Microsoft increased its involvement in digital photography with the announcement of the TV Photo Viewer, a set-top device designed to let users view digital photo albums on their home TV screens.
The TV Photo Viewer is currently shipping with a suggested retail price of $159.
Any photos in the JPEG file format can be used, whether they are uploaded from a digital camera, an e-mail attachment or a photo scanner.
Using a PC, consumers can select up to 40 photos and save them to a standard floppy disk. Photos can then be sorted, cropped or rotated, captions or numbers added, and a title page inserted with Microsoft's Picture It! Express 2001 photo-editing software, which is included. Photos saved on disk can then be transferred to the TV Photo Viewer's floppy drive for viewing.
Microsoft's proprietary software technology optimizes each photo for viewing.
The TV Photo Viewer comes with a five-button remote control that allows users to direct a slide show from anywhere in the room. The device, which connects to the television via a standard RCA video cable, can remain permanently plugged into a TV set.
To utilize the product, consumers need an NTSC television with composite (RCA-style) video input.