As promised for all Ebay users, we have now compiled together an essential guide to Digital Photo Frames. With many years of experience and knowledge in Digital Photo Frames, we are proud to provide the information to consumers. This guide will allow you to understand the technology behind Digital Photo Frames and buy with confidence and know what you are purchasing!! There will be further guides to other consumer electrical goods very soon exclusively published by ElectrixWorld.
There are many important factors that are very important to consider when a consumer decides to purchase a Digital Photo Frame. Some consumers do not understand what they are purchasing, and what the most worrying thing is that they are not aware if they are purchasing an item which is value for money!!
In last recent years, Digital Photo Frame market has grown in size dramatically thanks to innovation technology. In 2007, there were more than 10 million Digital Photo Frames purchased. This is set to increase to over 15 million by the end of 2008 it has been predicted.
Below are the two main types of technologies used in Digital Photo Frames today:
- Sunplus solution originally comes from DVD Player's chipset. It was previously used in DVD players. This means it was not originally designed for displaying photos and this is the main reason why the display speed of digital photos is quite slow.
- The Sunplus solution has all the typical features of Digital Picture Frame. It supports, photos, plays music, plays movies, has the option of showing pictures with background music, it has a slide and step show function. In other words, it meets all the requirements for normal end-users. Despite all those functions, Sunplus is very cheap.
- The negative side of this solution is that it can not support all card types and does not support internal memory. Furthermore Sunplus does not support USB slave, so you can not use your USB stick or connect your digital camera directly with the Digital Photo Frame. Sunplus can also not picture on the frame itself, as it has no built in flash memory. It is also unable to copy, store or delete files stored in the memory.
- Amlogic solution is designed specifically for Digital Photo Frames. It supports all typical features of a Digital Photo Frame. Besides supporting all memory types (CF/SD/MMC/MS/XD) and having a USB slave, Amlogic solution supports a 128MB to 2GB Internal Memory. This allows you to store pictures, music, videos or other files in the Digital Photo Frame. Amlogic solution allows you to manage your files, ie: copying, deleting and transferring files is possible.
- Besides the technical characteristics, the price is higher for Amlogic solution than Sunplus solution.
Listed below are the main things to look for and consider when purchasing a Digital Photo Frame:
- LCD-Panel (Liquid Crystal Display Panel)
For sizes 7" or below, most analogue TFT LCD panels are used. Bigger models usually use digital panels. Their quality is much better, however their price goes up quite significantly. In general, 4:3 is better than 16:9, as digital cameras use 4:3. The higher the resolution, the better the picture quality. Popular and top of the range panels used today are: Innolux, AU, LG and SHARP.
- PCB (Printed Circuit Board)
The PCB is the heart of the Digital Photo Frame. For the board it is important, which solution is being used on the board. Solution is the used software. Popular solutions are Zoran for the simple function models. The solution is the technical background. For the user the outcome is important.
- Supported File Formats
Digital cameras use JPEG file format to store pictures.
For multimedia photo frames, MP3 is standard. Some frames can play WMA & WAV files.
MP4, AVI, DIVX, MPEG I, II & IV
Some other models can display, especially Amlogic solution frames text files in the text format.
Some top of the range models offer extras such as: Calendar, Alarm Clock, Auto On/Off. The solution also decides whether it has AV In/Out. With AV Out, pictures from the frame can be watched on TV. With a AV In a DVD Player can be connected with the photo frame and its possible to watch movies on the Digital Photo Frame.
Accessories such as, frame plates, cables et.c. should be considered also.
A very important aspect is the usability. Therefore feedback is recommended, either by contacting the seller or looking back at the Ebay users feedback on that particular item. More complicated models use a remote control with a OSD (On Screen Display). This interface has to be user friendly and easy to operate with or without remote control.