By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
The once dormant market for digital photo frames has erupted with a series of new product introductions from new and established players, all angling for a place on the modern mantel this holiday season.
Digital Spectrum Solutions, formerly Pacific Digital, added a new Wi-Fi-enabled frame to its MemoryFrame lineup. The Microsoft Vista-ready MF-8104 Premium can use the Media Connect features of Vista to wirelessly connect to home networks for sending pictures, MPEG/WMV video, and MP3/WMA audio files to the frame. It can also display photos and content from online photo sites.
The 8-inch MV-8104 features built-in Bluetooth for accepting images wirelessly from camera phones, a card reader supporting the popular formats, internal memory, and the ability to display RSS feeds.
Digital peripheral manufacturer Pandigital unveiled a lineup of digital photo frames for the holiday with up to 128MB of internal memory and screen sizes to 9 inches.
The frames will come in screen sizes from 5.6-inch to 9-inches and offer either 64MB or 128MB worth of internal memory. The units offer a mini USB port for connecting to a digital camera and a full sized port for PC connectivity, and a 6-in-1 media card reader for the popular memory card formats.
Consumers can view MPEG-1/ -2/-4 video or play MP3 or AVI audio through built-in speakers or via a headphone jack. The frames will ship with a remote control and one wood and one acrylic interchangeable frame.
The lineup will include the 5.6-inch DPF56-2 with a 960 by 230 resolution active matrix TFT display and 64MB of internal memory for a suggested $129.
The 7-inch DPF70-1, for a suggested $149, offers a 1,440 by 234 resolution screen and 64MB of internal memory. The DPF80-2 ($199) will feature an 8-inch backlit LED display with a resolution of 800 by 600 and 64MB of internal memory. Finally, the 9.2-inch DPF90-2 will offer 128MB of internal memory and retail for a suggested $249.
The frames are targeted for mass market acceptance with holiday promotion pricing on the 5.6-inch frame expected to dip below $100, said Dean Finnegan, Pandigital president. Frames are being merchandized in the wedding registry section of Macy's among other mass retail chains, Finnegan said.
The frames are distinguished from an increasingly crowded field because of the generous amount of internal memory and a PMP rather than a portable DVD chipset, which gives the units greater functionality, Finnegan said.
The company is shipping more than 400,000 units for the holiday season to over 5,000 retail storefronts, Finnegan added.
Englewood, N.J.-based Smartpants dropped pricing on its 5.6-inch and 8.4-inch frames. The models will now retail for a suggested $129 and $179, respectively.
Both models accept the popular memory card formats and display images in a slideshow automatically. The 5.6-inch model ships with three interchangeable frames.
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