How to Make Your TV Display Art (or Family Photos)

Josh Hendrickson

Samsung Frame TV it's beautiful and expensive. When it is not used, it displays works of art. But if you already have a smart TV, you can do something similar with an app or Chromecast. Here's how.

Of course, your TV will use more power if it displays images instead of being turned off. This is also the essence of Samsung's Frame TV technology: instead of displaying an empty black screen or a depressing home screen, you can display works of art or photos. Whether it's a Roku, Chromecast or Fire TV, you can get an idea of ​​the Frame TV experience.

Choose your images

An image of the Milky Way, taken by NASA telescopes
This image works well on TVs, thanks to its wide format report. NASA

Before continuing, think about what you want to display on your TV. Some of the solutions below include built-in art gallery modes that will automatically provide you with stunning artwork, so you do not have to worry about images.

If you use your own photos, remember that the selfies, the photos you took in portrait orientation and the old movies that you scanned with a scanner would probably not look great for your horizontal TV anymore 40 inches.

However, if you have the impression that many horizontal images taken at high resolution are oriented horizontally, you must browse them and choose the best of the group. If you use a Chromecast, your photos will be uploaded to Google Photos. For FireTV, you will download to Amazon Photos. Roku TVs can use images from your phone or Google Photos. And Apple TVs use iCloud storage for their screensavers. Regardless of the platform, we recommend that you create a dedicated album called "TV Slideshow" so that you can easily remember and find it.

Do not forget the storage limitations that you may face when loading high resolution images on Google Photos, ICloud Photos, and Photos from Amazon. Google Photos offers unlimited storage for photos if you let it reduce the size of the photo. If you want a complete resolution, you just need to 16 GB free. Amazon Photos Offers Prime Subscribers Unlimited Storage Space, And All Others 5 GB of space. iCloud offers five GB of free space and charges $ 1 per month for 50 GB of space.

If you're looking for inspiration, check out the section Art Institution of Chicago, which hosts high-resolution images of famous works of art, or you can use NASA images. Family photos that fit everyone in the frame will probably work well too.

How to display images with Roku

Roku screen saver settings dialog box, with selected PhotoView.

We think that Roku is one of your best options for a Smart TV. If you have one, you can easily view Google Photo albums on your TV and even set up a screen saver effect to start the slideshow after a period of activity.

Most Roku TVs offer two options: choose photos on your phone or install the Photo View channel.

If you want to use photos on your phone, open the Roku software. iOS or Android app, then tap the Photos + option at the bottom of the screen.

Roku application with box around the option Photos +.

Choose the screen saver option, and then the album you created with the photos you want to view. Once you have selected the images that the screen saver should display, you must start to see them immediately appear on the screen. The disadvantage is that you will need to update this group of photos manually with the Roku app whenever you want to make changes.

You can also use Google Photos to power your Roku screen saver. The advantage is that you can change the display of photos from any computer, tablet or phone. All you have to do is add or remove photos from the connected album.

To view a Google Photo Album Screensaver, you must install the software. Canal Photo View. Open it and follow the instructions to sign in with your Google Account (via the Google Sign In feature).

Once Photo View is installed, you can choose an album to extract images, set Photo View as Roku screensaver, and even set the time before the screen saver starts, all from the settings. of Roku. Go to Settings> Screen Saver> Change Screen Saver. Then choose the PhotoView option. Settings> Screen Saver> Change Wait Time allows you to change the startup time of a screen saver and check that it is not disabled.

The time setting dialog of the Roku screen saver, with 5 minutes selected.

We recommend that you create a dedicated album in Google Photos and upload images of your favorite creations or some of the images from NASA. incredible still images of the space. In any case, you should choose an album specifically for your TV. Portrait-oriented pictures, selfies, etc., will probably not display very well on a large TV. Family photos, on the other hand, can work well if they are oriented horizontally.

How to display images with FireTV

Display Settings and FireTV Sounds dialog box.

Unfortunately, Amazon's FireTV does not have access to Google Photos. But he has his own easy-to-use options. If you like the idea of ​​displaying photos of nature on your TV, Amazon already has everything you need. You just have to activate the screen saver option and accept all the defaults.

But if you want more control and prefer to create your own photo album of art or family, just download Amazon Photos. iOS or Android app. Or connect to the web. Amazon Photos offers unlimited storage for primary users or 5 GB of space for everyone else.

Once you have logged in, download the photos you prefer and create a folder for them. On your FireTV, go to the screensaver settings and replace the source with your album. Personalize all the settings you want, such as timing, and you're ready to enjoy art on your TV.

How to view images with Chromecast

Google Home Ambient Mode settings, with Google Photos selected.

Chromecast can be the simplest option if you want to display works of art. It is also relatively easy to customize with photos. Chromecast screen saver works just like the Google Nest Hub ambient screen (formerly Google Home Hub) and uses the same controls.

To view works of art, open the Google Home app and find your Chromecast device. Tap it, tap Ambient Mode, tap Art Gallery, and then you're done.

If you prefer to view family photos or images you've taken, you'll want to upload them to a specific gallery in Google Photos. Then choose this Google photo album in the ambient settings.

Regardless of the method used, displaying works of art or photos on your TV will only be beautiful if your TV is up to scratch and if the images you choose look great in large formats. As long as these two aspects are covered, any method you choose should give excellent results.

How to view photos with Apple TV

If you have an Apple TV, you're in luck because the device supports native way screen savers created from your iCloud photos.

Once your photos are in iCloud, you need to enable iCloud integration in your Apple TV's configuration options. When you turn on iCloud, you will be asked if you want to enable Photo Stream and use it as a screen saver. You can choose yes, but if you have created a specific album, as suggested above, then you will not want to use Photo Stream as a screen saver.

Instead, you access the screen saver options in your Apple TV's Settings dialog box, choose Photos, and then iCloud. Here you will have the choice of the album to use.

Use USB or Plex

Plex interface on the screen saver options.

Many Smart TV platforms have USB ports or Plex applications that you can use to display screensavers. You will need to upload your photos to a USB drive or to your Plex server, and then add them as an option for a screen saver.

If your main interface is your Plex server, you will want to configure a personal album to set as screen saver. However, depending on the smart TV, you may need to access the TV screen saver settings and find an option to use USB or Plex as the source for the photos.

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