstairs, I could take the existing one and use it upstairs with a 32" or smaller TV on the wall as a photo frame.

    I realize that may sounds nuts to some, but smaller TVs are pretty cheap these days and the quality is pretty good too.

    I wasn't sure if this should go in the AppleTV or photography forum, but I opted for the last one because it's all about the photos...heck, I might be able to play some videos too.

    Cheers,
    Brian
     
  2. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 603

    HobeSoundDarryl

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2004
    Location:
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #2
    Not sure if there is really a question here. :apple:TV is a terrific photo album source. TVs are increasingly cheap and generally bring more functionality than a dedicated digital photo frame (it can be used as a TV too). If the goal is to display digital photos, either will work fine.

    The combo of :apple:TV plus a TV would also give you the rest of the features of :apple:TV and a TV too. If you had some situation where someone wanted to watch videos or listen to music, podcasts, etc, this would give you the added utility vs. a digital photo frame which is generally a single-purpose device.

    So if you are indifferent about either option, just go with whichever one you like best. If 95% of the use will be displaying photos from your library, either is going to work just fine.

    And don't overlook maybe an old iPad sitting around gathering dust somewhere. "Framing" an iPad screen and letting it be one of these should not be too complicated... and work great too.
     
  3. Keebler thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #3
    Thanks Darryl! I guess the question is if anyone else has done it and maybe has some suggestions/set up ideas.
    You're right though - it's fairly straightforward.

    I was thinking - choose a spot on the wall, mount the TV, mount the ATV on the back of the TV, hide any cables in plastic paintable trim and done.

    I thought about the iPad, but the wifey thinks it's too small which I think she's right. So I'll start looking at TV deals and see what I come up with.

    I do like the functionality of the ATV. We don't watch much TV, but streaming sports upstairs while we eat could be fun.

    Heck, maybe I'll start a 'how to' thread in making this happen :)

    Seeing that ad for the Memento frame was perfect timing because I shut down my video transfer business (working for our other company with my wife more) so I have more time to finalize my photo organization. The kids are getting older so fast and we have some pretty neat photos that I'd like them to see (and me too!) lol

    Cheers,
    Brian
     
  4. xStep macrumors 68000

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    Less lost in L.A.
    #4
    Sounds like an interesting project. :)

    I read the PC Mag review of that display and the big downside seemed to be the interface control. I wonder if the other options would be much better.

    Buying and rigging up a TV to look like a picture frame is doable but what about the depth of it all? That dedicated frame has a depth of only 2 inches. Anything thicker might look out of place as a picture frame.

    If you want to use a 4K display, note that the Apple TV does not have 4K output. :(

    Good luck. I'll be interested in the result.
     
  5. Keebler thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #5
    Thanks. It might be a few months before I finalize it, but I'll start laying it out.
    You're right about the thickness, but the wall where I'll most likely place a TV doesn't have much on it so it might look alright. It's on 1 side of our family room. But yes, I was looking at thinner profile TVs.

    Good to know about the 4K. I guess the idea is to have the best resolution possible as most of my pics are from my DSLR so I would want as high a res as possible.

    Cheers,
    Brian
     
  6. heyjoe23 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2016
    #6
    One of my bosses bought a 55" TV and mounted it in his office. I think he then got a Mac Mini and hooked it up to it and downloaded a bunch of artwork, and showed it on the TV in his office. It was nice.

    My bosses were thinking of getting another one or two TV's and putting them in the lobby of our office and displaying photos of deals that they had closed. We are a commercial mortgage company and do mortgages for large commercial buildings.
     
  7. kenoh macrumors demi-god

    kenoh

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    Jul 18, 2008
    Location:
    Glasgow, UK
    #7
    Take a look at the Smart TV functionality in the model you are looking for. I know our LG has the capability to run a screensaver using images off a USB stick. Its an old model now so I suspect there are more cheaper options now???

    also, sounds like you have the solution you want right there in the house today... try it out... if you like it then you know when you move the 3 upstairs, then it will work fine...
     
  8. xStep macrumors 68000

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    Less lost in L.A.
    #8
    I have an LG 4K smart TV with this capability. I processed some images into HDR and saved as JPGs but the TV couldn't display them. Other images are fine. Not sure what the issue is so have some discovery to do. I did manage resave the processed images and display them, but need to figure out the right steps as I tried a few things and put the collection on the stick. For just letting the images display this could be an acceptable option if I can figure out the issue to reduce turn around time of work flow.

    I have a thumb drive plugged into the the TV and another plugged into my router which acts as a server for images. Both options are viable. I also have used video. I can choose music to play with the image slideshow mode but not sure how much control I have of that, as I just tried it now.

    You can setup you images into folders to limit the slide show selection. There is NO nice dissolve from one image to the next. Thinking of getting a small computer for this and other tasks.
     
  9. bdj33ranch macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    #9
    I have an older Panasonic LCD HD TV that has a built in SD card slot. It will display photos from a digital camera and has the option of playing them as a slide show. I suspect most any modern TV with an SD card slot will do the same thing.

    Note: On my older TV it is VERY particular about the SD Card hierarchy. The card MUST be formatted for a digital camera (with the DCMI folder as a “top level” folder). Then the photo files MUST follow the 8 alpha-numerical naming structure.
     
  10. xStep macrumors 68000

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    #10
    Played around with my LG today.

    Had to save the HDR files as PNG from the 'corrupt' JGPs, reopen the PNG and save as JPGs. Used Preview for this. Maybe could have saved on the reopen step. Tried changing the color profile first, but that didn't help, and in fact the color profile was the same as the end result of the conversion.

