Thursday, September 1, 2016

Displaying your photos in style.




We live in a digital world. Gone are the days of film and videotape. Digital media seems to rule the world. So, what do we do to view the old and the new media easily? The simple answer may be the use of a digital frame. Such devices allow you to store your photos, and in some cases short video clips, on some form of storage media and have them displayed on a small portable flat screen. Features and reliability vary and depend on the make, model and the price you’re willing to pay.

I’ve tested several models from various manufacturers for this column. I decided to write about the NIXPLAY 15˝ DIGITAL FRAME, a frame I found to have the best quality, phone support and bang for the buck. NIXPLAY offers a wide selection, so, I narrowed my research to the non-wi-fi 15-inch model with a 4 x 3 aspect ratio. Wi-fi models are also available that allow interaction with numerous social media sites.

(TIP: 8˝, 10˝, 12˝ and an 18˝ with a 16 x 9 aspect ratio, non-wi-fi, models are also available, as are Wi-fi models that link to the cloud.)

The 15˝ size seems to be the easiest to view and still maintain a 4 x 3 aspect ratio, since most photographs use this ratio. The screen is extremely sharp and features a very high-resolution display of 1024 x 768 pixels. While not being part of the Apple Retina family, it certainly has the look of one. The instructions are easy to follow. Live phone support with “knowledgable techs” is standard. I found that type of support lacking with many other brands I tested. The frame accepts USB drives, SD/SDHC cards and plays both photos and videos. The photos are based on the JPEG standard so transfers from digital cameras, phones, iPads, scans, and saved social media pictures are compatible. It also supports MPEG-4 and AVI720p video. Photos and video clips can be intermixed. A setting allows alphabetical, date or shuffle sorting with additional display settings including screen rotation, slideshow effects and interval timings in several selectable increments of 3 seconds to one hour. When a video clip pops up the interval setting is overridden by the length of the clip. Adjustable motion sensing is also an option that allows the display’s data to pause and the screen to go to black. When motion is once again detected the screen returns to normal and the data continues where it left off. 

You may also opt to display the date and time in the bottom right of the screen, or select a split screen calendar effect if you desire. A wireless remote, two built-in 1.5 watt, speakers and headphone jack are included. This model is designed around the 4 x 3 aspect ratio, however, a “fill screen” option is selectable.

(TIP: Horizontal and vertical orientation can be a problem with many of the other frames I tested. This unit displayed 99.9% of the same material tested in other brands,  in the correct horizontal or vertical orientation. In the event you do encounter a problem it may be caused by the photo clip’s pixel count being too large.)

I found the NIXPLAY 15˝ DISPLAY to be a great way to enjoy your photos. If you can’t scan your old snapshots, many photo kiosks offer scanning services. This will permit their inclusion. The frame includes a 8gb thumb drive, but can accept up to a 32gb storage media card or USB drive allowing for thousands of videos and photos to be stored and displayed. The supplied instruction book is written in plain, understandable English. Phone and email support is responsive and USA based, something, if even available was not found in most other brands I tested. It supports tabletop or wall mounting and a 5v DC switching power adapter is supplied making it a world-wide product.

(TIP: The number of photos and videos that a 32gb memory device can store is determined by the pixel count of each photo or the length of the video clip. I would suggest creating a backup of your frame material in the event the media you use fails; You would also be well advised to name each photo or clip making it easier to locate specific ones for other purposes in future applications.)


MSRP: $149.99 ~ 15˝ (4 x 3 aspect ratio)
For more information go to:

Graphic credits: Nixplay, Google Images

Bob Skidmore is a freelance writer, who may be contacted at, or followed at for the latest gadget industry news. He does not represent, or endorse any of the products he reviews and his opinions are solely his points of view and not those of the manufacturer. The manufacturer generally supplies products at no cost for the articles and no other compensation is received. THE GADGETEER is highly selective as to products he feels worthy of review so as not to waste the reader’s time, thus the reason for many superior ratings.