Smart Parts SP-DPF56E Review

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  • Value For Money

darrall's review of Smart Parts SP-DPF56E


“The resolution is as expected for sub $100. The...”

Written on: 09/12/2006 by darrall (1 review written)

Good Points
Under $100 at the time of purchase, at Ritz camera in Dec 2006
I can display pictures instead of sitting someone in front of my computer in order to show them. I like the woodframe. Goes well with our living room decor. Looks most like a traditional picture frame.
Not bright enough to be a nuisance. The 5.6" viewing size still can be nicely viewed from across the room (+10 ft) on a bright afternoon. At night it isn't an all-consuming, attention-grabbing device. That was a nice surprise! Automatically runs the slide show when a card is inserted, and also if power goes out. That makes it a sort of Plug-Play-Forget about it device, which is especially useful when giving to the technically-challenged people on your list!

Bad Points
Limited to SD cards, Multi-media cards and Memory Sticks. No Compact Flash port. Manual does not describe anything under the "menu" button, which gives you 4 items to control using a 0-100 scale: RGB amplitude, DAC_OUT, Brightness, and Phase. I zeroed out all four and saw no change in the display. I have followed-up with their on-line tech support looking for an explanation of the functions ( what the heck is 'Phase'?). Waiting on a return email.
The SD card I purchased at the same time does not make a solid connection, causing the "insert card" message to appear until it is jiggled or repositioned to a point where it makes contact again. Reminds me of the old TV tuners, when you had to use a match book wedge to hold a dirty tuner onto a station!

General Comments
The resolution is as expected for sub $100. The viewing angle is deficient from the bottom, which causes me not to have it up on a mantle or entertainment center. It has to be down at eye level or below in order to not incur the TFT viewing angle problem like the older laptops used to have before they all went Active Matrix. Side angle viewing is OK.

Colors aren't as true as you'd expect, they trend more towards yellow. This could be this author's inability to understand the menu selections (RGB amplitude and Phase)

The better-displaying pictures appear to be the ones taken in daylight with a bright background (white wall or light sky) of one or two people so that you can see their faces as the largest portion of the subject matter. In other words, head shots on light backgrounds. I suppose a sunset would also look good, but I don't usually shoot those!

My Personal Preferences:

No selection of time delay between slides and no selection of type of transition. The slides come at you as fast as two seconds from the completion of one transition to the start of the next. I'd like to have it a bit slower, maybe leave the finished slide up for a full 5 seconds before starting the next transition. Also, there seem to be about a dozen different slide transitions (maybe more, haven't actually counted them). Some I like, some not so much. I'd like to have control to select only one or two different types.

In the end, you get what you pay for. I think for the money, this was an OK purchase. I would buy a couple more, but I don't think I will find them any more. Most of the newer ones have more features (Compact Flash ports, ability to play sounds and video clips, etc) for a little higher price. Like all other electronics, these will drop in price soon. If you can wait, you might soon be able to get a bigger viewing screen with video and Compact Flash for the $$$ I spent on this unit. By then also, I expect the displays will get better in color and viewing angles.

I bought this one so I could get an idea of what to expect, sort of an educational experience! Now that I know, I'd like to get the wireless ones that attach to the network so that you can download pictures from your computer and not have to use a CF or any other flash media card.

  • Value For Money

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Darrall's Response to darrall's Review

Written on: 15/12/2006

<br/>I got the return email from Tech Support, answering my question about what the 4 menu items mean and what they do. Their reply was something like &#039;sorry for the confusion, but those are deactivated so the customers won&#039;t adversely affect the quality of the picture viewing.&#039; Not really a great answer. But I was grateful to get one!
<br/>So I am left with the burning, forever-unanswered question: Just what the heck is "Phase" anyway?

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