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Digital Frames Add Wi-Fi, Ample Memory

Vendors will pack their digital frames with wireless networking, higher resolution displays and generous servings of internal memory as competition for the modern mantle heats up.

Kodak will re-enter the market in March with a line of EasyShare-branded frames, including several with Wi-Fi networking. The displays will offer 128MB of internal memory and be available in 7 inches, 8 inches and 10 inches. The 8-inch and 10-inch frames will feature Wi-Fi capability. Kodak will also sell an 8-inch frame without Wi-Fi.

They will offer a universal memory card reader and a USB port for accepting images from USB flash drives. In addition to still image slideshows, the frames will come with built-in stereo speakers and the ability to play back MP3 music files. Pricing will range from $129 to $279.

Pandigital will add a 10.4-inch model to its line with 256MB of internal memory. The $229 frame offers a 1,024 by 768 pixel resolution screen, MPEG-1/MPEG-4 and AVI video playback, MP3 audio playback through built-in speakers and a remote control.

The frame accepts the popular memory-card formats and offers controls for adjusting brightness, contrast, color and tint. Pricing was not announced.

Doubling the size of its previous frame, Parrot will introduce a 7-inch model in its Photo Viewer line. The frame offers Bluetooth connectivity for accepting images from camera phones and Bluetooth-enabled cameras, but it does not offer memory card slots. It features a frame resolution of 720 by 480 and an image sensor to properly align portraits and landscapes.

It has 128MB of internal memory capable of storing up to 500 images and can accept images with resolutions up to 7 megapixels. Pricing was not announced.

Westinghouse Digital will slot a 10.2-inch frame into the top of its line, while refreshing its existing sizes with new models in the second quarter.

The 16:9 10-inch frame incorporates the company’s MosaicView technology for displaying multiple images simultaneously either in a single view or in slideshow mode. With a panel resolution of 800 by 480, the device can play back images in a slideshow with transition effects and variable speeds, and also supports AVI and MPEG-1/MPEG-4 video playback. Alongside compatibility with the popular flash memory formats, the frame will include 128MB of internal memory and two USB ports.

It is slated to ship in the second quarter for a suggested $229.

The 8-inch frame, for a suggested $179, will offer 128MB of internal memory, an 800 by 600 resolution screen, MosaicView and slots for SD/MMC, CompactFlash (CF) and xD-Picture Card memory. It will also offer 2 USB ports and a 4:3 aspect ratio.

The 7-inch frame will offer many of the same features as the 8-inch model but a slightly lower resolution screen (800 by 480) with a 16:9 aspect ratio. The $149 frame will offer 16MB of internal memory.

Finally, the $119 5.7-inch frame will offer 16MB of internal memory and a single USB port, along with SD/MMC, Memory Stick, CF and xD card slots and a 4:3 aspect ratio. It can display single images, thumbnails or slideshows.