I have a tremendous number of photographs sitting on my MacBook air. They range back more than 15 years and have various members of my community involved in many different activities. The problem is they sit there and they don’t get enjoyed by the community at large. Yes, I’ve taken to putting series of slide shows up on the synagogue website but people still need to go to the website in order to see them. As a result I’ve been looking around to try to find the right digital frame solution so that I could put the frame in my study at the office as well as some areas around the building that, when people walk by, they can stop and look at some pictures of things that have been going on over the years. That’s why I was so excited when I was invited to review the NIX 8″ Hu-Motion Digital Picture Frame with Motion Detection Sensor and Rechargeable Battery. Yes, that’s a mouthful but what it translates to is that it is an 8 inch digital picture frame that also includes motion detection so that the screen will shut off when no one is around and it has a rechargeable battery so that you can use it without having it plugged in. It does a lot more than that, however, so let’s dig in and take a look.
NIX 8″ Hu-Motion Digital Picture Frame with Motion Detection Sensor and Rechargeable Battery
This frame makes a perfect gift for technophobes, no longer will a frame sit around grandma’s house unused!
A rechargeable battery provides portability with 3hrs playback time. Stylish azure blue touch controls on an obsidian black frame provides for a modern yet elegant look complimenting most interior decors.
The NIX frame is designed for the greatest convenience: grab the memory card from your camera (or USB flash drive), insert it into the frame and transfer your images directly onto the frames large 1GB internal memory.
The frame will automatically resize your photos to the optimal size for the frame, allowing you to store as many as 8000 images on the internal memory whilst maintaining the best resolution for your frame. Alternatively you can connect the frame directly to your PC or MAC and transfer movies, music or other images (note the frame does not resize files from a computer only directly from a memory card or USB flash drive).
With the frame’s portability and ability to play nearly all MP4 and .avi formats the frame can also function as a portable media player. The frame’s motion sensor operates by switching the frame off when it senses no movement. You can set the frame to power off after sensing no movement for any period of time from 1 second through to 24 hrs.
The motion sensor makes the frame ideal for commercial use too: grab customer attention with the motion sensor. Remind employees of SOP’s or announcements when they pass by. Hospitals worldwide use motion-sensing frames to remind staff of hygiene procedures at key locations.
In the box you will find the digital picture frame, the power supply, a rechargeable battery, the remote and the stand.
The digital picture frame is somewhat thick and has a heavy black bezel around the 8″ screen.
Out of the box the frame doesn’t have the stand connected.
The “stand” is a curved piece of plastic that connects to the back of the frame. Initially it looked more than a bit cheap to me but once I attached it to the back I discovered that it worked beautifully.
It lets the frame sit on a flat surface in either portrait or landscape and, by sliding the stand up or down on the peg that attaches to the back of the frame you can adjust the angle. Yes, it is a cheap solution but it works just fine.
In addition to the point of attachment for the stand the back sports two speaker grills built into the plastic of the frame.
The unit itself has one gigabyte of internal storage. It will also accept SD, MMC, and MS flashcards. USB drives are also supported.
On one side of the back there is an input for the 9 V DC adapter that is included, the mini USB input, a headphone jack and the USB input.
The other side has the on off toggle in the flash card slot.
On the back you will also find the door for the battery. The battery is rechargeable and will allow the picture frame to run for about three hours without being plugged in. It is a nice feature but strikes me as awfully short.
The frame also comes with a remote. The remote, at least at first, looks remarkably complicated. It has four buttons across and eight buttons down for a total of 32 buttons. I was initially a bit intimidated by the number of buttons so I imagine someone who is a technophobe is going to be quite a bit freaked out by it.
The good news is that the buttons are well-marked and you simply need to look at them to know what to do.
The remote buttons, as noted previously, are well-marked. So for example you have a button marked “Rotate”. This button rotates the current picture. There is also a button marked “Zoom”. This button, as you might imagine, allows you to zoom in on whatever picture is currently showing on the frame. It will zoom in up to four steps before returning to the original image. There is also a button marked “Slide Interval”. This button, when pushed, gives you the choice of Intervals for pictures advancing between 5 seconds, 10 seconds, 30 seconds, 1 min., one hour, or one day. In other words you could set the frame to give you a different image every day.
The “settings button” brings you to the various settings. There are a host of different customizations that allow you to control the slide show and it is best to play around with them to see what settings you most enjoy.
Finally there is the power button that allows you to turn off the digital frame without going anywhere near it.
If you don’t want to use the remote the frame also has touch sensitive controls to the right side when looking at the unit. There are a number of them and, while it works to control the settings, it is less convenient since you need to dig through various menus to get to what you want. Then again, if you lose the remote or you don’t like using remotes, it’s good to have a choice.
The company suggests that you take your memory card or USB flash drive, insert it into the frame, and transferred the images directly to the frame’s 1 GB of internal memory. When you do this the frame will resize the photographs so that they are the optimum size for the frame and its resolution. Doing so allows you to store as many as 8000 different images. WOW!!
If you do not want to use the internal memory you can run the pictures right off the memory card and USB flash drive. You can also connect the frame directly to your computer (both PC and Mac are supported) and you can transfer the images that way. It is worth noting, however, that pictures loaded directly from the computer will not be resized and so the frame will hold far fewer.
The company also notes that the framed can double as a media player and can handle most MP4 and .AVI format’s. Personally I don’t see myself using the frame in this way but it certainly is good to know that you can do so.
The motion sensor is a big part of the attraction of this frame. If the motion sensor is turned on the frame will turn off after the period of time that you have indicated in the settings. Then it will spring to life when motion is detected. It is this aspect of the frame that makes it ideal for he use that I’ve been considering at my synagogue. I could, theoretically, hang one or two of these on the wall. It would allow the picture frame to sit there blank and dark until someone walked by. When they did, however, the picture frame would begin to show the slides that had been loaded on to it. My suspicion is that it will grab people’s attention when it pops on and it will keep them there looking at various activities that have taken place in the community over the years.
Yes, I COULD do that if the frame came with a convenient way to hang it on the wall but, unfortunately, it does not. 🙁 This frame is intended for horizontal surfaces.
Overall I am impressed by this picture frame. It works great with these pictures from CES and, as I type this, I am loading the images that will now permanently live on the device. Yes, it is a little thick, it does feel a little bit on the cheap side and the screen is not as sharp as I might like but it certainly gets the job done. The motion detector aspect of the frame is pretty darn cool and the fact that it is able to share audio or video is a nice add-on even if I don’t see using it.
The two biggest things I wish that the frame had is a longer battery life when not plugged in and the ability to easily hang it on the wall. Those would be killer features and I would love to see them in an updated version.
The NIX 8″ Hu-Motion Digital Picture Frame with Motion Detection Sensor and Rechargeable Battery is under $100 and is available directly from NIX Digital.
What I Like: Internal storage for up to 8000 images; works in landscape or portrait; can handle audio and video; great selection of settings for slideshows; motion detection is neat
What Needs Improvement: Could use better battery life; Would be nice to hang on the wall; Looks a bit on the cheaper side