HomePhotographyHow Important is a Digital Frame’s Video Support?

How Important is a Digital Frame’s Video Support?


Should I buy digital frames with video support?

A digital frame’s video support should never be your primary deciding factor. That being said, it’s a handy feature to have and adds a personal and special touch to how to connect and share memories with your loved ones.

Video support is often limited to mid-high-end digital frames like the Pix-Star – and almost always with restrictions. Pix-Star’s digital frames can play videos up to 2-minutes long and can be played with/without their accompanying sound.

It’s also worth noting that many digital frames like the Skylight and Nixplay charge annual subscription fees to unlock video playback and support for sending videos to the frame. Even with an active subscription, digital frames like the Pix-Star offer more lenient restrictions and longer video playback support – for free with no hidden costs.

To summarize, video support is a great feature to have – but shouldn’t come at the cost of other important features like display resolution, the feature-set, or Wi-Fi/cloud support. Digital photo frames weren’t designed to focus on video playback and the restrictions limit the feasibility of video support – though digital frames like the Pix-Star still offer great video support.

Do Pix-Star digital frames support video playback?

Pix-Star’s digital frames support videos with a maximum length of 2-minutes. You should make sure to keep the videos in a supported video format – preferably MP4 as it’s the most widely accepted. For the best viewing experience, ensure that the video matches that Pix-Star’s versatile 4:3 aspect ratio – something that most smartphones already match.

You should try to scale the resolution of videos down the match the Pix-Star’s 1024×768 display if they are natively in a higher resolution. On the flip side, ensure videos meet that minimum resolution requirement to avoid blurry videos.

Note that Pix-Star’s digital frames can play the audio that comes with videos via the frame’s inbuilt speakers. You have an option to include videos into slideshows with or without their accompanying audio.

How to send videos to digital frames?

The best way to send videos to digital frames is through the supported mobile app. In Pix-Star’s case, the Pix-Star Snap mobile app lets you record new videos inside the app, or select previously recorded videos from your phone’s gallery. These videos are all saved to the frame’s internal storage and can be viewed offline.

Pix-Star’s mobile app lets you send multiple photos (up to 250) and videos to multiple digital frames at the same time. You can send entire folders and collections (WhatsApp, Telegram, etc.) directly to connected frames.

As the only offline method, you can send videos to digital frames by USB/SD card. Make sure the USB/SD card is supported (avoid cards larger than 64GB) and that the video is the correct length and format. Insert the USB/SD card into the relevant port.

With some frames like the Pix-Star, you can start slideshows directly from the SD card or copy the videos and photos to the local storage. Most frames require you to copy the contents across to the internal storage before they can be viewed in slideshows.

Can I view videos from my social media account on digital frames?

Photos and videos on social media and photo-sharing sites are referred to as web albums in the digital frame world. Unfortunately, there are only a handful of digital frames that support web albums. None of them let you link and sync videos to the digital frame. This is mainly due to relatively harsh video compression from the social media/photo-sharing platform. It usually results in sub-par playback quality when compared to the quality of videos sent via the mobile app or by USB/SD card.

Are any restrictions on a digital frame’s video?

All digital frames have restrictions on video playback and support. This is usually done by length and format, though some frames (low-mid-range) restrict by file size too. Frames like the Nixplay offer 15-second video support. With the Nixplay Plus subscription, you can play videos up to 1-minute long. Pix-Star’s digital frames offer video support for clips up to 2-minutes long. You can see that there is quite a bit of variance between brands and models.

In terms of supported formats, you’re best off avoiding less common formats and sticking to more popular ones like MP4 and MPEG-4. These are least likely to cause compatibility issues and will make sending videos smoother and simpler. There are tons of online video converters to help you change your favorite videos into a supported format.

Can I include videos in slideshows on Pix-Star digital frames?

Pix-Star’s digital frames are unique in that they let you include videos in slideshows (mixed in with photos and audio playback). Additionally, you can set the frame to mute the videos when they’re included in slideshows or have them play the attached audio through the Pix-Star digital frame’s inbuilt speakers (or through connected headphones/speakers).

How many videos can digital frames hold?

This depends on the resolution of the video clips you send to the digital frame and the size of the frame’s internal storage. For a 1-minute video clip at 1024×768 resolution at standard 8-bit compression is around 20MB. This means an 8GB digital frame can hold around 400-minutes of video – though this is seldom the reality in practice.

Sometimes you’ll send videos with a higher native resolution that takes up more storage space but can’t be displayed in their full resolution. Some frames also have cloud storage that can virtually expand the available storage space. You’ll seldom store enough videos on a digital photo frame to worry about exhausting storage space as cloud storage and USB/SD card support give you more space than you’d ever need (at least that’s the case with digital frames like the Pix-Star).

Can I play high-resolution videos on digital frames?

If you were to send a 4K video clip to a digital frame with an 800×600 display, the video will be scaled down to match the frame’s native resolution. Any video file with a higher resolution will be scaled down to the frame’s native display resolution, but video files with a lower resolution than the display won’t be scaled up as it’s not possible.

Sending a 4K video to a digital photo frame with an 800×600 display resolution wastes a lot of storage space as all the extra resolution can’t be utilized by the frame. You should scale the videos files down before sending them to the frame. This improves transfer speeds and reduces the chances of having a video clip rejected.

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