Distant TV as a shared photo display?
June 29, 2018 3:34 PM   Subscribe

I'd like to be able to have a few people drop photos in some cloud folder, and have those photos appear on a distant TV, as a screensaver or as an app.

I don't know the make/model TV the person has. I think it's about 10 years old, probably has RCA jack (VCR inputs), probably doesn't have an HDMI jack, might have a USB port.

They do have Wifi, and I can walk the thru setting things up. Is there a dongle or box that'll do the job, or must we buy a new TV? I don't want a 8x10 photo frame, I want a 42" or 49" display. What's the best current product here?
posted by cyclicker to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Do you think you can hook up a Chromecast somehow to that TV with maybe some adapters? Assuming that works, then you can create a shared Google Photos album, where others can drop in their photos, and then you can "cast" a particular album to the Chromecast, and thus it'll show up on the TV. Maybe there's a simpler way, but this is a way that might work.
posted by ellerhodes at 4:23 PM on June 29, 2018 [1 favorite]

I'd recommend finding out what model they have and then check the resolution it has and the inputs before thinking too hard on it. If it is indeed only composite RCA inputs, if you were using something with HDMI as a photo source, you'd have to get a converter that will severely degrade the quality. And in my experience, cheap converters are pretty likely to burn out, especially with extended use like a digital photo frame.

Unless you're viewing from far away, I wouldn't recommend anything less than 1080p for picture quality. 720p is noticeably pixely to me, though I may be pickier than your intended audience. But the 480p that many of the HDMI to composite adapters offer is pretty bad.

Once you have something with HDMI in, pretty much anything in the Chromecast/Amazon/Roku/AppleTV ecosystem will let you do what you're looking for, depending on which corporation you want to trust.
posted by Candleman at 5:25 PM on June 29, 2018

I have a version of this working with a shared Dropbox that is the source for multiple families screensaver/anti-burn slideshows. In my house we have the AppleTV look to that folder when it goes idle (technically I guess the video server — the iTunes host computer — is the one that probes the Dropbox folder, and makes the contents available as shared photos to the AppleTV set top boxes).

I imagine it’s just as easy or easier to set up for alternative ecosystems.
posted by Construction Concern at 6:51 PM on June 29, 2018

Chromecast allows you to configure a Google Photos album as its default slideshow. So plug in a chromecast in that TV and select a Photos album to show on its "Backdrop" screen.

It can even be a shared album into which other people add photos.
posted by mavrik at 6:55 AM on July 3, 2018

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