How do digital photo frames work?
Digital photo frames offer a unique and versatile way to connect with your loved ones and share special memories. Not all digital photo frames are created equal and there are only a handful of truly reliable and capable frames on the market. Most of these are found in the premium range – though that’s not to say you can’t find decent value at other price points.
Digital photo frames work through a combination of internal storage and a display to show photos digitally. Pictures are displayed in slideshows and can come from several sources including USB/SD cards, social media, email, mobile apps, and more. These displays come in various shapes, sizes, resolutions, and finished.
Some digital photo frames are Wi-Fi capable. These frames are typically quite a bit more versatile than non-Wi-Fi frames as they add features like mobile app, web interfaces, and let you send pictures from anywhere in the world. In some cases (as with frames like the Pix-Star), Wi-Fi connectivity lets you remotely control your digital frames using the web interface. It also unlocks features like Pix-Star’s free-for-life cloud storage.
Slideshows are where all the digital photo frame magic happens. You can control the type, style, and speed of how your pictures are displayed. With more premium frames, you can control which sources are included in slideshows – and can even set the frames to ignore older or smaller photos (as with the Pix-Star).
Many digital photo frames let you play videos and audio, though it’s not a universally offered feature. In some cases, you can include videos into slideshows and set them to play with or without their sound. Some digital frames have inbuilt speakers that let you play audio files and messages.
Secondary features like weather forecasts, web radio & music, games, calendar & reminders, etc., are offered on higher-end frames. While you can get these kinds of functions from cheaper frames, they are often very limited and don’t work all too well.
What are the best digital photo frames for families?
Pix-Star’s digital photo frames are arguably the most versatile and well-suited digital frames for families at the moment. This is mainly due to their rich and capable feature set that includes a mobile app and a web interface. You can send pictures to your Pix-Star digital photo frames from anywhere in the world and at any time. Additionally, you can remotely manage and control up to 25 connected frames from a single user account via the web interface.
Families get excellent value from Pix-Star’s digital frames. This is further enhanced by their bundle deals that make buying several frames for the whole family even cheaper. Pix-Star’s frames are already incredibly well-priced considering their premium design and performance. This is all achieved without charging any additional recurring subscription fees or hidden costs (unlike frames like Skylight and Nixplay that charge annual subscriptions to unlock several features).
Pix-Star’s remote-control function truly sets it apart from what most other digital photo frames offer. You can use the web interface to manage and control up to 25 connected Pix-Star frames. This is perfect for big families and makes it so that elderly users don’t need to be excluded if they aren’t tech-savvy.
Pix-Star’s remote-control function lets you change any connected frame’s settings, start slideshows, adjust the display brightness, link new web albums (pictures synced from your favorite social media and photo-sharing platforms), update firmware, and much more. This can be done from anywhere in the world and at any time – so long as your Pix-Star frame is online and connected to Wi-Fi.
Finally, the Pix-Star Snap mobile app lets you send pictures, videos, and audio messages to your Pix-Star digital photo frames from anywhere in the world. Anybody in the family can download the app and install it on their phone/tablet (compatible with iOS and Android). There’s no need to create a user account and you can start sending right away – all you need is the receiving frame’s unique Pix-Star email address. You can send up to 250 pictures to multiple frames at the same time. You can add all the family’s frames to the app and send your latest and greatest pictures to all of them in no time at all.
How to send pictures to digital photo frames?
Cheaper digital photo frames only let you send pictures to the frame through a USB/SD card. This is a feature that’s also offered on the premium frame – but is just one of many other methods. Many cheap digital frames don’t have internal storage, so you need to leave the USB/SD card connected at all times to view the pictures.
More premium digital photo frames like the Pix-Star let you send pictures to any connected frame by email (as attachments), the Pix-Star Snap mobile app, importing pictures from social media and photo-sharing sites via the web interface, and a couple of other less-used methods. They also usually have more than 4GB of internal storage – and cloud storage in some cases – which gives you plenty of space for all your favorite pictures and video clips.
Can digital photo frames play videos?
This is usually a feature that’s limited to higher-end digital frames. It always comes with restrictions, usually in the form of length and size limits. For example, Nixplay frames only let you play 15-second video clips. You can extend this up to 1-minute clips if you pay for the annual Nixplay Plus subscription fee. Pix-Star’s frames let you play 2-minute video clips in most popular video formats – this is more than almost all other digital photo frames offer.
Are digital photo frames with touchscreens worth it?
We usually recommend that you avoid touchscreen displays on any digital photo frames with a display size larger than 7-inches. Larger display panels are significantly more expensive when they use touchscreens. They’re also a lot less durable and are prone to scratching and taking damage from knocks and falls.
Touchscreens can be tricky for elderly users to get the hang of and they slowly build up oil residue from your fingers that’s hard to clean off. These displays also require you to stand right in front of them – a requirement that’s quickly overcome by frames that offer remote control functionality and Wi-Fi. It’s not worth the higher price and reduced longevity to get a touchscreen on a digital photo frame.