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'Technogadget Guy' Reviews Digital Photo Technology

Aired October 10, 2000 - 2:51 p.m. ET


LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: Well, I remember when I was a kid, we used to have some neighbors who would call us over for slide projector shows of their summer vacation slides.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: You're dating yourself, Lou.

WATERS: We hated that. Then there were the big books of pictures, but we've taken it another step here.

ALLEN: We certainly have, and this is what's it come to. Right here, these pictures taken right from a computer and zapped right into a photo frame, and only Ed Curran could explain to us how in the world did you do this.

Hi there, Ed.

ED CURRAN, "TECHNOGADGET GUY": Hi, good afternoon.

You know, one of the great things about digital cameras is that they take photographs that you can send anywhere. You know, they're very portable.

When you take a regular photograph, you can put it into your computer and you can manipulate it, make it look great, and then you can e-mail it to people, which is wonderful.

Well, what these photo picture frames do is they allow you to send photos to anybody, and it's just amazing. You can see the quality of the one that you have there in Atlanta.

This first frame here is from Ceiva, and let me explain how it works here. All you do is get this picture frame for $250. It plugs into a telephone line and it plugs into the wall, and you're done.

You give it to grandma and grandpa, who live in Arizona. You're in Atlanta or you're here in Chicago, and you take pictures with your digital camera. When you're done taking your pictures, you put them up on the Internet. Then this photo frame right here goes on the Internet every night by making a local phone call in most cases, and it grabs the photos you put up. So it's a constantly changing picture frame in grandma and grandpa's house that has the latest digital images, up to 10 of them on here, of the grandkids doing whatever they do that day. It updates itself.

WATERS: How complicated -- how complicated is this going to be for grandma and grandpa, Ed?

CURRAN: Oh, just plug it in the wall, just plug it in the phone line and forget about it. It's all set to go. And then if you're uploading the pictures, you have a special site -- and you have to subscribe to this; it costs about $8 a month, a little bit less if you buy it for the whole year -- and you load all your pictures up on the site and you say here are the 10 pictures I want sent to grandma and grandpa.

That night, the photo frame, the Ceiva picture frame simply goes out on the Internet, grabs those photos, downloads them, and they have ever-changing pictures here.

So, that's from Ceiva. It's $250. It's a wonderful product.

Now, here's a product from Kodak that will be out in about a week. This is an amazing little product; it does the same type of thing: goes on the Internet and picks up your pictures on the Internet, downloads them to the frame.

This holds 36 photos and it can scroll through them, as we have it doing here in a slide show, or it can actually scroll through them one a day. It can change photos instead of one every few seconds like this, it could change photos just once a day and give them a different photo every day. It also has the ability to take the card from your digital camera, slides in the side of it, and actually take the pictures from the card of your digital camera and put them right into the photo frame as well.

Again, very simple to use, plugs into the wall, plugs into a telephone line, automatically goes up on the Internet and grabs the pictures. Wonderful picture quality, a little smaller picture than the Ceiva frame. Sells for $350 and a very nice wooden frame. It really...

ALLEN: It's not cheap, that's for sure.

CURRAN: It is not cheap, no, but you're getting a wonderful display. And you know, technology costs money, but it's pretty cool.

The other neat thing about Kodak is -- and Ceiva does this as well -- is that you can also have text come here. So along with your pictures, if you want the weather to come up once in a while, it'll come up on here or news headlines or things like that can appear on the frame as well.

Most people would use these for photos, however, and with Kodak also you can say I really like these two photos, I want prints. Kodak, for a price of about 50 cents a print, will print you a 6 by 4 photo and mail it to you so you can turn your digital photos into snapshots very easily using Kodak service here.

Again, it costs you between $50 and $100 a year for the service depending on which level of service you buy from Kodak, and then 350 for the frame. It is pricey, but it's cool new technology. Now this is from Iomega, and I just love this product. Iomega are the people who brought us Zip disks, and these hold 250 megabytes of information, and you can go ahead and just load all sorts of data on here.

So what you do is you've got this great new thing from Iomega called FotoShow, and this little unit here takes a Zip disk that goes in its drive. And then you take your card from your camera, either kind of card that cameras use nowadays, and plug it in here and dump all your photos onto the Zip drive that will hold your photos. Hook it up to your TV set and this automatically plays back all your photos on the TV.

So here's the television. This is a great Zenith inteq flat- screen TV we have here, and our little FotoShow unit from Iomega is playing all our digital photos back on the TV. But what's more, we can edit the photos, crop the photos, take out red eye on the photos all within this unit. Without even using the computer, we can manipulate the photos from our digital camera and then play them back on the TV.

So this is FotoShow from Iomega, sells for $300, a great way to watch your photos on TV and also manipulate your photos, and just an incredible system, coming out in about a year from -- about a month, I should say, about a week now, I guess, from Iomega.

So this will be available. The TV, by the way, the inteq television sells for about $2,000: a little bit less you'd probably find it at the stores and a great display.

WATERS: All right. All right, Ed, we've got to go. What will they think of next?

ALLEN: Well, I'm sure he'll have something for us. Thanks, Ed. We'll see you again soon.

WATERS: But I have a friend that buys every new gadget and what Ed -- every technology guy says, yes, it's expensive, but it's cool. And my friend has to have every gadget that comes out, and his wife is standing by the front door saying, no, you're not going -- you're not going for this one. But he finds a way.

ALLEN: I don't blame her.



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