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Why would anyone buy a digital picture frame, when there are already plenty of old tablets getting thrown out 4 Things You MUST Do When Selling or Giving Away Your Old Computer, Phone or Tablet 4 Things You MUST Do When Selling or Giving Away Your Old Computer, Phone or Tablet Here’s a fun thing I like to do: buy an old hard drive on eBay, then run recovery software on it. It’s a little data treasure hunt, and you’ll be amazed at what you can... Read More that could instead be recycled and put to the same use?

With new generations of iPad coming out all the time, and folks upgrading to the latest Android tablet whenever a new one comes out, the piles of “old” tablets keep showing up on places like Ebay and Amazon at rock-bottom prices. Maybe you even have a one or two kicking around a drawer somewhere in your house.

If you’ve ever wanted to set up a digital display in your home for visitors to see your favorite family photos 4 Ways To Share Photos & Videos Privately With Your Family 4 Ways To Share Photos & Videos Privately With Your Family Sharing photos in no longer a big deal. Whether you’re an Internet addict or just own a computer, you shouldn’t have any problem sharing your digital photos and even your old films with the world.... Read More , then you’ve come to the right place. I’m going to show you how you can put that old tablet to good use, and all you need is a few connector pieces and a monitor for your display (any size will do).

Making Your Own Digital Photo Frame

You don’t need much hardware to accomplish this feat, especially if you already have an old tablet and a monitor you can use. The real secret behind this set up is the app itself, which we’ll get to in a moment.

What You’ll Need:

  • A tablet you can dedicate to the purpose of your digital photo frame. I’m using a first generation Asus Transformer Prime. The only requirement is a micro-HDMI or mini-HDMI port (like shown in the image below.)
  • An old monitor 3 Things You Can Do With Old Computer Monitors 3 Things You Can Do With Old Computer Monitors Unused electronics are the bane of the modern life. Perfectly functional gadgets sit quietly in a corner of the store room, doing nothing. Old LCD monitors are a perfect example of that. Read More with an HDMI input port.
  • A micro-HDMI or mini-HDMI to HDMI converter cable, easily accessible via Amazon for usually less than $10.
  • A regular HDMI cable to connect your adapter to your monitor.
  • An Android or iOS app capable of playing a photo slideshow. I chose Dayframe for Android because it connects with cloud services like Dropbox or Google Drive, allowing for the remote control feature I’ll get to later in this article.
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Putting the Pieces Together

Once you have all of the hardware together and you’ve installed the Dayframe app on your mobile device, it’s time to piece together the hardware.

First, you’ll want to plug the mini-HDMI part of your adapter into the mini-HDMI port on your mobile device. If you’re using an Android phone instead of a tablet for this project, make sure to follow Christian’s explanation of how to hook your Android phone to a large screen Droid Meets HDMI: How (And Why) To Connect Your Android Phone To Your TV Droid Meets HDMI: How (And Why) To Connect Your Android Phone To Your TV A recent trip to a local used goods store brought me into contact with the LG Optimus 3D P920. Following some quick checks online via my usual phone, I bought the device – and soon... Read More .

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As you can see, I purchased an adapter that allows me to plug into a mobile device with either a micro or a mini port.

The next step is just plugging your HDMI cable into the full HDMI end of your adapter, and of course the other end into your monitor.

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When you’re done, you should have a setup like shown here, where the monitor is mirroring the Android display Ditch Your Desktop! Turn Your Smartphone Into A Desktop Replacement Ditch Your Desktop! Turn Your Smartphone Into A Desktop Replacement If Christian’s tablet experiment piqued your interest in ditching your PC, then you should know that a smartphone will perform the same function. You only need a handful of additional software and accessories. This article... Read More shown on your mobile device.

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Now that you’ve got the display working, it’s time to set up the slideshow software so that it’ll display your favorite pictures.

