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|Product:||eStarling Wireless Digital|
eStarling Wireless Digital - Matt Grayson takes a look at one of the few WiFi enabled digital photo frames available today.
With a 7in screen, WiFi enabled internet access and multiple memory card slots, this digital photo frame could be at the top of your christmas wish list this year.
- Screen dimensions: 7in widescreen (480x270 resolution)
- Screen type: Innoloux panel
- Memory: 128Mb internal flash memory
- WiFi: 802.11b/g with support for WEP encryption
- External memory: SD/MMC/MS/CF
- Compatibility: JPEG
- Power: 120v AC Adaptor
eStarling Photo Frame Start up
The interesting thing about the eStarling WiFi frame is that it comes with no manual or CD for installation. Everything is done by logging onto a website. It's inconvenient at times as the manual is not just there in fornt of you.
The site starts by taking you through a pictorial demonstration of setting up the frame from opening the box to setting up your email and loading images from the RSS feeds, your Computer, Photobucket and image sharing sites. A full size USB port is also provided, for images to be downloaded from a camera.
The steps for assembly and installing are easy enough to follow and as long as you have all the information that is needed to hand, you won't have any problems.
A profile has to be set up with an email address so you can send your favourite images to your inbox and then use them on the frame from there. The email address is also used as an identifier which means that the frame can be taken anywhere and as long as a WiFi signal can be detected, the frame will be able to access your pictures and display them. This is a great new way to bore people with your holiday snaps without having to take a projector and 1000 slides with you. RSS leads can be used so images can be extracted from sites such as Flickr, Photobox and Picasa.
The frame is well built and has a 7in screen in the 16:9 ratio. This is a little unusual as most pictures are in a 3:2 ratio which means you will get some black banding on the majority, if not all, of them. It has the traditional memory card slots for those of you who are still in the 20th century and they are capable of taking CF, SD, MMC, xD and Memory stick.
The slideshow of images can be customised using the buttons on top of the frame. The buttons if looking at the image on the right are Upload, Delete, Rotate, Slideshow, Next, Previous and Stop.
The Upload button is to load your images from the memory card to your Seeframe email address so that they are available for viewing without carting a memory card around with you and possibly losing it.
Looking into the community specifics of the frame and there is plenty to keep you entertained if that is your cup of tea. In fact, their may be a little too much just for a frame.
eStarling Photo Frame Performance
The frame works admirably and if it says the images will come onto the screen in five minutes, then that is when it will happen when you are first uploading images.
However, when I deleted a subscription to a group and refreshed a different group I wanted to see, the same images of the old group were still coming up on the screen up to 10 minutes later despite the web page saying that it would only take a minute or two.
eStarling Photo Frame Verdict
Making the frame capable of linking to the net and able to upload and download images with it as well as joining groups, sharing and emailing images is a great feature but maybe too different as other manufacturers seem to be steering away from this. It's a bold strategy and I wonder whether people will be bothered about using it. Memory cards are so cheap that losing them is not a problem financially and most people back up all work these days, so an internet capable frame may be too progressive for the public. The novelty value of saying you'll bring some photos round to show your friends and turning up with just an electronic frame is pretty cool, though.
The frame will make a decent Christmas gift for someone this year. The continuation of networking frames is radical, but it does work and the results are very effective. Essentially, the images are unlimited. The constant stream of images updating to the groups you can join and feeds you can subscribe to will never end unless the sites disappear.
Cost wise, £199 is a lot of money, but it does have a better feature in the WiFi streaming facility.
eStarling Photo Frame Plus points
No need to carry around memory cards
Upload images to internet
eStarling Photo Frame Minus points
Slow at updating from the Web
No manual in the box