A new concept which doesn’t require a computer to display photographs has been setting a trend in the market. This is termed as digital photo frame and techies are developing new methods to build the same.
What is digital photo frame?
A digital photo frame or a digital media frame is a picture frame that displays digital photos and it doesn’t require a computer or printer. It plays videos as well as display photographs and comes in different shapes and sizes with a variety of features. It is designed specifically for the stationary and display of photographs.
Basically, it contains an LCD screen, which displays multiple photos in a slideshow format. Further, it connects to the Internet through phone line to download information and pictures to display on the screen
Methods of building digital picture frame
It can be built on an old used laptop by removing its parts including battery, plastic parts, cd rom, keyboard etc. Carefully fold the screen around the back of the laptop and try to find a way to install it in a picture frame. It can be held together depending on your creativity as there are several methods to build a digital picture frame in your laptop but in every method, a custom cut matte is required that can be purchased from a framing store. One main problem with this method is its software, which has a pseudo-supported hardware.
A digital picture frame can also be built around wood frame made of 1-by-2’s. You can use an industrial Intel motherboard as the food frame holds the monitor panel. The motherboard can be replaced by a raspberry pi taped back of the panel. It helps wooden frame to hang on the wall and a standard picture frame in front of the panel. 1-by-2’s on top and bottom of the monitor for air to flow behind the picture frame and help in cooling.
Another method of building frame is by using 3d-printed framing fingers. This method is the most preferred one as it is most suitable and adaptable to any monitor or panel and does not include much hard work. Power required is at 14 volts, which is used in monitor control board
Before you begin building a digital picture frame, you need to keep some things in mind
Getting the right monitor: This is not a piece of cake because every monitor available in the market has a 16:9 aspect. Further, all digital cameras takes pictures that as 4:3 or 3:2. In simple language, either you have to crop your pictures or you will have black bars on the side of your picture. Therefore you need to find a monitor that is not wide screen. A 21 inch 3:2 monitor will be perfect if you can find one in the market. Further a monitor with a decent view angle would be preferable but most of the monitors have decent view angles in the right and left only. Then get a panel which is this as possible to get a good view.
We should prefer monitors that have external power bricks. You can use a step down converter to power raspberry pi from the same power brick after upgrading the power brick to a more powerful one. And yes some smaller TVs have 720p native resolution and is not good for a digital picture frame.
Software: raspberry pi is the best option you have to load images as it provides great support for open GLES 2. And the author has written some new software in C++, which is called Pi-cture frame. This will load pictures from one or more directories and will also open a web server that can be used to rotate picture. This program will also remember the last 1000 pictures shown and has an option of likes and dislikes by clicking on the image. This will show the highest voted pictures from your gallery.
Setting up your raspberry pi: after downloading and installing raspbian, make called Pi-cture frame run automatically.
Hanging the pictures frame: digital picture frame are generally heavy so make sure to use hooks that can be adjusted after you nail it to the wall.
Power and other cables: such frames doesn’t run on batteries and require at least one cable going to the picture frame. Further, raspberry pi network and battery need adjustments. When it comes to network, an Ethernet cable will work fine and is a much better option than wifi adapter. For power, get an external power brick.
Filed Under: Reviews