Setting up DayFrame

After you first launch DayFrame, you’ll have an option to immediately connect your favorite Cloud services The Cloud Storage Showdown - Dropbox, Google Drive, SkyDrive & More The Cloud Storage Showdown - Dropbox, Google Drive, SkyDrive & More The cloud storage scene has heated up recently, with a long-awaited entry by Google and a revamped SkyDrive from Microsoft. Dropbox has gone unchallenged by the major players for a long time, but that’s changed... Read More where you can feed it your photos to stream to your display.

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You can skip the first step, because further into the software you’ll have an option to add photos from any of those services and more.

In my case, I added my Dropbox account 5 Ways To Send Files To Your Dropbox Without Using Dropbox 5 Ways To Send Files To Your Dropbox Without Using Dropbox There are numerous ways to manage files in Dropbox. Maybe, need to get something into my Dropbox and just don’t have access to it right now. For these scenarios, some nice people invented services we... Read More in the app and logged in, giving it access to my Dropbox account. As you can see in the screenshot below, all you have to do to add photos to your slideshow is to press the “+” sign next to “Photos” under your chosen cloud account.

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Of course, before anything is shown on the monitor, I have to go to my Dropbox account and actually load up the images that I want to include in the slideshow.

Use Your Cloud Account to Remotely Control Your Slideshow

In my Dropbox account, I’ve created a special folder that I’ll use to add and remove images to my slideshow.

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For now, I’ve loaded up about ten or so family photos.
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If you’ve decided to use your Google Drive account Access, Create, and Share Your Google Drive Documents On the iPad [iOS] Access, Create, and Share Your Google Drive Documents On the iPad [iOS] Google Drive is similar to the popularly used cloud storage service, Dropbox, but Drive includes built-in document creation features that are missing in Dropbox. And though Dropbox integrates with dozens of third-party applications, Google Drive... Read More or any of the other online services Online Photo Albums: Where to Host Them for Free Online Photo Albums: Where to Host Them for Free Which online photo storage service is the best? Between free price tags, unlimited storage space, and photo security, which service is best for you? Read More , you’ll want to use the same approach so you can easily organize exactly what photos are currently getting displayed, and change them wherever you want.

The cool thing about this is that you can change the active slideshow on your “digital photo frame” at any time and from anywhere – your office, from your cellphone, or when waiting at the doctor’s office.

The DayFrame Connection

Going back to the DayFrame app, now that all of the images have been added to Dropbox, you should see all of those images automatically listed in the app as well.

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All you have to do to launch your slideshow (and you only have to do this once), is click on the menu button on the right side of the main “Manage Photostreams” screen, and choose “Play slideshow” from the list.

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That’s all there is to it!

The path of data here is basically from your Dropbox (or any cloud service) photo directory, to your network-connected mobile device, to your new “digital slideshow” display.

Here’s what mine now looks like (it’s a huge digital photo frame 10 Free PowerPoint Templates to Present Your Photos With Style 10 Free PowerPoint Templates to Present Your Photos With Style The most common use of PowerPoint with photos is their use as photo albums. Create your own...or use the hundreds of free templates in the Office template gallery. We pick ten attractive ones. Read More !)

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Now, any time you remove or add photos in your Dropbox folder, your photo slideshow will automatically add them into the cycle.

The beauty of this is that it only requires that you set up this system one time, and then you can update it from anywhere. Unlike a standard digital photo frame where you need to plug in a USB stick or otherwise “load it” with a fixed set of images – this particular setup lets you load the images from the cloud instead, and you can change the images any time you want!

Have you ever considered buying one of those digital photo frames for your home? Would you consider setting up a system like this using one of your old generation tablets? Try it out and let us know how it went! If you chose a different slideshow app, share it in the comments section below!

  1. Pepe
    August 8, 2016 at 8:19 pm

    No shuffle of the pictures? No framing options (fit to screen,etc)

  2. Steve Hughes
    September 24, 2015 at 12:13 am

    I like this. I would link the app to a location where dash cam images are stored in the cloud. Would be cool to look over on the wall and be able to see what your new driver is up to, that changes every 30 seconds or so. Not too evasive, but enough to keep an eye out.

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