Digital Wooden Picture Frame

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Forum topic by Shoedawg posted 01-09-2014 09:32 PM 1638 views 1 time favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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13 posts in 2646 days

01-09-2014 09:32 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question arts and crafts modern trick

I have been bouncing around an idea in my head about building a Digital Wooden Picture Frame Display (DWPF).

My ‘IDEA” concept is buying a LCD/LED TV Flat Screen (not a PC monitor, more on that in a minuet), and making a wood frame around the screen and mounting it on a wall/shelf to display the many digital photos I have taken over the years.

The DWPF would be set up on a slide show through the TVs built-in interface software that supports digital media. Having done some research already, I have seen guys use old Laptop monitors, LCD monitors, etc but a problem arises with using such “old tech laying around the house”. Most do not have USB ports, Card readers, and what have you, installed in the hardware itself. To fix this issue, one must add external hardware to feed the display the digital media, as well as using software, thus making the DWPF heavy and bulky. Also, using such older displays are low in native resolution (i.e. 800X600 compared to higher resolutions).

I have come to the conclusion that using a Flat Screen TV that HAS a USB input, SD Reader, etc. is the way to go. Most Flat Screen TVs support/read digital formats (such as jpeg), and can play them via their internal software, such as a slideshow. Most PC monitors usually do not have such digital card/USB capabilities or the software to be able to display pictures without having a computer hooked up to it. Using a Flat Screen TV also removes the headache of trying to jerry-rig external hardware to drive the display and digital photos.

Now you may ask why I don’t just buy one of those standalone picture viewers, and build a frame around that. Well here are my reasons:

They don’t display a high resolution to meet my needs.

Most are around 7”-10” with a price range of $40-110. Making it too small for my taste.

Having owned one before, they don’t last very long, and are cheaply made.

The colors on most do not display very vivid color quality.

I have found a Samsung a 19” Samsung (Model: Samsung UN19F4000 19-Inch 720p 60Hz Slim LED HDTV) on amazon for about $140, that has USB Inputs and supports digital media and has software that can do a slide show. The TV itself weights about 5.7lbs, but I am planning on putting it on a mantle.

My plan is to build a nice looking frame for the TV. I may use glass, and even put a Matte around it, to give it the appearance of a real frame, that you would normally see in a static display. I want someone to walk into the room and be wowed to see a digital photo displayed in what looks like a normal picture frame.

I was wondering if anyone has experience in doing a project like this, and what your experience was like. What kind of trouble did you run into, mounting issues with the TV and Frame set itself, or any other inputs or ideas.

Sorry for the long post.


7 replies so far

View BArnold's profile


175 posts in 2845 days

#1 posted 01-13-2014 02:13 PM

I’ve been waiting to see if anyone had done something like this. Since they haven’t jumped in here yet, I’ll offer my thoughts.

You’ve thought out the technical aspects of the display. You’re a woodworker. All you need is a frame around the display. Sounds on the surface like a fairly simple “picture frame” application. The TV can be hung on the wall using any of several types of wall mounts. Using a flat wall mount, you can measure the distance from the front of the display to the wall, then design a frame to fit as you desire. While the frame could be attached to the display, I can also see it hanging on the wall and fitting tight to the display.

-- Bill, Thomasville, GA

View Shoedawg's profile


13 posts in 2646 days

#2 posted 01-16-2014 02:59 AM

I am still on the ledge, about to jump in to this project. I am pretty close to buying the TV and building the frame. May be some time before I get it done though. Needs to warm up a bit in the garage (no insulation).

I think its going to take some trial and error to get this right. My plan is to use cheap pine to get a good sunderstanding of what I need to do to fix a frame, then but some quality wood for the piece.

View jap's profile


1251 posts in 3066 days

#3 posted 01-16-2014 03:14 AM

Do it! sounds fun.

-- Joel

View JustJoe's profile


1554 posts in 3050 days

#4 posted 01-16-2014 03:21 AM

If you google for homemade digital picture frame you’ll find a lot of good info.

-- This Ad Space For Sale! Your Ad Here! Reach a targeted audience! Affordable Rates, easy financing! Contact an ad represenative today at JustJoe's Advertising Consortium.

View lanwater's profile


3113 posts in 3946 days

#5 posted 01-16-2014 04:53 AM

I guess 1366×768 is good enough of a resolution.
without the stand it’d 1.9” thick – that’s good

they don’t list brightness and angular view. maybe it does not apply to led TV.

I don’t see any problem doing that. I did similar with a good screen laptop years ago before starting woodworking. I bought a picture frame from Michaels and put it together.

Noe the TV that’s hanging on the wall does the job with a frame.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View oldnovice's profile


7700 posts in 4380 days

#6 posted 01-16-2014 05:11 AM

These digital picture frames are dropping in popularity so fast … faster than my 401K did and you may have a hard time finding any (source, inside information from BB).

If you get a “smart TV” one that has built in wireless Ethernet you won’t need any wires. The smallest smart TV is a 46”.

How about an HDMI monitor? Very good picture decent prices!

How about this

-- "It's fine in practise but it will never work in theory"

View Shoedawg's profile


13 posts in 2646 days

#7 posted 02-14-2014 04:28 PM

OK so its been about a month now, and I finally got me a 19” (18.5 diag. across) Samsung LED TV (Model# UN19F4000AFXZA) that I got at Best Buy for about $150. After doing some research, here are reasons for getting a TV not a Monitor and the Samsung brand.

1. TV has USB Support
2. The LED TV is very lightweight (for mounting on the wall if I decided to)
3. 19” is perfect for viewing pictures (as this will be put into a frame)
4. USB input is well hidden and easy to get too (for updating USB drive for new pictures)
5. Power consumption is very, very low
6. Has remote for controlling set-ups features
7. TV has built in firmware for playing slide shows
8. TV has built in on/off timer (this allows me to set the TV to come on/off at a set time, that starts to play the slide shows)

I will report the progress of my build as I go along with this “experiment”.


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