LCD picture frames for promoting web sites and business marketing

Something I saw when i was just about to leave the UK to do my volunteering work, a couple of small businesses have some of those cheap LCD picture frames in the window of their premises.

I really like this idea, often a normal PC is used for this job, and using an LCD picture frame for simple slideshow of a companies products and services, doing it this way rather than a PC, means no messing about with Windows updates and patches, antivirus updates, a bulky box that has got to sit somewhere, etc.  Most of these just require a low cost SD card (2Gb is about £5.99 from to load on pictures as a slide show.

A high street bank here in Jerusalem has a clunky old 19″ CRT monitor for customer notices outside, but seems to be off.  This pharmacy store has a LCD picture frame on a counter.

I am thinking about these LCD picture frames could be good for the charity I work for.   The food bank which helps poor Israelis is likely to have people walking past when it is shut and does not have much information on the front of building.    Images on the screen could promote our organisation, and have information in English, Hebrew and Russian (which 15% of Israelis speak)   These devices are cheap and don’t consume much power.   I don’t know if they are reliable enough for 24 hour operation.   Staff could easily compile content onto SD cards from their own PCs without needing much help from IT administrators.

My good friend Ed Ross promotes a podcast called Geeks & God that provides discussion for churches looking to improve their web sites and use of IT.  I would be quite curious to know if anyone has deployed these in the windows of their charity, church, youth centre or retail shop to promote themselves.

For web designers I think these are also of interest.   A web design or marketing agency could resell these picture frames to their clients with content shared from the web site to get a web site noticed by people walking past a shop.  A bright and creative theme for a web site could have some of the pictures played back on the picture frames, and could help to point potential clients to a web site, if say, people walk past a business outside of business hours on the way to the pub, takeaway or whatever.  Realistically you are only going to get 10-30 seconds of notice from the public, but some people may walk past these places every day often perhaps.

Here in Israel, I have seen some of these picture frames but seems to be specifically aimed for on a shop counter, this one is from a pharmacy I was at the other day.   There are some (with 10 or 12″ screen I think) in all the branches of Aroma coffee shops I see here in Israel, but the normal picture frames in retail electronics stores like BUG, Kravitz etc, only sell 7 or 8 inch screens.

Computer and audio video cable rip offs

Expensive computer cables are a big extra upsell point for retailers, I have known this for a while since I was in retail in 2003.

Makers of audio, video and computer accessories have taken advantage of the naivety of audiophiles and movie buffs who are sitting ducks for cables that cost ten or twenty times what they should do.   Brands like ‘Monster’ who make video cables and funny phrases like ‘oxygen free’

Today I read the worse possible example of this when a so called audio expert mentioned on his blog that replacing the SATA hard disk cables in your PC would give you better quality audio.

The blog post was removed in a hurry, but you can see a mirror of the original post here.

Here all the 1s and 0s transfer around at the same fashion in any cable, any interference in this and your computer simply won’t work further than ‘non-system disk, press any key to boot’

I worked for a well known mail order computer store who sold USB cables for #7.99 (PC World charge #14.99)  the cost price for these from the wholesalers is 39p.  Cables with gold and funny coloured insulation don’t cost that much more to manufacture.  Sorry my keyboard doesn’t have a pound sign.  Grr.

As someone who has made cables for myself, my employers and to make a bit of beer money for friends, its high time the consumers realise they are being deceived by the retailers, with clever spiel with no truthful facts.

Some outrageously priced cables on Amazon here:

$2499 or $999 refurbished.  Hmm, I wouldn’t want a used one, someone’s dog hairs could of got on those delicate pin connections could cause the brass ensemble at the Vienna Concert to lose its delicate clarity.   On the other hand on this item on Amazon are pretty darned funny actually.  Maybe audio enthusiasts should have their house rewired by electricians in sterile foil suits.