Friday, December 22, 2006
Trutech 7" Digital Photo Frame Tips
I finally decided what I wanted to by my parents for Christmas -- a Trutech Digital Photo Frame. But now I realize how hard it is to find those things (not nearly as hard as a Nintendo Wii or PS3 though).
Through a random occurrance, a bunch of TruTech Digital Photo Frames were just put on the floor at a random Target I was shopping at. So I picked one up without doing any research. It turns out - that a lot of people are not happy with this particular frame due to its poor resolution and image quality. But it's the best (and only one) I could find.
So I opened to inspect the frame - uploaded some photos -- and sure enough -- the image quality was pretty bad. But after a lot of experimenting - I collected some tips that should turn that lump-of-coal into a really nice digital photo frame.
Resolution: The manual says its 480x234 (a 2.05:1 ratio). I tried inserting a card with images set to 480x234 - and they left a border on all 4 sides (and this occurred with either the 4:3 or 16:9 settings). Eventually - I found a resolution that filled the screen nicely: 640 x 360 (a user on the dpreview forum also found that 480 by 270 works well). You will want to crop/resize your images ahead of time in your favorite photo editor for 2 reason: maximize quality of the photo frame, without distortions and borders. And to shrink your files-sizes, a 640x360 photo is much smaller than a 5 megapixel JPG image. So you can move between photos very fast.
Aspect Ratio: Pick a ratio and stick to it. 16:9 is perfect for 640x360 images
Image Quality: Image quality using default factory settings is awful. Colors are over-blown, faces are washed-out, and highlights are cropped. People on the internet compained that there is no brightness control -- there is..but its hidden in a menu. Press the Setup button on the remote and move to the "System" settings. I've found these settings produce a fairly correct balance of color, detail, and brightness:
I'm very picky about image quality -- and these tips changed my opinion from take-it-back-now, to that-thing-looks-pretty-good.