Pros Nice picture quality
Cons But it doesn't work
Summary This is for the UK 7FF1M4/05
I wanted this frame to display several thousand pictures stored on a CF memory card. The specs say that with the latest firmware, you can display more than 10,000 photos from a CF card.
1. I tried installing the PC software. This would not allow any browsing of my C: drive, just responding with an "Access Violation Error". It also does not allow browsing of network drives. Re-installed 3 times to no avail, so had to use the card reader in my monitor.
2. When a CF card is in the frame and you turn it on, it will copy photos from the root directory of the card into the internal memory of the frame (about 80 photos). You can't stop this, and it takes ages. And it keeps going until the frame is full. Not clever at all.
3. When the frame is full, it crashes and reboots. On reboot, it tries to copy, crashes, and reboots. This is an endless loop, leaving you with a broken device.
4. I tried putting the photos in a folder \DCIM\100FRAME but the frame responds with "No photos".
So I contact Philips support. This is an expensive premium rate number, and expect to be put on hold for at least 10 minutes before you get to speak to someone. I had 3 calls:
1. Went though the problems and was told to upgrade the firmware. This call took a pricey 11 minutes.
2. Called back to explain that this didn't change anything, except that the frame would not now connect to the PC at all. I was told that the official line from Philips is now that external memory cards are NOT SUPPORTED and so the maximum number of photos that can be displayed is 80 or so. I asked to speak to a manager, and was told that the problem could be escalated and a manager would call me back. IN TWO WEEKS! I gave in after a crippling 23 minutes of premium rate charges.
3. Called the next day, different man, new attitude. He could not help with the broken PC software, but told me that JPG files are not supported! Only JPEG files in DCF format. So I converted a few to JPEG, and of course it made no difference. I asked what to do next, and he suggested a return to the supplier for a refund. 20 more minutes of premium rate cost to me.
Trouble is, because this was a Christmas present, it is now 30 days old, and so am not entitled to a refund, just a repair. I shall see what happens.
I would advise that you can save a lot of stress, time and money by not buying this frame. And yes, the UI is slow and difficult to use. It spends a lot of time doing it's own thing, not responding to any button presses. But you won't be using it for long - because it's so rubbish!
Avoid at all costs!
Pros Beautiful, great packaging
Cons Poor return policy, Software is useless and poorly written
Summary I purchased two of these units from an eBay vendor and they arrived in new unopened box condition. I'm returning one of them to Phillips because after powering it down once, it failed to power up again. In spite of the fact that this is a factory defect, they are requiring me to pay shipping for the return. Why should I pay for their poor quality?
The second point of this review is the amazingly poor software that is shipped with the product. The "Photo Manager 1.0" is poorly specified and written, was obviously never QA'd, and the English translation of the text was done by a non-english speaker.
The software displays a treeview on the left which acts as the source on your PC for the pictures you want to transfer to the frame. When you drag a picture to the right side, it offers to clip it to 640 x 400 resolution (the resolution of the target device) but does not offer to resize it. Since most cameras have much higher resolution, resizing is the only reasonable option .... clipping leaves you with a tiny portion of the original picture.
The treeview on the left displays the DOS hierarchy of your computer. For example, first your drives, then under each drive the folders in it. This would be fine, except that all Windows users are used to some important shortcuts - like "My Pictures". To find your "my pictures", folder, you have to know that it's buried under "Documents and Settings\[LoginUserName]\My Documents" Most PC users would not know to look there. Every programmer I know knows this and deals with it.
This software doesn't really work. For example, when you attempt to delete something (using the 'x' button, the context menu or the 'del' key)from the frame's built in memory, you get the error message "Disk has no enough free space. There should be 20% free space at least". Pretty astonishing. This is especially true because if you want to use the frame's built in memory, you need to get rid of the 15 or so Phillips advertising pictures that are pre-stored there. This only scratches the surface. You should not even bother to try to use this software.
So how do you use this frame successfully? Here's how I got it to work:
1. Connect the frame to your PC using the supplied USB connector. Navigate to the \DCIM\100Frame directory and delete all the Phillips advertising pictures there.
2. Create a directory on your PC and put copies of all the pictures you want to display there.
3. Download the free picture resizer utility from Microsoft at:
(Look for Image Resizer in the right column). After installing it, "Select All" pictures in the directory you created, then right click and select "Resize Pictures" from the context menu. Choose the 640x400 radio button. Sort by size and copy all the small ones into the "\DCIM\100Frame" directory on the frame drive (Called Removable Disk on my PC).
Now you're ready to go. Good luck.
"Excellent Frame"on by jets1969
Pros Picture Quality, timer function, easy of use
Cons menu not as intuitive as possible
Summary Took me no time to hook it up to my PC and tranfer photos. The menu is not as easy to use as it should be, but once you get the hang of it, changing settings was easy. I bought this because of the picture quality and the ability to have it come on and go off at certain times. Thats a great feature since I'm not home most of the day and it doesn't need to be running.
Pros Good image quality and menu system
Cons Will die in days
Summary I've had two Philips frames. Both died within days of purchase and couldn't be re-set. I called the factory and they can't explain it. So I'd wait for this bug to be found and fixed before investing in one of these frames. Also, I used a 4 GB CF card with 1000 pictures on it (yes, the factory approves a 4GB card) and it seemed the same ones kept coming up, even when it was set to randomize.
Pros Easy to use and superb picture qualilty
Cons Internal memory is not big but can easily be solved by using a SD card
Summary Great product especially considering that I hardly ever use my "normal" camera anymore and tempt to forget to print the digital ones taken. With the photo display my digital pictures become visible again.