Back in October, I revisited electronic photo frames. I have an old one and at one point I thought it would be fun to have a photo wall in the living room. I picked out a paint color and Brian bought the paint, but I never had the energy to do anything about it (this was before we knew about my hip). I was going to print out different photos I've taken over the years, make my own paper frames and somewhere in there, have that old photo frame, that cycled through photos that were on a memory card.
Well, for my birthday this year, I started looking at them again. I'm sure they're much nicer now, than they were fifteen or so years ago. And thanks to a couple of great friends, who gifted me $$ cards, I was able to find one. A Pix-Star 15 inch frame. It was really super nice, easy to set up, you can have friends email photos directly to your frame using a special email address, it has Wi-fi, it has a nice sized internal memory, and it also uses a memory card.
Brian got it up on the fireplace (we don't have fires, I won't clean it out, it's a dirty job and I hate cleaning that more than I love having a fire). And we both enjoyed it.
But the thing is fifteen inches isn't really that big. Not when you're sitting twenty feet or so away. I checked larger photo frames and for the most part, the ones we could afford had really bad reviews. The expensive ones were out of our reach.
Then I had an idea. The Roku. I've used the one here in the family room to listen to my music using the Roku Media Player. I like that because I don't have to have a computer on.
We have a Netgear Nighthawk router that allows me to attach external hard drives and use them as my own personal cloud. I have two drives attached, with files and photographs and music. I also run my accounting software off of them, I like having the files available from all computers.
I tested out the Roku's slideshow capability and while it was nothing fancy, I can shuffle the images and choose if they switch out fast, medium or slow. I go with shuffle and slow. I haven't figured out if I could have them in seperate folders, so for the time being, having just one big file was fine with me. Now that I knew the Roku would work, I needed a monitor of sorts. A television.
I did some research, I did test out Amazon's slideshow with the Fire TV, but you have to have the images on Amazon. I don't want them out there in the internet. I want them here at home, in my house. I'd hate to have them all get lost or something or have the accounts hacked and see them all over the internet (well, not that they'd go nationwide, it's just clouds and suns and cats). I just wouldn't trust that.
So, I looked at televisions, I figured a thirty-two inch set would work out nicely. And I started researching different televisions.
And I found a TCL Roku TV. I researched TCL and they have good reviews, even Consumer Reports suggested them as a good buy. So, I put one on my Amazon wishlist. I also found a mount that would work with this size set.
And a couple of weeks went by. I got caught up with paperwork. There was my annual doctor's appointment a couple of weeks ago (guess who had really bad cholesterol and is pre-diabetic?). Then the visit with the orthopedist. I finished up the holiday packages, got those shipped out on Wednesday.
I only exchange gifts with one person at Christmas, another friend has her birthday in January. I needed to get the gifts for them, I knew what I wanted, but money's kind of tight right now, trying to get as much spent on the company as possible, for tax purposes. I checked my money market fund in my stock trading app and I pulled money out of that. And I got extra. Because. Because everytime I watched that little photo frame, I imagined a bigger photo frame. One we could see.
And I ordered it. And it got here yesterday. I took it out of the box and set it up on my work table and started it up. Logged in to my Roku account, all of my streaming apps automaticallly installed on the television. As soon as it was done, I went to the Roku Media Player and started up the slideshow.
Don't get me wrong, the Pix-Star was just amazing, but it's more something fit for a desk or a shelf. It has transitions between photos, a weather app, time, you can set when it comes on, set when it goes off. The television won't do that.
But we can sit on the sofa and see faces. We can tell which kitty that is.
Anyway, if anyone is interested in the Pix-Star, I don't have the box, but it's pretty new and works fine. I'm selling that for $150.00, no shipping. I paid $199.99 plus tax for it, so it's 25% off for something that's almost brand new.
I may try to see if the Wii works on this tv. It wouldn't work with our new one, even with an adaptor. I might want to play again when my hip is in recovery. That would be nice.