It’s not surprising that a networking vendor got it right when it comes to connectivity with the newly-launched DSM-210 wireless internet photo frame.
D-Link is one of the vendors taking digital frame content beyond just photos, allowing users to tap into the home entertainment and Web 2.0 worlds.
But at $1089, you’ll want to be making full use of streamed and networked content — if you settle for a few slideshows you might as well spend this kind of outlay on a notebook or TV, or put it towards a more comprehensive home media set-up.
Along with the USB port and memory card slot (supporting SD, MS and MMC formats), wired and wireless (g standard) internet connectivity are provided for accessing content.
Configuring the frame to connect to the internet is quick and easy. When you turn it on, there are four menu options – Frame Memory, Home Network, Internet and Setup.
The Home Network and Internet options will show you the available wireless networks.
The built-in wi-fi Protected Setup is accessed via a button on the top of the unit, whereby your home router will be detected.
By switching to Wired mode in the Setup menu, you’ll be prompted to connect the supplied Ethernet cable.
Other external content sources are networked PCs and network attached storage devices with universal plug and play AV media support.
In addition, D-Link has partnered with FrameChannel, a free content library service by FrameMedia. The service is useful for web-based remote management of content, providing access to sites such as Facebook and MSN, and picture sharing apps like Picasa, Photobucket, Flickr and .mac.
To register for FrameChannel, an activation code is displayed on the frame once it is paired with your wireless router.
There’s also an online form to fill out and you’ll be asked which photo sharing services you’ve already signed up for. You can also choose to stream other channels like RSS news, weather, trivia and sports.
D-Link has also teamed with Yahoo to offer a downloadable desktop widget for dragging and dropping images you want to store on the frame.
Image quality is of course a key consideration and the DSM-210 displays photos crisply with good colour saturation. However, they appear pixilated if viewed close up.
The viewing angle is wide and the matte screen means direct sunlight doesn’t compromise your view of the image. The 10 inch, 16:9 widescreen has a native resolution of 800 x 480 pixels.
When watching a slideshow, the menu allows you to choose between eight transitions, and alter the time between image changes from three seconds to one minute. Images can also be scaled to various sizes, including to fit the screen. There are no image editing tools built into the frame.
The unit looks chic, with a glossy black bezel around the matte screen. There’s also an interchangeable white faceplate, which attaches to the frame with magnets.
Slideshows can be navigated either with touch controls, shown in blue backlighting along the bottom of the frame’s bezel, or using the remote.
The remote is small and simple to use, with Menu, Back, Rotate, and OK buttons, and four-way direction keys.
Once attached to the back of the unit, the stand swivels for either a portrait or landscape display. There are also slots for wall mounting the frame.
The unit’s motion sensor is a notable feature, especially for the eco-conscious. If no motion is detected by the sensor after 15 minutes, the frame will power down and fire up once motion is detected again.
At 20 x 30 x 5cm, this frame won’t be suitable for small desks, however.
D-Link has included a comprehensive manual embedded on the provided CD.
Other than the lack of image editing tools and the up-close pixilation, the hefty price is the main downside to the DSM-210.
With the AC power connection it can’t be called truly wireless, while the 1GB of internal memory is too small for those with extensive content they wish to display. Also, with only three categories of memory card supported, there will be many, such as CF, that aren’t. The other gripe is only one image can be moved from your PC to the frame at a time, unless you use the desktop widget.
Apart from these points, this offering from D-Link should be on your shopping list if you’re considering a high-end photo frame and have lots of online content to manage.