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In Use - Photos

Since it was the most basic function, I tried out "Photo" first. Entering the top-level photo menu displayed another level of selections, with the top two being references to a couple of the Twonkyvision UPnP servers I had running on my network. Evidently, the LinkTheater server was consolidating access to data from other servers on my network by presenting them as if they were just other folders (directories) of photos. It was a nice touch.

In the Photo section, I was able to navigate through my photo subfolders, the icons for which would in some cases show a thumbnail image of an image in the folder. Once I was into a folder, all of my photos would show as thumbnails.

Photo selection

Figure 5: Photo selection

At this point, I could select a single image or play them all as a slide show. I had noticed an option to assign a music playlist to a slide show on the server setup screen and chosen one, so as I played the slide show, I heard my selected music. The slide show proceeded with a fade-in and fade-out effect between each slide and the show repeated until the stop button was entered.

Overall, the feature was done well and I enjoyed it. The only glitch I saw was that sometimes there was a bit of a "flash" during the transitions between pictures. Besides music selection, there was a random order setting and an option in the setup screen for setting the display time for slides.

One annoyance I had while navigating was the lack of a scroll capability using the supplied remote. Instead of being able to hold down a key and scroll through a list, I had to press, release, press, release, etc.. This gets old real fast when trying to quickly navigate long lists.

The other navigation issue that became quickly apparent was that the interface was implemented through a web browser much like the ViewSonic unit I reviewed a while back. The issue here is that user interfaces implemented with a web browser are sometimes difficult to navigate with only up / down / right / left buttons on a remote. For example, navigation from one menu to the next is often non-intuitive, as it's not clear sometimes how to get to the desired menu.

Note that I wasn't able to play still images that the LinkTheater server consolidated from my other UPnP servers. I would get their initial thumbnails, but trying to view any of them just gave me a black screen or a garbled image. There's evidently some incompatibility between the Twonkyvision server and the LinkTheater server.

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