How do digital slideshow frames work?
Digital slideshow frames use a combination of internal storage, USB/SD card support and, in some cases, Wi-Fi & cloud functionality to send, receive, and display photos, video, and audio files. Most cheap and mid-range digital frames don’t have Wi-Fi or cloud features – and can only view photos from connected USB/SD cards (you can copy their content to the frame’s internal storage in some cases).
Most premium digital frames let you send photos to the frame from anywhere in the world. These photos are usually saved to the frame’s internal storage – though some top frames like the Aura frame need to be connected to Wi-Fi at all times to receive & view photos from the cloud servers.
Digital frames have a display (usually non-touch) and offer various slideshow controls such as play order, frequency, slideshow styles, transition speed & type, etc. Various frame controls let you adjust the display brightness & color settings, update firmware, browse and manage local & cloud storage, and more.
Which digital slideshow frames are the best?
Pix-Star’s digital slideshow frames are arguably the best value for money premium frames on the market at the moment. They offer extensive Wi-Fi and cloud-enabled features that let you send & receive photos from anywhere in the world in just a couple of moments. You can send photos via email, mobile app (Pix-Star Snap), through the web interface as web albums, by USB/SD card, and more.
Pix-Star’s frames have 8GB of internal storage, free-for-life cloud storage with automatic backups, and a plug-and-play feature that lets you start slideshows directly from a connected USB/SD card. Pix-Star’s frames don’t place limits on the maximum allowed size of connected USB/SD card – giving you essentially unlimited storage space for all your photos, videos, and audio files.
You can send and play videos and audio files on Pix-Star’s frames. This can be done through either the mobile app or by USB/SD card. videos need to be 2-minutes or shorter (which is more than almost every other top digital frame on the market), and audio files like songs can only be played from the USB/SD card (and not copied to the frame’s internal storage). Videos can be played muted – or with sound – and can be included in slideshows along with photos.
Pix-Star’s frames offer versatile slideshow controls that let you easily manage how often – and which – photos play. A remote-control feature lets you manage and control up to 25 connected Pix-Star frames from anywhere in the world from a single user account. It’s a fantastic feature for families whereby you can start slideshows, adjust settings, update firmware & web albums, and much more – all from anywhere in the world.
How to send photos to digital slideshow frames?
There are several ways to send photos to digital slideshow frames. It also depends on the extent of the frame’s Wi-Fi & cloud functionality. Most cheap and mid-range digital frames can only receive photos by USB/SD card – and many don’t support plug-and-play. They often have limited internal storage space too, meaning that you can’t hold many photos directly on the frame. If you’re going to get a cheap or mid-range digital frame, make sure to avoid frames that don’t support plug-and-play.
Premium digital frames are typically a lot more versatile – thanks to extensive Wi-Fi and cloud capabilities. Top digital frames like the Pix-Star can send & receive photos from anywhere in the world in just a couple of moments. This can be done through the Pix-Star Snap mobile app, the web dashboard, by email, USB/SD card, and more.
Some of the best digital frames can import photos from external sources like social media, photo-sharing, and online storage platforms directly to your frame. Typically, you’d need to manually download these photos and copy them to the frame via a more standard method such as a USB/SD card or email. This is known as web album support and is one of the most versatile and efficient ways to send photos to digital slideshow frames.
Do digital slideshow frames run on a battery?
Digital slideshow frames rarely run or rely on batteries. Almost all of the most reliable higher-end digital frames are powered via a standard plug socket. There are several disadvantages to using a battery-powered digital photo frame such as reduced versatility (due to limited battery life), lack of essential features like Wi-Fi or cloud services, no remote control functionality, and smaller, lower-resolution displays.
We don’t recommend buying battery-run digital slideshow frames as they rarely have what it takes to compete with standard digital frames. Since most of these frames can only last for 2 to 4-hours, they usually sacrifice Wi-Fi connectivity and only offer a limited number of slideshow and frame controls. You also seldom get video & audio playback support.
The only advantage of a battery-run digital frame is its mobility. Unfortunately, much of this mobility is lost due to limited battery life. You’ll find that these frames need to spend most of their time next to the charging port/cable – or otherwise charging. Longevity is also a key issue and these batteries aren’t likely to last for more than a year. At that point, you’re better off replacing the frame that you are trying to find a new battery that fits the make and model (as they’re likely out of production already).
Can digital slideshow frames make video and audio calls?
Digital slideshow frames are designed to showcase selected photos – and sometimes videos & short audio clips in versatile slideshows with loads of possible customizations. These frames aren’t designed to replace your phone, laptop, or tablet. They have a unique and slightly more artistic purpose and, in many cases, help to connect the family and make photo-sharing intuitive and inclusive.
Digital slideshow frames cannot make video or audio calls. Some digital frames like the Pix-Star let you send audio messages to any of your Pix-Star frames via the Pix-Star Snap mobile app. This is by no means a universally offered feature and is only found on a couple of the best digital photo frames on the market.
Video and audio clips can be sent to Pix-Star’s frames via the mobile app or by USB/SD card (note that audio clips don’t need to be saved to the frame’s internal storage. Video clips are limited to a maximum length of 2-minutes (which is more than almost every other premium frame on the market) and can be included in slideshows (and can be played muted or with sound).