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How to turn a flat-panel monitor into a digital photo frame

Use a redundant display to show off photos

QUESTION: I have a redundant 19in flatpanel display that I can’t bear to throw away. Is there a simple way to turn it into a picture display? Ian Rutter

HELPROOM ANSWER: If you hunt around online or at hardware stores such as Maplin you’ll find small media players that are in essence SD Card readers that connect to a TV. This is the easiest option if you simply want to have a set of images from a single folder display on a connected screen.

A fancier option, assuming you want to have the screen in the same room as your PC or laptop, is to connect it as a secondary monitor and ‘extend’ the desktop on to it such that only a photo slideshow plays on it.

See our workshop, How to add a second screen to your PC or laptop.

A more complex option is to buy an old netbook with an SD Card slot, remove the screen and connect it to the back of the display. You could then use Google Picasa to display the pictures. For advice, see this post on Shuttertalk.

Alternatively, you can use the spare monitor as a second display for your computer. If desk space is an issue, special desktop monitor arms that let you mount it on to the back of your desk are available for around £20.

See all: Digital Photo Frames reviews

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