It’s important to digital photo frame video is not a universally offered feature. While you might find some low-end to mid-range digital frames offer video playback, it’s very rarely done right. Your best bet for effective – but still limited – video support is with premium and higher-end frames.
Video playback is almost always limited by length, file size, or format. Most digital photo frames don’t support a wide range of video formats. Even the top frames have length limits on video playback. This is due in part to video compression, lower frame rates, and more. That being said, some digital photo frames have good video support, playback, and quality.
Video playback isn’t the main focus of digital “photo” frames, though it’s a handy feature to have for sending/receiving personal videos from your loved ones. You’ll find that most of the time you don’t need video playback of several minutes.
It’s also worth noting that some video-capable digital photo frames charge additional fees or subscriptions to unlock video support and playback. In some cases, using the mobile app to send videos (the easiest and most versatile choice) is locked behind a subscription paywall. That being said, some top frames like the Pix-Star offer video playback without any additional or recurring fees – but more on that down below.
You need to make sure the frame you’re interested in is video-capable. It’s usually made quite obvious in the frame’s description that it’s multimedia capabilities. If you struggle to find information on a frame’s ability to play videos, it most likely doesn’t support it.
Pix-Star’s digital photo frame’s video support and playback are very versatile and functional – especially compared to what other top frames are offering (even with subscriptions and recurring fees). They support video clips that are up to 2-minutes long and can receive them via the mobile app. Almost all digital photo frames that offer video support only let you send through the mobile app, as email and other methods compress the video too much – ruining the viewing experience.
Pix-Star’s 1024×768 pixel display and versatile 4:3 aspect ratio offer the best balance between a mix of video and photo playback. While 16:9 displays might be better strictly for videos, the viewing experience for photos is terrible and leads to photos being cropped or boxed in.
The Pix-Star Snap mobile app is smooth and intuitive. You can shoot a video directly through the app, or you can select previously captured videos from your phone’s gallery. All the selected videos can then be reviewed and sent to multiple frames at the same time.
With adjustable brightness and color settings, Pix-Star’s digital photo frame video playback can be easily customized to suit the type of videos, the setting and vibe of the room, and more. You can easily remove washed-out skin tones and breathe new life into your loved ones’ videos.
Pix-Star digital frames have 8GB of internal storage and support USB/SD cards – offering you plenty of space to store your videos and view them offline. Cloud storage is easily managed through the web interface and you can start slideshows (with the option to include video clips) with a specific folder, or by playing all the media on the frame.
On top of this, Pix-Star’s frame can play audio along with the videos thanks to the inbuilt speakers. You can also send/receive audio notes from your loved ones. This feature adds a lot more personality to your slideshows and lets your family share precious moments in more detail, effortlessly and quickly.
Finally, Pix-Star doesn’t charge any recurring fees to unlock video support, or to enable sending videos via the mobile app or web interface. All these features come fully unlocked and ready to go when you buy a Pix-Star frame. It helps to set Pix-Star apart from competitors that require an active subscription to a “plus” service that enables sending/receiving/playing videos on the frame.
With most digital photo frames, videos can only be sent via USB/SD card or through the frame’s mobile app. Generally speaking, you can’t send videos via email or by linked and syncing web albums from social media platforms or other external sources.
To send videos while offline, load the videos onto a USB/SD card. Make sure their format is supported by your digital photo frame. Insert the USB/SD card into your digital frame’s relevant port. Usually, you need to copy the videos across to the frame’s internal storage. A few frames let you play video directly from the USB/SD card, but this isn’t widely available.
Sending digital photo frames videos is quickest through the mobile app. Select the videos you want to send from your phone’s gallery (or record new ones through the app), choose your frame’s email address, and hit send. It might take a few minutes before they arrive on the frame – whereby they’re usually saved to internal storage and can be used offline.
This varies wildly between brands and digital photo frame models. You’ll need to check the supporting documentation and user guides to get a full list of supported video formats for your specific frame model and generation.
To be safe, almost all of the top digital photo frames support .mp4 video formats. Even though they claim to support a wide range of formats, you might still run into compatibility issues with other formats. There are plenty of free video converters online where you can change the format to match what your frame requires.
Digital photo frames like the Pix-Star support videos along with the audio. This is thanks to the frame’s inbuilt speakers. You need to make sure the frame you’re interested in supports audio or not. It’s also worth noting that some top frames like the Pix-Star allow audio playback include the option to play videos without their accompanying audio during slideshows.
Some digital photo frames allow video playback along with their audio, but require you to connect the frame to external speakers (usually through an AUX cable, Bluetooth, or via a USB cable). Make sure you consult the frame’s user manual and supporting information to get frame-specific guidelines and tips.