I really enjoy devices that use my home wireless LAN and Internet gateway .
Not so long ago I bought a WiFi Radio which receives internet radio, podcasts and music from my PC media server. All our household mobile phones have WiFi and can therefore access the internet and Skype and, depending on the software, media from home PC. My TV can also access by home LAN and the internet.
Now I have acquired a WiFi photoframe a Kodak W1020 which can take feeds from the Internet, from my home LAN or from its own internal storage.
Like my WiFi radio (see my earlier blog Internet Radio) you need to link your device, wifi radio or wifi photoframe, to an online service. This is usually done by registering your devices ID with the online service . My Revo Blik Radio Station uses Frontier Silicon Radio Portal . My Kodak W1020 wifi photoframe can take feeds from FrameChannel wireless frame portal or from Kodak’s own portal. FrameChannel can also feed photo frames from other manufacturers.
I prefer FrameChannel because it gives me access to my own Flickr photos. FrameChannel also provides access to a number of online photo services including its own. You can choose from
| Framechannel photos
| My Friends Photos
||Windows Live Photos
||.mac web galleries
| Facebook photos
||any RSS photo feed
My Friends Photos is an interesting one as its basically an email address to which your friends and family can send photos, or messages as pictures, which will then appear on your photo frame.
I use Flickr for my photos and this service allows you filter your flickr photos by tags. And of course you can regularly change your tags to show an alternative set of your photos.
In addition you can select from a range of other services such as news, sports and weather. I have chosen:
- National Geographic – Shorelines & Islands
- Reuters UK Domestic News (or choose your own RSS feeds)
- Frame Media Calendar
- Three Day Weather Forecast
All these ‘channels’ appear intermingled on your connected photoframe. You can also set the duration by channel and the time of day by channel.
The Kodak frames also have a really good way of configuring the frame through touch strips down the right hand side and along the bottom. I like this approach as the screen does get covered in greasing finger prints.
In the evening I sometimes sit down to watch the picture frame rather that the TV. Which reminds me this Kodak frame can also show videos but at the moment only those from its internal memory or off the home LAN and you can accompany your pictures with music.
As with most frames you can plug your camera into the frame and use the frame as a large viewer for the pictures in your camera (stills or movies).
More to come
What is coming along though are TVs with internet access through widgets loaded directly into you TV. More fun gadgets to play with and blog about.
I am also investigating a Freeview box with wifi called FetchTV which, unlike BT Vision or TiscaliTV, does not require a subscription.
Update April 2012
Please note that Framechannel has now closed. To see the consequences of this and what alternative are now available see “Flickr on my photo frame Pt2”