Digital Frame Vs. Prints

Digital Frame Vs. Prints

Amber Byfield
Feb 17, 2009

02_17_09digitalpic.jpgThey're everywhere. They're getting cheaper. We kinda want one. And they seem to be a friendly alternative to physical, paper-and-ink prints. So what's not to like about digital picture frames?

According to what we heard on NPR yesterday, there's the whole energy-usage part that, frankly, sucks the eco-minded fun right out of the equation. Jump below for more information about why digital photo frames have a long way to go before they tread lightly on the earth.

As with all electronics, digital picture frames need a power source. Since solar-powered models haven't hit the mainstream markets yet, we're stuck with the plug-ins. And according to NPR, this yet another small gadgets that's found its way into many households across the country in the last few years--it's another way to use energy.

New gadgetry requires (or sucks) power all the time--from cell phone chargers to DVRs, there's a lot more plugged in these days that uses power even if the device is off. Research suggests that "small loads" (game consoles, various chargers, and the like) will be the fastest-growing sector of home energy use in years to come, and we're going to need a lot more energy production to keep up with it.

Of course, the way to solve it? We already know how. Unplug your electronics when they're not in use, or cut back on the number of plugged-in doo-dads you've got in your household.

What do you think? Are digital photo frames spawn of evil, or are they still--energy use and manufacturing footprints taken into consideration--better than paper prints from digital photos?

Pictured: Kodak Easy Share.

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