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Turn Your TV into a Giant Picture Frame with Your Roku Player

by Suzanne Kantra on February 20, 2024

Two years ago, Roku introduced Photo Streams – a useful feature that turns your TV into a digital picture frame whenever it's idle. Initially, you had to manually upload photos to Roku to create a Photo Stream, which was a cumbersome process. Now, you can link your Google Photos account directly to Roku to bypass with upload process, making it much easier to get your memories onto your display.

TV showing photo from Roku Photo Stream and the Roku app showing integration with Google Photos.

The integration with Google Photos simplifies the creation of Photo Streams by tapping into your existing Google Photos albums. Once you've linked your Google Photos to your Roku account in the Roku 'Photo Stream' settings, you'll see all your Google Photos albums. Each album you link becomes a Photo Stream, and you can create up to 10 Photo Streams, with a maximum of 1,000 pictures each. Even if you don't have albums yet, it's easy to create them in Google Photos by searching for photos by type, people, pets, timeframe, or location.

The photos will show up full screen if taken in landscape mode or with black bars on the side if taken vertically. So, if you really want a picture-perfect photo frame experience, you may want to take the time to create Google Photos albums containing just pictures that are cropped to fill your TV's screen.

The connection between Google Photos and Roku Photo Streams will be constantly updated as you add or remove photos from a linked Google Photos album. This is particularly useful for Google's auto-updating albums that automatically populate with new photos of particular people or pets.

The new Roku Photo Streams features are available in Roku OS 12.5, which is supported on all recent Roku players, Streambars, and TVs. If you're not seeing the feature, it may be time to upgrade your Roku device to a newer model. Check out my story on All the Roku Streaming Players Compared for my recommendations on which to buy.

[Image credit: Roku]

For the past 20+ years, Techlicious founder Suzanne Kantra has been exploring and writing about the world’s most exciting and important science and technology issues. Prior to Techlicious, Suzanne was the Technology Editor for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and the Senior Technology Editor for Popular Science. Suzanne has been featured on CNN, CBS, and NBC.


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Discussion loading


From Lisamarie Burkhart on March 10, 2024 :: 11:46 am

With Samsung The Frame TV, the TV turns to a pictures with montion sensors so the TV is not always running.  With this sevice on the Roku, does it mean that the TV is always running?


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