    Very limited transition capabilities. The Fade-In seems the best, but it fades out of the current image and then into the next, rather abruptly. This leaves you with a black screen between them.

    Playing music to a slide show is clumsy, as is the music app. The music app lists songs alphabetically, within the chosen folder type. If you have iTunes protected music, it of course will not be playable by the the TV. Apparently you can play music and have the display turned off. I haven't tried that.

    I had ejected my thumb drive from the wifi server and manually added more pictures and music. When I plugged the drive back in, and restarted my router, then turned on the TV, the TV didn't recognize the pictures or music right a way. I suspect the TV apps perform some kind of scan because eventually it did recognize the images and music.

    You can navigate forward and backward through the slide show, BUT, the app does not react immediately, and in fact it appears it maybe using the timed display time as a delay!

    If you choose to play music from the slide show, you are limited to the selection you choose from the Music app. A round music icon appears by default at the lower right of the screen and it animates which is distracting. Haven't found a way to hide it except to turn of the music. When a new song is played, and bar with the song name appears on the upper right of the screen.

    Finally, and most distracting, I often see a spinner over the current image while the TV is processing the next image. Bad interface design.

    On the plus side, seeing my images so large (49.5" diagonal display) is great and the color accuracy and detail is very nice! I placed a good cross section of my photos on the thumb drive. These included astro shots, sunsets, bright day scenes including landscapes, and even a couple of micro shots of a bugs.
     
  11. Keebler thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #11
    Thanks for the feedback. Sounds like it's working out for you.

    I was scoping TVs Monday and going into the local audio/video shop today to chat. They've been great at setting up our office. I also decided on a great spot right above our fireplace on an angled wall. I'm the Mr. Mom and do 95% of the cooking/baking/dehydrator stuff and the way our kitchen is, that wall will be perfectly angled towards me.

    Will keep you all posted.

    Cheers,
    Brian
     
  12. Keebler thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #12
    WELL!

    My eyes are still drooling! :) lol

    I went to the local AV store and saw what appeared to be the most gorgeous TV image I've ever seen.

    Not cheap though! About $2800 CDN (probably about $1900 USD - our dollar sucks right now!)

    BUT.....the image... wow oh wow! I know most of those images are taken specifically for that screen, but my DSLR shoots 6000x4000'ish and I've managed to get some great images. I've asked if I can take a USB stick over with some images to see what they look like.

    Obviously this wouldn't be just for photos....I can foresee watching plenty of Netflix and getting and over the air HD satellite connection for it.

    Here is the link from Best Buy.

    http://www.bestbuy.com/site/lg-55-c...h-dynamic-range-black/5010100.p?skuId=5010100

    Cheers,
    Brian

    PS. Might way for Black Friday in November.
     
  13. guzhogi macrumors 68030

    guzhogi

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2003
    Location:
    Wherever my feet take me…
    #13
    The district I work for has a few TVs hooked up to AppleTVs. Pretty cool.

    I just got myself an AppleTV 4 because my 2 kind of bit the dust. I haven't really gotten a chance to play around with the slide show/picture frame aspect yet, though.
     
  14. CommonSense27 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2017
    Location:
    Quebec
    #14
    Hey Brian,
    I did, and it was just that, a TV with photos. Boring. It did not look that great, particularly as the photo ratio is 16:9 and it was too backlit. Looked digital.
    I have to thank you for that link! I can't find the negative reviews you mention, except maybe sceptics who don't care about home design and question the price....check out this one, came out after your post.
    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/explora/photography/hands-review/quick-look-memento-smart-frame
    When you think of the cost of printing and framing, in that size, this is paid for in no time!
     
  15. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #15
    Got idea but remember the TV is likely only 1080p at best. This is about 1.6 megapixels. Rather low resolution for still photos. But you can buy a 4K TV now for not really that much money. These have double the resolution and four times as many pixels, They look better although that still can't show of all their is in an image you took with a DSLR camera.

    How to get your images on a 4K TV? Apple TV only does 1080p at most. But any new 4K TV will have DLNA and you can put a DNLA server on a computer. But most smart 4K TVs will also have a slot for a USB stick.
     
  16. Keebler thread starter macrumors 68030

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    Jun 20, 2005
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    Canada
    #16
    Hi Common,

    Thanks for the link. It's not out of the realm of possibility, but after talking with my wife, I think we're going with an LG OLED later in the year when it comes down in price or Black Friday sales. It's a gorgeous screen and she's bought in to the idea. She said just go buy it, but I'm waiting for later. lol

    I was standing in my kitchen looking around at the walls and realized I have the perfect space right about a fireplace on a wall angled directly at the kitchen. I work from home and am the Mr. Mom so I spend a lot of time in the kitchen baking and cooking so it will be perfect for the photos or streaming shows.

    I'll keep you all posted of course :)

    Cheers,
    Brian
    --- Post Merged, Mar 9, 2017 ---
    Hi Chris,

    I've always valued your opinions over the years on this forum :) I'm heavily leaning towards the 4K TV I listed above. The colour and contrast are fantastic on it. I've only seen it once and won't look at it again as I'm likely to buy it now lol When I do, I'll go in with a usb stick to see how the photos look.

    Someone was saying the newer Google Chromecast 4K would do the trick or I imagine Apple will have a 4K ATV coming out in the fall (I would hope). I'm not against uploading a pile of photos onto a USB stick for the time being.

    The timing should work as I'm still organizing my photos and setting up my Synology NAS which will both take some time (in between doing everything else). I just need to pick away at those tasks.

    Cheers,
    Brian
     

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